Sultana scones are perfect served warm straight from the oven and slathered in butter.
Or, for a decadent treat, serve them as part of a proper British afternoon tea, after delicate finger sandwiches and cakes.
The proper way to do this is to split them and spread each half with a spoonful of jam and a big dollop of clotted cream.
This scone recipe is so easy to make in just a few minutes and they bake in under 20 minutes, so there's not long to wait for these gorgeous morsels.
There is something very British about going out for afternoon tea to a posh hotel and being treated to an extravagant array of sandwiches, scones and cakes, and now you can even have it delivered!
However, with cost of everything going up, you can still enjoy this treat at home, at a minute fraction of the cost, and still dine like the queen.
The great thing about scones is that the ingredients are so simple, with store cupboard ingredients that won't break the bank.
The method is easy too: just rub in the butter then mix in the rest of the ingredients. There's not even any need to chill the dough, so you make these from start ot finish in 30 minutes and enjoy one with a cup of tea.
And, if you don't love sultanas, there are plenty of other variations too.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Budget friendly
- Store cupboard ingredients
- No need to chill the dough
- Perfect for a British afternoon tea
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- Butter -cold from the fridge and preferably unsalted. If you only have salted, leave out the additional salt.
- Flour - self raising flour or see the Substitutions section for guidance on making it.
- Salt - cooking or kosher salt.
- Sultanas - sultanas are actually dried white grapes and are one of the juicier dried fruits.
- Sugar - caster or superfine sugar.
- Milk - whole or semi skimmed milk.
- Baking powder
- Egg - for glazing.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- baking tray - lined with parchment or silicon mat if it's not non stick
- 5.8 cm round cutter (2.28 inches)
- rolling pin
- mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
- food processor - optional
- pastry brush
- cooling rack
Put the flour salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Do this with a fork, a pastry cutter or cold hands.
💭 Top Tip
- If you have a food processor, put the ingredients in a large bowl and pulse several times until the mixture resembles small breadcrumbs.
Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl if you used a food processor.
Add the sugar milk and sultanas to the bowl.
Mix gently with a dinner knife.
💭 Top Tip
- There's no need to do any more than gently bring the mixture together. If the scone dough is over mixed the gluten will be overworked. This makes the sultana scones tough, rather than melting in the mouth.
Divide the dough into 2 portions.
I find it's easier to roll out a smaller amount to start with..
Add a scattering of flour to the work surface, hands and rolling pin.
Roll out the dough until it is about 2 centimetres or 1 inch thick.
Cut out rounds and place on lined baking sheets. There is no need to leave much space between them, as the dough will not spread.
Repeat the rolling and cutting with the remaining dough to cut out approximately 15 scones.
⏲️ Baking Time
Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5,
Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush the top of the scones to glaze.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
Leave on the tray for a few minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve while still warm.
🥗 Serve with
If you want to host your own afternoon tea, try some of these ideas.
- Jamaica Ginger Cake
- Coronation Chicken Sandwiches
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwiches
- Fruit Loaf
- Cherry Madeira Cake
- Lincolnshire Plum Bread
- Butterscotch Tart
- Cheese and Bacon Scones
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Butter - use baking spread or margerine. Don't be tempted to use low fat spread as it has a high water content and will make the sultana scones hard.
- Flour - if you don't have self raising flour then use all purpose or plain flour and add a teaspoon of baking powder to a 100g of flour, (3.5 ounces).
- Egg - use milk to glaze if you prefer.
- Cheese and onion - add 100g or 4 oz of grated cheese such as cheddar. Chop and small onion and fry over a low heat with a little oil until softened and add to the scone mix. Omit the sugar.
- Cherry scones - stir in 100g or 4oz of some chopped glacé cherries.
- Cranberry scones - stir in dried cranberries.
- Fruit scones- use mixed fruit including raisins and currants. Dried apricolte, dates or prunes can also be used if they are chopped.
- Wholemeal scones - replace the self raising flour with wholemeal and add 4 teaspoon of baking powder.
- Plain scones - just leave out the sultanas and the dough will make about 14 scones.
- Airtight container - these sultana scones are best enjoeyed the day they are made but will keep for 7 days in a tin or sealed plastic box.
- Freezer - pack in airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat - to refresh the scones
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- These scones are very quick to make but you can cut out the scones to bake just before you need them. Cover with plastic wrap to stop them drying out. If it's a hot day place the scones in the fridge, as they will rise better if the butter is cold.
There's huge debate in the UK regarding scones, from the country of origin, to the pronounciation. Some says it rhymes with 'bone' and some say it rhymes with 'gone', although technically they are both right.
At first glance, a British scone looks like an American biscuit. The resemblance ends there. British scones use less sugar, are cut in a circular or hexaganol shape, and are only glazed with milk or egg.
Typically, the scone is split in half and each half is buttered. Sweet scones are often topped with jam, and are known as a 'cream tea' if they are served with jam and cream and a pot of tea.
American scones are made by flattening the dough into a circle and cutting into segments before baking, or cutting into squares then triangles.
They are often flavoured with fruit and glazed with icing afterwards.
More baking recipes
See the baking page for more British baking ideas
- baking tray lined with parchment or silicon mat if it's not non stick
- 5.8 cm round cutter (2.28 inches)
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Food processor
- Pastry brush
- cooling rack
- 115 g butter cold
- 450 g self raising flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100 g sultanas
- 55 g caster sugar
- 200 ml semi skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ egg
- Put the flour salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes.
- Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively pulse a few times in a food processor.
- Add the sugar milk and sultanas to the bowl.
- Mix gently with a dinner knife.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions.
- Roll out the dough until it is about 2 centimetres or 1 inch thick.
- Cut out rounds and place on lined baking sheets.
- Repeat the rolling and cutting with the remaining dough to cut out approximately 15 scones.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5,
- Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush the top of the scones to glaze.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave on the tray for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More baking recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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