Classic Scones - The Sweet Rebellion
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Classic Scones

Something I miss greatly about living in England is the tradition of the “Cream Tea”. Freshly baked scones, with lashings of jam and clotted cream (with a cup of tea on the side of course) – simply delightful! Clotted cream, which we sadly can’t get in SA, is a very thick, rich and spreadable cream. In some parts of England it is spread on the scone first instead of butter.  Nevertheless, I feel that one can make up it’s absence by simply using generous quantities of thickly whipped cream or double cream instead.

Classic scones should have a golden crust and a light, fluffy texture. It’s really important to incorporate a lot of air into the mixture and use loads of baking powder! Also, try not to handle the mixture too much when you roll it out, and don’t over-flour it. The more sticky it is the lighter the resulting scones will be.

This is a quick and easy recipe so it’s great for last-minute visitors! The scones are best eaten the day they are made, otherwise warm them up in a hot oven for a few minutes.


280g plain flour (2 cups)
15ml baking powder (1 tbsp)
45ml castor sugar (3 tbsp)
60g salted butter (¼ cup)
1,25ml salt (¼ tsp)
180ml buttermilk (¾ cup), or 180ml milk mixed with 10ml lemon juice
2,5ml vanilla essence (½ tsp)
milk, for brushing


  • Sift flour, baking powder and castor sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, or use a pastry cutter.
  • Lightly beat together the buttermilk and vanilla.
  • Pour this mixture into the flour mixture, and cut in with a round-bladed knife until it comes together nicely.
  • On a floured surface, gently pat the dough into a 2cm thick rectangle. It will still be quite sticky but try not to over-flour it. Cut out 5cm diameter rounds with a floured cutter.
  • Place onto a greased baking tray and brush lightly with milk. This will give a lovely golden colour to the scones.
  • Allow the scones to stand for 15 minutes before baking. This lets the baking powder start to work and improves the volume of the scones.
  • Bake at 220°C for 10-12 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Delicious when served with a smear of butter, spoonful of jam and generous dollop of whipped cream!

  • Elke
    Posted at 14:18h, 09 February Reply

    For a savoury change, omit the sugar and add 1 1/2 cups (4 oz) of grated cheese to the mix. Then brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with another 3/4 cup of cheese. A perfect accompaniment to soups and chowders.

    • Astrid
      Posted at 11:43h, 16 March Reply

      Sounds delicious Elke!

  • Nassim Cassim Kamdar
    Posted at 11:47h, 09 June Reply

    please advise on the quantities mentioned. sugar, baking powder and salt is listed as ml, should this be mg as ml refers to liquids. Thanks. I would really like to try this recipe.

    • Astrid
      Posted at 13:49h, 09 November Reply

      Hi there
      No it is in ml, as the quantities are small it is easier to measure them with measuring spoons.

  • Kaylene Van Schoor
    Posted at 15:22h, 07 June Reply

    Absolutely delicious 😋

    • Astrid
      Posted at 08:30h, 26 June Reply

      Thank you Kaylene!

  • Maggie
    Posted at 14:34h, 28 April Reply

    Just tried your recipe and it was perfect. And the tip of leaving the dough for 15 mins really made a difference.

    • Astrid
      Posted at 16:54h, 21 May Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Maggie!

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