These dreamy cream scones have a crispy exterior and soft, tender, cake-like interior. Better yet, they are SO easy to make! These get their richness and buttery flavor from cream, so there's no butter to chill and cut in. No need to form these into shapes; simply drop them in rustic rounds onto a baking sheet. You can use your choice of berries or chopped fruit. Scones don't get any easier than that!
I started testing this recipe a while back in those "normal" days when we all weren't staying home and at a distance. I made several varieties to share with the hard-working team at my sons' company, LACRM. They were more than happy to be my tasters! One happy surprise was that the scones were as good the second day as the first. I delivered the scones in a cardboard box. Turns out they stay fresher stored at room temperature in a breathable box--bakeries figured that out a long time ago. The next day, the remaining few scones still had the same yummy taste and texture.
I made a few tweaks to the recipe after that trial-run. Here's the final yummy result!
Step-by-step photos for making
Cream Drop Scones
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- cold heavy (whipping) cream
- DON'T HAVE HEAVY CREAM? No problem. I learned from King Arthur Baking Company that if you have milk and butter on hand, there's an easy substitution. In place of 1-1/3 cups heavy cream, combine 2/3-cup 2% or whole milk with 2/3-cup butter (cut into 1/2-inch thick slices). Heat in the microwave (approx. 1 minute) just until there are a few unmelted bits; whisk with a fork until all butter melts in. Do this first and let it cool a bit in the fridge while prepping the other ingredients. (It can be warm, but not hot--don't let the butter harden again.) Add the milk/butter mixture in the recipe where it calls for cream.
- Coarse sugar is sprinkled on top of the scones. It adds crunchy texture and a sparkly appearance. If you don't have coarse sugar, you can substitute regular granulated sugar.
view on Amazon: coarse sugar
- Use fruit of your choice--one kind or a mixture. Here are some recommendations I have used successfully. BERRIES: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries; CHOPPED STONE FRUIT: nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries.
- Fresh fruit is preferred, however you may substitute frozen fruit if that's what you have available. Don't thaw it--mix frozen fruit into the batter. Once thawed, it releases liquid and becomes more soft and fragile making it harder to mix into the thick batter.
In the illustrations below, I am making nectarine and blueberry scones--one of my favorite combinations.
Step 2. Chop the fruit, if necessary. Blueberries can be used whole. The nectarines need to be chopped. Leave the skin on (it will soften when the scones bake) --it's easier and adds color.
- NOTE: Blueberries and raspberries can be used whole. Blackberries vary in size. Big blackberries should be cut in half.
Step 3. Divide the fruit. The recipe calls for a total of 1-1/2 cups fruit. I used half blueberries and half chopped nectarines. 1/2-cup of each fruit is mixed into the batter. The remaining 1/4-cup of each is reserved to press into the tops of the scones before they're baked.
Step 4. Mix the batter. First whisk the dry ingredients. Then stir in the fruit. Add the cream and stir gently just until there are no visible dry flour bits. (Don't overmix the batter or you'll end up with tough scones.) The batter will be very thick and sticky.
- NOTE: Delicate berries like raspberries should be gently folded in after the cream to prevent them from being crushed as much as possible.
view on Amazon: wire whisk, mix-and-measure bowl, my favorite rubber spatula (perfect for folding in the fruit)
Step 5. Scoop (or spoon) and drop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. A heaping large cookie scoop will yield 8 scones (a generous 1/3 cup each). You may need to redistribute the batter after scooping to have uniformly sized scones. 8 scones fit on a single 13x18 baking sheet, spaced 1-2 inches apart.
Use your fingers to slightly flatten the scones and smooth any shaggy stray bits. If the dough sticks to your hand, wet your fingers with water, shake off excess, and use dampened fingers to smooth scones.
view on Amazon: large scoop, 13x18 baking sheet (half sheet), parchment paper (precut to a perfect fit for half-sheet pans), economical set of silicone mats-- (in place of parchment paper)
Step 6. Add the remaining fruit to the tops of the scones, pressing it in slightly. This gives the scones a colorful "fruity" appearance. It also helps identify the type of scone if you are serving multiple varieties on a platter.
Step 7. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of each scone with a spoon or shaker.
Step 8. Bake scones until they are golden on the edges. If some of the coarse sugar has dissolved during baking, you can shake on a little more on the tops to add sparkle and crunch.
