How to eat scones?

Top 10 scone toppers

1. Classic jam and cream

Whether you prefer the Devonshire version of cream first, then jam; or the more widely known Cornish version of jam first, then cream, there is very little better topping for a classic scone. Try adding a wisp or two of Persian fairy floss on top to make these beauties extra special or twist them up completely with the following delicious ideas.

2. Blueberry and maple syrup

Spread scones with cream cheese, top with blueberries and drizzle with maple-flavoured syrup.

3. Black forest

Spread scones with black cherry jam. Top with a dollop of mascarpone whisked with icing sugar. Dust with cocoa powder. Top with a shard of Cadbury Flake and a maraschino cherry.

4. Lemon burst

Spread scones with lemon curd. Top with whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.

5. Rocky road

Pipe scones with Nutella and top with white and pink mini marshmallows and coconut chips.

6. Banoffee

Top scones with sliced banana, a drizzle of dulce de leche and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

7. Breezy caprese

Spread scones with sun-dried tomato paste. Top with torn bocconcini an8d fresh basil leaves.

8. Blues jam

Spread scones with fig jam and top with a slice of blue cheese and a shard of crisp fried prosciutto.

9. Honeycomb crunch

Spread scones with ricotta and top with pieces of fresh honeycomb. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

10. Holy guacamole

Spread scones with guacamole. Top with flakes of pepper-crusted hot smoked salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche and a twist of fresh lime.

Scones are a very traditional teatime treat, so much so that some people are quite adamant about the proper way to eat them. I, however, can think of at least 10 different ways to indulge my scone craving. They may not be traditional, but they are certainly tasty.

Scones, toppings, and tea

The first five ways cover different methods of preparing your scones.

#1 — Baked into a traditional triangle shape, then sliced into two thin pieces, laid side by side on the plate and topped with fresh fruit.

#2 — Fresh from the oven (allow to cool enough so you don’t burn your fingers when you pick them up), split in half, spread with butter/margarine, then put back together with a big spoonful of lemon curd, marmalade, apple butter, or whatever, in-between.

#3 — Totally unadorned. Great if the scone is made with your favorite fruit added in. Mine is apricot.

#4 — Baked into the round, biscuit shape, then cut into quarters and drizzled with maple syrup (or honey, if you prefer).

#5 —A sort of scone “grilled cheese,” a great use for day-old scones, especially those in the triangle shape. Slice into two thin pieces, apply some butter or margarine, grill until a bit golden, put some sliced cheese (cheddar, American, etc.) between the pieces, and serve up with tomato slices, pickles, etc.

Scones all cozy on the bookshelf

The second five ways have to do with the setting or the method of eating the scones.

#6 — Put some in “scone containers” strategically placed around the house (on a bookshelf, in a drawer, etc.) for a quick scone break from vacuuming, dusting, chasing the kids, whatever.

#7 — Risk a few singed fingertips by grabbing scones right off the baking sheet fresh out of the oven. Hot and fresh can’t be beat!

#8 — Put a few in a baggie and carry them around in your purse, backpack, hip pocket, etc., and munch on one wherever you are (such as waiting in line at the DMV).

#9 — Bake and then freeze a few dozen to be “zapped!” in the microwave and slathered with your favorite topping as the urge strikes.

#10 — Set some up as a still-life, paint a picture first, then eat ’em. Big drawback here: They will be so scrumptious looking that you’ll end up eating one, then say “Dang!” because you have to start your painting over. Then, you’ll eat another one and have to start the painting over again. Then, they’ll be all gone, so you’ll have to stop painting to bake some more. I guess that’s what they call “suffering for your art.”

Of course, besides the scones, the common ingredient in these doughy repasts is TEA! A nice pot of Devonshire, Barry’s, PG Tips, or Typhoo will truly make your enjoyment complete. If you want to be a little less traditional, go for some genmaicha. I find that the roasted rice taste blends well with baked items. A fruity Darjeeling or a vanilla-flavored Ceylon are other good options. You probably have a favorite that would be perfect. Pick your method, then pick your tea. Enjoy!

