This is a delicious and easy afternoon tea recipe for homemade plain Irish Scones that rise high every time.
Best served freshly baked with butter, jam or honey, these flaky and buttery scones are sure to become a favourite!
With St. Patrick's Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share an Irish recipe for scones with you.
Since I'm not Irish and wanted to share an authentic Irish scones recipe, I followed a recipe for traditional plain scones from Gemma Stafford, a professional chef from Ireland. Her recipe yields scones that rise high, are buttery, soft and flaky.
How to Make Traditional Irish Scones
These buttery scones are easy to make and after you've made them once you'll be able to whip these up in no time. This delicious scone recipe uses plain flour and simple everyday ingredients.
You also don't need any special equipment such as a food processor or electric mixer to make these plain scones.
Here's an overview of the ingredients and steps to making these Irish Scones. For amounts and full instructions please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Salted butter - be sure to use cold butter and cube it to make it easier to blend into the flour.
- Heavy cream
- Egg (one)
- The first step in making scones is to preheat your oven and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add the cold butter (if you can get your hands on Irish butter that's even better) and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers.
- In a small bowl, whisk milk, cream and egg together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour and butter mixture. Mix lightly with your hands until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Turn the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. For flaky scones avoid over kneading the dough.
- Next, cut the scones into rounds. You could use a biscuit or cookie cutter or even a small glass will work, but I prefer a cutter since you can press down on the scone to release it from the cutter.
- To make scones that bake straight up, avoid twisting the cutter when cutting the scones, press down and then back up without turning the cutter around the scone. That being said, mine don't always come out looking perfect, but they always taste amazing!
- Place the scones on the baking sheet and brush the tops with a bit of regular milk or cream.
- Bake them in the hot oven for approximately 25 minutes or until the scones are puffed and golden.
Homemade Quick Jam
Since these scones are plain, you may want to make a little homemade jam to serve with them. You can make a small batch of homemade jam by cooking up about 2 cups of berries. I used a mixture of frozen strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
To make the jam, bring two cups of frozen berries, 1/4 cup of sugar and about one teaspoon of lemon juice to a simmer. I like to include a bit of lemon zest, it makes the jam taste extra delicious, but is not essential.
Let the mixture simmer, stirring often, until the fruit softens, I like to use a potato masher to mash the fruit a bit more. Continue to let the jam simmer until it coats the back of a spoon.
Take it off the heat, let it cool completely and serve. If not serving right away, store the jam in a glass jar and refrigerate.
If you enjoy making small batches of jam, check out this recipe for Plum Jam. It's one of my favourites!
The best way to serve these fluffy scones is while they are still warm from the oven. Serve these scones for afternoon tea, for breakfast or for brunch with some soft butter, jam or honey. And if you want to be extra decadent, some whipped cream. And, of course, don't forget the cup of tea!
If you have any leftover scones, you can store them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then warm in the oven.
For more Irish inspired recipes, check out this Irish Soda Bread with Dill and this decadent Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake.
More Delicious Afternoon Tea Ideas
- Blackberry Scones
- Blueberry and Lemon Scones
- Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf
- Glazed Lemon Loaf Cake
- Lemon Zucchini Walnut Loaf
- 3-½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter cold, cubed
- ⅔ cup milk I used 2%
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 egg large
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream to brush scone tops before baking
- Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Combine the milk and cream in a small bowl and whisk the egg into the cream mixture.
- Add cold cubed butter to the flour mixture and using your fingers work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the combined cream and milk into the flour and mix lightly until the dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough just enough to get a smooth surface and pat the dough so it's about 1 inch high.
- Using a round cutter, cut as many scones as you can. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more until you've used all of the dough.
- Transfer the scones to lined baking sheet. Brush tops with milk or cream. Optional: Sprinkle a touch of granular sugar on tops
- Bake for 25 minutes or until scones are puffed and golden.
- Remove scones from baking sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
- Serve scones warm with butter, jam and freshly whipped cream if desired.
- Any remaining baked scones can be stored in an airtight container or plastic food storage freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and then warm in the oven.
This post was originally published on March 3, 2019. It has been updated.
Tuesday 30th of August 2022
They turned out perfect! Great recipe!!
Fida | Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Wednesday 31st of August 2022
So happy to hear it! Thanks for letting me know .
Tuesday 16th of March 2021
I really would love to try but I cannot find how thick the dough should be when you cut it. You only say to roll it but I imagine it is important to know how thick the cut should be since this will affect the rise. Thank you so much for your help. These are fantastic.
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Tuesday 16th of March 2021
Sorry about missing that detail. You will want to pat the dough down so it's about 1 inch thick. Thank you for writing to let me know this instruction was missing, I have added it to the recipe card as well .
Monday 4th of March 2019
The rise you got on these scones is perfection!
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Wednesday 6th of March 2019
Thanks Jess! Yes, I guess 5 teaspoons of baking powder will do that!