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This basic scone recipe is perfect as is, but the upgrades and flavor add-ins are nothing to scoff at, either. This is part of Our site's Best, a collection of our essential recipes.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 1¼ cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Add butter and toss to coat. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work butter into flour until only pea-size pieces remain. Make a well in the center; add egg and 1¼ cups cream and mix with a fork, incorporating dry ingredients a little at a time, until a shaggy dough forms (it’s okay if it looks a little dry; don’t overwork). Lightly knead dough in bowl until it just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1"-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones until golden brown, 25–30 minutes.
Do Ahead: Scones can be made 1 day ahead. Store lightly covered at room temperature.
Lemon-Rosemary: Whisk 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest and 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary into flour mixture before adding butter.
Cinnamon-Chocolate: Toss 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon into flour mixture after working in butter.
Double Ginger: Whisk 2 Tbsp. finely chopped candied ginger and 1 Tbsp. finely grated peeled ginger into flour mixture before adding butter.
Mixed Berry: Toss 1 cup fresh or frozen berries, cut into pieces if large, into flour mixture after working in butter.
Pecan-Oat: Toss ¾ cup old-fashioned oats and ¾ cup chopped toasted pecans into flour mixture before adding butter. Sprinkle ¼ cup oats along with demerara sugar over scones before baking.