Ever wanted to dine like the royals? It seems like now, we can. The Royal family has released their recipe on their famous Garden Party Scones on Instagram and we had to try it.
We previously tried our 3-ingredient scones which made use of Sprite to give your scones that airy and light texture — an ingenious solution if you are in pinch.
Scones are the quintessential English food, and a staple at tea time—you just can’t do without these chubby, buttery baked goods. Scones are best enjoyed with a healthy dollop of clotted cream and jam but if clotted cream is hard to get a hold of, butter would do just fine.
Still, I would highly recommend you get your hands on clotted cream. It’s thick, creamy with a nutty, sweet flavour that whipped cream just doesn’t have.
This recipe is as traditional and English as you can get. I was pretty surprised to find out these royal scones called for nothing out of the ordinary but more precise measurement of the ingredients and a lot of time for the dough to rest. I figure the reason is to relax the gluten in the flour as much as possible. The more relaxed the gluten, the lighter and fluffy your bake.
The recipe might seem might simple but as all bakers know—the devil is in the details. After all, the recipe is only half the equation, it’s how everything comes together that makes up the other half.
Here are a few tips that will help you make the best scones that even the Queen would approve. First off, make sure your butter (which I’m assuming is unsalted) is cold and when I mean cold, the best is to leave them in the freezer for about 2 minutes.
That way, they’ll hold up when you are kneading the dough. I know the recipe says to re-knead the remaining dough and let it rest, but in my experience, this will still result in a tougher scone. If you want to be as economical about the dough, I suggest only re-kneading the dough once.
The other thing is to be as accurate with the measurements as possible. Plus, stick to the instructions in the recipe.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can do this with a food processor and it would work just as well. Alright, let’s get baking!
- 500g of plain flour
- 28g of baking powder
- 94g of unsalted butter
- 28g of baking powder
- 86g of sugar
- 2 whole eggs + 1 more egg for the egg wash
- 140ml of buttermilk
- 100g of sultanas
- Kitchen weighing scale
- Bowls of several sizes
- Baking paper
- Fluted cutter or a cup to cut the scones
- Cling film
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Resting time: 50 minutes; Baking time: 10 – 12 minutes
- Cover your sultanas with hot water for 30 minutes.
- Measure out all your ingredients and set them aside. Measure the butter last.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Mix for about 5 minutes until the batter has the texture of fine crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.
- Add the egg and buttermilk mixture to the batter, and mix till smooth.
- Drain the sultanas and pat dry. Fold them into the dough mixture.
- Lightly flour your surface and roll out your dough to a thickness of 2.5cm.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
- Using a circular cutter or any shape of your choice to cut out scones.
- Let the scones rest for another 20 minutes.
- Brush the tops of your scones with an egg wash.
- Bake in the oven for 10 -12 minutes.
- Served your scones with jam and clotted cream.
Recipe (In Pictures)
Step 1: Cover your sultanas with hot water for 30 minutes. This plumps and rehydrates them.
Step 2: Measure out your ingredients and set them aside. Try to be as precise as possible, a little more there or a little less here would result in a drastically different dough.
For liquids like buttermilk, for example, my measuring cup measures in increments of 50 ml so it would be difficult to measure 140ml of buttermilk. A simple Google search will let you know the conversion of millilitres to grams.
Remember to measure the butter last, lest it melts before you are done. I also chose to cut my butter into cubes for better distribution and mixing.
Step 3: Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar in a stand mixer. I noticed in the video from The Royal Family’s Instagram they used a dough hook as their mixer attachment so I followed suit. A food processor or hand mixer works just as well, if you don’t have a stand mixer.
Mix for about 5 to 10 minutes until the batter has the texture of fine crumbs. There shouldn’t be any lumps when you go through the dough.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.
Then, add the egg and buttermilk mixture to the batter and mix till smooth.
It would look really sticky for a bit but trust in the process, and the dough would soon form a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides.
Your dough should look something like this.
Step 5: Drain your sultanas and pat dry. Fold the sultanas gently into the dough.
Step 6: Lightly flour your surface and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Following this, you can preheat your oven to 180°C now.
Make sure to wrap your dough in cling film. That way, it doesn’t develop an awful layer on the surface.
Step 8: Then, roll out your dough to about 2.5cm.
Step 9: Using a fluted cutter or a cup, cut out your scones from the dough. Depending on how big your cup is, you’ll yield about 18 – 22 scones. Let the scones rest for another 20 minutes. You can try to cut the circles as close together as possible to avoid wasting the dough.
Some bakeries do this by cutting their scones into squares. You’ll just have to adjust the cooking time if you cut the scones a little larger. So, adjust as you go along.
For the remaining batter, you could fold it and cut some more scone but as mentioned, they’ll be a lot tougher.
Step 10: Brush the tops of your scones with an egg wash and pop them into the oven.
Step 11: Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. They should have a golden, glossy top.
Next, serve these babies with any jam of your choice and a heaping spoonful of clotted cream.
Now, for the moment of truth. You can just imagine yourself at a posh afternoon garden soiree, rubbing shoulders with royalty and nibbling on these.
These scones were light, feathery and tender, everything a scone should be.
Scones are supposed to be a little dry but not so much that it’ll give you “dry-mouth”. I liked that they weren’t as sweet because that’s what the jam is for.
There is a lot of debate about whether you should put the clotted cream first or jam first. To me, it doesn’t matter, because a scone is good either way. You’ll get the tart and sweet notes from the jam and richness from the clotted cream—it’s nothing less than a perfect bite. All you need is a pot of tea and you’ll be set.
This is a rather simple recipe you can add to your repertoire and trust me, everyone will be asking for seconds. If you like to bake, you can try our Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies or if you are in the mood for something easy and savoury, the Spam Musubi is a good fit.
Expected Damage: S$2 – S$3 per portion