Not only are these apple scones the perfect breakfast treat, they are perfect for fall with their warming spices and delicious sweet apple bits.
This was inspired by our lime scones, but we wanted something simpler that works well for autumn when most folks are pretty busy. If you want something even simpler, you might want to give these 3 ingredient scones a try! Enjoy these scones with a tall glass of this homemade walnut milk and easy walnut butter.
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
❤️ Easy and quick. This apple scone recipe is a breeze to whip up, making it perfect for busy mornings or sudden cravings. With straightforward instructions and only one bowl needed, you can have these delightful treats ready to enjoy in no time.
❤️ Minimal ingredients. With just a handful of simple ingredients, including self-rising flour, butter, brown sugar, and cream, this recipe proves that you don't need a long grocery list to create delicious baked goods. It's a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking.
❤️ Flavorful combination. The scones boast a delightful combination of sweet apples, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon. The flavors harmonize to create a warm, comforting taste that captures the essence of fall in every bite.
Detailed Ingredient Notes
- Self-rising flour (3 cups). Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt, which contributes to the leavening and flavor of the scones.
- Unsalted butter (½ cup). Cold, cubed butter is crucial for creating a flaky texture in the scones. The small butter cubes should be incorporated into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, ensuring even distribution and a buttery flavor.
- Dark brown sugar (⅓ cup). Dark brown sugar adds a rich, molasses-like sweetness to the scones, complementing the tartness of the apples. Packed brown sugar ensures a consistent sweetness throughout the dough. To measure the brown sugar, scoop it into a ¼ measuring cup for dry ingredients and press with the back of a spoon. Keep measuring and pressing until the sugar is packed to the top of the measuring cup. See our recipe for butterscotch pancakes for a photo of the technique.
- Ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon). Cinnamon infuses the scones with a warm and aromatic flavor that pairs perfectly with the apples. It contributes to the cozy, fall-inspired flavor of the scones.
- Apples (1 cup, peeled and diced). Sweet apple varieties like Fuji or Red Delicious are your best bet here. Dicing the apples ensures even distribution throughout the dough, providing bursts of fruity goodness in every bite.
- Heavy cream (1¼ cups). Heavy cream adds richness and moisture to the scone dough. It also plays a crucial role in bringing the ingredients together to form a stiff dough. The fat content in heavy cream contributes to the scones' tender texture.
- Powdered sugar (1 cup). Also known as confectioner's sugar, it forms the base of the glaze, providing sweetness and a smooth texture. Sift the powdered sugar, if necessary, to avoid lumps in the glaze.
- Unsalted butter (2 tablespoons, melted). Melted butter adds a buttery richness to the glaze, enhancing its flavor and creating a glossy finish.
- Heavy cream (¼ cup). This ingredient, or milk as a substitute, is used to thin the glaze to the desired consistency. It contributes to the creaminess of the glaze.
- Vanilla Extract (½ teaspoon). Vanilla extract imparts a sweet and aromatic flavor to the glaze, rounding out the overall flavor of the scones. Maple or almond extract would work well also.
Detailed Instructions With Step-By-Step Photos
- Self-rising flour. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour combined with 4½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¾ teaspoon of salt.
- Unsalted butter. Salted butter can be used as a substitute if that's what you have on hand. Just be mindful of the overall salt content in the recipe and adjust accordingly.
- Dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar can be used as an alternative, though it will have a slightly milder molasses flavor. You can also use regular granulated sugar, but only in a pinch. White sugar is not the best option.
- Ground cinnamon. Nutmeg or apple pie spice can be used as a substitute for cinnamon if you want to experiment with different spice flavors.
- Apples. Feel free to use a different variety of apple based on your preference or what you have available. Apples like Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, or Fuji work well.
- Heavy cream. Whole milk or half-and-half can be used as a substitute for heavy cream. This will result in slightly less richness but will still yield delicious scones.
- Powdered sugar. If you don't have powdered sugar, you can make your own by blending granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until it reaches a powdery consistency.
- Unsalted butter. Salted butter is a reasonable substitute here, especially if you enjoy a hint of saltiness in the glaze.
- Heavy cream. Whole milk or half-and-half can be used instead of heavy cream in the glaze. Adjust the quantity as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- Vanilla extract. If you don't have vanilla extract, almond or maple extract can be used as an alternative, providing a slightly different but equally delightful flavor.
A few variation ideas that you can use to mix things up!
