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Best Ever Irish Scones - Thee only recipe you will need this St. Patrick’s Day!

Gemma’s Best Ever Irish Scones

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Hi Bold Bakers!

This is a very special recipe, one that has been highly requested and highly anticipated. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I finally perfected my Best Ever Irish Scones recipe! These are the most authentic Irish Scones around as they are quite literally a revamped recreation of what I grew up with in Ireland. To me, scones are all about texture. My Best Ever Scones have all of the signs of what a scone should be: a crunchy, crackly exterior, a moist and dense interior and a lightly sweet flavor. Overall a bite of these should feel like a big hug!

My Best Ever Irish Scones, along with my Best Ever Banana Bread and my Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, are a tried and true recipe that will quickly become your go-to. Just like a flakey biscuit, scones are made of flour, butter, sugar, egg and milk.

While these Best Ever Irish Scones taste like they are made in a real Irish Bakery, they are so easy to make. The key to them is really that they are made 100% by hand. In one bowl, I grate frozen butter into flour. This is the trick to making these the biggest and boldest scones. Grating the butter makes a huge difference in the texture of the scones; it creates pockets of butter throughout and adds loads of air and texture to the finished scones.

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After I grate in the frozen butter, I mix in the rest of the dry ingredients starting with sweet raisins and followed by the eggs and milk. This humble dough easily comes together by hand in minutes. I roll the dough out and cut them into lovely rounds (only American scones are triangles). I can’t even tell you how nostalgic these scones are for me. After baking, I love to top these with jam and fresh whipped cream.

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St. Patrick’s Day or not, these are sure to become a family favorite! Also, don’t miss my other traditional Irish recipes.


4.39 from 65 votes
Best Ever Irish Scones - Thee only recipe you will need this St. Patrick’s Day!
Gemma's Best Ever Irish Scones
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
42 mins
 
Servings: 12 scones
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 4 2/3 cups (1lb 8oz/680g) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup (6oz/170g) butter, frozen
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/113g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/113g) raisins/sultanas
  • 1 1/4 cup (10floz/300ml) milk
  • 2 eggs , beaten
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add self raising flour .
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate the butter in until it is all gone. (alternatively using a pastry cutter, cut/rub butter into flour until fully crumbed and resembles course breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in raisins, baking powder and sugar.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk and until thoroughly combined. Pour mix into flour mix and stir until a soft dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and press to 1 1/2 inch thick. (if your scones are not forming a dough add a little more liquid)
  5. Cut scones out with a round 3 inch cookie cutter.
  6. Place cut scones onto a baking tray lined with parchment.
  7. Gather remaining dough in a ball, re-flatten then cut scones from dough. Repeat until entire batch of dough is cut into scones. If you have a little excess dough left, just pat it onto the top of the scones.
  8. Bake at 425oF (210oC) for roughly 22-26 minutes. In the video I said 12 minutes but to get them really golden brown you will want to bake for longer. Cool on wire rack.
  9. Serve warm or fully fully cooled with butter, jam, or fresh cream.
Recipe Notes

BAKE TIME: . In the video I said 12 minutes but to get them really golden brown you will want to bake for longer. I ended up baking for over 20 minutes.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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188 Comments

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  1. Deborah power on October 18, 2018 at 8:05 am

    CAN i use buttermilk

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Hi deborah,
      Sure you can, it will be perfect,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. meldan111 on October 14, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Gemma,
    in the Irish scone recipe video, you are using 1 stick of butter (4 oz). In your written recipe, you’re using 3/4 cup (6 oz). Could you clarify?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Hi Meldan,
      follow the written recipe, it is proportional, and the editing of the video can make it seem like something else, we have to keep the videos ‘smart’!
      I hope you enjoy this recipe, thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Angela Juanita Hann on October 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I baked mine for 20 minutes and they are too dark for my taste, maybe should start watching them after 15 minutes. but they are good tasting.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Angela, Yes, all ovens are different so make sure to keep your eye on your recipes especially when making them for the first time. I’m glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

  4. Laura on October 11, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I would love to try these – do you think almond flour would be work well instead of regular flour? Thank you! 😉

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Laura,

      Yes almond flour would work well.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. Preeti on October 10, 2018 at 1:55 am

