Vanilla cream scones are a classic and delicious scone recipe that goes so well with coffee or tea and anyone can make them. These cream scones are light on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside and they are just perfect!
These vanilla cream scones are easy to make and are such a classic flavor combination (vanilla and cream!) I make scones almost every weekend and I have to say that these are one of my favorites!
Many people are scared to work with recipes that involve dough and I can understand that because I used to be that way too. There is so much misinformation about how to work with dough, especially recipes like this that involve adding butter into the flour first.
I will walk you through the steps to make the perfect scones and at the end show you what you can look out for with your finished scones so you can will know what to fix the next time you make them.
These scones come out amazing with beginners making them and just get more amazing the more experience you have working with the dough.
Let's dive into it all!
The ingredients you need to makes these vanilla and cream scones are very simple.
- Heavy Cream
- Unsalted Butter
- Unbleached All Purpose Flour (I prefer King Arthur )
- Baking Powder
All really simple ingredients here. The steps to making the scones are what makes them so amazing!
A note about the flour that you use to make make this recipe:
As I listed in the ingredients area above, I prefer using King Arthur Flour for all of my baking. I sometimes will go to my local flour mill and buy fresh flour but I mostly try to stick to one brand.
This is important because moisture content and gluten in every brand of flour differs. If you constantly switch brands of flour you may become frustrated with varied results in your baking.
Stick to your favorite brand and practice perfecting your baking with that!
Here are the steps to making these easy vanilla cream scones:
Finely cube your butter then add it into your dry ingredients.
This is what makes a scone. When you marry the butter and flour together this gives those layers everyone loves. I like to use a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the flour but you can also do this in a food processor.
I like to finish making my scones by rubbing the flour butter mixture between my finger tips.
Don't be afraid to rub your butter and flour through your finger tips. This is how traditional scones have always been made. You just keep rubbing the mixture through your fingers until you don't feel any more lumps.
Just don't use your whole hand in this process, only your fingers since they are not as warm. When I am finished doing this, I like my mixture to look like coarse sand (not peas like everyone always says to look for).
The next step is to add your wet ingredients.
This is where you add your cream, vanilla and egg. Here is where lots of people struggle as well. Sometimes a recipe calls for one amount of liquid but your dough is still dry after adding that.
I have tested this many times and I can tell you that, you start with what the recipe calls for and you will never need more than an extra 2 tablespoons of cream. Just add one tablespoon at a time.
Shaping the dough.
The dough for these cream scones is not smooth but a little rustic. It should stay together but you will see a few lines and cracks here and there. Do not try to make the dough smooth.
You will think that there is not enough liquid at the first fold but with every fold and shaping that you do, it will come together more and more. There is no need to be perfect when working with scone dough. Rustic looking dough is good dough!
Shaping and cutting the scones.
I do not roll my scones. I use my finger tips to gently press the dough into a disc that is about 7 inches across and about ¾ inches thick. Use a ruler if you are not good at eyeballing this.
After I gently shape the dough I fold it in half and press it back into the 7 inch across disc. I repeat this step 2 more times ( a total of 3 folds and 3 shaping it into a disc).
This will give you the layers you love.
When cutting these scones, I cut the scones into triangles so there is no waste. Biscuit or cookie cutters produce excess dough that needs to be re-rolled (or re-pressed) which ruins the scones. The triangles will seem very small but these scones it bake up to a beautiful size.
Just cut your scones into triangles by cutting the disc like a pizza pie. Slice in half one way, then slice in half the other way. Now slice those halves in half.
You should have 8 pieces.
That is really all there is to it. No rolling. No fancy techniques. Just make your dough, press it out and fold it and shape it three times and cut.
The best sugar for topping your cream scones.
Now you may or may not have Demerara sugar in your house but if you do this is the time to us it. If you are not familiar with Demerara sugar it is very lightly processed coarse sugar that adds the most beautiful crunch and texture to baked goods.
It is not expensive and it lasts a long time. This is what I top most of my scones with but you can substitute granulated sugar if you do not have it.
I do recommend buying it if you like to bake.
This is a very easy and forgiving recipe. It is also a great cream scone recipe to practice with until you feel confident working with dough.
Once you are comfortable working with these classic cream scones, you can experiment and try out other scones recipes with fruit or toppings like my blueberry vanilla yogurt scones or my apple pie streusel scones.
Easy Vanilla Cream Scones
- 2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter cold and finely cubed
- 2 eggs. One for the scone dough and the other for the egg wash
- ½ cup heavy cream plus more for egg wash
- 3 tbsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp Demerara sugar for topping. You can substitute granulated sugar for this.
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Now add all of your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) to a large bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- Cube your butter and place in the fridge.
- Add your cream, one egg and vanilla to a small bowl and whisk until incorporated. Place in the fridge.
- Make your egg wash by mixing one egg and 2 tablespoons of cream.
- Set aside the egg wash for topping the scones later.
- Now take your butter out of the fridge and add it to your dry ingredients.
- With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you barely see any more lumps of butter. If you are using a food processor, add your flour and butter to it and pulse it 5-7 times until it resembles coarse sand.
- Now with your finger tips, grab some of the flour and butter mixture and rub it between your fingers. You are trying to find any lumps of butter that you missed. Keep doing this until you stop finding any large clumps of butter.
- Now grab your wet ingredients from the fridge and add to your dry ingredients.
- Mix it well.
- If dough is very dry still, add 1-2 tablespoons more of the cream. The dough will be a little shaggy but should also not be overly dry.
- Now dump your dough onto a lightly floured work surface. It will look like large chunks and crumbles at this point.
- With your finger tips, make a dough ball. Keep moving it around and pressing it together. It is going to look very shaggy and this is good.
- Now press it down into a disc about 6-7 inches in diameter and ¾ inches thick. It may fall apart a little at this stage and that is normal.
- Fold your disc in half. If the dough begins falling apart just bring it back together.
- Press it out into a lightly flattened disc again. With each pressing and folding of your dough, it will begin to come together more and more.
- Repeat the fold and pressing into a disc 2 more times.
- Now press your disc out again to a size of about 7 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick.
- With a large knife or bench scraper, cut your scones like a pizza pie into 8 slices. Note: I like to dip my bench scraper (which is just a wide sheet of metal with a grip) into flour each time I make a cut. This helps keep the dough from sticking to the knife and makes better layers during baking.
- Place the scones on to a large sheet pan.
- Grab the egg wash that you made earlier and brush that on top of the scones gently with a pastry brush. You may notice some flaking of the dough on the top as you do this and that is normal. If any pieces come off just press them back on.
- Sprinkle your Demerara sugar (or granulated sugar if using that) on top of the scones. Make sure to cover the whole top of your scones.
- Place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom and top. Start checking at around 10-12 minutes since all ovens vary in temperature.
- Remove sheet pan from the oven and place on cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Helpful tips to help you perfect your scone making the next time:
- If you see lots of butter bubbling out of your scones on to the sheet pan during baking: This means that there were still lots of butter that should have been worked into the flour. Next time you make these scones, pay extra attention to this step and try to rub the flour and butter together more.
- Scones look a little flat one side: This could mean that when you cut your scones you pushed too hard through the dough and basically sealed down layers of it during baking. Make sure you are using a very sharp knife or cutting implement and remember to dip the knife into flour before each cut.