Traditional Irish Scones
This recipe for traditional Irish scones was passed down from my mother. Served for breakfast or afternoon tea and accompanied with jam and clotted cream or simply with butter, these authentic scones are simple to make but absolutely delicious!
An Authentic Irish Recipe
Growing up in Ireland, scones were a staple. Stuck at the train station and feeling peckish? Grab a scone and some jam. Popping over to a friends’s for a quick cup of tea and chat? She’ll have some fresh buttery scones to serve, no doubt.
Not only are scones a traditional Irish recipe but they are also one of the first recipes that Irish kids learn to bake. And such is the case for me.
This recipe is the same one my mother uses and it produces lovely buttery (but not too crumbly) scones.
My personal preference is to eat them warm with some butter and raspberry jam but if I’m feeling fancy (or a bit naughty) I’ll switch out the butter for whipped cream – or fancier yet, clotted cream.
You don’t need a fancy cutter or anything. My mom uses a glass dusted in flour to cut hers out and so do I!
The great thing about Irish quick breads like these scones as well as Irish Soda Bread, is that you just make it and bake it. There’s no yeast or rising to worry about.
The baking powder is the only ingredient used to make them rise, so once they the ingredients get wet and get the heat from the oven, they will start to rise. You don’t need to worry about working with really cold ingredients either. Both room temperature and cold butter work equally well.
Finally, feel free to adapt these scones to your taste. In Ireland, we regularly substitute the white flour for whole wheat for a healthier option. You can also omit the sugar and for a savory option – add in about a quarter cup of sharp cheddar or even a variety of mixed herbs!
If you’ve never tried Irish scones you should give these a shot! If you’ve never had them before, they are similar to American biscuits but sweeter (generally) and not as flaky.
Oh, and traditionally they should be round and not triangular like American scones.
Looking For More Traditional Irish Recipes?
Traditional Irish Scone Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour sifted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 5 oz salted butter cold – I prefer to use Kerrygold Irish Butter
- ½ cup buttermilk cold
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- generous pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
- With your hands, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles course breadcrumbs.
- In another bowl, mix the egg into the buttermilk.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk and egg until you have a soft dough. It should just come together and you should be able to handle it without it being really sticky.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead a couple of times just to remove any cracks. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
- Roll out to around 1 inch thick and cut with a cutter or glass dipped in flour.
- Place on a floured/buttered baking sheet (or use parchment paper). You should get about 12 scones.
- Brush each scone with milk to help brown the tops when baked.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the scones are golden.
- Best served immediately but can be warmed the following day or eaten cold.
Did you make these Traditional Irish Scones? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a comment directly below!
That’s a lot if baking powder. One tablespoon, are you sure that is correct? Thanks!
They look so good. What could I use to make them green for st Patrick’s day?
You would never find them green in Ireland lol but I guess green food coloring would do the trick
I made them for the Music City Marathon, in Nashville in April and this little boy about 6 came up to me and said, thank you for bringing them, they are so good. I asked him if he got time strawberry jam and Irish butter or cream, he said no I like them just like this. I was so taken back and thought he was so mature to come to me and say that. He then asks me for the recipe. I sister live in Ireland and these were much better than hers.
That makes me so happy, Brenda! Thanks for sharing!!
What size cutter is best for these scones ?
3-4 inches is good!
Love this recipe! My favorite thing when we visited Ireland – besides Guinness 😉 – was seafood chowder. I ate it daily! I loved the rich, creamy, potato goodness with both fresh and smoked fish. Do you (or your mom) have a recipe for it? In Ireland, Aldi sells a frozen seafood pack for chowder. Sadly, it’s not sold here in the states.
You know it’s funny because I never had chowder until I moved to Boston 😆 so unfortunately I don’t have a recipe for that!
These were delicious! In fact, they were so good I’ve used this as a base recipe for other versions: one with currants (increased sugar to 1/2C on those), and an Irish cheddar, bacon & scallion version! Thank you!
I make them with currants all the time too! So good!