Photo of berry scones on a wooden cutting board

America’s Best English Cream Scones

Trust me when I tell you that I am not the type of person to say I’m the “best.” I’m far too well aware of my own limitations to place that title on much of what I contribute to this world. But, when I say this recipe is America’s Best English Cream Scones, I’m telling the truth! They’re the absolute best, and you can count on that.

I published this recipe in my book a few years ago, but have since made a few alterations which really upped the ante. The first of which is substituting Kefir for cream. Not only does this add a tangier flavor- the way buttermilk also does in baked goods- but it also reduces the amount of moisture in the scones. This allows them to remain light and fluffy and not weighed down by extra liquid.

The second is letting the dough chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. It may mean breakfast happens a little later than you’d like, but boy is it worth it for those perfect little wedges.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yogurt, but with far more probiotics. It is good for your gut, good for your bones and contains a high number of beneficial vitamins and minerals. It is tangy, tart and more bubbly than yogurt. It has a thinner consistency too, more drinkable or pourable, making it perfect for baking!

You can easily make your own Kefir by purchasing kefir grains. My friend Lisa has a great milk Kefir tutorial over on her blog. But, Kefir is also readily available to buy online or at your local grocery store.

What is the secret to making good scones?

The secret to making good scones is of course, good ingredients. A traditional scone recipe includes butter, sugar, flour and milk (or cream). For my English cream scones I use:

  • Grass-fed Butter. Grass-fed butter just tastes better. Cows were made to eat grass, simple as that. And butter from cows who eat grass tastes better, is better for you and adds an even more authentic English feel to these already Anglican pastries. While the Brits usually enjoy their scones plain with a bit of clotted cream, I like to think a high-quality butter adds the same effect.
  • Maple Sugar. Maple sugar has changed my life. When recovering from mono after my youngest was born, I cut out all refined sugars. I tried Maple Syrup, Honey and Sucanant/Rapadura. And they were fine, in fact I still use them all frequently. But when it comes to baked goods, the closest substitute I’ve found to white sugar is Maple sugar. It has the perfect texture for light, fluffy pastries. And don’t even get me started on the extra maple-y flavor.
  • Einkorn Flour. All-purpose Einkorn to be exact. It adds such a beautiful, whole-grain, nutty flavor, texture and color. I can’t even look at a scone made from regular flour after eating these for so long. You’ve gotta try it!
  • Milk Kefir. As I discussed earlier, milk kefir replaces what would traditionally be milk, cream or buttermilk in this English cream scone recipe. I find it teams up really well with Einkorn flour. Einkorn isn’t able to absorb liquid as easily, so using a thicker wet ingredient like Kefir keeps things from getting weighed down or soggy.

What is the difference between American scones and English cream scones?

I alluded to this earlier, but British scones are often plain (without fillings), cut into rounds and served with tea, jam and clotted cream. They are often served in the afternoon as a snack, or some nourishment before a later evening meal. American scones are often larger, wedge-shaped and have flavorings mixed in. Typically eaten as a breakfast pastry and served with coffee.

Um, your scones look very much like American scones you might be saying to yourself. And you would be right. But that’s why I’m calling them America’s Best English Cream Scones. Because we’re really just mixing the best of both worlds now aren’t we?

Mistakes to avoid when making scones

There is such a thing as a bad scone, believe it or not. Honestly, I’ve never eaten a scone I really loved outside of my own kitchen. So here’s how to make sure the best scones in the world are coming out of your kitchen as well.

  • Don’t use warm ingredients. Make sure you have cold butter (I use frozen), cold kefir and cold fillings (like frozen berries).
  • Don’t add to much liquid. Scone dough can be really crumbly as it comes together. It can be tempting to add more liquid than necessary. But don’t do it! If you have too much liquid in your dough, your scones will spread and collapse and look more like an amoeba than a delicious breakfast pastry.
  • Don’t overmix. There is less of a danger with this when using Einkorn flour, as it has a weaker gluten structure. You are much less likely to develop too much gluten and end up with tough scones. BUT you still want to mix until that dough just comes together for the perfect light and airy texture.

What can you put in an English Cream Scone?

