Scones – A Staple for Afternoon Tea

No foodstuff is connected more with Britain than the scone. Scones are a delicious small round pastry with either a sweet or savory taste and are often served with tea.

Scones may have originated from Scotland, where they served as a quick bread treat made out of oats and baked on a griddle. Today, scones are made with flour, and the dough is baked. The word “scone” is said to derive from the Dutch word “schoonbrot”, which means “beautiful bread”. Other food authorities claim the name refers to the Stone of Destiny, where Scottish kings were crowned.

No one seems to know exactly when scones were conceived. The first known print reference is written by the Scottish poet Gavin Douglas in 1513 mentioned scones. Their popularity didn’t take off until the 19th Century.

It is believed that Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, enjoyed her afternoon tea with them. Word soon spread about scones, and took off as the number one trend of the1800s. They are still a fashionable pastime for those in the UK. Scones served traditionally at about 16:00 in the afternoon with tea.

Traditional English scones can be plain. However, some scones may include raisins, cranberries or currants or chocolate chips. Often, they are served with a topping made of clotted cream. Some devotees rely on jam, preserves, lemon curd or honey for added flavor. The scone’s flavor is said to be enhanced even more when the scone is dipped in the tea.

Here is a tasty, sweet and easy recipe.


  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 3/4 cup cold milk

  • Egg or milk for coating


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and rub in butter.

  3. Stir in the sugar and then the milk and honey.

  4. Add walnuts and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.

  5. Turn onto a lightly floured board, knead quickly and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness.

  6. Cut into rounds and put on a greased baking sheet.

  7. Brush tops with beaten egg or milk and bake for 10 minutes. This recipe makes 20 small scones.

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