Blackberry Cream Scones are tender and buttery, and loaded with fresh blackberries, giving them a slightly sweet and lightly tart taste that melts in your mouth. And, because they have no butter, they’re super quick and easy to make.
They’re perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
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How is there no butter in this scone recipe?
This is my favorite scone recipe; one that I’ve been making for years. I originally published this recipe back in 2010. But it definitely needed to be updated, so I’ve updated the recipe itself, the pictures, and the info for a way better user experience!
I’ve tried many scone recipes over the years, but this one that I’ve adapted from the Joy of Cooking is the best one I’ve had. It’s easy, simple, extremely tasty, and adaptable to whatever flavors you want to use.
Heavy cream provides both the fat and the liquid in this simple recipe.
And I love that there’s no butter in this recipe. So many scone recipes have you freeze the butter and then grate it. I just don’t have time for that.
Pro tips for making great scones
Scones should be moist and tender, not dry or crumbly. Understanding a few key things about their creation will help you achieve wonderful, tender scones every time!
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Making the dough
Use fresh baking powder to give the scones proper leavening. And, one of my favorite tips about baking powder is to use aluminum free baking powder. I find that the baking powder containing aluminum has a slightly off, metallic flavor that comes through in the final baked product.
Baking powder is a complete leavening system because it has both baking soda and an acidic ingredient to activate that baking soda. Baking powder does not need an additional acidic ingredient like buttermilk or lemon in the recipe in order to leaven baked goods, and it will begin reacting as soon as it is hydrated.
Heavy cream should be used straight from the refrigerator so that it’s nice and cold.
When adding the cream to the dry flour mixture, I like to use a fork to mix them together. I feel like it gives me better control so I don’t overwork the dough. And, personally, I use a fork to mix most of my baked goods.
Be sure to mix the dough quickly and gently to avoid tough scones. Handle the scone dough as little as possible. Over worked dough will make the baked scones heavy and tough.
Many recipes will have you add the delicate blackberries at the very end of mixing. I find that the scone dough is too thick to add the fruit at the end, and you just end up with over mixed, fruit on one side of the dough, or very smashed berries. Add the fruit in to the dry ingredients to help keep them separated in the dough. And yes, some of the berries will smash as you mix, but they are very beautiful that way. Just be delicate with the dough as you mix it.
Shape the dough
Use your hands to shape and pat out the dough, rather than rolling it with a rolling pin. This will help the dough stay tender and keep the scones thicker. Yes, your hands will get messy, but it’s worth it.
To score the scone dough easily, dip the knife or dough cutter in flour to keep the dough from sticking to it. You may also notice that the cut edges have some ragged cuts. It’s ok to leave these and not pat them down; the ragged edges will puff up in the oven, helping the scones rise and become light.
Baking the scones
Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream, milk, or melted butter to help them turn a beautiful golden-brown color. And, sprinkle them with some turbinado sugar (or sugar in the raw) to give them a pretty sparkle.
Avoid over baking the scones.
Scones are best served warm. My favorite way to enjoy them is straight out of the oven! But these ones reheat beautifully in a toaster oven or regular oven as well. Heat at 400 ° F for about 5 minutes.
Serve these scones with
I love how blackberries provide bursts of jammy sweetness in these scones, making the need for extra jam unnecessary, but do feel free to gild the lily if you want and serve them with extra jam. Try my Mixed berry lavender jam, Cherry lime jam, or Strawberry lime vanilla jam.
How to make scones
Be sure to scroll down for the full printable recipe card with ingredients, amounts, and instructions.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Lightly toss blackberries into the dry ingredients to separate the pieces of fruit.
Mix the heavy cream into the dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients come together. Remember, don’t over work the dough. I like to use a fork to mix everything together gently.
Some of the blackberries will get smashed into the dough (that’s alright – in fact, it makes the scones look really pretty).
Gather the dough into a ball and knead lightly, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough.
Transfer the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and pat the dough into an 8-inch round, about ¾-inch thick.
Cut the round into 8 wedges.
Brush the tops with cream, and, sprinkle with turbinado sugar
Bake until the tops are golden brown.
How do I store scones?
Leftover blackberry scones will keep at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the fridge for about a week.
Can I freeze scones?
Yes, scones freeze well. So, if you need to make them in advance or have leftovers that you want to save for another day, you can freeze baked scones for up to 3 months, then thaw on the counter or pop them in the fridge the night before, and rewarm them in the oven.
Adaptable to other flavors
Like I said, this is my favorite scone recipe and I use it all the time, so I’ve played around with them.
The cream scone base really works for almost any fresh fruit variation you’d like to make. Try blueberry scones, raspberry scones, peach scones, cherry scones, and so on.
Dried fruit can be used as well, and is delicious. Dried blueberries, cranberries, apricots, dried cherries, or any other you’d like.
Switch up the zest flavor as well. Lemon zest, orange zest, lime zest. Or use candied ginger instead of zest.
Can I Use Half and Half Instead of Cream in this Recipe?
No, as I stated before, the heavy cream provides both the fat and the liquid in these scones, and if you reduce the amount of fat, the scone just won’t be as moist, tender, soft, and delicious.
As a general rule, the best approach when baking a recipe is that you should find a recipe that uses the specific ingredients you have available to you rather than trying to make the ingredients work in a recipe that calls for something else.
As you may know, baking is a science, and making any changes can affect the final dish. Always proceed with caution when making substitutions. There’s a reason the recipe calls for what it does. It may add flavor, improve the texture, or improve the appearance of the baked good.
I love blackberries, and I’m lucky enough to have them growing all around me. When they’re ripe, I’ll pick a bunch and freeze them for later use. And, yes, you can use frozen berries in these scones, just let them thaw before adding them to the dough.
To freeze blackberries, lay them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Pop them in the freezer, and once frozen, they can be placed in ziptop bags or plastic containers with tight fitting lids.
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Blackberry Cream Scones Recipe
Blackberry Cream Scones
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Whisk dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Lightly toss blackberries into the dry ingredients to separate the pieces of fruit.
- Mix the heavy cream and zest (if using) into the dry ingredients with a fork or wooden spoon just until the dry ingredients come together.
- Gather the dough into a ball and knead lightly against the sides and bottom of the bowl about 5 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere, and the bowl is fairly clean. Transfer the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and pat the dough into an 8-inch round, about ¾-inch thick.
- Cut the round into 8 wedges.
- Brush the tops with 2 to 3 teaspoons cream, milk, or melted butter. And, sprinkle with turbinado sugar (sugar-in-the-raw) if desired (it makes a pretty presentation if you do this step).
- Bake at 425° F until the tops are golden brown, about 19-22 minutes. Let cool on a rack or serve warm. Cut scones apart with a serrated knife.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.