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 8a
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4.51 from 118 reviews

English Scones Recipe

This classic buttermilk scone is British mom approved!
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
18 scones
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  • 25 oz unbleached all purpose flour (5 cups, see note)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1″ chunks)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 oz buttermilk (1 ¾ cups)
  • 4 oz raisins (¾ cup, optional)
  • Demerara Sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line two ½ sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together25 oz unbleached all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 4 oz granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon table salt. Toss in 6 oz unsalted butter chunks. Mix in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea.
  • Whisk together 14 oz buttermilk and 2 large 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.
  • Dump the dough onto a floured surface, sprinkle 4 oz 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 ¾"-1" thick. Use a 2½-3" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  • 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.
  • Bake on the middle racks of the oven, flipping the trays after 10 minutes (see note).
  • The scones are ready when they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
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.


Serving: 1scone | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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  1. Hi Eileen

    Can I make the dough at night and refrigerate the scones unbaked until the next morning and then bake??

    Thanks !!

    1. Yes, you can. You might loose a little bit of lift since the baking powder does have a first activation when the dough is mixed. But since there is a good does of baking powder in the dough you should still have a good result.

  2. Hello! I absolutley love your recipe, just baked it, and I plan to make it again in the future. Yet, I had an issue; even when they were dine, sounded hollow, the top was extremely pale. I used granulated sugar and buttermilk but maybe not enough of it? Or maybe my oven just runs too cool as I did have to bake it longer than written. If you have any tips to darken the tops more, please let me know! Thank you!

    1. Usually if you brush the tops with buttermilk they do get nice and brown. Do you have a thermometer in your oven? Perhaps the temp isn’t calibrated. Do you have a convection setting for your oven? If so, that will help with browning.

    2. @Eileen Gray, I figured out what I did wrong. I accidently forgot salt which wasn’t a big deal for me because it tasted great without it. After a bit of research I found out that salt binds with gluten, which then makes the dough more elastic and hold more liquid. So, as I forgot it, the insides finished faster than the top could brown. I did use some left over dough and overcooked it and it did brown but the insides were much too overcooked.
      I’m also purchasing a thermometer soon, to double check the temperature within the oven.
      Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. 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.



    1. 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.

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

  5. 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!

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

  6. Yum!
    Clotted cream is super easy and much cheaper to make. Chef John has a good video on YouTube,

  7. Love these – I cut recipe in half to make less – brought back the memory of my grandmothers raisin biscuits!

  8. Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe. How many scones do you typically make using the ingredient-proportions mentioned in the recipe? I haven’t baked scones before so wanted to make a smaller batch to begin with. What proportions do you recommend for a batch of 12 scones in one go?
    Would much appreciate your response.
    thank you!

    1. As indicated in the recipe, you’ll get 18-24 scones depending on the size cutter you use and exactly how thick you roll the dough. I use a 2.5″ cutter and generally get 24 scones. If you use a smaller cutter you’ll get more scones and if you use a bigger cutter you’ll get fewer.

    1. You can either buy buttermilk powder or you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk to make a buttermilk substitute.

  9. I’m going to make this recipe soon. Are the scones very crumbly ike so many other recipes I’ve tried?

    1. Nope, I don’t post recipes until I’m very happy with the results. The texture is somewhere between a biscuit and a muffin, soft but not cakey.

  10. Dear Eileen, the scones look perfect! I was wondering one thing though – I found many scone recipes being made without eggs (that’s actually how I make them – using only flour, butter and milk or buttermilk with extras and flavourings) and, on the other hand, many using eggs. Would you say the addition of eggs makes them richer tasting or does it affect their crumb? Is there “a rule” to making THE scone? Because I find my recipe gives me a delicious scone, but I am open-minded to try a variation. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mirta. I adapted this recipe from one given to me by a British grandma, so I’m guessing it’s fairly authentic. But beyond that, the eggs do change the texture. Without the egg I think scones have more of a biscuit texture, kind of flakey and bready. With eggs then have a slightly more cakey and open crumb, but not as cakey as a muffin. As I say in the post, I like scones that are somewhere between a biscuit and a muffin. I think the egg helps get that texture.

  11. Your photo of the split open scone is so mouth-watering! When you work in the raisins, are you just mixing with no “folding”? The British tea house here makes scones that split open, quite like a biscuit, and yours looks like they do, too.

    1. Hi Holly. I don’t “fold” the dough. Once the buttermilk goes in I handle the dough as little as possible to keep them very tender. For that photo I didn’t cut the scone with a knife. Rather I used a fork to split it open so it has the craggly surface.

  12. Just made these and the mix was so wet it was like cake batter… not kneadable. What texture should this be

    1. The texture should be a wet dough, not at all like a cake batter. You can see in the photo where I’m dumping the dough out of the bowl what it should look like. Did you make any ingredient substitutions?

    1. Hi Sue, Cream would not be the same since it doesn’t have the acidity of flavor of buttermilk. The best substitutions would be either powdered buttermilk or use 1 3/4 cups whole milk with a tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar mixed into the milk.

  13. My dear Eileen I am planning on doing these scones but I dont have unbleached allpurpose fiour cant find it here in st.kitts . Can I use plain all purpose flour

  14. I just finished making these and they are amazing! Saving in my favs for sure. Will be making them again. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

    Krista, St.John’s, NL