The classic scone is about as British as the Union Jack, no matter which side of the ’cream or jam first’ debate you fall on. (Queen Elizabeth II would always put the jam on first, by the way.) In fact, scones have apparently been served in cream teas since the 11th Century, their origins often credited to Scotland and Wales.
Technically considered more of a pastry, the humble scone has become a savoury mainstay in any high tea worth its salt — and while today, the cheese scone is arguably the most popular iteration of this dish (certainly the most common found in cafes across Auckland), it is the plain version, speckled with sultanas and topped with cream and jam that is the most traditional (and Crown approved).
So this weekend, as we all take an extra day off to honour the memory of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, why not take some time to whip up a batch of these fluffy, delicious scones at home? A bakery staple so important to the late Queen that, in 1960, she famously sent her very own recipe to President Eisenhower on a series of handwritten notes.
So, without further ado, we present the Queen’s own recipe for decidedly royal scones. Enjoy!
500g plain flour
28g baking powder
2 whole eggs
100g sultanas (optional, cover in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes)
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar together in a bowl until a crumb is formed.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.
4. Add the liquid to the crumb mixture. Leave a small amount to egg wash later.
5. Continue to mix the dough until it is smooth.
6. Add the sultanas and mix until evenly distributed (optional).
7. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten the dough and cover.
8. Leave to rest for approximately 30 minutes.
9. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm and cut to desired shape.
10. Rest the scones for another 20 minutes.
11. Gently egg wash the top of the scones.
12. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
13. Cool before serving with jam and clotted cream.