Since this is America’s Best English Cream Scones Recipe, I don’t stray from it. At all. I simply add different fillings for each season, and change up toppings and flavors as needed. But the dough recipe stays the same. Why mess with perfection, you know? Here’s a few different variations I like to make:

For Spring: Lavender + Chamomile Scones with Lemon Glaze, Rhubarb Scones and Strawberry + Almond Scones.

For Summer: Marion berry Scones, Blueberry + Basil Scones and Peach Scones.

For Autumn: White Chocolate + Pumpkin Scones and Cranberry + Orange Scones.

For Winter: Orange + Currant Scones, Chocolate Chip Scones and Chocolate + Peppermint Scones.

Scones are my “thing”

One of my favorite parts of working on my book a few years ago was writing the Introduction. In it, I talk about attending my Grandmother’s memorial service and being super inspired by the type of woman she was.

She had an innate ability to make something out of nothing. Make the best of whatever she had. See beauty in the world around her, no matter how stark her surroundings. She found peace in working with her hands. She knew how to appreciate each season and preserve its bounty for later on. She had a deep connection with the land and instilled in all her children a love for nature. She was known for her pies.

Potager: From the Garden to the Kitchen

Known for her pies. It was such a THING with her. Every event she went to, she brought a pie. People expected it, they looked forward to it. She made them with such love and care, and often, not a whole lot of special ingredients. I doubt she ever used much of a recipe, and there were times when she was making due with the bare minimum of supplies. And yet, over years and years of practice, pies became her “thing.”

Well, my in-laws own a pie company. And rare is the occasion that somebody in the family doesn’t show up with a company pie, so I figured early on in our marriage that there wasn’t a whole lot of room for pie baking to be my “thing.” But over the years, as I’ve invited friends and family into our home for a shared brunch or breakfast, I’ve found myself turning to this scone recipe time and time again. It has truly become my “thing,” and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you now.

What tools do I need to make scones?

  • Pastry blender. I used to rub in the butter with my hands in this recipe, but I’ve found that the heat of my hands warms up the butter too much. A good pastry blender will keep your butter as cool as possible.
  • Sheet tray/pan. A good, stainless steel sheet pan/tray is a must-have for any kitchen.
  • Parchment paper. Once my dough comes together, I place it on a sheet of parchment on top of my cutting board. This makes it easy to form into a disc, sliced into wedges and separate for baking. Then I just slide my parchment onto my sheet pan and we’re good to go! Easy peasy.
  • Turbinado sugar. This is a MUST for my scone recipe. Sprinkled on top at the last minute, the Turbinado sugar adds a little crunch, sparkle and sweetness to the scones. Don’t go without it! And a little goes a long way, so it’ll last you for many, many scones.

Give it a try, share the English Cream Scones recipe on Pinterest, and let me know in the comments what you think!

America’s Best English Cream Scones


Servings8 scones

Prep time45 minutes

Cook time15 minutes

Total time1 hour

Trust me when I tell you that I am not the type of person to say I’m the “best.” I’m far too well aware of my own limitations to place that title on much of what I contribute to this world. But, when I say this recipe is America’s Best English Cream Scones, I’m telling the truth! They’re the absolute best, and you can count on that.


  • 2 cups All-purpose Einkorn Flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, I use Redmond Pink Salt
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 + 3 Tbsp cup kefir, cold, plain flavor
  • 1/2 cup Marion berries (or other fillings), frozen
  • 2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top


  • 1

    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender and work mixture together until it resembles coarse sand.

  • 2

    Add the kefir and mix with a fork until a dough forms. Carefully fold in the Marion berries (or other filling), doing your best not to crush the berries.

  • 3

    On your sheet of parchment paper (cut or torn to the size of your sheet tray), mold the dough into a disc, about 1 inch thick. Slice into 8 wedges.

  • 4

    Evenly space your wedges all over the sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

  • 5

    Pop your tray into the fridge for 20-30 minutes to make sure your scones have time to chill before baking. You can skip this step, but you risk your scones going flat in the hot oven.

  • 6

    Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Enjoy!

Keywords:Scones, Breakfast Scones, Summer Breakfasts, English Cream Scones, Berry Scones, Cream Scones, Easy Scones, American Scones, Einkorn Flour, Einkorn Scones, Maple Sugar, Maple Sugar Scones, Kefir Scones, Milk Kefir

Photo of English Cream Scones

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