One bowl cream scones (no butter, no mixer) are the easiest, most delicious scones you’ve ever eaten. Make them plain, or add an endless array of flavors and add-ins.
Easy Scones for Everyone
My Mom spoiled me–and the whole family– with her buttery, currant-studded scones. She made them often (lucky us!) and we gobbled them as soon as soon as they arrived at the table. Everyone should be spoiled by a basket of warm-from-the-oven scones.
Let the spoiling begin! Now you can make scones anytime (and/or all the time) with absolute ease, even if you have never made scones before. All that you need is a bowl and the ability to stir a spoon. You’ve got this, and soon, you’ll have a fresh batch of vanilla-scented scones, too.
Specifically, my 1-Bowl Cream Scones.
Prepare yourself for the awesomeness :).
What Makes these Scones So Good
Despite their buttery, flaky taste and texture, these scones have no butter. Nada. No margarine or oil, either. Instead, the scones get their tender crumb and buttery flavor from heavy cream, stirred right into the flour mixture. It’s that simple.
Here’s a quick run-down of features to further woo you into baking a batch:
- Made in one bowl.
- 6 ingredients (plus some extra sugar, for sprinkling on top).
- No mixer required.
- No “cutting in” butter.
- Mixed together in minutes.
- Crazy delicious.
Ingredients for the Scones
With the exception of the eponymous cream, you likely have the remaining five ingredients on hand.
A complete list of the ingredients, with amounts and instructions, is located in the recipe card below.
Here is what you will need:
- All-purpose flour. No fancy flours required.
- Granulated sugar. Plain white sugar.
- Baking powder. Make sure it is baking powder, not baking soda (they work differently).
- Salt. I use plain, fine table salt for my baking recipes.
- Heavy cream or whipping cream (30 to 36% fat). You need the high fat stuff here for these scones to be tender and flaky (no light cream, table cream, half & half, etc.)
- Vanilla extract. Real vanilla extract is best, but use what you have, and can afford.
- Optional: Turbinado sugar. This is for sprinkling on top of the scones. Granulated sugar will work fine, too.
Step-by-Step Instructions with Photos
Step One: Whisk the Dry Ingredients
The scone dough will chill in the freezer for a short spell, so mix and shape the dough before preheating the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Step Two: Add the Wet Ingredients
Set aside 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the cream (a ramekin, cup, or any small vessel. You will use it shortly).
Drizzle the remaining cream, as well as the vanilla, over the flour mixture. Using a fork, gently combine into a thick dough, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Step Three: Pat the Dough into a Circle
Turn the dough out onto a small, lightly floured board or dinner plate (one that will fit in your freezer). Gently pat the dough into an even, 6-inch (7.5 cm) circle, about 3/4-inch (1.875 cm) thick.
Cup your hands around the sides to gently shape the dough–it does not need to be a perfect circle. As long as it is circle-ish, you are good to go!
Step Four: Brush & Sprinkle
Next, grab that reserved tablespoon of cream. Using a pastry brush, brush the cream over the surface of the dough. If you do not have a pastry brush, simply pour the cream over the dough and fingerpaint to evenly cover the dough with cream :).
Sprinkle the dough with the tablespoon of Turbinado sugar (or more granulated sugar). Sprinkling the tops of the scones with sugar adds sparkle and crunch once baked.
Now, place the dough into the freezer for 20 minutes. It matters! I know you want these scones ASAP, but take this extra step. Chilling the dough facilitates a better rise and lighter texture.
Step Five: Preheat the Oven & Prep the Baking Sheet
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F (215C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the chilled dough from the freezer and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the circle into 8 equal wedges. Carefully pull the wedges away from each other (creating 1 to 2 inches space between the scones).
Step Six: Bake & Cool
Bake the scones in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until risen and golden brown. There should be some appealing cracks and crevices on top.
Serve immediately, warm, or transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Joy to the scone!
How Do I Eat Scones?
Scones are traditional British fare, typically served with tea, but here in the States they are most often served for breakfast or brunch (a close cousin to the humble muffin).
I’m open to eating scones at any hour of the day, for any occasion. In the summer, I am partial to using these simple, vanilla scones for strawberry shortcake (split, then pile high with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Uh-huh).
Few things, however, beat the pairing of scones with jam (marmalade, preserves and jelly fall into this category).
Q: Can I use something other than heavy cream in the recipe?
A: No, the recipe depends on the high fat content of heavy whipping cream. It may be possible to use other high fat ingredients, such as coconut milk or evaporated milk, but not without out some experimenting to find out if it works, and/or whether adjustments need to be made.
Q: Can I add additional flavors or mix-ins to the scones?
A: Yes, indeed! Add spices (1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon depending on the spice), finely grated citrus zest, or other extracts besides vanilla.
Mix-ins, such as chopped dried fruit, chocolate chunks, or chopped nuts can be stirred in with the flour before adding the wet ingredients. Fresh fruit is trickier. Drier fruits (e.g., blueberries or pieces of apple) are easier to incorporate into the dough than delicate raspberries. Stir fresh fruit in with the cream, using a gentle hand to mix.
Q: I do not have parchment paper. Can I still make the scones?
A: Yes! I love parchment paper (easy clean-up, no sticking, more even baking), but the scones will bake fine without it. Grease or lightly spray the baking sheet instead of lining with parchment paper.
Q: My scones are a little bit tough. Why?
A: Overmixing and/or overhandling the dough is the reason (the gluten–protein– in the flour is easily activated with too much mixing). Use the lightest touch to combine the dough and handle it as little as possible when shaping. An ugly, tender scone is 100% better than a beautiful, tough scone :).
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream or whipping cream (30 to 36% fat), divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar)
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Set aside 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the cream. Drizzle the remaining cream, and the vanilla, over the flour mixture. Using a fork, gently combine into a thick dough, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a small, lightly floured board or dinner plate (one that will fit in your freezer). Gently pat the dough into an even, 6-inch (7.5 cm) circle, about 3/4-inch (1.875 cm) thick. Brush with the reserved tablespoon of cream and sprinkle with the Turbinado sugar.
- Place the dough circle into the freezer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F (215C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the chilled dough from the freezer and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the circle into 8 equal wedges. Carefully pull the wedges away from each other (creating 1 to 2 inches space between the scones).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Serve immediately, warm, or transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Storage: Store cooled, leftover scones in an airtight container atcool room temprature for 1 day, the refrigerator for 3 days, orthe freezer for up to 3 months.
Serving Size:1 scone
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 329mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g