Classic Scones Recipe

The quintessentially British custom of Afternoon Tea though not now a daily event is still a treat for high days and holidays and an essential part of that tea are classic scones. These can be fruit, cheese or plain but no Afternoon Tea is ever without them.

Making scones is more straightforward than many would think and you can read my tips for perfect scones in more detail here, but mainly, keep things cool, work lightly and quickly.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes 

Cooking Time: 15 minutes 


225g self-raising flour 

55g cold butter 

1 level teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

150 ml milk 

1 free-range egg beaten with a little milk 

55g currants (or other dried fruits as you wish)

25g sugar (optional, for if you like a sweeter scone)

Make your scones:

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6  and weigh and measure your ingredients for your classic scones, this recipe is for a fruit version, alternative versions can be seen below. Grease a baking tray with a little butter or line with a silicone baking mat.

scones step by step

2. Sieve the flour into a large baking bowl then add the butter, baking powder, and salt. Quickly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

mixing classic scones

3. Make a well in the centre and using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough. Add the currants and sugar (if using) and stir through the mixture with a wooden spoon.

soft dough for scones

4. Turn the mixture on to a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly roll out to 2cm thick.

softly mixed dough

5. Cut rounds with a 7.5cm cutter taking care not to twist the cutter which can stop the scones from rising.

cut your scones, do not twist

6. Place your cut scones on a greased or lined baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture.

Egg wash

7. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Cool on a wire rack before eating.

Storing the scones.

By far the best scones are eaten fresh once cooled from the oven. Do eat on the day they are made and if you can resist them, then wrap lightly in greaseproof and store in an airtight tin. Classic scones freeze well but are best frozen immediately after cooling to keep the freshness.

Alternative classic scones.

Plain Classic Scones: This recipe is for a simple fruit scone you can also make these plain by removing the fruit and sugar.

Cheese Classic Scones: Add 50g grated cheese and 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder to the mixture after rubbing in the fat and flour and continue with the basic recipe. Sprinkle the scones with 50g more grated cheese before baking the scones in the oven. Do not use any sugar in this recipe

You can find more of my recipes here on Lemm on Food or over on the Spruce.

Want to know more about Afternoon Tea and its history, you can see what I have to say over on the Spruce Eats.