A fabulous tender strawberry scone recipe that bakes to a golden brown and has the most eye-catching pink drizzle of strawberry glaze. You can make them ahead, cut, and keep them frozen until ready to be baked. I give you all my tips and tricks for making the best homemade scones!
The first time I made these was for the first bridal shower I ever went to. Not knowing what the protocol was or what to expect. So I thought fresh strawberries screamed bridal shower in Spring. Who knows.
So let's dive into these almost perfect scones for when berry season hits, with fresh strawberries and the prettiest glaze ever, that I needed to share with you asap.
These strawberry scones have very simple ingredients (image above):
- Buttermilk: regular, full-fat buttermilk is used for this recipe. Homemade buttermilk: add a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of regular milk. Stir it and let stand a few minutes. It will curdle a bit, and you're set to go. Make sure you keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Strawberries: we use fresh strawberries every time we can. You can use frozen strawberries, diced small, and make sure they don't have a lot of excess ice around them. Let them thaw a little if that's the case so you don't add too much extra liquid to the scone dough.
- Flour: white all-purpose flour is used here, but you can also use cake flour, ideally 50/50. It will make scones cakier and less rustic, but not so much that they lose their essence.
- Baking powder: it's the leavener and necessary to make the scones rise during baking. Don't forget to add it and make sure it's not expired or you won't have tender scones but tough, probably quite inedible ones.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Sugar: we use white, granulated sugar, but light brown sugar works very well. It will give the dough a more yellowish tone.
- Unsalted butter.
- Vanilla - I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Orange: we use the orange zest for the scone dough and orange juice for the glaze. It's a flavor that pairs amazingly well with strawberries.
Mixing the scone dough
Making scones is easy, but a few pointers should be followed if you want to achieve soft, tender, nicely risen ones.
- Dry ingredients and butter: the flour mixture and sugar need to be well combined before adding the rest. Have the very cold butter in small pieces and as cold as you can (image 1). This will make it easier to incorporate with the dry ingredients.
- Mixing the dough: after the butter is integrated, the pieces should be the size of peas or beans, a mix. They will be irregular (image 2), especially if you mix by hand, and that is fine. h
- Strawberries and buttermilk: the best way is to dice them so they distribute well throughout the scone dough. Add them before the wet ingredients are incorporated and mix lightly after that. (images 3 and 4).
Forming the scone dough
Working surface: the dough will have dry patches (image 5)so don't flour it from the beginning.
Dough scraper: it's a great little tool to help you fold the shaggy mass onto itself so it slowly comes together (image 6). With each fold, it will be more formed. Pat the dough into a circle, but do not overwork it! You can also use a metal spatula to help you with the dough.
Cutting the disc of dough: I cut it into 8 triangles with the dough scraper or a large kitchen knife (image 7). But you can use a cookie cutter and make rounds like the orange cream scones.
Sugar on top: it's a nice addition as it gives them an extra crunch, especially if you might eat them plain, without the glaze. Image 8
WATCH THE STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO 👇🏻
For a visual guide, here's a video of me making cranberry orange scones.
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Very cold ingredients: I’m not kidding when I say very cold butter. Don’t take the cream half an hour before you start mixing the scones or have them at room temperature. Butter, cream, and milk belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them. I pop the butter (already cut into small pieces) and wet ingredients in the freezer for five minutes while I measure the dry ingredients. That way they're as cold as they can be without being frozen.
- Don't overwork the dough: It should come together but still have floury patches. You don’t need to work it until it’s smooth, like a pie dough for instance. It is an uneven dough, with dry spots, and that’s good for tenderness later.
- A rather high oven: they need that extra heat (and baking powder) at the beginning to rise however they can in spite of all that butter and cream. And, if by any chance you forget to turn the oven on before you start with the mixing, please don’t leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter until the oven is preheated to the right temperature. Put them in the fridge or freezer for the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature.
- Different sizes: for a brunch table, tea time, or that type of gathering, you might want to make smaller scones, and round ones at that (check out the parmesan chive scones as a guide to the shape) as they are usually easier to handle and bake more evenly. Use a round cookie cutter.
- Spices: add some ground nutmeg, cinnamon, or cardamom to the flour mixture for a more complex flavor.
- Citrus zest: I use orange because it's mellower than lemon or lime, but they all pair very well with strawberries.
- Liqueur: use your favorite orange liqueur or a nut one like Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) for a touch of booze in the glaze.
Powdered sugar glaze
This is the simplest glaze ever and a great way to serve these delicious scones. Simply drizzle it on top of the scones.
Simply mix powdered sugar (also called icing sugar or confectioners' sugar depending on the country) with a liquid. What liquid? The list is long. Any juice (citrus or otherwise), cream or milk, coffee, extracts, liqueurs, water, even olive oil.
