How to Make the Best Buttery, Flaky, Berry-Studded Scones for Breakfast

BY America's Test Kitchen TIMEJanuary 15, 2022 PRINT

One key to flaky, tender scones is the ingredients you use, but another is the temperature of those ingredients. Using chilled butter—and mixing everything together quickly, before it warms up—helps create those perfect flaky layers.

Using frozen berries helps keep the dough’s temperature low. It also prevents the bright berry color from bleeding out of the berries and into the dough.

If you don’t like mixed berries, you can use 1 cup (5 ounces) of frozen raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries instead of the mixed berries.

Berry Scones

Makes 8 scones

  • 1 cup (5 ounces) frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) whole milk
  • 1 large egg yolk

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine berries and confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to stir to coat the berries. Place the bowl in the freezer until needed.

Place flour, chilled butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until butter forms pea-size pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to stir in frozen berries until they are well coated. In a second medium bowl, whisk milk and egg yolk until well combined. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined into a shaggy dough. Do not overmix.

Sprinkle the clean counter lightly with extra flour and coat your hands with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured counter and gather and press the mixture until a dough forms and holds together, 5 to 10 seconds. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until scones are golden brown on top, about 14 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. Transfer scones directly to the cooling rack. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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