“I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” Madame Benoit


Who doesn’t love Cream Tea, Devonshire Tea or freshly baked scones with Tea? No matter what you call them, scones and Tea are a delicious treat.

Scones originated in Scotland, where they were made from oats. They were cooked over an open fire or on the fuel stove. The dough was called a ‘bannock’ that was cut into 6 or 8 pieces known as ‘scones’ and cooked on a griddle. The word ‘scone’ links to the Stone or Scone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. Others say the Dutch word ‘schoon’ means bread or ‘schonbrot’ from Germany, meaning beautiful bread. It was not until the invention of baking powder that scones became the light, airy and leavened baked goods that we enjoy today. 

Making scones is very quick, and is little preparation time, so very easy to pop in the oven when guests arrive. If you have the ingredients on hand, you will always have something to make for an impromptu morning or afternoon Tea. The butter can be taken straight from the fridge or freezer, and the oven will reach the correct temperature while you are making them.

Scone Making Tips 

The most important aspect of scone making is to be light-fingered, and not handle the dough too much. The aim is to add extra air to the flour and this is done by sifting all the dry ingredients and aerating the flour as you mix in the cold butter.

Make sure the self-raising flour is fresh and not out of date.

Don’t use a mixer, just your fingertips as lightly as possible.

Use very cold butter and always cook the scones in a hot oven.

Alternatively, freeze the exact amount of butter and grate the butter into the flour then rub together between the fingertips.

Do not over-mix the scone dough because it causes too much gluten to be developed which will create tough, dry scones on baking. Work quickly.

Use a metal spatula knife, not a wooden spoon.

Place scones close together on the baking tray lined with silicon paper, almost touching so they will have soft sides.

Always wrap the hot scones in a clean tea towel straight from the oven to keep them soft.

Scone Etiquette 

According to ‘Tea Etiquette Faux Pas Other Misconceptions About Afternoon Tea’ by Ellen Easton 2004

It is not only improper to slice a scone, horizontally to be slathered in jam and cream it is considered very common behaviour!

High Tea in Dubai

My copper kettle whistles merrily, And signals that it is time for Tea,
The fine china cups are filled with the brew, There’s lemon and sugar and sweet cream too, But, best of all there’s friendship, Between you and me, As we lovingly share afternoon Tea

Marianna Arolin

Plain Scones from the Women’s Weekly

  • Self Raising Flour 3 cups
  • Salt a pinch
  • Butter cold -5 tablespoons
  • Milk cold 1 cup

Rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers raising them up to allow air in until the mixture is a fine soft crumble.

Make a well in the centre of the bowl and stir in milk with a large knife to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead very lightly.

Pat the dough gently to a 2 cm thickness and cut out with a floured scone cutter or knife

Place on a scone tray lined with silicone kitchen paper and brush the tops very lightly with milk.

Bake at 200C for 10- 15 minutes.

Turn the scones out into a clean dry tea towel and cover to serve immediately

Serve with homemade or favourite jam and thick whipped cream

The correct manner in which one eats a scone is the same manner in which one eats a dinner roll. Simply break in half and place it on your plate, and then apply, with your bread and butter knife, the jam and cream.
Ellen Easton

Scones made with Plain Flour

  • Self-raising flour 3 cups
  • A pinch of salt
  • Baking powder 1 teaspoon
  • Butter 50 grams very cold cut into chunks
  • Milk 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla 1 teaspoon
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Extra milk for the glaze
  • Jam of choice
  • Fresh cream

Preheat the oven to 220 C
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl.
Add the cold butter and rub it with your fingers until it becomes a very fine crumb-like mixture. Aerating the flour and butter as you go.
Put the milk into a jug and add the vanilla and lemon juice to sour the milk and set aside.
Make a well in the flour mixture, then add the milk and combine it quickly with a large spatula knife. It will become very sticky. I use my fingers towards the end to gently form the mound of dough.
Spread some flour onto the bench ( preferably marble) and tip the dough out gently.
Cover your hands with flour and gently form the dough into shape ready to cut into scones. Be careful not to handle it too much.

Smooth it out and cut out the dough with a cutter or just cut the mound up into even-sized pieces with a knife. Immediately place on a baking tray and brush the tops with the beaten egg or milk.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until scones sound hollow when tapped lightly and are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and wrap the scones in a clean tea towel Meanwhile whilst the scones are cooking beat the cream until soft peaks form and serve with strawberry or raspberry jam and TEA

“...but if there is one universal truth in the human experience, it is that a finely honed scone-eating palate does not just develop overnight.” Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Buttermilk Scones- my favourite

  • Self-raising flour 3 cups
  • Unsalted butter 40 grams
  • Buttermilk 2 cups
  • Buttermilk extra 2 tablespoons
  • Thickened cream 300 ml
  • Strawberry or Raspberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 220c.
Sift the flour and sugar together into a large bowl
Rub in the butter with your fingertips until light and crumbled- 10 minutes.
Add buttermilk using a knife to cut the buttermilk through the flour then mix gently into a soft, sticky dough.
Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth.
Be careful not to overwork the dough and handle as little as possible.
Press the dough out to an even thickness and cut it into 10-12 pieces.
Place the scones close together on the tray and brush the tops with the extra buttermilk, or plain milk
Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until scones sound hollow when tapped lightly and are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and wrap the scones in a clean tea towel Meanwhile whilst the scones are cooking beat the cream until soft peaks form and serve with strawberry or raspberry jam and TEA

