scones on a white plate

British Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream

These British Scones with Clotted Cream bake up tall and light with a soft texture and fabulous flavor! Great for breakfast but normally served at teatime, spread with clotted cream, jam, or even butter! This British Scone recipe is a classic and as authentic as those served in London Tearooms!

Indulge in the taste of British tradition with a quintessential treat that has stood the test of time – British scones with clotted cream. The heavenly combination of buttery, crumbly scones slathered with rich and silky clotted cream is a delightful experience that transcends borders. In this blog post, we explore the art of making traditional British scones and dive into the world of clotted cream, providing you with a recipe and all the information you need to create this irresistible pairing in your own kitchen.

The Classic British Scone

British scones are a beloved part of the English tea tradition, admired for their delicate texture and ability to effortlessly soak up the flavors of accompanying spreads.

These baked delights are typically made with flour, sugar, butter, and milk, resulting in a light and flaky pastry that crumbles gently with each bite.

Served warm, British scones offer a comforting experience that transports you to a quaint tea room in the heart of England.

History of British Scones

Scones have long been a cherished part of British culinary heritage. Their origin can be traced back to Scotland, where they were first made with oats as a simple round cake.

Over time, the recipe evolved, and scones became lighter and more versatile, with the addition of ingredients like butter, sugar, and raisins.

Today, they are a staple in British tea rooms, enjoyed with clotted cream, jam, and a steaming pot of tea.

By the way, the BEST tea in London is a Fortnum & Masons. Try it, you won’t regret it!

I ate scones often when I lived in Scotland for a few years and also when I am lucky enough to return for a visit. A good British tearoom belongs on every itinerary for every trip to the UK!

Getting the texture and flavor right is not as easy as you would think. Every cafĂ© and bakery in the US has ‘scones’ on their menu but most of them are full of mix-ins and sugar and probably glazed or iced as well.

These versions are not even close to British Scones!

British Scone with clotted cream and blackcurrant jam

British Scone or American Scone?

Now, I enjoy a good American Scone as much as the next person. Full of fresh blueberries and lemon zest, topped with a lemon glaze is probably my favorite (and my family’s favorite, as well!)

This delicious rendition of a scone is really more of a muffin but a bit dryer to hold a cutout shape.

And American Scones have quite a bit more sugar in them than British Scones!

A classic British Scone is tall, a bit denser, and plain…you may find some sultanas thrown in but what you won’t find are chocolate chips, chunks of fruit or sugar, or glaze on top!

This British Scone recipe is amazing on its own but is a real treat with clotted cream and jam.

Clotted cream is tough to find and usually expensive in the US so I have a recipe for you to make it at home! You can make it in the oven or in an Instant Pot. Just make sure to make the Clotted Cream at least 24 hours before making your scones!

British scones with clotted cream and jam on a white plate with linen tablecloth

American Biscuits

Scones and biscuits may seem similar at first glance but the proportions of the ingredients are different and the method is a bit different as well. These differences give completely different results in the final product.

Biscuits have a higher ratio of butter which is what creates the layers that you can literally pull apart. Scones do rise high if made right but they should be more crumbly than layered.

Scones are also a bit dryer but not in a bad way. They are meant to be enjoyed with clotted cream, jam, and tea so a dryer texture is perfect!

The method for American Biscuits is generally to cut in the butter to keep chunks throughout the dough. Larger pieces of butter create pockets when the water evaporates leaving layers behind.

With scones, it is best to get your hands in there and rub the butter into the flour. Rub it in until you have a sandy texture. This method breaks down the butter and coats the flour in the fat which gives almost a velvety texture that crumbles.

THIS is the perfect British Scone!

British scone with clotted cream and blackcurrant jam, a tea cup and a plate of plain scones

Tips for Perfect British Scones:

  • Handle the dough lightly to avoid overworking it, as this can result in tough scones.
  • Make sure your butter is cold when incorporating it into the dry ingredients, as this creates the desired flaky texture.
  • Serve your scones fresh and warm for the best experience, but they can also be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.

Can I freeze British Scones?

One thing that I love about making scones is that they freeze extremely well. This recipe makes 16 scones (may be more or less depending on your cutter and dough depth).

You can cut the batch in half if you don’t need 16 scones but I usually make a full batch and freeze half of them! I find that it is best to freeze them prior to baking them.

Just cut the scones out, put them on a lined baking sheet, and pop them into the freezer. After a couple of hours, when they are frozen through, place them in a zip-loc bag, label them, and put them back in the freezer.

The frozen scones will last for about four months in the freezer! You can bake just a couple or the whole bag whenever you need a freshly baked treat!

When ready to bake, place the frozen scones on a lined baking sheet and leave at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then bake as directed below. They may take an extra one to two minutes.


British scones are a delightful treat that embodies the essence of British tea culture. Their crumbly texture, buttery flavor, and versatility make them a beloved classic. With a rich history dating back centuries, these delightful pastries continue to be enjoyed by people around the world. Whether you’re hosting a tea party or simply craving a comforting treat, making traditional British scones is a wonderful way to bring a taste of England to your home. So, gather your loved ones, brew a pot of tea, and indulge in this timeless tradition.

Two tall scones on a white plate. One is cut in half and spread with clotted cream and jam.

British Scones with Clotted Cream

These British Scones bake up tall and light with a soft texture and fabulous flavor! Great for breakfast but normally served at teatime, spread with clotted cream, jam, or even butter! This British Scone recipe is a classic and as authentic as those served in London Tearooms!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine British
Servings 16 scones
Calories 191 kcal


  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 110 grams granulated sugar
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg at room temperature
  • 140 mL buttermilk or milk + lemon juice
  • Up to 4 Tablespoons additional cream milk or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk plus a pinch of salt for the egg wash


  • Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it into the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and the egg and mix until a slightly sticky dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add 1 Tablespoon at a time of the additional cream, milk, or buttermilk and mix.
  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured countertop bring together with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just bring it together and flatten down with a rolling pin or your hands so that the dough is about an inch tall.
  • Cut the dough with a round cutter that has been dipped in flour to prevent sticking. Cut straight down and then lift the cutter straight up. Pick up the cut scone, turn it upside down and put it on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • Beat the egg and salt and bush on the top of the scone only. Try not to let the egg wash drip over the sides.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Serving: 1sconeCalories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 242mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 171IUCalcium: 105mgIron: 2mg
Keyword british scones, clotted cream, cream scones, english scones, scone, cream scones, british scone, english, cornish, cornwall, yorkshire, clotted cream, yorkshire
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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  3. Thanks! I always have to make a full batch of 18 scones for my house. But as kids slowly move out, I’ll go down to a half batch and freeze some! It makes it so easy to always have fresh scones!

  4. Wonderful post, Tanya! great tip on freezing before baking, that truly helps as being just the two of us, even half a batch makes a lot!

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