A scone recipe from the Savoy hotel London, plus tips for buttermilk substitutes

Scones with an impeccable pedigree.
Scones with an impeccable pedigree.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

They may appear small, but these cute little scones — delicate, flaky and not overly sweet — pack a lot of flavor. The recipe comes from the Savoy hotel in London. The scones are studded with raisins or other dried fruit, and the richness of the butter and eggs are offset by the subtle tang of buttermilk.

Short on buttermilk? No problem — it’s easy to improvise. Originally, old-fashioned buttermilk was the liquid left over after churning cream into butter. Today, it’s commercially made by adding bacteria cultures to milk, thickening it and giving it that tangy flavor. To make your own, whisk 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (cider or white) and set the mixture aside for several minutes until it begins to curdle. Then use as needed.



Total time: 1 hour | Makes about 2 dozen scones, depending on the size

Note: Adapted from the Savoy Hotel in London.

4 1/4 cups (17.6 ounces, or 500 grams) flour
2 1/2 tablespoons (1.05 ounces, or 30 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon (.08 ounce, or 2.5 grams) salt
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3.17 ounces, or 90 grams) sugar
6 tablespoons (2.9 ounces, or 82.5 grams) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 extra-large eggs (3.9 ounces, or 107.5 grams), lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (5.5 ounces, or 160 grams) buttermilk
Prepared egg wash (1 to 2 eggs beaten with a tablespoon of water)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4.4 ounces, or 125 grams) dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins, currants or diced candied orange or lemon peels

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter to give the mixture a sandy texture.

2. Pour over the eggs and buttermilk, and stir until incorporated; the dough will be crumbly and look dry. Continue to stir or knead it to form a cohesive dough.

3. Add the dried fruit, kneading it in the bowl to evenly incorporate it into the dough.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough three-fourths-inch thick. Cut the dough into rounds using a small circular cutter (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter).

5. Place the scones on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with the prepared egg wash once as they are arranged on the sheets, then once more before they go in the oven.


6. Bake the scones, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and golden brown, about 18 minutes. Rotate the sheets halfway through baking for even coloring.

Each of 24 scones: 146 calories; 4 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 37 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 209 mg sodium.

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