Plain Scones

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5 from 23 reviews

An easy scone recipe with step-by-step photos. These plain scones are light and fluffy, and go perfectly with jam and cream for a gorgeous afternoon tea. 


For the Scones

For the Egg Wash

For the Chantilly Cream


For the Scones

  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 and baking powder 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. 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.
  6. Place the dough onto a floured work surface and pat it into a rectangle or circle shape about 3 cm (1 inch) high.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Lightly re-shape the dough as necessary, but try to handle the dough as little as possible.
  10. Arrange the scones closely together on a baking tray.
  11. Make an egg wash by lightly beating together the egg and milk.
  12. Brush the scones with some egg-wash.
  13. Bake the scones in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (depending on size), or until they are lovely and golden.
  14. 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).
  15. These scones are best served hot or warm, but they are also lovely served at room temperature.
  16. Serve the scones with some Chantilly Cream (recipe below) and strawberry jam.
  17. 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.

For the Chantilly Cream

  1. Place the cream and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until until soft peaks form.
  2. The cream should be soft, but still be able to hold its shape.

Kitchen Notes

This recipe also halves well to produce a smaller batch of scones.

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

The scones are best eaten right away, or at least on the day of baking. But I find that if you individually wrap them in clingfilm, they still taste quite fresh one or two days later.

The scones can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Simply prepare the scones as per the instructions above until Step 9. I like to freeze 2 or 4 scones together in a small zip-lock freezer bag for easy handling. To bake, simply proceed with the remaining instructions above using the frozen scones (there is no need to defrost them first), but they will require an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven (depending on size).

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.