Step 9. Wait 10 minutes before transferring scones to a cooling rack to cool completely.
view on Amazon: wire cooling rack -- this is the #1 recommendation of Cooks Illustrated's Test Kitchen; it fits perfectly inside the 18x13 (half sheet) baking pan, so it can double as a baking rack when needed
TO STORE UP TO 3 DAYS: Place scones inside a paper bag, covered cardboard box, or on a plate with a dish towel draped over the top --something breathable. Scones will get soggy in a sealed plastic or glass container. Don't refrigerate--they will stay fresher stored at room temperature.
TO REFRESH 1- to 3-DAY-OLD SCONES:
- Quickest method--Zap in the microwave for 15 seconds.
- Best method-- Place in 350 degree F oven or toaster oven for 8-10 minutes. They'll taste freshly baked!
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE: Place unbaked scones on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to an airtight plastic freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. They can be frozen for up to one month. Bake frozen scones according to the recipe, adding 5 or so minutes to baking time. (Note: Frozen fruit releases some liquid while it bakes resulting in slightly soggy pockets around the fruit.)
It's so easy to make these scones that they can be thrown together at the last minute using whatever fruit you may have on hand. This scone with a cup of hot tea or coffee is my dream treat. Yum!
Make it a Yummy day!
Cream Drop Scones with Fruit
Servings: 8 scones
- 2 cups (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups fresh berries or chopped stone fruit*, divided
- 1-1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream (see substitution**)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 teaspoons coarse sugar (for tops); may substitute regular granulated sugar
* Use 1-1/2 cups fruit of your choice--one kind or a mixture. BERRIES: blueberries, blackberries (cut in half if especially large), raspberries; CHOPPED STONE FRUIT: nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries. Use all of the same fruit or a combination. Fresh fruit is preferred, however you may substitute frozen fruit. Don't thaw it--mix frozen fruit directly into the batter.
**SUBSTITUTION FOR HEAVY CREAM. In place of 1-1/3 cups heavy cream, combine 2/3-cup 2% or whole milk with 2/3-cup butter (cut into 1/2-inch thick slices). Heat in the microwave (approx. 1 minute) just until there are few unmelted bits; whisk with a fork until all butter melts in. Do this first and let it cool a bit in the fridge while prepping the other ingredients. (It can be warm, but not hot--don't let the butter harden again.) Add the milk/butter mixture in the recipe where it calls for cream.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or 375 convection). Line a large baking sheet (13x18) with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
PREP & DIVIDE FRUIT:
In small bowl(s), set aside total of 1/2 cup berries and/or chopped fruit. This will be added to top of scones before baking.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add remaining 1 cup fruit and gently toss with flour mixture. Add 1-1/3 cups cream** and vanilla. Stir gently, being careful not to crush fruit, just until no dry bits are visible. Don't over mix. Dough should be thick and sticky. (NOTE: Delicate fruit like raspberries should be folded in gently after the cream is added to prevent them from getting too crushed.)
Drop in 8 equal portions, a generous 1/3-cup each, onto baking sheet. (A large scoop makes this task easier.) Flatten slightly with damp fingers and smooth out any shaggy, stray bits. Distribute reserved fruit on scone tops and press in slightly. Sprinkle top of each scone with 1/2 teaspoon coarse sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden on edges. (Optional: If some of the coarse sugar has melted into scones, sprinkle a bit more over scone tops to add crunch and sparkle.) Leave on baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
TO STORE up to 3 days: Place scones inside a paper bag or covered cardboard box--something breathable; or place on plate covered with dish towel. Do not store in sealed plastic or glass container to prevent sogginess. Don't refrigerate--they stay fresher stored at room temperature.
TO REFRESH 1- to 3-DAY-OLD SCONES:
--Quickest method--Zap in the microwave for 15 seconds.
--Best method-- Place in 350 degree F oven or toaster oven for 8-10 minutes.
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE: Place unbaked scones on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to an airtight plastic freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. May be frozen for up to one month. Bake frozen scones according to the recipe, adding 5 or so minutes to baking time. (Note: Frozen fruit releases liquid while it bakes resulting in slightly soggy pockets around the fruit.)
These tender scones are so easy! Mix batter, drop in mounds onto baking sheet, bake, and enjoy. Use fruit of your choice. Make-ahead convenience and freezable. From TheYummyLife.com #scones #creamscones #dropscones #fruitscones #easy #makeahead #freezable