Psst…hubby just came up with method #11: Eat ’em FAST so some other scone lover (like me!) can’t snatch ’em away!

Visit A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, for more advice on living what she calls the “tea life.”

The Queen settles scone debate on whether jam or cream should go first

When it comes to baked goods, few issues carry the contentions of the great scone debate: should the cream or the jam be spread first?

Cream tea has been served in the UK since the 11th century and arguments surrounding the order of spreading the scone’s traditional toppings have ruminated ever since.

While those in Devon typically spread the clotted cream first followed by jam, the Cornish tradition is to spread jam first followed by cream.

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Finally, we have some clarity on the issue, as it’s revealed how the Queen takes her scones.

An exemplar of British traditions, the Queen reportedly prefers jam first, according to a former chef who worked for the royal family from 1982 to 1993.

“Jam first at Buckingham Palace garden parties!” Darren McGrady wrote on Twitter.

“The Queen always had homemade Balmoral jam first,” the chef and author added in a subsequent tweet, “with clotted cream on top at Buckingham Palace garden parties in the royal tea tent and all royal tea parties.”

His comments come after an advert for a Mother’s Day cream tea sparked outrage over its depiction of a scone with the jam on top of the cream.

Cornish National Trust property Lanhydrock House and Garden posted an image of the offending scone on Facebook, which prompted a furore amongst local residents who argued the scone had been prepared according to Devon traditions, rather than Cornish ones.

“There are some things you don’t do national trust, and putting a picture of a DEVON cream for a CORNISH cream tea event is disgusting,” one person commented on the post.

“Shame on you NT,” added another. “This is cultural vandalism. Scone, then strawberry jam then clotted cream. Anything else is not the Cornish way. This message is not tongue in cheek!”

The property has since apologised for posting the image, which they explained was a mistake.

However, scone contentions proceeded to rage on with inimitable force, as an episode of The Great British Bake Off reignited a perennial debate regarding its pronunciation: should ‘scone’ rhyme with ‘gone’ or ‘bone’?

While judge Paul Hollywood and hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding used the former, one contestant went for the rarer ‘bone’ pronunciation, which sent viewers into a frenzy.

Scones might just be the most controversial baked good of our time.

How to Eat a Scone Properly

Is there a proper way to eat a scone at afternoon tea? Why yes, yes there is. Get etiquette rules and tips, including step-by-step instructions on how to eat a scone, the correct way.

Like anything with afternoon tea, there are certain rules to follow to eating a scone correctly. I’ll give you the scone etiquette run-down.

What is a Scone?

A scone is a small flour-based shortcake-like baked good. They’re usually plain, crumbly, dense, and lightly sweetened.

The traditional English scones for with afternoon tea are round, not triangular, and they’re served with jam and clotted cream.

RELATED: What is Afternoon Tea? (All Your Afternoon Tea Questions, Answered)

How to Eat Scones

If you’re at an afternoon or a cream tea service, on the table should be little serving containers filled with clotted cream, preserves/jams and lemon curd.

These little pots are for the table, so no dipping your own knife into them, or even worse, dipping your scone directly into the container. Instead, use the spoons provided (usually sitting right next to the little bowls) to scoop out small portions onto your plate.

Place the spoons back as they don’t belong on your plate. Try not to cross-contaminate and use a different spoon for each condiment.

Feel free to go in for a second serving of jam and cream if you’ve finished what’s on your plate.

RELATED: Afternoon Tea 101: Course Order

You’ve now got your jam and clotted cream on your plate. Time to eat the scone.

The best method is to break apart the scone into bite-sized pieces using your hands. I like to break it in half vertically then break that into half so you’re eating a quarter of the scone at a time.