    I can not use eggs, is there an alternative for that?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Hi Preeti,
      Yes, in many cases these are made without the egg. You can add a little yogurt if you like, but actually work fast, do not overwork the dough and all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Fariddah Cook on October 6, 2018 at 2:01 am

    I have always used DeliaSmiths recipe from her first ever published book.Its important to use just metal utensils n not to over work on the dough.Its always been the best ever scones with complimentary reviews from friends n family. But am going to rise to this challenge n bake using ur recipe n compare!I am a Malaysian living in London n Malaysians love scones!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      I love Delia! I grew up with her on tv. Let me know how they compare.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  7. Charly Adams on September 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Gemma do you have a small batch recipe for a toaster oven for these scones?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 29, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Charly you might be able to bake these in the toaster oven. Just put them close together on the tray.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  8. Afiqah on September 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Hello, when you mentioned about milk, what type of milk do you use and for the butter, unsalted or salted butter?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      just regular milk. Full fat is best.

      I use salted butter for the extra flavor.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Rachel on September 23, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Hi Gemma,
    These scones are delicious!
    I live in a very warm country so had to work quickly to avoid the butter from melting (and tried not to over work the dough too), thankfully it turned out great.
    I only had to use 2/3 of the milk+egg mixture. I mixed my own self raising flour (based on your additional notes), ar first i thought it was way too much baking powder but it turned out fine.
    I will definitely bake these again but want to add more dried fruits than suggested in your recipe and maybe some nuts. This is possible right?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 25, 2018 at 3:16 am

      Hi Rachel,
      Yes, that is great. You can rock these up, or down! Add whatever you like, and make a savory version too, leaving out the sugar of course, add cheese, mustard powder, herbs etc! (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/?s=Biscuits) more ideas here for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Surai on September 18, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Tried the recipe this morning. For me it was really easy and tastewise yummy. But my daughter said they were a bit bitter for her. The numb aftertaste at the tip of the tongue. What would be the reason for this?

    Thanks Gemma. Can’t wait to try others.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Hi there,
      I do not know!
      I have never found that with this recipe. The only thing it could be is bicarbonate of soda, but this recipe used a baking powder and it is balanced.
      I have no idea really! I have never found this with this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Cherith on September 19, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Hi Surai,
      I can say I understand what your daughter is tasting. I have a very acute sense of smell and taste and I always have to decrease the amount of baking powder that I use. In my mum’s scone recipe if I use the full amount I get that. It’s almost metallic for me.
      Maybe next time try reducing it to two teaspoons instead of three. I don’t think you’d find they affect the rising too much.
      The recipe I use calls for 1 Tbsp. and I generally use about 3/4 and they still fluff up fine.
      Try them again doing that and I’d be interested if your daughter still gets that taste.

      • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 11:43 am

        Hi Cherith,
        Thank you for this great input. I have a theory about taste, and that different people taste things differently. There are some studies to back this up, you have probably hit the nail on the head,
        Gemma 🙂

      • Cherith on September 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        I think it might be just that Gemma. In fact I made your oatmeal cookies this morning and will make a note to decrease the BP a bit. I’m getting that same metallic aftertaste. No one else does…They’re really great…but I will probably drop it to 1 1/2 next time
        Nice to know your recipes are being used isn’t it? Good for you. I bet it feels great.
        Thanks for everything.

        • Gemma Stafford on September 22, 2018 at 11:59 am

          Hi Cherith,
          yes, it is wonderful, thank you, and thank you too for your input here.
          The bicarb, I suspect, affects people in different ways. The purpose of it in the recipe too changes from recipe to recipe. In this one it is a raising agent, so feel free to adjust it as you wish. I hope this works well for you, do let us know,
          Gemm 🙂

  11. Shirin on September 13, 2018 at 1:13 am

    I have all purpose flour, and not self rising flour, is it ok for me to use all purpose flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 13, 2018 at 3:09 am

      Hi Shirin,
      All purpose flour is also known as Plain flour and it does not have any raising agent added. When you use this for a bake you need to add a raising agent like baking powder. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/how-to-make-self-raising-flour/) here is how to change your flour to self raising as you need it. All purpose flour is the one I have here too, it keeps better, and means that the raising agent is always fresh and ready to go!
      Thank you for being here with us.
      Happy baking,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Shirin on September 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        Thank you Emma, will be making it for breakfast over the weekend.
        Have a good weekend!
        Shirin