Nana’s Lemonade Scones

  • Self-raising flour 3 cups
  • Lemonade 1 cup
  • Cream 1 cup
  • Pinch salt
  • Jam and thickened cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 200c
Sift the flour into a large bowl.
Add the cream and then the lemonade.
Very gently combine the ingredients into a dough
The idea is to trap all the bubbles within the dough so handle as little as possible.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently roll it out to a thickness of about 2 cm with a rolling pin or your hands.
Cut your scones out with a cutter.
Arrange evenly on a tray close together and brush the tops with a little milk and bake for 10 -15 minutes until golden.
Serve with jam and thickened cream

I’d love to have tea and scones with the Queen; she’s my idol.Agyness Deyn

Sage and Cheddar Scones

  • Sifted self-raising flour 225 grams
  • English mustard powder 11⁄2 teaspoons
  • Chopped cold butter 50 grams
  • Mature cheddar, grated 100 grams
  • Finely chopped sage 1 teaspoon plus 8 small leaves
  • One beaten egg
  • Buttermilk 100 mls.

Heat oven to 220 C

In a large mixing bowl add the flour, mustard powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles the crumbs and stir in half of the cheese and the sage.
Mix together the egg and buttermilk in a separate bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in all but 1⁄2 tablespoon of the buttermilk mix.
Mix with a metal spatula until the mixture forms a soft, spongy dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.
Roll out to about 3 cm thick square and divide into scone shapes evenly.
Place the scones on a floured baking tray and brush with the remaining buttermilk.
Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and top each with a sage leaf. Bake for 12-15 minutes and serve warm with butter.

“I remind my American readers that biscuits in England and Australia are crispy flat things such as you call cookies, and the soft doughy things you call biscuits are what we call scones. And they say we speak the same language …” Kerry Greenwood

Date Scones

  • Full Cream milk 150mls or 2/3 cup
  • Pure Cream 150mls or 2/3 cup
  • One Egg
  • Self-raising flour 3 cups
  • Caster sugar 2 tablespoons
  • Chopped dried dates 1 cup
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Whipped cream and jam of choice

Preheat oven to 200c
Line a large baking tray with silicone baking paper.
In a medium bowl, use a hand whisk and mix the milk, cream and egg until well combined.
Add the flour, sugar, dates and lemon zest and gently stir together with a spoon until mixed.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently form into a soft dough. Press the dough flat until 2cm thick.
Using a cookie cutter cut around the scones from the dough and place onto the baking tray close together
Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with some extra castor sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Wrap in a clean tea towel to keep soft and warm.
Serve warm with jam and cream.

Softer Scones in a KitchenAid or Mixer

  • Butter 60 grams – will be cut into small pieces
  • Cream -150 grams
  • Milk – 100 grams
  • Egg – 1
  • Icing Sugar -60 grams
  • Self Raising Flour -400 grams
  • A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and line a baking tray with silicone paper

In a large mixing bowl or KitchenAid, add the self-raising flour and sugar and mix with dough paddle for 9 seconds

Add the cubed butter to the SR flour and blend for another 9 sec

Add the cream, egg, salt and milk and combine for 30 seconds at a lower speed until just combined

Sprinkle plenty of flour on the baking board and turn the dough out

Using light fingers gently bring the dough together to about 2 cms thick

Cut into even-sized pieces or use a cookie cutter – the mix should take approximately 8-10 scones

Place the scones on the tray so they are touching each other.

Brush the top of the scones with a little milk but be careful not to overdo it as it will stop them from rising.

Bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Apple and Cinnamon Roses

  • 2-3 Pink Lady Apples
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • One sheet of Puff Pastry Thawed Out.
  • 50g Melted Butter
  • 2 tbs Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tbs Castor Sugar
  • Icing Sugar for Dusting

Set the oven to 180C, Line a 6 muffin tin with paper cases or silicon paper Cut each apple in half and remove the core keeping the halved apple intact.

Thinly slice the apples with a sharp knife or use a mandolin.

Put in a microwave-safe bowl with the lemon juice and cover with cling wrap.

Microwave for 1 or 2 minutes to soften then leave the apple slices to cool. Place the pastry on a lightly floured board and cut lengthways into 6 even strips.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and caster sugar over the top.

Begin on one end of the pastry and place the apple slices halfway across the pastry (so that you can fold the pastry over later) with the skin poking over the pastry edge. Overlap the slices slightly and leave a small space at the end to stick the pastry together.

Fold over the bottom half of the pastry and roll from the end you began placing the apples on Press the excess pastry to seal together

Put the apple roses in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and risen. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Lightly dust with icing sugar to finish. Thanks to pink lady apples UK for the recipe

Anzac Biscuits

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda,

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the golden syrup and water

Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the liquid mixture.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Place walnut-sized balls of mixture on a greased tray and bake at 175C for 15-20 minutes. Biscuits will harden when cooled.