- Pink glaze: process a few strawberries with orange juice and use that mixture as the liquid part. I think the color alone makes them irresistible and great for a brunch table, Easter weekend, mother's day, or any other celebration.
- White glaze: use milk or heavy cream, whipping cream, half and half, almond milk, or almost any type of white liquid that is used in baking. It'll be easier than making the strawberry puree first, but it won't be as striking.
Related recipes you might like:
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For the scones:
- 2 ¾ cups (360g) pastry or all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (or ½ teaspoon lime or lemon zest if you want a sharper flavor)
- 6 oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, very cold
- 1 ½ cups (about 8 oz) fresh strawberries, diced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk, very cold
- Extra sugar, for sprinkling
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 3-4 medium strawberries
- Preheat oven to 400ºF /200ºC.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease the bottom.
- Food processor: place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Scatter the cubes of frozen butter on top, and process on low until the mixture is grainy and the butter the size of peas. Don't overprocess.
- By hand: add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine them well with a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Scatter the butter pieces on top and integrate by hand or with a pastry cutter or pastry blender. The pieces of butter should be the size of peas and beans. It will be irregular. Then follow the recipe below.
- For both methods: transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the strawberries and mix lightly with a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Drizzle the buttermilk and vanilla over the flour mixture.
- Mix with a spatula or fork until it barely comes together, but don't mix too much or the scones will be tough and flat.
- On a lightly floured surface, transfer the mixture, and pat it together, folding it unto itself a few times (I use a dough scraper or dough cutter to help me fold the dough onto itself), until you have a circle of dough that holds together. It will still be shaggy in places. Don't be tempted to overwork it as you would a pie crust. I don't use a rolling pin, but if you want to roll it very lightly, you don't want to press it down, simply pat it so it holds together.
- Make a circle with the dough, about 2 inches high.
- Cut it in half, and then cut each half into 4 triangles. You should have 8 pieces or triangles.
- At this point, they can be frozen, well covered, for up to a month, and baked directly from the freezer. They might take a few more minutes.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle the tops with additional sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn down the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden, dry, and quite firm. If you need to check, with the tip of a fork lift the top of a scone and see if the inside is dry. Depending on the size and height, the bake time might vary, so start checking at the 30-minute mark.
- I recommend eating them within a few hours of being baked.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for a day, maybe two, but the texture is much better the day they're baked.
For the glaze:
- Hull and cut the strawberries in half.
- Process them with the orange juice. I use the immersion blender with the small chopper attachment.
- Add half to the powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix to combine. Keep adding strawberry puree until it's thick but pourable.
- Alternatively, simply use orange juice, cream, or milk. The glaze will be white, not pink.
- Drizzle on the cold scones and let dry before serving.
Very cold ingredients. I’m not kidding when I say very cold butter. Don’t take the cream half an hour before you start mixing the scones or have them at room temperature. Butter, cream, and milk belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them. I pop the butter (already cut into small pieces) and wet ingredients in the freezer for five minutes while I measure the dry ingredients. That way they're as cold as they can be without being frozen.
Don't overwork the dough. It should come together but still have floury patches. You don’t need to work it until it’s smooth, like a pie dough for instance. It is an uneven dough, with dry spots, and that’s good for tenderness later.
A rather high oven. They need that extra heat (and baking powder) at the beginning to rise however they can in spite of all that butter and cream. And, if by any chance you forget to turn the oven on before you start with the mixing, please don’t leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter until the oven is preheated to the right temperature. Put them in the fridge or freezer for the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature.
Freezing scones: Scones can be frozen raw, already formed. Make a big batch, cut them, put them on trays and freeze them. Once frozen, put them in a plastic bag or container so the tray doesn’t occupy freezer space. Bake them directly from the freezer in a hot oven.
Homemade buttermilk: add a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of regular milk. Stir it and let stand a few minutes. It will curdle a bit, and you're set to go. Make sure you keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
Dough scraper: I love this kitchen tool for breads and scones. My favorites are all found online on Amazon and are the Napro Stainless Steel Scraper, the AmazonBasic Stainless Scraper, and the Ateco Scraper if you want plastic and curved edges.
Different sizes: for a brunch table, tea time, or that type of gathering, you might want to make smaller scones, and round ones at that (check out the parmesan chive scones as a guide to the shape) as they are usually easier to handle and bake more evenly. Use a round cookie cutter.
Flavorings: I love this recipe as it is, but you can use lime or lemon zest instead of orange for a sharper flavor. And you may like to also add a small amount of ground cinnamon or cardamom for a warmer touch.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Scones & Biscuits
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 248
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 132 mg
- Fat: 12.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
- Protein: 3.6 g
- Cholesterol: 31.6 mg
Keywords: strawberry scones, fruit scones
Adapted from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton