For every season and every mood, there is a scone. This strawberry rhubarb cream cheese scone is a scone for springtime. For indulgence. For bright, happy, sunshiny days. Perfect for tea time, tea parties, bridal showers, baby showers, and festive brunches!
Strawberries and Cream
Anyone familiar with baking scones knows that butter is the key ingredient. Butter gives that full-bodied, fabulous flavor. Butter helps with that glorious rise and flaky crumb. Butter creates crisp, golden edges and moist, tender insides. Butter just makes it better. So why bother with cream cheese?
In a cream cheese scone, you don’t forego the butter…it’s still there to work its magic. The addition of cream cheese introduces a rich, luscious element that works with the butter to create a decadent pastry experience you (and your friends and family, should you choose to share) are likely to crave again and again.
When scones are baking, the butter in the dough melts, creating air pockets that contribute to the delicate, flaky texture of the confection.
Cream cheese will disintegrate into the dough to a degree, but some of it will remain intact—so not only does it add to the overall tenderness of the finished scone, but it also results in a smattering of lush dollops of cream cheese throughout the pastry.
The perfect addition to a strawberry rhubarb scone! Because who doesn’t love strawberries and cream? (Though it would also be delicious to try with other ingredients across the seasons…stewed cherries, peaches, chunks of dark chocolate…)
Tips and Tricks
One very important tip when baking scones is to use cold ingredients! Ideally frozen butter and cream cheese. In order to keep the dairy as cold as possible (and not lose my mind struggling to incorporate big chunks of frozen ingredients into the flour), I grate my butter and cream cheese when it is still cold from the refrigerator, then freeze it overnight. If you’re short on time, however, twenty minutes or so in the freezer should do the trick.
The frozen grated cream cheese may be denser than the butter and not come apart as easily. I was able to break most of it up with my hands, but for the final, stubborn center, I simply gave it a few stern whacks with the solid metal handle of my meat tenderizer, and it broke apart without any trouble!
I also like to measure out my flour and other dry ingredients and place them in the fridge the night before baking—the extra chilling helps with the texture of your scone, and it’s also a great time-saver to whip up a super quick batch of scones in the morning!
If you’re looking for an excellent gluten-free flour blend for scones—or any other baked good—check out the flour recipe in this honey lavender scone blogpost. You would never know they’re not made with regular flour!
To create a beautifully golden, perfectly crisp crust, simply brush your assembled scones with milk before you put them in the oven. It only takes a minute or two of your time and a tablespoon or two of milk, and it makes all the difference!
When baking, be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet, or place some sort of baking dish with edges under your baking sheet to catch any melting butter that leaks off the edge. In my experience, there can be a lot of butter run-off, so be sure to catch those drips before the bottom of your oven does!
Perfect Tea Pairings
As with most scones, you can’t go wrong pairing them with your favorite tea! A sturdy black tea cuts through the richness of the butter, while a more delicate green or white plays very nicely with the fruity flavors and notes of vanilla.
In my opinion, the OTP tea for this particular scone is Strawberries and Cream black tea. A strong base of black tea is studded with strawberry pieces, sprinkled with raspberry leaf and rose petals, and softened with vanilla essence. The perfect complement to the flavors in the scone!
Gratitude Blend, a strawberry Earl Grey, is another excellent choice! Bergamot oil gives the blend its traditional Earl Grey flavoring, then we enhanced it with orange peels, and sweeten it with strawberry and strawberry essence for a wonderful twist on a classic!
Brew a pot of your blend of choice, serve it forth with a batch of these dreamy strawberry rhubarb cream cheese scones, and enjoy! Snap a picture and tag us on Instagram @plumdeluxe! We love to know what you’re sipping (and snacking).
Cheers, and happy baking!
Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Scone Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, grated and frozen
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk** with a squeeze of lemon juice, OR heavy cream or buttermilk (plus an additional 1 ~ 2 Tablespoons for brushing, optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 3/4 cup strawberries, chopped
- 3/4 cup rhubarb, chopped
* Or omit the honey and increase sugar to 1/2 cup
** For additional strawberry flavor, cold brew 1 teaspoon of Strawberry Immunity tea in milk overnight
Grate butter and cream cheese with a cheese grater. Store in the freezer while prepping the rest of your ingredients (or overnight).
Assemble all dry ingredients except frozen items in a large bowl. (Flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.) Place bowl in refrigerator while you continue your prep.
Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, and honey (if using) together in a medium bowl. Add strawberries and rhubarb.
Remove dry ingredients from the fridge, and remove dairy from the freezer. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
Add strawberry/milk mixture. Stir until dough just begins to form. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just enough for the dough to fully come together. If it seems too dry, add a little more milk. If it seems overly sticky, add a little more flour.
Place dough onto a rimmed baking sheet*, shape dough into a roughly 8-inch circle. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
If time allows, rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to allow ingredients to chill again after being handled. You could also prep these the night before, wrap them in clingwrap or beeswax, and leave them in the fridge overnight. (If you must skip the chilling step, don’t worry, your scones will still taste good!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Optional: For a crispier outside texture, brush the dough with milk immediately before placing it in oven.
Bake 18-22 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Remove from oven, serve plain or with strawberry cream cheese spread or preserves ☺
*Butter melts and drips as scones bake. Rimmed sheet will keep the bottom of your oven safe!
This scone recipe is based on the Master Scone recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – thank you, Sally!