Date Scones

Classic Date Scones with a hint of orange, perfect with a cup of tea. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

date scones on plate with clotted cream

Date Scones

Freshly baked scones with a pot of freshly brewed tea are an irresistible combination for me, and something which I love to indulge in at any time of the day.

For something a bit different, a bit sweeter, but still very classic, I highly recommend a batch of date scones. Subtly scented with some orange zest and mixed spice, date scones have a faint reminder of hot cross buns, but are so much quicker and easier to make.

date scones on plate with whipped cream

Tips for Making Scones

  1. Use very cold butter or frozen butter. Similar to making pastry, scones are best made with very cold butter, or even frozen butter which can be coarsely grated into the flour.
  2. Use a light touch. Over-working the dough can result in tough scones. Gently mix the ingredients together until it just forms a dough.
  3. Wrap the cooked scones in a tea towel. For a soft crust, and to keep them soft, wrap the freshly baked scones in a clean tea towel. The steam from the scones will keep them soft.
date scones on wire rack

How to Make Date Scones

Step 1

Measure the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl.

dry ingredients for scones in mixing bowl

Step 2

Add the butter and lard (or vegetable shortening) and rub them into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture which resembles wet sand. For this step, you could use an electric stand mixer with the flat-paddle attachment, or simply use your hands by using your fingertips to rub the fats into the flour.

ingredients for scones in mixing bowl

Step 3

Add the chopped dates, together with the orange zest and most of the milk – you may not need all of the milk, so save some for later.

Gently mix everything together until the ingredients come together into a dough. Add more milk if the dough looks too dry.

date scone mixture in white mixing bowl

Step 4

Pat the dough into a rectangle or circle shape, about 3 cm (1 inch high). Use a floured cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the dough.

For scones with a soft exterior, I like to place the scones close together on a baking tray. If you like your scones to have a crunchy coating, arrange them separately on the baking tray.

Brush the scones lightly with some egg wash.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are lovely and golden. A cooked scone should have an internal temperature of about 85°C (185°F).

uncooked date scones on baking paper

More Scone Recipes

If you are looking for more scone recipes, you might also like:

Easy Raspberry Scones

Plain Scones

Raspberry Scones with Homemade Clotted Cream


Date Scones

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Australian

Classic Date Scones with a hint of orange, perfect with a cup of tea. Recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the Scones

  • 500 g (3 1/3 cup) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 25 g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 50 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 25 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) lard or vegetable shortening (or simply use butter)
  • 125 g dates, pitted and chopped
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 250300 ml (1 cup to 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) full cream milk

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon full cream milk (for the egg wash)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) (without fan).
  2. Place a baking tray in the middle shelf of the oven to warm up while you are making the scones.
  3. Place the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and mixed spice into the bowl of a KitchenAid or stand mixer.
  4. Add the butter and lard (or vegetable shortening), and briefly mix with the flat paddle attachment until the mixture resembles damp sand. Alternatively, you can do this by hand by simply rubbing the fats into the flour with your fingertips.
  5. Add the chopped dates.
  6. Finely zest the orange into the milk.
  7. Slowly add the milk and quickly mix everything together. You may not need all of the milk – just add enough milk until the mixture just comes together into a rough dough. Try not to overwork the dough as this may lead to tough scones later.
  8. Place the dough onto a floured work surface and pat it into a rectangle or circle shape about 3 cm (1 inch) high.
  9. Cut your scones with a round cutter. You could also use a teacup or small glass to shape your scones. Dip the cutter into some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  10. You can make the scones as little or as big as you like, adjusting the baking time accordingly. I use a 6 cm (2.5 inch) crinkle-edged cookie cutter to make fairly small scones.
  11. Lightly re-shape the dough as necessary, but try to handle the dough as little as possible.
  12. Arrange the scones closely together on a baking tray.
  13. Make an egg wash by lightly beating together the egg and milk.
  14. Brush the scones with some egg-wash.
  15. Bake the scones in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (depending on size), or until they are lovely and golden.
  16. You may need to test a scone to make sure that it is fully cooked through in the centre. A digital thermometer inserted in the centre of a scone should read about 85°C (185°F).
  17. These scones are best served hot or warm, but they are also lovely served at room temperature.
  18. Serve the scones with butter or clotted cream.
  19. To stop the scones from developing a hard crust as they cool, cover the warm scones with a clean tea towel. The steam trapped under the tea towel will help to keep the scones soft.

Kitchen Notes

You can use frozen butter in this recipe and simply grate it into the dry ingredients.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

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1 comment

  1. Cindy 4 June 2022

    These date scones were absolutely delicious.