H.Y. Hanna
H.Y. Hanna
H.Y. Hanna
H.Y. Hanna

Traditional English Scone Recipe

Wow, a lovely reader made my traditional English scone recipe from A SCONE TO DIE FOR, complete with gorgeous photos & video, and featured the book on her blog! And considering that she’s an avid baker and thought my scones as good as the ones she’s had in British tearooms, I feel very flattered 🙂

* A special thank you to Kim at Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder for allowing me to share her beautiful photos and video.

From Cinnamon and Sugar with a Bit of Murder:

“When I saw the book, A SCONE TO DIE FOR by H.Y. Hanna, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of the review team. An adorable cover, a clever title, a great story and a recipe for Traditional English Scones…oh yum!

ASconeToDieFor-COVER(SMALL)+LABELI enjoyed A SCONE TO DIE FOR for so many reasons. The author, H.Y. Hanna, is British and her writing takes on the charming quaintness of an England village. She uses a variety of English colloquialisms, that while unusual to Americans, lends an authenticity to the story. Fortunately for those of us who don’t quite know what some of the words mean, H.Y. Hanna has included a Glossary of British Terms at the back of the book, which is entertaining reading on its own.

I enjoyed so many of the characters featured in the mystery: the four “old biddies” who hang out in her tearoom and want to help solve the crime; Gemma’s mother, who can’t quite understand her daughter but steps up when she’s needed; to the cat “Muesli”, who steals Gemma’s heart…and I hear has a more prominent role in Book 2 of the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. It’s called Tea with Milk and Murder and is available now as well. The plot kept me guessing the entire time, while the ending was a complete surprise.

Now back to those Traditional English Scones…. Years ago my husband and I spent three weeks driving through Great Britain, spending the majority of our time in villages similar to Meadowford-on-Smythe and in numerous tearooms. My most favorite part of the day was late afternoon when we could relax in whatever tearoom we stumbled across and nibble on delectable scones and sip steaming hot tea.

I made H.Y. Hanna’s recipe at the back of the book for Traditional English Scones and thought they were amazing! I shared some with friends who had spent considerable time in England and received two thumbs up from them as well! I also made some Devonshire Cream, aka Clotted Cream, which is traditionally served with scones…all it is is heavy cream with some patience, which then produces an ethereal accompaniment to scones and jam! I’ve also included a video tutorial on how to make these delectable scones… they may seem intimidating, but aren’t that difficult at all.”


(Recipe from the back of A SCONE TO DIE FOR: )

Scones have a long history, originating in Scotland in the 16th Century, and are said to have taken their name from the Stone of Destiny where Scottish kings were once crowned. They are a “quick bread”, a bit similar to Southern “biscuits” in the United States. the original version was triangular-shaped, made with oats and griddle-baked rather than baked in the oven. They have since become one of the highlights of British baking – no traditional English afternoon tea would be complete without warm scones with jam and clotted cream!

A great debate rages in the United Kingdom over the correct way to pronounce “scone” – those in the North say it should rhyme with “cone” whilst those in the South insist that it should rhyme with “gone”. Meanwhile, people have come to blows over whether you should put the cream on first and then jam… or the jam first and then the cream!

There is now a huge variety of scones, both sweet and savory, made with dried fruit, nuts, vegetables, cheese, chocolate chips – and even a recipe with lemonade! This is a recipe for a traditional English plain scone, but it can be modified with the addition of your favorite treats.  

Traditional English Scones-6267Ingredients

500 grams all-purpose flour (approximately 4-1/4 cups or 17.6 ounces)
4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder*
1/2 cup caster sugar (super fine sugar)**
125 grams butter, room temperature (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon or 4.4 ounces)
150 ml full fat milk (just under 2/3 cup)
2 eggs beaten lightly
Egg and milk wash for the “egg wash” to glaze the scones


  • Preheat the oven to 250C / 400F
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl (this is important to add more “air” to the mixture).
  • Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers – it is important to coat the flour with butter as much as possible. Keep doing this until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar to the mixture and mix well with your fingers.
  • (This is the stage when you can add in extra ingredients such as raisins and currants, if you wish.)
  • Add the eggs and some of the milk – do not add all the milk at once; go slow and check that the dough does not become too wet otherwise the scones will “drop”.
  • Mix well with your fingers until the dough forms a ball.
  • Tip the dough onto a floured board, scatter some more flour on top, and then knead lightly. It is very important not to over-work the dough otherwise the scones will become very hard.
  • When the dough looks smooth, gently pat it out (or use a rolling pin) into a thick slab, about 1 – 1.5 inches thick. This is one of the secrets to great scones – not rolling the dough out too thinly.
  • The dough should now be rested for at least 30 minutes – unless you are using a single-acting baking powder. Some chefs say that resting the dough for hours, even overnight, is the secret to getting really light, fluffy scones.
  • Using a cutter of your choice, stamp out the scones from the dough. Be careful not to twist the cutter as you are pressing it down – only twist it gently at the very bottom to free it.
  • Roll up any leftover dough and spread it out again – keep cutting out scones until you have used up all the mixture.
  • Place the cut rounds onto the greased baking tray or baking paper.
  • Brush the tops with the the egg and milk wash – this will give them a lovely golden glaze.
  • Bake in the hot oven for about 12 – 15 minutes.
  • Cool the scones on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm with some jam and butter or clotted cream!


