Are you team jam first, or cream?
Are you team jam first, or cream? Photo: Murdoch Books

Scones are the cornerstone of all good baking repertoires. The techniques of rubbing in and mixing with a flat-bladed knife are both required, and if done with a light touch will produce light, fluffy scones. This recipe will have you whipping up a perfect batch of scones in just 30 minutes.


450g (3 cups) self-raising flour

1 tsp salt

75g chilled unsalted butter, chopped

2½ tbsp castor sugar, plus extra, for sprinkling

300ml milk or buttermilk, plus extra, for brushing

jam and whipped cream, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre, add the milk and mix in with a flat-bladed knife, using a cutting action, until the dough comes together in clumps. Use lightly floured hands to gently gather the dough, then transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and knead very lightly until it comes together.

3. Working quickly, pat the dough out to a round about 2.5cm thick. Use a floured round 7cm cutter to cut out scones and place on the lined tray. Gather the dough trimmings, press out to a 2.5cm thickness and cut out more rounds. Brush lightly with the extra milk and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are well risen, golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with the jam and cream.