Scones are wonderful any time of year, but these British strawberry scones are especially delightful on a warm summer morning or sultry afternoon.
Tender, buttery, and generously sized, these scones are studded with oodles of fresh, ripe strawberries that get even juicier and more flavorsome through the baking process. With a lavish helping of vanilla extract, the scent as they bake will revive even the most lagging spirits.
Beautiful served hot from the oven with a liberal smear of cold, salted butter, British strawberry scones are also served room temperature with a dollop of thick cream only lightly sweetened.
Thanks to the juicy strawberries, these scones retain their moisture and freshness for several days, but if you find they need a bit of reviving, a minute in the toaster oven will render them fragrant and delicious again. If they last more than two days, I like to top them with a thick slice of Havarti cheese before popping them under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns. It’s just the thing for a quick pick-me-up or a light lunch.
British Strawberry Scones
Good strawberries are essential make these scones a success. Look for dark red ones that are firm and fragrant. I like to toss them in the flour mixture before adding the wet ingredients. This soaks up some of the juice so the berries don’t bleed much when you form the scone dough. If you can’t find fresh strawberries, dried ones are a beautiful option, resulting in a scone similar to raisin or cranberry. Freeze-dried strawberries are another idea, bringing a nice crunch to the tender scones.
Frozen strawberries don’t work well in this recipe since they add too much moisture and tend to turn the scones soggy. If you only have frozen ones, consider pureeing them into liquid form and substituting this for half of the milk.
If you don’t fancy strawberries, we have several other delectable scone recipes to choose from. Try our savory Maple Bacon Scones or Sweet Potato Scones, or stick to sumptuous sweet varieties like our Peach Cardamom Scones or Chai Chocolate Chip Scones.
I usually make British strawberry scones with all-purpose flour since whole wheat flour results in a wetter dough. If you do use whole wheat flour, reduce the amount of liquid you use or add more flour to avoid a wet dough difficult to form and stay together.
I use pure butter in this recipe, but you can also use lard or butter-flavored shortening if you want an extra-flaky scone.
Doubling the vanilla extract adds wonderful fragrance and flavor, but if you want to up the strawberry ante, replace half the vanilla extract with strawberry extract.
Shaping and Baking
When mixing the dough for British strawberry scones, handle it as little as possible. Mix just until there is almost no flour visible, then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board or counter and gently bring it together and press it into a disk about an inch thick. Cut with a sharp, floured, round cookie cutter. I find that a quick cut is better than slow and careful so the strawberry chunks are sliced cleanly instead of mushed and smeared.
For a beautiful golden top, brush each scone with beaten egg, then sprinkle with raw sugar for a bit of sparkle. Half a strawberry on top completes the picture.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the scones have risen and are a rich golden brown on top. Remove to a cooling rack and serve warm or room temperature with heavy cream or salted butter.
Tea and Scones Pairing
Once the scones are ready to eat, it’s time for a hot cup of tea to accompany them. A tea with a bit of creaminess to it is a nice partner to the fruity strawberries. Try our Housewarming Blend vanilla caramel black tea, Uplifting Coconut Chai tea with lemongrass, black pepper, and cocoa nibs, or Strawberries & Cream Black Tea with rose petals and vanilla.
British Strawberry Scones
- 1/2 cup whole milk or cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups white flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 1 egg, beaten for topping
- 1-2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 450F. Cover baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.
In small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl (or food processor) place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir or pulse to combine. Add butter and cut in or pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Slice two sides off of four strawberries and set aside for topping. Coarsely chop remaining strawberries. Add to flour mixture and toss gently to coat. Add milk mixture and stir with fork until combined.
Turn dough out onto floured board and gently bring together into a disk shape about 1 inch thick (do not overwork!). Cut into circles and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Top each scone with a strawberry slice.
Bake 10-15 minutes until scones have risen and are golden brown.
Remove from oven and place scones on cooling rack. Serve warm or cool with lightly sweetened whipped cream or salted butter and strawberry jam.