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.
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:
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.
Afternoon Tea is a great theme for a bridal or baby shower, or for a weekend brunch party.
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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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