Now, you can use your knife to slather on the jam and cream to your small bite-sized pieces of scone. (Don’t pre-break the scones but take off pieces as you go and spread the jam and cream on each piece.)

RELATED: How to Brew Tea Properly

How to Pronounce Scone

Is scone pronounced scon, rhyming with gone or is it scone, rhyming with own?

It seems like both are used depending on where you’re from. In the US, we usually say scone, rhyming with own.

Jam or Cream First?

Here is where the controversy comes in. Some people swear by jam first, then topped with cream (Cornish-style) and others, cream and then jam (Devon-style). I like cream first, then jam.

Tips on How to Eat a Scone Properly

  • A HUGE no-no is making a scone sandwich by putting the two halves together with the cream and jam in the middle. Don’t do it! Shudder.
  • Scones are meant to be eaten with your fingers, not a fork. Actually, there really isn’t a use for a fork during the entire afternoon tea service. It’s strictly a knife and spoon affair.
  • Scones are best when they’re served warm. Reheat them in your oven.
  • At an afternoon tea, the scone course is the second course, after the tea sandwiches and before the sweets.
  • Traditional scones at afternoon teas are the round, not triangular.

The Basics of Eating a Scone Properly

  1. Scoop out clotted cream and jams onto your plate, enough for one scone.
  2. Break apart a small bite-sized portion of scone with your hands or if using a knife, cut the scone horizontally.
  3. Use a knife to slather on cream and jam onto the broken-off piece of scone.
  4. The bite-sized piece of scone should be eaten in 1-2 bites.

Cream or jam first is the great, old scone debate that divides afternoon tea lovers. If you follow the Devonshire method, you’ll smother your scone in cream before adding jam, while if you live by the Cornish method you’ll go jam then cream first.

And while that debate is settled purely on your preference, there are other ways to properly eat a scone according to executive head chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran.

According to him, there is a CORRECT way of scoffing your scones to ensure you have the ultimate eating experience.

‘Firstly they should always be nice and toasty,’ he said. ‘To have your scones at their best, eat them while they are still warm. This ensures that they are still light and fluffy.’

He also swears by the 2:1:1 rule – in other words the scone:jam:cream ratio.

‘The right balance in your scone is just as important as the order in which you apply the jam or cream,’ he said. ‘A ratio of 2:1:1 is the ideal way to ensure you have the most delicious scones.’

Of course, he also firmly believes that a scone should always be eaten with a good cup of tea – but it doesn’t have to be English Breakfast.

‘It is vital to consider what you wash the scones down with. There are so many delicious varieties of tea beyond the traditional English Breakfast that you may not have even tried before, such as Lapsang Souchong, Assam and Raspberry & Elderflower.’

And finally, NEVER eat a scone as a sandwich. According to Gopi, that’s a big ‘faux pas,’ and scones should instead be eaten as two cut halves.

Well, we’re certainly craving a nice warm scone now…

English Style Scones

November 10, 2018

These English Style Scones bake up light, tall and fluffy, and are a wonderful treat for breakfast or afternoon tea. Spread them with jam, clotted cream, butter, or simply eat them plain. They’re so delicious!

To this day, if you go to my childhood home and open up the refrigerator, you will find bags of scones in there, made by a bakery called Sconehenge. Located in Berkeley, California, I devoured these absurdly delicious scones all throughout my childhood.

My dad still has access to these scones since he lives in the Bay Area, but it has been 11 years since I lived in California.

As in, my enjoyment of them has been limited to brief Christmas and summer visits.

I remember a few years ago I tried to recreate these scones, and searched the internet endlessly with phrases like “Sconehenge recipe,” Sconehenge copycat recipe” and “how to make Sconehenge scones.”

Nothing came up. It made me crazy!!! I couldn’t figure out how these scones were so different…soft, fluffy, pillows of wonder.

The mystery was finally solved when I went to England last month and tasted an English Style Scone.

