Tuesday, 11 September 2012


I'm just going to come right out there and say it. I think I have the best recipe around for scones. It's not like it's any credit to me or anything - I just happened to buy the right recipe book (and actually use it). I had an interesting discussion with a friend recently about good recipes, and a tendency many have to not want to share their best recipes. Perhaps we like the glory we get from producing

something that no one in our circle can do as well. But the chances are the recipe was passed on to us, and surely we can share? My friend told me that some women in years gone by were known to pass recipes on when asked, but purposely leave out a key ingredient to ensure their friend's failure (RB I promise I didn't do that to you!). Have you ever been tempted to do such a thing, or just ducked and dodged when asked for a recipe? If ever I feel the temptation rising in me, obviously I have to quell it fast for the sake of this blog. And if ever I were to feel the temptation rising in me, it would be now, with this scone recipe.

I had a long phase of making these scones when living in London a few years ago, and had them regularly for morning tea. I like a really good morning tea when working full time in an office, but also like to avoid too much sugar. So these were perfect. I gained a bit of a reputation for eating them every day, and occasionally snuck one to my two favourite work mates to cheer up their mornings.

Reuben is not a big fan of baking and I was rather disappointed when he shunned these without even trying! I have long since given up trying to give them to him, but recently made these baby size scones for baby Esther, and was stoked when she scoffed the lot! That's my girl. And you know what? Even Reuben had some.


The instructions below are for standard size muffins, whereas I have made smaller ones in these pics. The recipe comes from Marie Claire Kitchen, with a few small changes from me. I recommend also trying cheese scones, just omit the sultanas and add grated cheese (a good half cup or more) and a sprinkle of chilli powder. Of course swapping the sultanas for dates is always a popular option too. The recipe has eggs in it which is very unusual for scones, and the mixture is really wet. Rather than pressing the dough out and cutting with a knife, you will be scooping it out of the bowl and on to the tray with a spoon.

I have tried all kinds of ways of rubbing butter in to flour, as i hate doing it with my fingers. My Mum had one of those scoopy half circle wire thingamies when I was a kid, but I don't find those very successful. I have tried grating butter in and imagined squeezing it through a garlic crusher, but still this doesn't make it fine enough. What a twit I felt like when my cousin said she just beats it hard in the mixer. So obvious. I have never looked back. Turn it up hard and fast and grease your oven tray while you wait.

And actually, if you do take "my" recipe, give it a try and make it "yours", I would be delighted!


 400g flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
85 g butter
200 mls milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup sultanas

Pour boiling water over the sultanas to soak while preparing the other ingredients (this helps to stop them burning while cooking). Drain really well in a sieve before using.

Put the dry in ingredients in to mixer bowl and combine. Dice butter in to squares and blitz in the mixture until well combined (or rub butter in to flour mixture if you are doing by hand). Add sultanas. Whisk milk and eggs together and add to mixture.

Spoon 12 scones out on to a greased and/or floured tray and bake at 200 degrees for approx12 minutes.

I have almost cheated by including this recipe on The Cook's Sponge, as it has not been part of my current learning experience - it's an old one. But I do think it needs to join the Best Recipe file, I'm keen to share it with you, and the pics are my best yet don't you think?


  1. The secret to a good cheese scone is reputedly to double the cheese quantity

  2. Beautiful photos, mouthwatering scones! I'd go dates, myself. Go Esther!

  3. I remember these scones well and was a very happy recipient!!! Particularly the cheese ones ;0) AND I was just thinking the other day that Jonah might enjoy them for lunch too - do you think it would work to replace the flour with wholemeal? Thanks for sharing and the photos are super too xxx

    1. Yes I used to do wholemeal with the cheese - thought I still used some white flour. I suggest you try half white and half wholemeal and see what you think. And see what Jonah thinks. 100% wholemeal might be a bit heavy and unpleasant. Tell us how it goes!!

  4. Actually, you might just be right Angela. . . this could be the best scone recipe ever. I've never had much success with scones, never achieved that elusive lightness. So I tried your recipe today and had wonderful results :) Loved the tip about using the mixer to 'rub' the butter in. I also really liked that the mixture was spooned onto the tray, instead of cutting up the mix. Made much more 'natural' looking scones. Thank you for graciously sharing this recipe with us. They were delicious.

    1. Hoorah! I'm so glad it was a success! Sharing is a great idea if it means you get to enjoy them too. Hopefully I am redeemed a little after last time...

  5. I haven't made scones for years (actually decades - gulp!) but these photos are definitely enough to convince me to revisit scone making, quite stunning! Thanks for sharing your secret recipe, and I'm reminded about that carrot cake one ... wasn't keeping it to myself on purpose, honest. Do you have those old classic Rally Cookbooks? My favourite carrot cake recipe is in Book 2, on page 39 at the top of the page - I usually double the recipe for a good sized cake, and leave out the walnuts as I'm just not that fussed about them. I also do my own thing when it comes to the cream cheese icing ...

    ... I've digressed somewhat from scones, I'll let you know how I go with your recipe :)

  6. Ooh, I shall have to try this recipe, and when I buy myself my fancy schmancy mixer I can try your mixing method.

    "I" have a fabulous chocolate brownie recipe and everyone who tastes it (well, maybe not everyone) asks for the recipe. Whilst I am happy to share the love I have to admit I do feel somewhat reluctant, in case they become "the brownie person"! LOL I haven't resorted to leaving out an ingredient but I do sometimes feel a little bubbling up of smug self-satisfaction if they say it didn't taste as good as mine! Not sure what kind of person that makes me... :)

  7. I dont know how I missed this one! I am going to make these tonight! Yum!


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