Would you believe that I never liked scones until I visited the UK – when I promptly fell deeply in love with current scones, clotted cream, and jam? I almost never eat scones in the US but I’ll gladly eat one every single day when I’m in the UK or Ireland!
Scones with clotted cream are my go-to sweet treat in the UK, always with a big cup of tea. Now that I’ve learned how to make them at home, I can enjoy them anytime. And now you can, too!
Why make British scones (English scones, Irish scones, whichever you prefer) instead of US American scones? Because British and American scones differ in a couple vital ways.
First, British scones have less butter and sugar. Well, less butter and sugar in the scone, that is. The amount of butter and sugar consumed in and on the scone via clotted cream, jam and lemon curd is probably about the same!
Second, British scones often don’t include the mix-ins that are commonly found in American scones, like blueberries, nuts or chocolate chips. I’ve most commonly found plain scones and currant scones in the UK and Ireland (and maybe cheese scones?). You probably can find other types of scones, but whenever I’ve had my choice of scones it’s always been plain or currant. (I always choose currant scones.)
I originally thought that another difference is in how the scones are cut. The scones I’ve eaten in the UK and Ireland have all been round, while scones I see in the US are cut into triangles. However, I’ve since learned that you will find British scones in the triangle shape. I guess I just need to go back to the UK and Ireland and do more scone research. 🙂
As I mentioned, I prefer British scones because I love the scone + cream + jam (or lemon curd) combo. It’s heaven. American scones are too sweet and dry for my tastes. The recipe I’m sharing with you today makes it easy to enjoy fresh British scones anywhere!
These scones are always a hit, with and without clotted cream. They’re perfect for all kinds of occasions, such as:
- tea parties
- office parties
- neighborhood potlucks
- simple afternoon tea with a friend (scones + tea)
- pretty much anytime you’re craving scones
These scones are light, fluffy, and tender. If you’ve got 30 minutes, you have enough time to bake a batch of fresh hot scones – with or without currents. If you don’t want to use currants, you can add it any mix-in you’d like…raisins, nuts, cheese, cranberries, etc. It may not be traditional but it will be delicious, so I say go for it and experiment!
What to Put on Scones
My favorite toppings are:
- Clotted cream
- Homemade European cultured butter (if I don’t have any clotted cream)
- Fresh whipped cream
- Lemon curd
- Rote Grütze (if I have any left over)
- Fresh berries
- German plum butter
If you want clotted cream with your scones, I recommend making the cream 24 hours before you make the scones. Doing so will not only allow enough time to cook and chill the cream, but you can use any leftover liquid cream in the scones.
Same goes for making homemade cultured butter, lemon curd, plum butter or jam. Make each a few days in advance and then make the scones the day you want to serve them so they’re nice and fresh.
These scones are best eaten the day they are made – they’re delicious right out of the oven – but I’ve found that they taste great the next day, too.