Cream Tea Scones

12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Cream Tea Scones are a classic British scones recipe that are soft, flaky, lightly sweet, and perfect with strawberry jam, berries, and cream!

From Pumpkin Scones in the fall to Blueberry Scones in the summer, to these sweet and creamy scones with afternoon tea, scones are crumbly, versatile and delicious Breakfast Pastries!

If you’ve tried scones at your local coffee shop and haven’t been a fan, this recipe will change your mind. First of all, baking pastries at home is almost always better than mass produced, albeit usually delicious treats in a cold case. Plus a buttery, warm, tender scone fresh from the oven? There’s just no comparison! Fall in love with this simple, classic baked good today!

Sabrina’s Cream Tea Scones Recipe

Part muffin, part cake, and fully delicious, this English version of Scones is a classic way to enjoy Afternoon Tea. They are a simple scone recipe that is easy to master so it’s perfect if you’ve never made any kind of scones before. Plus you don’t need to chill the dough with this recipe so you can have a warm, bakery shop treat ready in no time.

What’s the difference between British Scones and American Scones?

The first difference between an American style scone and an English scone is the shape. American scones usually have a wedge shape whereas British scones are round, resembling a Southern-style biscuit. A British scone is meant to be enjoyed with tea and sweet fillings so they are made with less sugar and often don’t even have butter in them. The much sweeter American scones often have fruits mixed into the dough and are topped with a sugary icing or glaze.

Cream Tea Ingredients in separate bowls


  • Frozen Butter: The coldest butter melts slowly as the Scones bake for the lightest, flakiest center. Handle the dough as little as possible to keep your butter from melting before they go in the oven. Grating frozen butter is a way to make it easier to mix into the flour, especially if you are using the knife or finger method.
  • Heavy Cream: The main ingredient in classic Cream Tea Scones is heavy cream. In fact some recipes don’t even use butter, but they definitely use a heavy whipping cream or other cream as a base. Heavy cream gives the same richness as buttermilk or sour cream but without the sour tang so they taste more buttery and slightly sweeter.
  • Baking Powder: This recipe uses a lot more baking powder than many other baked goods recipes. Not only does this give you ultra fluffy scones, it also gives an airy, melt-in-your-mouth texture similar to a soda bread.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

Biscuit Cutter: Classic English scones are shaped with a biscuit cutter because the round shape is perfect for cutting in half and stuffing with cream and fruit.

Food Processor: The food processor lets you quickly combine the dough and fully incorporate the butter hands free. This keeps your warm hands from melting the butter for lighter, tender scones.

How to Make

Time needed: 30 minutes.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Make the Base

    Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor until combined. Continuing pulsing while adding butter until completely combined.

  3. Finish the Dough

    Whisk the egg, egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Slowly add custard to flour mixture in food processor while pulsing.

  4. Knead and Shape

    Transfer the dough to a floured surface and pat into a disk. Knead a couple times then cut with biscuit cutter.

  5. Bake the Scones

    Place dough circles on a baking sheet and brush with egg white. Top with sanding sugar then bake for 13-15 minutes, until risen and golden.

Can this be made ahead of time?

There are a couple ways to make Cream Tea Scones ahead of time. You can freeze baked scones or you can freeze the dough to bake later. If you do the dough, it’s better to shape the biscuits first. For baked scones or dough circles, you’ll want to freeze them for an hour on a baking sheet before transferring to a sealed container. To enjoy baked scones, pop them in the oven wrapped in foil or microwave loosely wrapped in a paper towel with a sprinkle of water for a fresh baked taste. Cook the dough from frozen, adding a couple minutes to the baking time if needed.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Cream Tea Scones
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 254mg11%
Potassium 46mg1%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 348IU7%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 94mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Baking Tip for Cream Scones

Secret to Making Fluffy Scones

The secret to making perfect scones is finding the right balance between dry ingredients and wet ingredients. You don’t want sticky dough, it should come together and hold its shape, but you also don’t want flaky dough chunks. Instead of adding the cream all at once, fold in half the cream to the flour and butter and then add the rest a little bit at time until the dough comes together when pressed.

