The Best Cream Scones In The World!

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!  And I’ve had such fun this week sharing my favorite traditional (and not so traditional!) Irish favorites with you, but I’ve saved the very best for last.  If you MADE me pick my favorite recipe from my mama’s amazing repertoire of delicious treats, I wouldn’t have to think twice. She makes an incredible array of scrumptious things, but my all-time favorite are her cream scones. Sweet, melt-in-your-mouth perfection is what they are.  And while there’s nothing better than eating one in her kitchen with a hot, milky cup of Irish breakfast team, here’s the next best thing…her recipe!

But before I get there, because she was so nice to share it with us, and because she always makes me these scones at the drop of a hat, I have to give a shout-out to her cooking in general.  All through my childhood and right up until today, the kitchen table  at my mom’s house tends to look like this.

Well-worn cookbooks, lists of ingredients and recipe ideas, potential menus, all leading up to whatever is going to be for dinner that night.  And not only does this go on during major holidays, it also happens on run-of-the-mill Wednesdays as well.  She approaches dinner as an art form, and it was not unusual for us to come home from school and hear that frog legs were on the menu…or stuffed grape leaves made with grape leaves picked from the back yard, or homemade lo mein with scallion pancakes, or turkey vegetable barley soup that had simmered on the stove all day.  Our sandwiches were made on her homemade bread made from the sourdough starter that was always on her counter.  And on the best days of all, her cream scones would be cooling on a rack, with the aroma of currants and sugar in the air.

Now I’m not saying that we didn’t have our fair share of burgers (one of her favorite approaches was to spread seasoned ground beef on a slice of that bread, broil it until the meat was cooked into the bread, and serve it up for dinner under the exotic name of Greek Hamburgers) and macaroni and cheese with peas on the side (and there was one suppertime involving peas and forks with the peas being used as projectiles and the forks being used as launchers that I think resulted in all four of us losing dessert for a week), but even those suppers had my mom’s magic touch.  But through all of it, there’s nothing I loved with the devotion that I loved her scones.

So with thanks to my mama, and a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you, here’s the best Irish recipe I know…

My mama’s one in a million recipe for Cream Scones.  Make them with extra love!


The Best Cream Scones In The World!
Serves: 12 of the best scones you will ever taste
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup currants, raisins or other dried fruit
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until well-combined.
  3. Mix together cream, vanilla and eggs. Take 2 tablespoons out of this mixture and set aside.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture, add currants and mix as lightly as possible until just combined.
  5. Pat dough into a 12 inch circle and cut it into 12 wedges. Arrange them on the cookie sheet, tucking the pointed ends underneath.
  6. Brush the tops with the reserved cream mixture and sprinkle with a little sugar (you can use regular but sometimes my mom uses the coarse decorative sugar crystals.)
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack for as long as you can stand it before you dive in.


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  1. Debby says

    Happy St Pat’s Day to you, thank you for sharing, now we know your talent is a generational thing…. you can’t help being such a great cook. :) The photos are excellent!

  2. Rachel says

    I love scones, but was wondering if the Irish really used cream in their scones, because the English don’t. Milk is used, it could be creamy milk, as in gold top milk, where the cream rises to the top of the milk presented in bottles, but still milk. Cream seems to be an American ingredient. In England, as you probably know, thick cream, whipped, or clotted cream, is used on the scones, along with jam. Jam is usually strawberry. But, usually, those scones don’t have currants or sultanas in them. Serving scones that way would be called having a cream tea. In summer, when fresh strawberries are available, they would quite often be included. Scones in the UK are cut into rounds, not wedges.

    Wonder what these would be like with yogurt instead of cream.

    • Kate says

      All good questions and ideas! I do love clotted cream and raspberry jam (and lemon curd too!) with my scones. Not sure about the yogurt – if you try it will you let us know?

  3. says

    I wish I had this yesterday! I hosted a tea party (I even made a Fascinator for my head!). I love scones, I made the Berry ones from Alice’s Tea cup (love that place). I will try these the next time. The girls love their scones!

  4. says

    I aspire to have my table/kitchen constantly be like your mom’s! I want my kids to have such awesome food memories of me. :) These cream scones sound like an absolute delight!

