British Scones (No Food Processor) | Jam & Bread
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How To Make Perfect British Scones (Without A Food Processor)

A few months ago I published my recipe for Perfect British Scones. And I stand by that recipe. If you have a food processor you will be able to bang out a batch of really refined scones with it in no time. But not everyone has a food processor. And some people who have one don’t want to go to the bother of cleaning it. Still others just prefer to do things by hand the way their grandmothers used to do them. So if you fall into any of those categories this method of How To Make Perfect British Scones (Without A Food Processor) is going to become your go-to.

Just in case you’re concerned, Lyndon still declares that these scones taste “Exactly like my Nana’s” and admits that the texture — while not as refined as you’ll get using the food processor — is “Probably more like what my Nana would have made than your other version.”

Put the kettle on.

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British Scones (No Food Processor) | Jam & Bread

How To Make Perfect British Scones (Without A Food Processor)

  • Author: Matthew Smedal
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Perfect Scones
  • Category: Breads
  • Cuisine: British


After 5 years and numerous failed attempts I have finally come up with a recipe for British Scones that Lyndon declared taste “Exactly like my Nana’s.” Below is my crash-course for Americans on How To Make Perfect British Scones (Without A Food Processor).


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (285 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (14 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp baking powder
 (16 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
 (3 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (35 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted high-fat butter, frozen solid (85 grams)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
 (160 milliliters)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit such as currant, raisins, cranberries (see notes) (80g)

Note: American eggs are smaller than European eggs. It’s the one thing I’ve found that goes against the saying: “Everything is bigger in America.” A large US egg weighs about 2 ounces, or 55 grams, whereas a large European egg weighs almost 2-1/2 ounces, or 70 grams. That’s a substantial increase considering the overall size of an egg. If you are making my scones and you live outside the US you might pick up a few medium size eggs. Alternatively, whisk your egg together and then measure out 55-60 grams of it before adding it to the recipe.


  1. Put a whole stick of butter into the freezer with the wrapper on and wait until it has frozen solid. About 2 hours. (If you live outside of the US where butter is sold in blocks just freeze the whole block).
  2. Preheat your oven to 425°F (200°C + Fan)
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir until combined.
  4. Whisk the milk and the egg together in a measuring cup and remove two tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl (you’ll use it later, so don’t chuck it out!). You should have about 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) of liquid left in your measuring cup.
  5. Unwrap the frozen butter half way and grate 6 tablespoons (85 grams) of it using the large holes of a box grater. Add all the grated frozen butter to the flour mixture and rub together with your fingers until evenly distributed. You’ll want to work quickly as it’s important that the butter stay cold.
  6. Add the milk + egg mixture from the measuring cup and fold it into the flour + butter until just combined and barely cohesive.
  7. Add your fruit and fold a few more times until a rough dough forms. You can use your hands to knead the dough if you like, it might be easier at this point.
  8. Using your hands, pat the dough into a small circle onto a floured surface. You want the dough to be almost one-inch thick. FYI: That’s pretty thick, so you won’t need to do too much patting. Use a 2″ round cutter and cut 9 scones out of the circle, pressing STRAIGHT DOWN through the dough. Don’t twist, don’t turn… straight down. Move these scones to a baking sheet that you have A) lined with parchment paper / silicon or B) greased. Gather your scraps and gently pat the dough out one more time. Stamp out 3 more scones. You should always get a total of 12 scones (let’s be honest sometimes you’ll do 8 + 4, sometimes you’ll do 9 + 3… you’re always going for a total of 12).
  9. Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved egg + milk mixture.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown, the bottoms are medium-brown, and the sides have completely set. Remove to a cooling rack.
  11. Serve immediately with tea, coffee, jam and clotted cream (or butter), or store in an airtight container. Scones are best the day they are made.


Dried fruits: Cranberries would be, of course, a heretical American addition. But they taste so good.

Round cutters: You may need to flour your cutter before you stamp out the scones. If you don’t own a 2″ round cutter you can always use a small juice glass to stamp out your scones.

Clotted cream: This is particularly hard to find in America and when you do find it it’s often so pasteurized that it’s lost all of its unctuous, creamy, flavor. Unless you can source your clotted cream from a local dairy farmer who won’t ultra-pasteurize it (or unless you make it yourself) it’s safer to just stick with butter.

Keywords: British Food, scones


  • Christine

    Thank you for this delightful recipe, especially the “no food processor” version! When I visited Harrods in England 7-years ago and had high tea, I don’t taste any difference between their black currant scone and your recipe. They turned out yummy, with the right amount of moisture (not too much but just enough) and the perfect crumb!

    • Matthew

      And thank you for this lovely comment, Christine! Matching the quality of the scones at Harrods is high praise, to be sure. I am so glad that my recipe turned out well for you and hopefully these little scones brought back some wonderful memories of your time in England! Thank you, again. ~ Matthew

  • Annabelle

    These are the fluffiest scones i’ve ever made!! My family loved them despite not really liking scones! This is definitely a recipe to keep 🙂

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