Serve with Clotted Cream

Traditionally these British style scones are served with clotted cream, which is a thick and tangy whipped cream, and Strawberry Jam. You don’t have to make a special trip to buy clotted cream though, you can make your own the night before with the recipe at the bottom of this post or use Creme Fraiche.

How to Store

Serve: Cream Tea Scones will keep well covered at room temperature for up to 5 days in a cool, dry place. These scones can also be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Reheat: They are best within the first 2 days, but you can warm them up in the microwave to soften them. Bring to room temperature or warm in the oven or microwave to serve.

Freeze: Wrap individual Scones in plastic wrap or freeze for one hour on a baking sheet, then store in a sealed freezer safe bag for up to 6 months. Thaw before serving.

How to Serve Cream Tea Scones

Cream Tea Scones have a lightly sweet and buttery flavor that begs for creamy toppings like Whipped Cream and naturally sweetened fresh preserves or seasonal fruit. For a fancy brunch, you could also make some rich, creamy Lemon Curd that would taste out of this world with these soft and flaky scones. But honestly, just a pat of butter and a cup of coffee or tea is all you need to enjoy British Cream Scones. Whipped cream cheese or mascarpone cheese are simple toppings that would taste delicious too!

Clotted Cream for Scones

You will need at least 20 hours to make this properly, but the upside is the only ingredient is heavy cream!

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Pour 4 cups heavy cream into a 9 x 9 glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Bake, without stirring for 12 hours. Carefully remove from oven and completely cool the cream to room temperature.Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Transfer the thickened layer of cream to a glass jar, draining any excess liquid to another container. You can use this excess liquid cream for baking. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Frequent Questions

What is cream tea?

Despite what the name of these scones might imply, cream tea isn’t the flavor of these scones. Cream Tea actually refers to the manner and time in which you eat these scones. Basically if you ordered a “Cream Tea” in the UK, you would be served a pot of tea and a warm scone with a side of jam and clotted cream. Now, depending on where in the UK you order this afternoon tea combo, you either put the jam first or the cream first, so you are better off asking the locals which is correct!

Why are my scones flat?

If you are struggling to get big airy scones, there are a couple things you can troubleshoot. The first is simply using too much flour. You don’t want sticky dough but you also don’t want dry, crumbly dough. The next misstep in baking is bad rising agents. Baking powder and baking soda can go “bad” or become inactive if they’ve been open too long, especially if you live in a humid place. Finally, be careful not to knead too much because you’ll create gluten which equals dense pastries.

Recipe Card

Cream Tea Scones

Cream Tea Scones are a classic British scones recipe that are soft, flaky and lightly sweet. Perfect with strawberry jam, berries, and cream!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine British
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter , frozen, diced
  • 1 large large egg
  • 1 large egg , separated
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coarse sanding sugar


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • To a food processor add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Pulse to combine.
  • Add in the butter, pulse to combine.
  • In a small bowl whisk together, egg, egg yolk, heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  • Pulse the mixture while slowly pouring in the egg custard.
  • Empty the dough onto a floured surface and pat into a disk.
  • Knead gently 3 or 4 times.
  • Cut into 3" circles with a scalloped biscuit cutter.
  • Place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush with remaining egg white and coarse sanding sugar.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes.
  • Serve topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 348IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Cream Tea Scones

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Dried Fruit: For Cream Scones with a little extra fruity sweetness, you can fold in ½ cup dried fruits or berries. Try classic favorite like currants, raisins, dried cranberries, glace cherries, or sultanas.

Lemon: Add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest from one large lemon for a burst of citrus flavor. Lemon Poppyseed and Lemon Blueberry (with dried blueberries) are a yummy combos that compliment the lemony fresh flavor too.

Savory Scones: These scones are only lightly sweetened so you can easily leave out the sugar and swap in savory flavors. Try seasonings like chives and garlic, or make them cheesy by folding in a ¼ cup shredded cheese.

More Delicious Scone Recipes

Cream Tea Scones finished on plate filled with cream and berries and preparation collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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