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Raisin Scones – English Scones

I can guarantee you that this is an authentic English Scone recipe. I used this recipe for 7 years when I worked in a British tea shop and I got the personal approval of the owner’s British mom for my Raisin Scones.

If you’re looking for a recipe for plain scones, you can follow this recipe and just leave out the raisins.

a raisin scone, slit open, on a white plate

I see lots of bad scones in coffee shops and bake shops. Most of the time they’re so light and sweet they’re closer to a muffin than a scone.

A good English scone should neither be too biscuit-like nor too muffin-like, but should fall somewhere between the two.

These are authentic English Scones

As I mentioned in my post for Gingerbread Scones, my Raisin Scones are adapted from a recipe given to me by the shop owner’s British mum. 

I made adjustments to the original recipe so it could work in a US kitchen with US ingredients and measurements. I can tell you I get great feedback from everyone who tastes these scones.

How to make a great raisin scone

  • Use fresh buttermilk for this recipe. The tangy flavor and tenderizing  acidity of the buttermilk make these the best scones ever.
  • I like to mix scones by hand. Mixing by hand ensures that you won’t over mix the dough and form too much gluten.
  • Pat the dough out by hand instead of using a rolling pin. This also ensures that the dough won’t be over worked.
  • As soon as  you add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients, the baking powder is activated.
  • To work ahead, mix the recipe until the point where you add the buttermilk. Later you can mix the dough, roll, cut and bake.
  • Scones are best the day they are baked. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost and then warm in the oven to get the best texture.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make English Scones:

A mixer bowl with partially mixed dough being poured onto a table.

Finish mixing the dough by hand.

a tray of raisin scones ready for the oven. A hand is sprinkling sugar on top.

For a golden brown finish, brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

raisin scones cooling on a rack

The scones are best the day they are baked, but they also freeze beautifully.

How to set up a full Afternoon Tea Party

To serve scones as part of a full afternoon tea here’s what you’ll need to do: For the first course serve dainty tea sandwiches, next serve the scones with clotted cream and lemon curd and raspberry preserves.

Finish with some small fancy pastries and cookies. My Rose Shortbread cookies and Petite Fours are the perfect dainty pastries for an Afternoon Tea table.

The classic Bakewell Tart is also perfect for afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea is a great theme for a bridal or baby shower, or for a weekend brunch party.

raisin scones 7a

raisin scones 10a

But don’t wait until you plan a tea party to make scones. They are quick enough to make for weekend breakfast. Top them with butter or a little jam for a perfect breakfast or snack.

If you love this recipe please consider giving it five stars.

Raisin Scones - English Scones

Raisin Scones - English Scones

Yield: 18-24 scones
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This classic buttermilk raisin scone is British mom approved!

Ingredients

  • 5 cups (25oz, 700g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 sticks (6oz, 168g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (14oz, 420ml) buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz, 112g) raisins
  • Demerarra Sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and. Toss in butter chunks. Mix in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea.
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just barely combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  4. Dump the dough onto a floured surface, sprinkle the raisins over the dough and finish kneading by hand just until all the loose flour is absorbed. Use your hands to pat the dough until it is 3/4"-1" thick. Use a 2.5" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  5. Line the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1" space between. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with Demerarra or granulated sugar.
  6. Bake on the middle racks of the oven, flipping the trays after 10 minutes (see note).
  7. The scones are ready when they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.

Notes

If the bottoms of the scones are browning very fast you can slide another sheet pan under the pan half way through baking.

To make ahead you can bake and freeze the scones. Defrost and warm in the oven to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Lio

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

Hi Eleen

I am from Malaysia and a new to try to baker by my own ,i have scones so much and will try your recipe to make by my own , before i start to bake few question as below need to guide line:-

1. When to mix the buttermilk and eggs to the dough are we using spatula to mix it .

2. I can't get buttermilk in Malaysia any suggestions.

Regards

Lio

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

Yes, use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix. Can you get powdered buttermilk? If no, you could try using thinned down yogurt or sour cream.

Moira King

Sunday 24th of April 2022

Fabulous recipe and easy to make.

Linda

Thursday 10th of March 2022

I just made these. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Excellent, easy to make and they were gobbled up right out of the oven. Highly recommend this recipe.

Ma Baker

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Hi Eileen, I do love scones and like the sound of your recipe. I’m from Scotland in the UK and would like to bake these scones according to the UK recipe you mentioned . Could you please post it for me. Thank you!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

The original recipe is one I got at a tea shop I worked at 30 years ago. It's long gone.

Belle

Saturday 19th of February 2022

Is the buttermilk amount correct? Almost 60% of flour. Together with eggs, this seems a relatively wet scone dough.

Eileen Gray

Saturday 19th of February 2022

Yes, the amount is correct. It is a fairly wet dough that easiest to pat with your hands and not a rolling pin.

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