  5. Cindi says

    After one look at your fabulous photos, I don’t know how anyone could resist trying these scones. The timing is perfect for me. I’ll be making scones with my students in a couple of weeks. Cream scones are my favorite too. Can’t wait to give them a try.

  6. ro says

    Thank you for sharing this family treasure. I am not a huge fan of scones. They remind me of my childhood image of bread and water prison food. HOWEVER these look amazing. Maybe the heavy cream is a welcome french inspired change… you and your mom rock no matter the historical or geographical accuracy. Good food is good food.

    You’re also a great storyteller, I enjoy visiting your site.

    • Kate says

      You know, I was just chatting with someone today about the fact that some scones can be so dry and dense…but not these! Thanks for your sweet words. :)

  7. ro says

    I did not mean to imply these aren’t historically/geographically accurate. This is a FAMILY TREASURE and I’m grateful you shared it.

    • Kate says

      No worries at all! You reminded me how much I adore clotted cream and jam…I will have to make more scones and have some! Have a great week! :)

      • Rachel says

        Yes, wouldn’t you rather have your cream on top of the scones instead of inside?
        And, imagine clotted cream ice cream, with clotted cream on top of that. I have had that very dish, and very nice it is too!

  8. Rachel says

    I made these today, and used thick cream, as I had some leftover from a bread and butter pudding I had made. I didn’t have any currants or raisins, so grated some lemon rind into them. Really delicious. I ate them plain, without butter or jam but would have put lemon curd on them if I had any! I might try some dried blueberries next time, to go with the lemon. Or even fresh, when they are in season.

  9. Rachel says

    I meant to say that these remind me of rock cakes, which are a type of rough scone, with vine fruit and lemon rind. It’s the sort of little cake most British schoolchildren used to learn to make. Very uncommon to find them now.

      • Rachel says

        Not all rock cake recipes have the lemon rind in them, but the Dan Lepard (famous baker here) recipe does. Yesterday I heated up the leftover scones and had them with butter and raspberry jam which went perfectly with the lemon flavor.

  10. says

    While pregnant w/my twins I was in Northern Ireland , I found the best scones and shortbread! There were days we’re did eat a whole box, wonderful memories. I’ve made many scones and shortbread sense, never finding them as good as when I was in Ireland. I’ve had the flu for the past week and lost 10pounds, I saw these and I suddenly feel hungry and can’t wait to get the strength to make them. Thank you to you and your wonderful mother for sharing<3. Do you have a great Irish shortbread recipe? Deb

    • Kate says

      I hope you are feeling much better now! You know, I don’t know if she has a shortbread recipe but I’m going to ask her right away!

  11. Grace says

    I tried these this morning and they were so so good! Really one of the best, if not the best, scones I’ve tried. Thank you so much for sharing such a meaningful and valuable recipe with everyone. I don’t think I’ll look to any other scone recipe from now on.

  12. Jessica says

    I’m sorry for that brief moment when I read “Best Cream Scones in the World” and privately doubted your words. These were so excellent! I’m making another batch of clotted cream tonight in preparation for when I have another go with these cream scones tomorrow. At first I wasn’t sure whether I should choose your version or one of the many other cream scone recipes out there, and then I saw that you use vanilla. It really adds a luscious flavor that wasn’t present in another recipe for scones I tried earlier this week.

    I know you posted this long ago and you may not read the comments any longer, but I figured I would ask anyway: have you experimented at all with the amount of cream? Some recipes use so much of it — as much as one cup — and I’m wondering if the resulting differences are substantial (e.g., tenderness, density, etc.) or not even worth mentioning.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Kate says

      Hi Jessica! I’m SO glad you tried them, and I’ll pass your kind word on to my mom, who gets full credit for these scones. As for the cream…these scones have been time-tested and I am here to tell you that yes, you need that exact amount of cream. I am absolutely sure it’s what gives them the perfect (if I do say so myself) texture. It’s worth it, I promise! :)

  13. Judy says

    There is nothing better that cream scones! You can try recipes without the cream or recipes with plain milk and I promise you will not get the same consistency and richness of cream scones. I have tried so so many recipes and will always go back to my recipe with cream.


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