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World's Best Scones Recipe

Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing—and writing about—food.

Freshly baked and glazed scone

Freshly baked and glazed scone

This Scone Recipe Is Amazing

After much trial and error, I've developed a scone recipe that will knock your socks off.

I mean it.

The scones are incredibly light with a tender crumb, and so moist and flavorful that you can't eat just one. (Really.)

The banana taste is very mild—so mild that you can barely taste it. However, this is one of the secret ingredients to this recipe. Don't let the length of the directions scare you. I've tried to explain each part of the process so you'll have success the very first time you make them.

The Ingredients

The ingredients are divided into DRY and WET ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • 5 tbsp. butter (yeah, not really dry, but all will be explained in the recipe below)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg, divided
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (use Meyer lemons if you can get them)
  • 2 teaspoons to 3 tablespoons buttermilk (see instructions below for a discussion of how much you will need)

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Step 1: Make the Dough

You will need a LARGE bowl and a 2-cup measuring cup.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Zest a small lemon into the dry ingredients (use only the yellow part, not the white pith) then thoroughly mix the zest into the dry ingredients.
  4. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter into the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the dry ingredients till it looks like course cornmeal. Leave a few pieces of butter the size of small peas—this makes your scones flaky.
  5. In the 2-cup measuring cup, mash the peeled banana and stir till it is liquified.
  6. Divide the yolk and white of the egg. Add the yolk to the WET INGREDIENTS and put aside the egg whites (you'll use them in a minute).
  7. Add the juice of HALF of your lemon.
  8. Pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup of liquid. Depending on the size of your banana, you may be adding a couple of teaspoons up to a few tablespoons. The goal? To have a full cup of wet ingredients.
  9. Stir the liquid ingredients thoroughly.
  10. Now, ALL AT ONCE, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir just until the dry and wet ingredients have come together. You'll be tempted to continue stirring, but don't. Once the last of the flour in the bottom of your large bowl has been moistened, then stop. This only takes about a dozen-ish stirs with your fork.

Step 2: Shape the Scones and Bake

  1. Lightly sprinkle your work surface with flour (I lay out two pieces of foil on the counter, then sprinkle with flour).
  2. Gently turn your dough onto the flour-covered work area. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour—just enough so you can press it down without the dough sticking to your hands. Lift one end and fold the dough over on itself. You'll probably need to scatter a little flour underneath as you're working.
  3. Press out the dough, sprinkle LIGHTLY with flour, then fold again. Press out the dough, sprinkle lightly with flour, then fold one final time. Lift up the dough and scatter a little flour underneath to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface.
  4. Pat into a circle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into six or eight pie-shaped scones. I like larger scones, so I always make six, but if you are baking for children or those with small appetites, make eight.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil, then lightly coat with cooking spray. Carefully transfer the scones to the baking sheet.
  6. Add 2 teaspoons water to the egg whites, stir vigorously, then brush onto the tops of the scones.
  7. Liberally sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake (make sure your oven has been PREHEATED) for approximately 20 minutes. I always set my timer for 15 minutes, and begin checking. Your oven may run "hot" and they'll be baked sooner; or if your oven runs cold, slightly longer than 20 minutes. You'll know they're done when the tops are a gorgeous golden brown.
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Step 3: Glaze, Serve, and Enjoy!

  1. While the scones are baking, make the glaze: Squeeze the other half of the lemon—only a few drops at a time—into the half cup of powdered sugar. Stir vigorously, then add more lemon juice. Note: Making a glaze is easy once you know how—but if this is your first time, then be sure you add the lemon juice in very small amounts. You'll think: but this isn't enough liquid... but as you keep stirring you'll soon see that you've made a glaze. I wish I could tell you exactly how much lemon juice, but it seems to vary. So just keep adding lemon juice by drops until it is the right consistency. You'll know it's ready when the glaze runs in a slow thin stream off of your spoon.
  2. Once the scones are done, let them rest on the counter for about 5 minutes, then put on serving plates. Drizzle the lemon glaze on top. Yeah, the glaze will melt on the warm scones. What can I say, except: YUM.
  3. Serve with plenty of room temperature butter.
  4. You're going to flip over the incredible flavor and texture of these scones!

Questions & Answers

Question: When using this scone recipe, uou said to pat into a circle. But how many inches wide and how thick should it be?

Answer: It should be about an inch thick.

Question: Can I substitute blueberries instead of banana in this scone recipe, and how many cups of blueberries can I use?

Answer: The mashed banana is one of the key ingredients that make these scones so moist; bananas should always be used instead of another kind of fruit.

Question: How do I print this scone recipe?

Answer: At the top of your screen, (while in your browser -- Firefox, Safari, Chome, etc.) click File, then Print. The recipe should print easily for you.

Question: Can the unglazed scones be frozen, then warmed and glazed later?

Answer: Yes, the unbaked scones (without glaze of course) can be frozen then baked later.

If you're asking about after they've been baked, the answer is still Yes!

Here's how:

If unbaked: remove from the freezer, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a 400-degree oven on a baking sheet. They will take a little longer to bake, of course, than the original recipe. Remove foil near the end to let them get browned and crispy on the edges.

If already baked: let them come to room temperature, then you can warm them in the oven or microwave. Personally, I prefer using the oven so they will get a crispy exterior. No foil is needed for rewarming in the oven.

Question: Can I substitute cream for buttermilk?

Answer: Yes, you can use cream instead of buttermilk. If you make this substitution, you may want to increase the lemon juice by a half teaspoon (to compensate for the loss of acid from the buttermilk, which gives these scones extra lightness.)

Question: Can the banana be left out?

Answer: The banana makes this scone tender and moist so I think it's best left in the recipe.

Question: I am a little confused about the amount of buttermilk to use for this scone recipe. Help?

Answer: The goal is to have one cup of liquid ingredients. After you add in the mashed banana, egg, etc then you top up your measuring cup to make one cup of liquid.

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