Afternoon Tea wouldn’t be the same without scones. These recipes for Afternoon Tea scones are perfect for your next tea party. From sweet scone recipes to savory scone recipes, there’s something for everyone here.
Scones are, after all, the very essence of afternoon tea. With a tea course entirely dedicated to itself. In fact, if you serve nothing else at your tea, serve scones.
We’ve gathered our favorite afternoon tea scone recipes that transcend seasons, are both savory and sweet, and incredibly delicious.
There is a debate among afternoon tea aficionados. And it’s about scones. Specifically British style scones and American style scones.
What is the Difference Between British Scones and American Scones?
Here’s the difference…
Andrea Geary lived in Scotland for eight years. When asked about the difference between American scones and British scones, she said,
“It’s really about the butter. When I lived in Scotland it became clear that a true British scone is not as buttery. Not because the Brits are nutritious, but because in Britain you don’t put a lot of butter in because you slather butter on it when you eat it! By the same token, you don’t put a lot of sugar in it but you pile jam on top. They’re probably equally injurious to one’s diet but in different, equally lovely ways.”
Scones vs Biscuits?
Some have asked, “What’s the difference between scones and biscuits?”
“Point being, a biscuit is not a scone. Sure, they’re made up of almost the same stuff—flour, leavener, fat, dairy—but they are two altogether different things and you better not try to trick me into thinking one is the other.”
And then distinguishes between the two…
“Biscuits should be light—airy even—with well-defined flaky layers. Tender, yes, but sturdy enough to support or be dragged through gravy, a runny egg yolk, or a generous serving of maple syrup. A scone should not flake like a biscuit. It can have layers of course, but they should err on the side of crumbly. A scone is slightly dryer than a biscuit and yet, when done well, not dry at all. Scones are intended to be consumed with a hot beverage of your choice after all. And clotted cream, or butter, or jam.”
I’ll let you decide which recipes are biscuit-y and which are not. To me… they’re all incredibly delicious!
We’ve separated the scone recipes into two groups: traditional cream-style scones and specialty scones. But first…
Scone Recipes Make Ahead Pro Tips:
Scones can be frozen either baked or unbaked. For baked scones, place them in resealable freezer bags, squeeze out the excess air, and freeze. To reheat, bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
For unbaked scones, partially freeze on a baking sheet before placing them in a resealable freezer bag in the freezer. When ready to serve, bake at 400 degrees F for 17 to 20 minutes, or according to recipe instructions, plus a couple of extra minutes.
Afternoon Tea Scones
Here you’ll find cream-style to savory scone recipes and everything in between. The following recipes are tried and true scone recipes you and your guests will love.
"Scones are one of the first recipes most people learn to make in Ireland, especially if you did Home Ec. in school! What I love most about scones is that you can whip up a batch in a matter of minutes, usually with ingredients you already have in the house. I like to add fresh raspberries but you can keep the dough plain or add any berries you like. A thick layer of butter and jam is essential though!”
"Treasured friends are connected by many threads—among them, the pursuit of common interests, a reverence for tradition, and the simple pleasure of social communion. In the custom of afternoon tea, we find all of these attributes. Celebrate the blessing of companionship by serving Fig-and-Honey Scones."
“A cream scones recipe with homemade Pimm’s strawberry jam – the perfect recipe for Wimbledon fans who want to keep stocked up on summery treats for the tournament. This recipe makes ten large scones and four 250g jars of jam.”
"Almonds and chocolate chips complement one another perfectly in tender scones that pair just as well with a rich brew of coffee as a full-bodied blend of tea. Whichever steaming beverage fills the pot, this recipe offers an ideal companion."
"Traditionally a sweet treat, Karen turns the cream tea on its head in her savory version. She serves her cheese and chive scones recipe with a quick tomato relish, herb and garlic cream cheese, and a pot of punchy Assam tea, which stands up wonderfully to the deliciously cheesy scones.”
“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!”
"A British style afternoon tea scone is a treat in and of itself. These simple Currant Buttermilk Scones are everything you love about British cream scones, with the addition of oh-so-delicious sweet currants.”
Indulge summer with this Fresh Strawberry Scone recipe. Incredibly easy to make with fresh strawberries. With no cutting or rolling dough, these scones are perfect for summer with a cup of afternoon tea.
“I love using wild garlic when it’s in season and it goes wonderfully in these savory scones. It has a wonderful, subtle flavor but if you can’t get your hands on any, spring onion or chives will work nicely here too but do try to track some down if you can.”
"Here’s your basic “start here” scone recipe. While this simple vanilla scone is delicious as is, it’s also the perfect vehicle for your favorite add-ins; we happen to love dried cranberries and walnuts. Though chocolate chips are tempting, too!”