I took one bite and thought, THIS TASTES LIKE SCONEHENGE!

Then the “duh” moments poured in. Sconehenge…a riff on Stonehenge…which is in England…oh gosh.

The things you realize AFTER the dots have been connected.

Well, the good news is now I know how to make these delightful scones. They’re English style!

English scones are made differently from American scones, and instead of being stiff and dry, they’re fluffy and soft. A lot of people think these look like biscuits, and they kind of do, but they’re prepared quite differently.

How to make English Scones:

Start by placing all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a food processor, then add softened butter:

That’s the first difference between English style scones and both biscuits and American-style scones. Biscuits and American scones both use cold butter that’s rubbed or “cut” into the dry ingredients.

Pulse the food processor ingredients until the softened butter is well incorporated into the flour.

You see that unlike a pie crust, we don’t have big pieces of butter in the flour.

Rather, it has a sandy, soft texture:

Dump this mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together milk and an egg, save 2 tbsp for the egg wash later, then add the rest to the dry ingredients:

Stir together with a spatula, then when it’s roughly combined, dump it onto the counter:

The mixture will be wet, but resist the urge to add too much excess flour, since this will make the scones drier.

Lightly flour the dough, then knead it until it smooths out a bit, just a few times:

You can see that it’s still sticky, and there are bits sticking to my counter. Again, this is important for a hydrated dough, a soft texture, and good rise.

As with anything involving flour, try not to knead too much, or excess gluten will develop and make the scones tough, and also prevent them from rising as high.

Roll the dough about an inch thick:

Use a 2.5″ cutter to cut circles, then place them on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Make sure not to twist the cutter at all when cutting the circles. Push straight down, otherwise they won’t rise as tall.

How to freeze scones:

If you want, you can freeze the unbaked scone circles, then when you’re ready to eat, bake from frozen at the same temperature for about 5 extra minutes.

You can also just freeze completely baked scones, and let them thaw to room temperature when you’d like to eat them. Bread and baked goods tend to freeze beautifully.

Before baking, brush with the reserved egg wash:

After a trip into the oven, they’ll be puffed and golden brown:

Serve with strawberry jam (here’s a quick strawberry jam recipe I have), and clotted cream for extra bonus points.

Butter is of course lovely too.

For savory scones, try these Cheddar Chive Scones, or these Homemade English Muffins.

Banana Bread and Pumpkin Muffins are some of my other favorite homemade baked goods.

Scones Tips:

What if my dough is too sticky? As noted above, it’s normal for the dough to be a little bit sticky, but it should still be workable. If it’s not workable, this is probably either because there’s not enough flour, or the butter got too warm. So first, try to weigh the flour if possible. There is already so much variation between cup measuring and brands, and weighing the flour will help ensure proper proportions. Next, try to assess if the dough needs more flour, or if it’s too warm. For example, if the butter you used is softened above 70 degrees F (or if you used the microwave softening feature for a bit too long), the butter may be too warm by the time you’re working with it. Popping the dough into the fridge will firm the butter slightly, and may help you roll it out. Or, you can add just enough flour to the outside to roll it out, then cut the pieces.

How to reheat scones: Bake in a 300F oven for 5-10 minutes, until warmed through. You can also cut them in half and toast them.

Can scones be made ahead? Yes. Like any baked good, these are best fresh, but they’re still fantastic the next day. Reheat them per the instructions above, or bake from frozen.

How to freeze scones: You can either freeze scones baked or unbaked. To freeze baked scones, let them cool to room temperature, then freeze in an airtight bag for up to 2 months. To freeze unbaked scones, make the recipe up to cutting the dough circles, then bake the circles straight from frozen for 5 extra minutes, or until cooked through.

Why did my scones not rise as high as yours? First, make sure you’re using fresh baking powder, one that has been opened less than 6 months ago. Also, if you knead the dough too much, the scones won’t rise as tall. Knead gently, and just enough to bring the dough together. Adding more flour also prevents the dough from rising as high, so only dust lightly.

