Grandma’s Authentic Scottish Scones

Published Friday, January 1st, 2016

Authentic Scottish Scones

By Grandma Fraser

My grand-mum, and all my relatives going back hundreds of years, are from a small town in the Scottish Highlands where tea and scones are as serious a matter of national pride as their whiskey (in American we call it “Scotch”, but to them its simply “whiskey”).

If you’re unfamiliar with what scones are, its most similar to a bisquit, but more buttery and sweeter.  Even the pronunciation of the word “scone” is as serious as a heart attack.  Even though there’s an “e” at the end, its said with a short “o”; rhymes with gone.  If you’re in Scotland and say it with a long “o”, as most Americans do, expect to be reprimanded.  Incidentally, how to pronounce scone does vary by country.

This is my grand-mum’s family recipe for authentic Scottish scones, which she got from her mum, and so on.  I’ve lost count of how many scone recipes I’ve tested over the years.  I usually order a scone from every tea/coffee shop I visit, and I’ve yet to have tasted a better scone than these.  If you feel like indulging yourself, or if you’re hosting some guests, these are a guaranteed favorite.

Grandma's Authentic Scottish Drop Scones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes



  • 5 oz flour by weight (or 1 cup by volume)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 oz salted butter (half a stick)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • (optional) 1/2 cup dried or fresh fruit if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees along with your terra cotta pottery dish.
  2. Shred or dice the butter into small cubes. Add dry ingredients.
  3. With a wooden spoon (or a stand mixer with paddle attachment), mix to combine.
  4. Add egg and optional fruit**, mix until dough is stiff.
  5. Drop roughly 1/3 cup spoonfuls onto a preheated greased terra cotta pottery dish (or cookie sheet with parchment paper). Should make 5 scones.
  6. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over each scone.
  7. Place in oven at center rack position.
  8. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes*, until the tops brown.
  9. Remove immediately from the cooking vessel and rest scones on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving.


Serve with marmalade or strawberry jam, or make up some freshly whipped cream.  They're best served warm with tea.

*Adjust the time based on your oven.

**Fresh or dried fruit can be added if desired. Example: dried currants, dried or fresh cranberries, dried or fresh blueberries, diced apples, diced strawberries, raspberries, chocolate chips -- be creative!

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