These chocolate chip scones are the ideal breakfast treat: They’re flaky, moist, and not too sweet. Think of them as a marriage of cream scones and chocolate chip cookies, complete with the tender texture you love in scones and the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate that comes with a great cookie.
Serve them warm from the oven, with chips softened to chocolatey puddles, or at room temperature, garnished with a dollop of yogurt or creme fraiche. They’re a great grab-and-go breakfast for any day of the week, but impressive enough to serve at brunches and parties.
Here’s how to make them.
The Secret to Tender, Flaky Scones
The best scones have a tender and flaky texture, and are never dry. This is a result of keeping the butter cold. When the cold, buttery dough hits the hot oven, the butter melts and the moisture within turns to steam, creating light and flaky layers.
To keep the butter cold, you’ll need to work quickly when adding it to the dry ingredients. Remember: The butter doesn’t have to break down evenly. (In fact, irregular pea-sized crumbs are ideal.) Working quickly will also prevent you from overworking the dough, which can result in tough, dense scones.
If your dough gets too warm at any point, pop it in the fridge, and be sure to chill it before baking. This 15-minute rest relaxes the gluten and gives the flour time to absorb moisture from the cream and egg, while giving the butter a chance to chill again.
The Best Chocolate for Scones
Thanks to the combination of granulated and brown sugar in the dough, these scones have all the classic Tollhouse vibes. To continue with the cookie theme, I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips here—but you can swap them for bittersweet for a more sophisticated flavor profile.
Chocolate Chip Scones
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (8 ounces)
- 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as demerara, turbinado, or sugar in the raw (optional)
Place the flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking powder, and kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Scatter over the flour mixture and work the butter into the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers or a pastry blender until the butter is in irregular pea-sized crumbs with a few larger flat pieces throughout. Add the chocolate chips, and toss with your hands to combine.
Place the cold heavy cream, egg, and vanilla extract in a small liquid measuring cup or small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until the flour is moistened. Use your hands to fold the dough onto itself 3 to 4 times to incorporate all of the flour into the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape the dough into a rough 8-inch round about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges with a knife or bench scraper.
Arrange the scones on the baking sheet, spacing them out at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle evenly with the coarse sugar, if desired, and press it into the scones lightly so it sticks. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while the oven heats.
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake until the edges and bottom of the scones are golden-brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the scones cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To make ahead: Arrange unbaked scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to a gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready, bake as directed above from frozen, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time.
Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for up to four days. Reheat in a 250 degree F oven until warm, 4 to 5 minutes.