Gail Monaghan


(plus variations)

About the Recipe

Summer breakfasts--especially on the weekends and often including houseguests--can be lazy and luxurious. Bacon and eggs, sausage, smoked salmon with bagels and cream cheese, waffles, berry pancakes and muffins, croissants and coffee cakes are all divine.  But my favorite breakfast treat is a basket of these special scones, warm from the oven served with lots of sweet butter. The mix-ins provide plenty of flavor so no jam required (though gilding the less sweet nut variety with raspberry jam is highly recommended).

I've made these scones for many years. They seem to have a life all their own. When my children were little, sugar-sprinkling the raw product before baking was their favorite household "chore". I sold the confection by the pound to tearooms for years and had the recipe published several times including in the The New York Times. 

A bit of a cross between a scone and a cookie, these are not the traditional English teatime fare.  Moister and sweeter, they also contain a hefty handful of mix-ins-- raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or candied ginger--and are topped with a thin layer of buttery sugar crunch. 

Serve them straight from the oven, warm (they reheat perfectly in a 350F oven) or at room temperature. Ideal first thing in the morning or for snacking all day long, they also easily become dessert:  split horizontally--warmed, toasted, or as is--they make instant shortcakes, berry or peach, nectarine, or plum in summer. While in winter, serve caramelized pears with the ginger scones or apples with the nut or raisin variety. Add dollops of ice cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche all versions. Easy and rave-worthy.


Makes approximately 20 scones

Time: 20 minutes active time. 15 minutes to bake.  


  • 12 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 to 3 extra tablespoons for sprinkling

  • 1 1/3 cups raisins

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in raisins.

  3. Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl. With the mixer on low or with a fork, mix the ingredients until just combined.

  4. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very briefly. Roll the dough to a 1 inch thickness. Using a 1 to 1 1/2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out the scones. Place them an inch apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Reroll the scraps until all the dough has been used.

  5. Paint the scone tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place the scones in the middle of the preheated oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

  6. Cool on a rack. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature with butter and jam. Store the scones in an airtight container for 24 hours or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

    *To vary the flavor, replace the raisins with 1 1/3 cups toasted walnuts, pecans, mixed nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, or almonds; or chocolate chips, chopped mixed dried fruits or 1 1/3 cups chopped candied ginger plus 1 teaspoon powdered ginger.