• Prep Time: 15 - 30 minutes (depends on dough kneading skills)
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Makes: Around 16, depending on size


  • 450 g self raising flour
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 5 ml icing sugar, caster sugar is also acceptable
  • 60 g chilled butter, finely chopped
  • 375 - 400 ml buttermilk

For Serving:

  • Clotted cream or the substitute below
  • Good conserve or jam

Clotted Cream Substitute:

  • 200 g mascarpone
  • 100 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 5 ml vanilla essence


  1. Preheat oven to 240 ÂșC and ensure the top shelf has room for the baking sheet.
  2. Grease a large slab cake pan or prepare a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
  4. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Using a butter knife in a cutting motion, stir in enough buttermilk to mix into a soft, sticky dough.
  6. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Avoid over kneading as it will create dense scones.
  7. Press dough out to approximately 2 cm thick. Do not use a rolling pin.
  8. Cut dough into 5 cm rounds, using a cutter dipped in flour.
  9. Place rounds in the pan/on the sheet.
  10. Optionally, brush scones very lightly with buttermilk if a glazed finish is desired.
  11. Bake on the top shelf for 10-15 minutes. Scones should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  12. If not serving immediately, turn onto a tea towel and cover with a second tea towel.

Clotted Cream Substitute (if clotted cream is unavailable):

  1. Put all the ingredients in a mixer.
  2. Mix until it looks like softly whipped cream.

Best served: Immediately.

Preparation Notes

The trickiest part of this recipe is judging the buttermilk (which is somewhat dependent on your flour). Start with 350 ml and see how the dough develops.

Excessively brushing the scones with buttermilk will cause them to flatten.

I tend to use baking sheets with teflon mats on them.

To avoid having the dough stick to your hands (and everything else), it’s important to have cold hands while rubbing in the butter and kneading.

Clotted cream can be difficult to get in some places, but the above makes a reasonable substitute.

Serving Notes

These scones work well as part of Devonshire Tea. Serve with a good jam or conserve, traditionally strawberry or raspberry, and clotted cream. If clotted cream is unavailable, heavy whipping cream (preferably) or butter can be used as a substitute.

As the name implies, traditionally served with tea in the afternoon. Split the scones in two and apply cream and jam to each side, Devon and Cornwall argue as to whether the cream or jam should be applied first.


  • Storage: Airtight container for a day or two.
  • Freezer: Yes
  • Reheat: Oven