Download Printable PDF version

(© copyright H.Y. Hanna)


*”Double-acting” baking powder contains both cream of tartar and baking soda and causes the dough to rise only after heat is applied. If you use single-acting baking powder (which rises immediately), then you must not leave the dough to “rest” but must cut the scones and bake them immediately.

(from Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder)

  • If you don’t have super fine sugar on hand, run regular granulated sugar in the food process for a minute or two.
  • I used 2 teaspoons egg taken from the recipe’s beaten eggs and 2 teaspoons whole milk. You don’t need to waste an entire egg for this. A little goes a long way.
  • Devonshire Cream / Clotted Cream
  • Ingredients: 2 – 4 cups heavy cream (raw, unpasteurized if you can find it – regular pasteurized will work…just make sure it’s not ultra pasteurized)
  • Instructions: Click on this link to WikiHow for using the oven or the slow cooker.
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7 years ago

I have a scone recipe that comes out lovely and is so easy.

Into food processor: 2 cps. flour, 2 Tbsps. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 rounded Tbsp. baking powder
Fluff this up a bit and then add 3 to 4 Tbsps. cold butter cut up small.
Pour into processor, gradually, 1 cp. heavy cream and buzz 5 or 6 times or just until batter holds together.
Turn batter onto floured board or countertop and with floured hands pat into a circle about 6/8″ high.
Cut out scones with floured cutter or glass. For beautiful color fork-whip an egg and brush tops of scones.
Oven 425 degrees (American). Place scones about 1″ apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes (Depends on your

Frankly, I haven’t tasted any better than this. I’ve been to England many times and have had tea in many places there. The first year I traveled there I was with a teachers’ bus tour. We stopped one day in a lovely town in the Cotswolds and a few of us had tea and scones in a little tea shop. For years I had tried to duplicate those light, fluffy, buttery scones and this recipe that I sent you is the closest to them that I’ve ever come across. They absolutely don’t need to be kneaded, and including eggs in the batter is not necessary. I try to handle them as little as possible. And I find that I often put only jam on them because the butter/cream ingredients already in them gives them a great flavor.

So, if you’re a scone lover, do give them a try. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy your enchanting books.
Regards, Ann

Susan Shiels
Susan Shiels
7 years ago

Am really enjoying the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries! When I read them I think of how much my late mother (also a writer) would have enjoyed them as well. Could you post the other recipes from the books here as well please? I have your books on Kindle so I can’t print paper copies of the recipes and I love to try new recipes and different versions of classics. btw My Grandmother was Scottish and she would die of shock at hearing anyone pronounce “Scone” with a long “o”. It’s always been rhymes with “gone” or else “done” to us. I used to think the other way was an American mispronunciation. Thank you and keep writing!

Kim Davis
Kim Davis
7 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing my review, photos, and video of your Traditional English Scone recipe! I adored both your book and your recipe and am honored that you included me on your blog!

7 years ago

I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I am just about to begin your pre-fuel. I love that you are British, love scones and kitty kats

7 years ago


7 years ago

I am an avid baker, (and mystery reader!) and host a “Cooking Club” in my home once a month. I am always looking for great recipes and food to share with my group. I just recently tried the Scone recipe in your book, (gorgeous recipe!) and was inspired to make home made strawberry jam to pair it with. I am not confident enough to try making “clotted cream” yet, but in time, I will give it a go! I did whip up some heavy whipping cream with a dash of home made vanilla in it to top the lovely scones and strawberry jam with, and it literally melted into my mouth! My picky teenager son even enjoyed them and had second servings! Thank you for such a lovely recipe and fun book! I have read all in your Oxford Tearoom mysteries and can’t wait to read the 6th book soon!

Rosanna Mulcahy
Rosanna Mulcahy
4 years ago

I know that my question may be a faux pas, but I cannot eat regular flour, so could I make this with almond flour?

Rosanna Mulcahy
Rosanna Mulcahy
4 years ago
Reply to  H.Y. Hanna

Thank you!!!!

Kim Davis
Kim Davis
4 years ago

Hi Rosanna, I’ve made this recipe several times but haven’t tried to substitute it with almond flour to make it gluten-free. I’m afraid that the texture wouldn’t turn out quite right due to the need to adjust the liquid ratio and the need to use xanthan gum. However, if you can find a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour substitution, it should work just fine without having to make any other adjustments. Depending on where you live there should be several brands you could try, such as King Arthur Flour, Bob’s Red Mill, or Krusteaz. I’ve used the King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-free flour in other recipes and no one can tell the difference. If you’re looking for a Paleo blend, King Arthur Flour also has a Paleo Baking Flour that works pretty well, although the texture isn’t quite as nice as their gluten-free blend. But at least I haven’t had to adjust the recipe’s liquid ratio or add xanthan gum. Hope this helps and happy baking!
Cinnamon & Sugar

Rosanna Mulcahy
Rosanna Mulcahy
4 years ago
Reply to  Kim Davis

Thank you, Kim! This absolutely helps!!!

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