Classic Cornish scones are one of my favourite things. There's something about a warm scone, fresh from the oven, sliced in two and slathered with butter and enjoyed with a cup of tea that is quintessentially British.
These scones are really easy and quick to make. There's no chilling time, it's just mix, cut and bake, so you can butter one within half an hour.
There's huge debate in the UK regarding scones, from the country of origin, to the pronounciation. There is also a place in Scotland called Scone, which is pronounced 'scon'. I'm in the 'scon' camp and my husband is in the 'scone' camp and we grew up in the same town.
More confusingly, is that at first glance, a British scone looks like an American biscuit. The resemblance ends there. British scones use less sugar, are cut in a circular or hexaganol shape, and are only glazed with milk or egg. We get the sweetness by the dollop of jam on top.
American scones are made by flattening the dough into a circle and cutting into segments before baking. They are often flavoured with fruit and glazed with icing afterwards.
A cream tea is normally a scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream in pots, served alongside a pot a tea. There is yet more debate as to whether the jam or cream is added first.
The Devonshire cream tea scone has cream added first and neighbouring Cornwall has jam first on a Cornish scone. Who knew that British scones were so complicated?
A cream tea is normally also a component of afternoon tea, which is making a real comeback with home deliveries.
This comprises of a three tiered cake stand with finger sandwiches at the bottom, dainty cakes in the middle and the scones with pots of jam and cream on top. Then there is the obligatory pot of tea and maybe a cheeky glass of Prosecco or Champagne.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
- Ready in less than 30 minutes.
- No mixer required.
- No chilling time required.
- Easy to vary the flavours.
- Perfect for afternoon tea.
- Store cupboard ingredients.
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- Butter - salted or unsalted butter. Most bakers suggest unsalted for baking, but I just keep salted at home and find the amount of salt is right. However, the butter does need to be cold from the fridge. So if you are like me and keep it in the cupboard, pop it in the fridge about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake.
- Flour - self raising flour. If you don't have self raising flour you can easily make your own. To make your own self raising flour add a teaspoon of baking powder to a 100g of flour, (3.5 ounces).
- Baking powder - for extra lift. Make sure that it is in date and has not been open for a long time, as it can lose its potency.
- Salt - cooking salt to balance the sugar.
- Sugar - caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar.
- Milk - to bind the scones. I use semi-skimmed and they are still rich due to the butter.
- Egg - to glaze the scones for baking.
The printable recipe card with full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found at the bottom of the article.
- 6 centimetre or 2.5 inch cutter - if you don't have a cutter, just use a dinner knife.
- non stick baking sheet - or sheet lined with parchment
- mixing bowl
- rolling pin
- food processor - optional
Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together after measuring, and place in a large bowl or in the body of a food processor.
Cut cold butter from the fridge into cubes and gently rub in or process the butter to fine breadcrumbs by pulsing a few times.
Tip the mixture into a large bowl, stir in the sugar and milk to form a soft dough. The idea is to quickly bring it together without touching the dough too much.
Depending on the dryness of the flour you might need more milk.
Divide the dough into two as it makes it easier to handle in batches.
Roll the dough out to 2.5cm thick. You can also just do this with your hands as the dough is really soft.
Use a 6mm plain circular cutter or similar to cut out, rerolling if necessary and then repeating with the remaining dough. Remember to handle the dough as little as possible.
You will end up with 13 or 14 scones.
Place the scones on a large non stick or parchment lined tray as you cut them out.
- It sounds odd, but place the scones together so they are almost touching. This helps them to rise up straight as they bake.
⏲️ Baking Time
Brush with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 until well risen and golden at 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5.
Cool on a wire rack.
These scones are fluffy and delicious served warm with butter or cold with your favourite jam.
🥗 Side Dishes
For a classic British afternoon tea, try some of these ideas with the Cornish scones.
- Salted Caramel Mille Feuilles
- Nutella Macarons
- Traditional Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Almond Financiers
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
- Cheese Savoury Sandwich
- Butter - use block margerine.
- Caster sugar - put some granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times.
- Cherry scones - chop 200g of glace cherries and stir in with the sugar.
- Cheese scones -add 115g of grated cheese and omit the sugar for savoury.
- Sultana scones - stir in 200g of sultanas.
- Cupboard - place in an airtight tin and they will be fresh for a couple of days.
- Refrigerate - in a container for up to a week.
- Freezer - wrap well and store for up to 3 months.
- Reheat - refresh in the oven for a few minutes for warm scones.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Cut out the scones and place on the baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate and glaze just before baking.
More baking to try
- Banana Bread with Pecans and Cardamom
- Jamaica Ginger Bread
- Cherry Madeira Cake
- Fruit Loaf
- Cheese and Bacon Scones
- Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies
- Pecan Banana Avocado Cake
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- non stick baking sheet or sheet line with parchment
- 6 centimetre round cutter appro 2½ inches
- 115 g cold butter chopped and cold from the fridge
- 450 g flour self raising
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 55 g caster sugar
- 200 ml milk
- 1 egg beaten
- Heat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / Gas mark 5.
- Stir flour salt and baking powder together.
- Rub in or process the butter with the flour mixture to fine breadcrumbs
- Stir in sugar and milk to form a soft dough.
- Divide into two and roll out to 2.5cm thick.
- Cut out 14 scones with a 6 mm cutter.
- Place scones on a large lined tray, close together.
- Brush with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 until well risen and golden
- Cool on a wire rack.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
Cakes, Breads and Sandwiches
- Boudoir Biscuits1 Hours
- Gluten Free Friands35 Minutes
- Traditional Afternoon Tea Sandwiches20 Minutes
- Lincolnshire Plum Bread - Tea Bread with Dried Fruit3 Hours 5 Minutes
🍲 Food Safety
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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