Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (2024)

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Discover the secret to making light, fluffy, and authentically delicious Irish Scones right in your own kitchen. This traditional Irish scone recipe, passed down from my mother, is a perfect treat for breakfast, afternoon tea, or to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (1)

Growing up in Ireland, scones were more than just a treat; they were a part of every significant family gathering, a comforting snack during rainy afternoons, and a must-have at tea time. This recipe is inspired by the scones my mother used to make and pairs wonderfully with my Orange Butter, slathered over the warm scones.

Why This Recipe Works

This authentic Irish scone recipe captures the essence of the Emerald Isle with its simple ingredients and method. Using Irish butter and buttermilk, it achieves a perfect balance between a tender crumb and a rich, buttery flavor. The addition of an egg wash gives these scones a beautifully golden finish, making them irresistible.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (2)


The key to these traditional Irish scones lies in the quality of the ingredients:

  • Irish Butter: Provides a richer, creamier taste.
  • Buttermilk: Reacts with the baking powder for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Self-Raising Flour: Ensures the scones rise perfectly, but you can use purpose flour with a raising agent if needed.
Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (3)


Feel free to adapt the recipe to your liking:

  • For a healthier option, substitute white flour with whole wheat.
  • Add dried currants or sultanas for a sweet version, or sharp cheddar and herbs for a savory twist.
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  1. Prep Your Ingredients: Measure out all ingredients and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. This creates the perfect base for your scones.
  3. Incorporate Butter: Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, rub the Irish butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients: Make a well in the center of your flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk, combining gently until a soft dough forms. The dough may seem dry at first, but eventually it will come together.
  5. Shape and Bake: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gently roll out to about 1 inch thick, and cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 -15 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Hint: For an extra golden crust, brush the tops of the scones with a mixture of egg and a splash of milk before baking.


To keep scones fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 6 months, then thawed at room temperature or gently warmed in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk? Yes, you can just regular milk. The buttermilk creates a softer crumb, but they are still delicious without it.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

This traditional Irish scones recipe is more than just a way to bake; it’s a journey to the heart of Irish culinary tradition, inviting warmth, comfort, and the simple pleasure of sharing good food. Whether you’re celebrating your heritage or simply seeking the perfect scone, this recipe delivers delicious results every time…plus it’s SO quick to make!

Traditional Irish Scone Recipe

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (9)

This recipe for traditional Irish scones was passed down from my mother. Served for breakfast or afternoon tea and accompanied with jam and clotted cream or simply with butter, these authentic scones are simple to make but absolutely delicious!

Jenna Shaughnessy

Prep Time 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Serving Size 8 scones


  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour sifted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 10 tbsp salted butter cold – I prefer to use Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk cold
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • generous pinch of salt

US CustomaryMetric


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.

  • With your hands, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles course breadcrumbs.

  • In another bowl, mix the egg into the buttermilk.

  • Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk and egg until you have a soft dough. It should just come together and you should be able to handle it without it being really sticky.

  • Place the dough on a floured surface and knead a couple of times just to remove any cracks. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.

  • Roll out to around 1 inch thick and cut with a cutter or glass dipped in flour.

  • Place on a floured/buttered baking sheet (or use parchment paper). You should get about 8 scones.

  • Brush each scone with milk to help brown the tops when baked.

  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the scones are golden.

  • Best served immediately but can be warmed the following day or eaten cold.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between English and Irish scones? ›

While quite similar, what distinguishes Irish scones from English scones is that they typically contain a bit less sugar. They're also made with less leavener, so they're slightly flatter and smaller. It's important to note that no two Irish families make their scones the same way.

What is the secret to making good scones? ›

Baking tips for making the perfect scones

The colder the better when it comes to scones, we recommend a chilled bowl and pastry cutter too. Use pastry flour: This will create a noticeably lighter scone. However, self-raising flour works just as well and creates a higher rising scone that holds its shape nicely.

What is the difference between Scottish and English scones? ›

British scones are usually lightly sweetned and contain fruit like currants or berries. Scottish scones are often closer to a biscuit and are made with buttermilk, though some Scottish grandmothers will swear you should only use sour milk.

Why is clotted cream illegal? ›

Following a 1987 ruling from the Food and Drug Administration, the interstate sale of raw milk was banned in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raw milk can contain harmful bacteria and germs, which can be especially risky for certain individuals like those who are pregnant or elderly ...

How do Irish people pronounce scone? ›

According to the survey, afternoon teas in Scotland and Ulster would include scones as in “gone” while folks further south in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland would be ordering scones in “bone”.

What type of flour is best for scones? ›

We recommend using all-purpose flour. There is some debate as to what flour one should use to go around achieving the perfect scone. This is because within different flours comes different levels of protein.

Is it better to make scones with butter or oil? ›

For example, if you substitute oil for butter or margarine, you can significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat in your baked goods. This streamlined recipe for Light Scones uses just 3 tablespoons of canola oil, which contains a fraction of the saturated fat found in butter or margarine.

Is whipping cream the same as clotted cream? ›

Clotted cream and whipped cream are both made with heavy cream, but while whipped cream is whipped into airy peaks, clotted cream is heated and separated, for a far denser texture. With its ultra-thick consistency, clotted cream can even be mistaken for butter.

What is the history of scones in Ireland? ›

Scones are traditionally Irish, Scottish, and English foods. However, nobody knows which of these countries invented the baked food. As far as history can trace back, Scones probably originate from Scotland. Yes, the first print reference dates back to 1513 and is from a Scottish poet.

What is the etiquette for eating a scone? ›

The Basics of Eating a Scone Properly

Break apart a small bite-sized portion of scone with your hands or if using a knife, cut the scone horizontally. Use a knife to slather on cream and jam onto the broken-off piece of scone. The bite-sized piece of scone should be eaten in 1-2 bites.

What do Brits call American scones? ›

A Biscuit (U.S.) Is a Scone (U.K.)

Both baked goodies use flour, fat, liquid and a leavening agent. The main differences are that scones tend to have less butter (because you'll add butter to it when you eating it — or else, clotted cream or jam) while American biscuits tend to have more butter and light layers.

What is the American version of a scone? ›

Biscuits and scones have the same British ancestor, but the early Southern colonists' version included butter, lard, buttermilk, and soft wheat, plentiful in the South. Over time, this fluffy and layered bread evolved into a regional commodity: the Southern biscuit.

What is the difference between scones in the US and UK? ›

American scones use much more butter than British scones, and they usually have quite a bit more sugar. The extra butter is what makes them so much denser. This is not really a good or bad thing, as British scones pile on plenty of sugar (in the form of preserves/jam) and butter or clotted cream as toppings.

What nationality are scones? ›

Scones are thought to have originated in Scotland in the early 1500s and the first known print reference was made by a Scottish poet in 1513. Scones were originally made using oats, shaped into a large round and scored into four or six wedges.

What is the most popular type of scone? ›

What Is the Most Popular Scone?
  1. Plain scone. The classic scone flavor that pairs well with jam and clotted cream. ...
  2. Blueberry scone. The combination of sweet blueberries and buttery scone base is a popular choice. ...
  3. Chocolate chip scone. ...
  4. Lemon scone. ...
  5. Cinnamon scone. ...
  6. Cranberry scone. ...
  7. Pumpkin scone. ...
  8. Cheese scone.


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