How long will scones keep? At room temperature, for a few days. In the fridge, for a couple weeks. In the freezer, a couple months.

What to serve with scones: Jam, clotted cream, and butter are my favorites.

Here’s a video I made for the scones, if you’d like some more visuals on the process:


Pin 4.61 from 143 votes These English Style Scones bake up light, tall and fluffy, and are a wonderful treat for breakfast or afternoon tea. Spread them with jam, clotted cream, butter, or simply eat them plain. Keyword english scones, scones Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 9 SCONES, USING A 2.5 INCH CUTTER Calories 210kcal Author Joanne Ozug

For the Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar a couple times to combine.
  • Add the butter and pulse 7-10 times until the butter is completely distributed. You shouldn’t see any chunks of butter, and the mixture should have a sandy texture to it. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk to combine the milk and egg. Save 2 tbsp of it for the egg wash later, and pour the rest into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Stir to combine with a spatula, until a rough dough forms.
  • Transfer to a lightly floured countertop and knead about 10 times until the dough comes together into a relatively smooth ball. Take care not to knead too much, or the dough will be tougher and not rise as high.
  • Roll the dough about an inch thick and use a 2.5″ cutter to cut about 7 circles. Re-roll the scraps and cut out another 2.
  • Place the scones onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the reserved egg wash.
  • Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes, until about tripled in height, and golden brown on the tops and bottoms. Enjoy!


Note: If making this recipe by hand, whisk to combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix in the butter with a hand mixer. Proceed with the recipe as instructed. If possible, weigh the flour instead of measuring it. The dough should be somewhat sticky as you can see in my process shots and notes above. If it is unworkably sticky, add a small amount of flour, just enough to make it workable, but know that any flour you add will make the scones denser.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 284mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Post updated in November 2018. Originally published August 2015.


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Bed & Breakfast Scones


  • Preheat oven to 400; set aside a lightly greased baking stone or cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients; cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs; select one or more Optional Add-In from the list above (equalling about 1 cup total); make well in the center.
  • In a measuring cup, mix milk and eggs, pour into well in flour mixture EXCEPT — reserve about 1 tablespoon of egg-milk; add flavoring of choice.
  • Stir flour-milk mixture with a fork, it will be slightly dry and rather stiff (add a bit extra milk if it appears “too” dry).
  • Dump dough onto a floured surface, incorporating any dry crumbs from the bottom of the bowl; knead several times but DO NOT OVERWORK the dough.
  • Divide into two balls; place one on either end of the baking stone or cookie sheet; pat into an 8-inch disk, about half-inch thick.
  • Using a pastry brush, spread the reserved egg-milk over the tops of both disks; sprinkle with Topping of Choice covering thoroughly.
  • With a pizza cutter or big knife, cut each cake into wedges (four large or six small), LEAVE IN PLACE.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (tops will be golden brown); separate wedges and check that dough is “dry” — if not, pop back in oven & give it 2-3 more minutes; then serve immediately.
  • SERVE WITH: Recipe #186965 or Recipe #208437.
  • LEFTOVER SCONES: as if — but okay IF you have leftovers, cut horizontally, spread with butter and toast lightly.
  • chocolate chips with cranberries & brown sugar topping.
  • chocolate chips with orange zest & orange flavoring.
  • cranberries with walnuts.
  • cranberries with apricots.
  • apricots with nuts.
  • poppyseeds with lemon flavoring & zest.
  • cheese with nuts or chocolate chips.

8 overnight casseroles and easy scones for your Christmas breakfast

By Becky Krystal Becky Krystal Reporter covering topics related to food December 24, 2016

Let’s be honest: Chances are a cold bowl of cereal is not going to cut it for your Christmas breakfast. Whether you eat before or after the frenzy of gift-unwrapping, here are some morning meal ideas you can get started this evening or throw together relatively quickly tomorrow.