  12. Shirley Estedt on September 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I have a general question that could be applied to this as well as many of your recipes. A few years ago I had chemotherapy and since then I can taste the aluminum in anything containing baking powder. If I make my own self rising flour with baking powder that does not contain aluminum will the end product be adversely affected? Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes – I am especially looking forward to tasting these scones.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 5:15 am

      Hi Shirley,
      Baking soda does not contain aluminum! It is a natural salt. It is an alkaline ingredient. The other ingredient of baking powder is an acid, cream of tartar, which is a by product of the wine making industry, and does not contain aluminum either.
      I wonder if your taste buds are sharpened, picking up the taste of the individual ingredients? This may be so, but you do not need to worry about this. Just because one product says it is free of an ingredient, does not mean that other similar products have that ingredient! it is confusing.
      Do make these scones, with a baking powder you buy or make, there is no difference,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Christine Marcar on September 7, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Can I use brown sugar

    • Gemma Stafford on September 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      I don’t recommend it Christine. White sugar is best for this recipe.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. barbara hasenauer on September 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Can you use buttermilk in the recipe or would it change the flavor to much? Happens to be what I have in the house at the moment. Or should I wait and get whole milk

    • Gemma Stafford on September 5, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Hi, yes you can use buttermilk! Enjoy!

  15. oddballs on September 2, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Hi Cherith / Emma

    Thanks for the feedback. Made my first batch this morning they came out great.
    Will use buttermilk next time. I’am delighted to finally now have a go to scone recipe thanks Emma.
    Also thanks for the tip on the sugar on another post i had.

    Rgds…Tony

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Good to have you baking along with us Tony, and for your input too. This is really valuable to me and to other Bold Bakers.
      thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. oddballs on September 1, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Hi Gemma
    Can you use buttermilk instead of ordinary milk. what would the overall impact be.

    Ps. Love your channel.

    Regards…Tony

    • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Hi Tony,
      Some people would always use buttermilk to make scones. The effect is to soften the gluten a little. Try it, it works great, and is really lovely in a wholemeal scone, mixed with a little cheese, and served with soup! Delish 😉
      Gemma 🙂

    • Cherith Johnson on September 1, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Tony I’m one of those who will always make my scones with buttermilk. You can’t go wrong there!

      • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2018 at 8:32 am

        Thank you Cherith, great advice, thank you for leaping in to help,
        Gemma 🙂

  17. Irishshaz on August 31, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Done the scones with 3 tsps baking powder weren’t great

    • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Sharon, I do not believe it!
      do it again, work fast, do not overwork the dough, I guarantee all will be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Jennifer on July 31, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I just made these for our Dublin friends (we live in Texas, USA) with some double Devon cream, fruit preserves, and Barry’s tea. They were a hit. Have never had any thing bad from your blog. Many thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I’m so glad to hear you and your friends enjoyed them! Keep on baking!

  19. Celia Lister we r on July 29, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Seriously delicious scones, and I have tried many recipes! I will definitely use this one in the future

    • Gemma Stafford on July 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that!!! 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  20. ruth assouline on July 29, 2018 at 7:02 am

    looking forward to making these scones…can i use 2% milk or does it have to be whole milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 29, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      It can be 2% no problem 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  21. Neelam Gera on July 28, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    HI Gemma

    Namaste!
    I am from India and follow your channel a lot.

    I loved the scones recipe a lot. I don’t eat egg. Could you please tell me for this recipe what is the alternative for egg.

    Thanks
    Neelam Gera

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Neelam,

      Not sure if I already answered this comment but her is my egg sub chart . You can add buttermilk instead of egg if you want.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  22. Baesters on July 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Hi, I grew up eating strawberry scones but the lady who made them has passed and I never was able to get her recipe. How would I use fresh strawberries in this recipe.?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Hi,

      You could chop up some strawberries into small pieces and add them in with the liquid. Just note that they should be eaten within 24 hours if you add fresh strawberries.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  23. Fionna on July 25, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Gemma, are you using salted or unsalted butter for the grated butter ingredient?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      I use salted, Fionna but it is your preference. I think salted is better flavor.

