This gorgeous scone recipe is perfect for when you need a little treat, or when you need to whip something up last-minute but don’t want to run to the shop to buy tons of ingredients. Short on time and on a budget? This recipe will have you relaxing in your chair and enjoying these fluffy little scones before you can say cream tea! 

Editors Note: I always turn to these little guys when I have family round, or on a beautiful sunny summers day. Or when it’s miserable outside and I want the house to feel all cosy and warm. After buying ingredients to make Eton mess, I made a terrible mess of the meringues, so quickly adapted to this fail-proof scone recipe and brought the house down with a traditional British cream tea.

Through years of trial and error, (but mostly success!) I’ve found the secret is to not handle them too much before baking and also to make the mixture on the wet, slightly sticky side. They are always best eaten on the day of making and if you are making a big batch, pop them in the freezer once completely cooled. When you are looking to eat them, defrost at room temperature (if time allows) and then pop them in a moderate oven for around ten minutes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes – but depends on how speedy you are.

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Makes about 20 average scones, or 10  larger scones (3.5 inch scones)

  • 450g (1 lb) self-raising flour
  • 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
  • 75g (3 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 50g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • about 225 ml (8 fl oz) milk

1. Lightly grease two baking trays and pre-heat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7

2. Measure your flour, salt, baking powder, and then add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until it makes a light crumble.  Mary Berry recommends using a food processor to do this if you have one as it speeds you up, and amalgamate the two together perfectly.

3. Once you’ve made your crumble add the sugar and stir in with a wooden spoon.

4. Beat the eggs together until completely mixed. Warm your milk in the microwave for around 20 seconds, till warm, not hot and then add your squeeze of lemon juice. By adding lemon juice you are slightly souring the milk which mimics buttermilk. This slightly acidic mix will give a boost to the raising agents in the flour and baking powder. Pour the milk into the beaten eggs to make it up to a generous 300ml (1/2 pint). Put around two tablespoons of the egg/milk mixture aside in a cup for glazing later.

5. Gradually add the wet mix into the dry ingredients until you have a soft dough. A cold knife is great for mixing rather than hands or anything else. Leave the scone more on the wet side, as this will make your scones rise better.

6. Move the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hand or rolling-pin to a thickness of 1-2 cm. Using a 5 cm fluted cutter to stamp out the dough makes good size scones. Push the cutter straight down into the dough – try not to twist – then lift straight out. By not twisting, this ensures that the scones will rise evenly and keep their uniform shape. Once you’ve cut your scones, gently push the remainder together and knead very lightly then re-roll and cut out more scones.

7. Pop your scones on the prepared baking trays (you may need two!) and brush the tops with your stash of egg/milk mixture to glaze. Bake for about 10 -15 minutes or until the scones are well risen and golden.

8. Cool on a wire rack and cover with a clean tea towel to keep them moist. Serve as fresh as possible, cut in half and spread with our beautiful jam (click for recipe) and a good spoonful of thick cream. Delicious!

There is scope to change this recipe by reducing the sugar and using mixed dried fruit or adding mustard powder and using delicious grated cheese.