Idiot-Proof Scone Recipe

If you enjoy a cup of afternoon tea I have the most delicious scone recipe you have ever tasted. One that is very easy to make. The scones can be made plain or you can add chocolate chips to the batter and colored sprinkles to the top before baking to make them compliment any occasion from Valentines Day, Easter to July 4th.


The prettiest scones to make recipe.Idiot-Proof Scone Recipe

One of my favorite treats to make are scones using a recipe that I found in Glamour magazine back in 1984. It was called Idiot-Proof Scones, which got my attention.

I am glad it did, because it is the best scone recipe ever!  If making them in the colder months of the year, they go great with a Hot Buttered Rum or tea.

Idiot Proof Scone Recipe from Glamour Magazine Circa 1984

See, I am not making it up – the recipe is really called, Idiot-Proof Scones.  I still have my original, splattered-on photocopy of the actual recipe from the magazine.  It is right up my alley in the kitchen – fast and uncomplicated.

My daughter’s and I have tweaked the recipe a bit over the years in the way of additions we put on top or into the mix.

Idiot-Proof Scone Recipe

Idiot-Proof Scone Recipe

These easy to make scones can be made plain, but when you add sprinkles, chocolate chips or even cranberries, they taste even better.  They taste best eaten on the same day they are made, right out of the oven with a cup of hot tea or coffee makes for the perfect afternoon snack.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: scones
Servings: 10
Author: In My Own Style


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. 1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Optional: colored sanding sugar chocolate chips
  • Heat oven to 425 F.


  • Makes 6 - 8 scones
  • Heat oven to 425 F
  • Put flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl; mix well. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules. Add sugar; toss to mix. Add milk and stir with a fork until soft dough results.
  • Form dough into a ball, put onto a lightly floured board and knead 10 to 12 times. Roll dough to about 14 x 5 1/2? and cut out 6-8 scones with a 2-1/2 cutter; re-roll and cut scraps.
  • Bake 10 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Don’t over bake.
  • Put a linen or cotton dish towel on a wire rack; cover loosely with the cloth and cool completely before serving.

How to Make Idiot-Proof Scones

How to make the recipe Idiot Proof Scones

  1. Following the recipe, mix in the dry ingredients first, then follow with butter, sugar, and milk.  Mix with a fork until blended.


2. Knead the dough about 10 times.  You don’t want it smooth, just in a ball.


3. Roll the dough out into a rectangle.

How to cut scones with a-biscuit-cutter

4. I found the biscuit cutter at the thrift store. I like that is has a handle on it – makes it very easy to use.


5. This is the part we added to the recipe, it is totally optional.  Topping the scones with colorful sanding sugar.

I had bought sanding sugar in white, red, and pink to be prepared for Valentine’s Day.  If you read my post about my Pantry Organization, then you may remember I have a thing for sanding sugars and sprinkles and have one entire basket devoted just for them.


They make the scones a bit more festive. I just spoon the sanding sugar over them before baking.

Optional Ingredients to Add to the Scones

Chocolate Scone Batter

I love to add chocolate chips to the batter…. so good!

Sprinkle Gourmet Sanding Sugar on top of scones before baking

I sprinkle white sanding sugar on the top before baking.

Chocolate Chip Idiot Proof Scone Recipe

Delish on a snow day or any day for that matter.

Valentine Scones to enjoy with the people you love on Valentine's Day

The most important thing you need to do is right after they come out of the oven…

…is to eat them as soon as they are cool!

They don’t taste as good the next day.

Idiot proof scones with jam and whipped cream

My family likes them with a spoonful of  jam and whipped cream.  YUM!


What would you add to this scone recipe…berries…nuts…citrus peel?

If you love to bake, check out all my recipes. You will find them here: Recipes.

How to make scones the easy and pretty way.

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  1. This has been my go to recipe since I found it in Cosmopolitan Magazine back in the late 80’s

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jessie – Who knew a fashion magazine would have the best sconce recipe ever? I have tried other sconce recipes since clipping it, but always go back to the Idiot Proof Scone recipe. It is the BEST! :-)

  2. The Empress Afternoon Tea Scones

    The Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada

    1 lb 2 oz flour (hard)
    4 1/2 oz sugar
    4 1/2 oz butter
    1 oz baking powder
    3 oz raisins
    3 eggs
    8 oz whipping cream
    a pinch of salt


    Crumb flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt.

    Add 2 1/2 of the 3 eggs slowly, use remaining egg for egg wash

    Add raisins

    Add cream, mix to smooth dough

    Roll out 1/2 inch thickness, cut out desired size

    Egg wash, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mimutes

    Makes 18 scones – regular size. Bring some to the office to share with your co-warkers! Enjoy!

    Courtesy of The Chef at The Empress Hotel. We are please to share this recipe for the world famous Empress Tea Scones! Don’t forget to come and stay in our hotel when you visit Victoria, Canada.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much Barbara!!! I am excited to make the recipe – will be making these this afternoon. XO

  3. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I will have to email the recipe…. but it is from Roman Meal Bread and after all these years I still love it and anyone that has tasted it has also. It is called or was “Company Salmon Loaf” and the company could not even find this recipe for me and then I finally did and sent it to them….. yep, right off the bread bag.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – I have found that many of those back of the package recipes are the best. I have quite a few from chocolate cake to crunchy chicken. I would love to see the recipe.

  4. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I am frightened to more than I can type about baking….. it looks like a biscuit…….. I am frightened that I will ruin it……… but I am going to try. I made biscuits in 8th grade and they were great. Then many years later I tried and oh my how awful they were.

    I am making these tomorrow. And in return I will share a simple recipe I have loved since 1982 ish.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – Don’t worry, you will not ruin them. The only way that you could is if you bake them too long. They taste best when very lightly golden browned.

  5. I’m going to try this one, Diane. Thanks for this.

  6. Idiot proof! I think I can do that!! I think I will make these for the office tomorrow and be a hero.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      They will love you especially if you bring jam and the whipped cream to go with them :) Enjoy

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Thanks so much for passing this on. :) I hope they come out as delish as I remember.

  7. I wish to have snow like you, but i live in Florida, so imposible!
    I”ll try this scones, they look very easy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ferchi – Snow days are fun, digging out from them, not so much! Florida sounds pretty nice right about now. :-)

  8. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Oh yum! I just made scones this morning. Perfect for a very blustery day! I love the colored sanding sugar.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Yvonne – I bet you have a great recipe for them. The best scones I ever tasted were in Victoria Canada at the Empress hotel. I hope someday to get a hold of that recipe.