  24. Donna Bush on July 19, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for the most wonderful scones. I followed the directions, but, I did weigh the flour and butter as I find I get the best results if I do. They looked just like yours. I was so pleased with them. I baked them on the top rack of the oven. Do you ever put your baking pan in oven first to heat the pan before putting the scones on the pan to bake?
    I plan to try more of your recipes, thanks again
    Gordonna Bush

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2018 at 11:33 am

      Hi Gordonna,
      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, weighing the ingredient is important for many recipes, and always will give the best results.
      I am happy that you got great results with this recipe, my mum will be pleased!
      We never did preheat the pan for this type of bake, I think it would be difficult to manage it, now you have me thinking!
      Good to hear from you,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Mike McGough on July 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

    What is the best way to eliminate wet or doughy scones. In some of your recipes I’ve noticed you use AP flour and in another Self rising flour.
    It would seem to most associated with baking times? or the amount of liquid used?
    Really need to help. Much Thanks

    Mike

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2018 at 3:30 am

      Hi Mike,
      Do you live in a humid place?
      Sometimes this can be a big issue for bakers, as the humidity in the air affects the ingredients. Storing them in an airtight box, and keeping them cold can be a great help.
      Other than that scones actually like to be a little wet, the dough should be soft, though not actually sticky. Oddly though you need to add the liquids quickly enough, so as not to develop the gluten in the flour. So, add 3/4 in one go, then the remainder little by little until the dough comes together in a nice soft clean ball. Then on to the table to lightly roll and cut.
      For this recipe I use the one my mum uses, but generally I use ap flour and additional baking powder, this is what I always would do as a chef, it ensures the freshness of the raising agent. 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 4 -6 ozs of flour, depending on the way you load the spoon. The self raising flour is already balanced, but is best used fresh.
      Be quick, this recipe is what my mum would put together in a few minutes, almost when she heard a visitor at the door! Work cold and fast!
      I hope this is of help, do let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Patti on October 16, 2018 at 3:54 am

        Hi Gemma.
        So correct me if I am wrong: if I am making my own self-rising flour using baking powder as instructed, bp is added again ? So I’m adding no to a homemade self- rising!
        Patti from New York

        • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 4:29 am

          Hi Pattie,
          Just a touch extra Pattie, though my mum never adds that extra bit, you can use your own SR flour and carry on. The important thing is a light hand, do not over mix,
          Gemma 🙂

  26. Rachel on July 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Hello Gemma I love your recipes but I am quite confused about the baking time. In your video you say 10-12 minutes but in the method it says 22-26! There is a big difference. Can you advise please.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 14, 2018 at 3:01 am

      Hi Rachel,
      Did I say 10 – 12 minutes? I will need to go back to take a look for that, I am sorry, it will be longer than that.
      about 20 – 26 minutes is about right, but it is hard to be precise about baking times. You need to keep an eye on the bake, always.
      Leave them in a hot oven for 15 mins and check them, do not open the oven more than necessary as it drops the temperature and interferes with the timing.
      Sorry to confuse, thank you for letting me know,
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Charlotte on July 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Emma,

    How do make the cream you served with your scones?

    Thank you,
    Charlotte

    • Gemma Stafford on July 9, 2018 at 12:57 am

      Hi Charlotte,
      The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream, skimmed from milk.
      In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream. I am sorry, it cannot be actually made!
      Gemma 🙂

  28. James Kledis on July 7, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I would love a pumpkin scone recipe as well!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 7, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I will see what I can do! 🙂

  29. Jascharess on July 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Here in Australia, Sir Jo Bjelke Peterson’s pumpkin scone recipe seems to be the ‘go to’. It’s a bit of a hit and miss for me unfortunately and I’ve had to tweak it by adding buttermilk to lighten it. Just wondering if you have a pumpkin scone recipe to share.
    Fingers and toes crossed.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 7, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Hi! I don’t have a Pumpkin Scone recipe on hand but I will add it to my list. I do have a lovely Pumpkin Bread you can try.

  30. Michelle on July 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Yum! These are the best tasting scones! Thanks Gemma!😊

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      Hi michelle,
      Good! I am happy you like this recipe, it is close to me heart,
      Gemma 🙂

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