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Easy Cream Scones for Afternoon Tea

These Cream Scones are a decadently delicious scone that’s easier to make than you can believe. With a soft, delicate texture and lightly sweet flavor, they are a go-to scone to make any day of the week. Utterly perfect for afternoon tea, or a casual teatime break in the middle of a busy day.

Cream scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream on Old Country Roses china
Old Country Roses by Royal Albert is one of my favorite treasures. It was the first china pattern I began collecting.

And they couldn’t be easier to make with simple ingredients probably already sitting in your pantry. Ultra tender, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Enjoy these cream scones with fresh preserves, like Refrigerator Strawberry Jam for a traditional touch or even Refrigerator Spiced Peach Jam for a savory touch. Or, the always delicious and easy to make lemon curd. And clotted cream? Oh my, yes!

What is a Cream Scone?

A cream scone is an ultra-tender, easy-to-make scone that uses heavy cream instead of butter and milk. Perfect for enjoying as a snack but even better with afternoon tea!

They are simple and quick to make. There is no cutting in butter, or laminating butter with flour. In minutes, you can have warm from the often, soft and delectable scones ready for enjoyment.

Ingredients for Cream Scones

Cream Scones only require a handful of ingredients you likely already have on hand. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what you need:

  • All purpose flour: If you use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder.
  • Granulated sugar: These scones are lightly sweet as most British Style scones are.
  • Baking powder: Be sure to use fresh baking powder that hasn’t been opened more than 6 months for best rise.
  • Salt: Elevates the flavors
  • Heavy Cream: Use a heavy cream or whipping cream that contains anywhere from 30-60%. Skip light cream or half and half for this recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: This is not traditional in cream scones, but I love the flavor it brings. For the purists, you can eliminate this ingredient and the scones will be still delicious!

Scone Add-Ins

Cream scones have a delicate texture and do well with small add-ins or flavorings like cardamom and cinnamon. Here are a few more ideas:

  • 1/2 cup dried currants, raisins (I love golden raisins), or other dried fruit
  • Lemon zest
  • Poppy seeds
  • Crystalized Ginger

Tips for Making Cream Scones

  • Tender Scones: Don’t overwork the dough: it’s important to handle the dough as little as possible for the softest, most tender scones. I like to work the cream into the dry ingredients with a fork and finish with a few gentle kneads. Just until the dough comes together.
  • Best Shape: When cutting rounds from the dough, be sure to press straight down with the cutter and lift straight up, not twisting. This will help the scones rise taller.
  • Highest Rise: Freeze the unbaked ready-for-the-oven scones while preheating the oven, this will help the scones rise.
  • Egg Wash: You can make a simple egg wash to brush the tops of the scones before baking, or simply brush additional cream over the top and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.
  • Storing Scones: Keep in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the fridge for a couple weeks.
  • Freezing Scones: Store on a heavy-duty zip top bag or freezer storage for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating Scones: Bake in a 300F oven for 5-10 minutes, until warmed through or microwave individual scones for 20 seconds or until warmed.

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View of cream scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream for afternoon tea
Cream scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream on Old Country Roses china

Cream Scones for Afternoon Tea

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These Cream Scones are a decadently delicious scone that's easier to make than you can believe. With a soft, delicate texture and lightly sweet flavor, they are a go-to scone to make any day of the week. Utterly perfect for afternoon tea, or a casual teatime break in the middle of a busy day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or not; it helps with cleanup, but isn't necessary to prevent sticking).
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Combine the vanilla with 1 and 1/4 cup of cream in a glass measure. Drizzle over the dry ingredients and stir gently. Add enough additional cream to bring the dough together. You don't want any dry flour showing in the dough but it shouldn't be very sticky either.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and pat the dough into a circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out rounds from the dough, pressing straight down and lifting straight up. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Gather the dough scraps, knead briefly, and cut rounds from the remaining dough.
  5. Brush each scone with heavy cream, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. For best rising, place the pan of scones into the freezer for 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 425°F.
  7. Bake the chilled scones for 10 to 14, or until they're starting to brown, and they're baked all the way through, without any wet dough in the center.
  8. Serve warm, split, and spread with a bit of sweet butter and jam or preserves.

    Notes

    Storing Scones

    Store cooled scones airtight at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. To refresh, microwave individual scones very briefly; or place scones on a baking sheet, tent with aluminum foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated through.

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