Cozy Strata. (Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick)

Cozy Strata: A savory, delightfully fluffy dish perfect for a couple or family of three. Assemble the night before and bake in the morning.

Caprese Strata. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Caprese Strata: We’re out of peak tomato season, so your best bet will be if you can track down some Camparis at the supermarket. Another option you can make the night before.

Breakfast Strata Primavera. (Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

Breakfast Strata Primavera: Feel free to mix up some of the vegetables if you want something more wintry. This dish needs to be assembled at least eight hours in advance.

Beet Greens Strata. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Beet Greens Strata: A great way to use up the greens if your holiday cooking includes roasted beets. You’ll need to refrigerate it overnight.

Cherry Pistachio Scones. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Cherry Pistachio Scones: These are from Bread Furst founder and baker extraordinaire Mark Furstenberg, so you know they’re going to be good. They’re quick to assemble and 20 minutes or less to bake. (We’ve also had good experience popping shaped scone dough in the freezer overnight and putting it straight in the oven in the morning — add a few extra minutes of baking time.)

Brownie Scones. (Bill Webster/The Washington Post)

Brownie Scones: If you’re going to have dessert masquerading as breakfast, it might as well be for Christmas. These last up to three days at room temperature, so make them today and enjoy tomorrow.

Buttermilk Scones With Fruit. (James M. Thresher for The Washington Post; styled by Lisa Yockelson)

Buttermilk Scones With Fruit: Studded with dried fruit, these are festive like fruitcake but without the booze and bad jokes. (We like to reheat these types of scones in a 350-degree oven, lightly tented with foil, for about 10 minutes, or until warm.)

Chocolate Chip-Mocha Scones With Cacao Nibs. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Chocolate Chip-Mocha Scones With Cacao Nibs: Here’s a vegan option that adds additional interest with some buckwheat flour. These store well for up to a week, so you’re free to bake today for tomorrow morning.

Cookie-crazed dogs, blackened latkes and more of our favorite holiday food memories

4 recipes that will take the fear out of ‘Company’s coming!’

These latkes — plus a brilliant sauce — are the ones to make for Hanukkah

Here’s the amazingly simple path to incredible homemade bagels

In the oh, so proper world of tea etiquette, there are six (yes, SIX) ways to properly eat your scone. The main thing to remember, however, is that the scone must be halved horizontally. Please don’t hurt my heart by cutting the scone in half with a knife! Scones are tender, delicate little treasures, and to tear their insides with a cold, hard knife is just too cruel! Like most of us, these fine yet fragile delicacies will yield much more willingly to a gentle touch. (You MAY properly cut your scone with your knife if you are so heartless; I will look the other way….)

The cream and jam or curd must never be served directly from the serving dish to your scone. These additions must be deposited on your plate, or at least make a brief appearance there, before being spread onto your scone, using your knife. You may spread one half of the scone at once (although this makes liberal napkin use much more likely) or spread bite by bite. The big faux pas here, besides not halving your scone, is putting the two halves back together – a McScone. Very messy (as shown with my nephew here.)

For those who want to be truly HOITY TOITY, try eating a scone the Continental way using only a knife and fork (look Mom, no hands!). This may (or may not) be a useful skill in life to master, but to my way of thinking, it is a very impersonal way to indulge in such luxury (again, that cold, cruel knife!). To my way of thinking, a tender little delicacy like this deserves the most personal and reverent touch and admiration.

One must respect a worthy scone, but a worthy scone (buttery, tender, fragrant, heart-warming, soul-nourishing!) should be enjoyed. So please, treat your scone properly, but not TOO properly. Abandon yourself to each crumb and morsel. It can be Life. Changing.

Yes indeed, Life. Changing. And these are not my words. (See HERE for proof!)

Yours for Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence… AND respect for the Worthy Scone,

Mary Alice

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