Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Total Time
33 Mins
Makes 8 servings

When reader Betty Joyce Mills from Birmingham shared her recipe for scones (she stirs a half cup of sweetened dried cranberries into the dough), we thought they were the best we had ever tasted. Never fearing too much of a good thing, we created eight sweet and savory variations.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Freeze 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cream, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Step 2

Turn dough out onto wax paper; gently press or pat dough into a 7-inch round (mixture will be crumbly). Cut round into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops of wedges with remaining 2 Tbsp. cream just until moistened.

Step 3

Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Step 4

Sweet Variations

Step 5

Chocolate-Cherry Scones: Stir in 1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped, and 2 oz.coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate with the cream.

Step 6

Apricot-Ginger Scones: Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger with the cream. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze after baking.

Step 7

Cranberry-Pistachio Scones: Stir in 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted pistachios with the cream.

Step 8

Brown Sugar-Pecan Scones: Substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans with the cream.

Step 9

Savory Variations

Step 10

Bacon, Cheddar, and Chive Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3-oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper with the cream.

Step 11

Ham-and-Swiss Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese and 3/4 cup finely chopped baked ham with the cream. Serve warm with Mustard Butter: Stir together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard, and 1 Tbsp. minced sweet onion.

Step 12

Pimiento Cheese Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3-oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and 3 Tbsp. finely chopped pimiento with the cream.

Step 13

Rosemary, Pear, and Asiago Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh pear, 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, and 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary with the cream.

Step 14

Festive Touch

Step 15

Bite-Size Scones: Pat dough into 2 (4-inch) rounds. Cut rounds into 8 wedges. Bake as directed for 12 to 13 minutes.

Ratings & Reviews

September 15, 2015
I agree!  I had scones in London that are nothing like the ones I've had here.  But I might try this one!

jmelissaw's Review

May 01, 2014

CatherineCooks's Review

August 31, 2014
Good scones. Bear in mind, though, that British cooks can make better scones than this WITHOUT any leavening and with no sugar. Scones are not the blobs of cheap bread dough shaped in a triangle and liberally dosed with sugar that Americans think they are (present recipe excluded, of course). And for those who complained about the crumbly dough, ummmmmm, crumbly dough makes crumbly scones. Crumbly scones are good...and authentic. Yikes.

Rose3Vegas's Review

April 29, 2013
Great recipe!!! I used bread flour (it really makes them very tender) and added a 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, orange zest (2tbs) & about a 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice to make cranberry-orange scones. My husband and family can't get enough of them.

Horrible result

July 16, 2017
I was so excited to try a new scone recipe for the Wimbledon finals this morning. I made many a scone but these were burning with the 450F temp halfway through cooking. I followed the recipe and didn't change anything. Now that they are out of the oven and cooled they taste very nice but will try oven temp on 400 next time because they are two brown and burned on small edges. Giving them 3 stars for how light and tender they are on the inside but the outside is 1 star.

London1's Review

December 24, 2013
I added close to a full cup of whipped cream and the dough was still incredibly crumbly. The end result was very good so I may try them again to see if I did something wrong.

myzkyti's Review

April 08, 2013
These were tasty, but much more of a hassle than they're worth, in my opinion. The dough was just far too crumbly and difficult to work with. While I like the variation ideas, I think I'll stick with my usual scone recipes in the future, and won't bother trying this one again.

missykz's Review

September 13, 2013
These are the best I've ever tasted.

burbankd's Review

August 27, 2013
These are the first and the best scones I ever made. They are light and wonderful no matter whether you use blueberries, dried cranberries, chocolate chips or any of the other ingredients listed. If you try this recipe it will be the "go to scone" recipe in your recipe colletction.

luwhite's Review

February 21, 2012
My first time ever making scones and these are PERFECT. I love that they are a little more flaky and moist than other scones. Perfect with a little butter or lemond curd to top it off. I added a little coarse sugar on top for texture. I cannot wait to try the other variations. Thanks so much for the recipe.