- Caramel apple scones. Instead of topping the apple scones with glaze, top them with a homemade caramel sauce. You can find the recipe on our post for caramel apple French toast.
- Apple pecan scones. Add ½ cup of chopped pecans to the dough.
- Apple walnut scones. Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts to the dough.
- Apple cranberry scones. Add ½ cup of dried cranberries to the dough.
- Pear and almond scones. Substitute the apples with 1 cup of peeled and chopped pears. Immediately after adding the glaze, take 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds and sprinkle evenly over the top of each scone.
To keep your apple scones fresh and delicious for as long as possible, follow these storage instructions:
- Room temperature. Allow the scones to cool completely before storing. If you plan to consume them within 1-2 days, you can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. However, keep in mind that the texture may become slightly less flaky over time.
- Refrigerator. If you want to extend the shelf life, store the scones in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Before serving, allow them to come to room temperature or warm them briefly in the microwave or oven to restore their freshness.
- Freezer. For longer storage, freeze the scones. After they have cooled completely, wrap each scone individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Make sure to label and date the container. To thaw, simply leave them at room temperature for a few hours or warm them in the oven.
- Glazed scones. If your scones have a glaze, it's best to add the glaze just before serving. Glazed scones can become sticky in storage, so if you've already glazed them and need to store leftovers, separate layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Freshen up before serving. If your scones have lost a bit of their freshness, you can revive them by reheating in a preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for about 5-8 minutes. This will restore a bit of their original texture and warmth.
Remember that the overall quality of the scones might change over time, so it's best to enjoy them as freshly baked as possible.
- Chilled ingredients. Make sure your butter and heavy cream are cold. Cold butter is crucial for achieving a flaky texture in the scones, and cold heavy cream helps with proper dough formation.
- Handle the dough gently. When incorporating the butter into the flour, use a light touch. Overmixing can lead to a tougher texture. Similarly, when adding the heavy cream and forming the dough, handle it as minimally as possible to maintain the desired tenderness.
- Preheat your oven. Make sure your oven is fully preheated to 425 F (218 C) before placing the scones inside. This helps achieve the right rise and browning.
- Don't overbake. Keep a close eye on the scones in the oven. Overbaking can make them dry. Once they're lightly browned (around 10-12 minutes), take them out.
- Glaze. If you choose to add the optional glaze, consider drizzling it on just before serving to maintain a fresh appearance. If storing, separate glazed scones with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Use fresh spices. If possible, use fresh ground cinnamon. The flavor is more vibrant compared to pre-ground cinnamon, enhancing the overall taste of the scones.
Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time, shape it into triangles, and refrigerate them on the baking sheet. Bake them when ready, adding a few extra minutes to account for the chilled dough.
To freshen up leftover scones, reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-8 minutes. This will restore some of their original texture and warmth.
Yes, you can freeze the scones before baking. After cutting them into triangles, freeze them individually on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Bake directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Try one of these next!
- 3 cups self-rising flour See Note 1.
- ½ cup unsalted butter Cut into small cubes. Note 2.
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar Packed. Note 3.
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup peeled and diced apples About 1 medium apple. Note 4.
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar Also known as confectioner's sugar.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Melted
- ¼ cup heavy cream Milk may be substituted.
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add flour to a large mixing bowl, then add cold cubed butter.½ cup unsalted butter, 3 cups self-rising flour
- Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and holds together when you squeeze it with your hand.
- Add brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and diced apple to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.⅓ cup dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup peeled and diced apples
- Add heavy cream and stir until a stiff dough forms. You may need to knead the dough a little bit with your hands to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.1¼ cup heavy cream
- Turn dough onto countertop topped with parchment or wax paper. Form into a disc about 8 inches in diameter.
- Cut into 8 triangles.
- Place unbaked scones on prepared baking sheet, and bake until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm with butter and jam as desired.Alternatively, allow them to cool completely then drizzle the optional glaze over the top.
- In a small shallow bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla extract. Thin as necessary with more cream.1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ¼ cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Drizzle the glaze over the top of cooled scones. Allow scones to rest a few minutes until the glaze is set.
- If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoon baking powder, and ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Keep the butter as cold as possible. I cubed mine, then added it to a small bowl, and placed it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.
- If you don't have dark brown sugar, you can substitute light brown sugar. It won't have the same rich flavor, but will still be good. In a pinch, you can also use white granulated sugar instead. However, your scones will lack that deep caramel flavor you get with brown sugar. To measure the brown sugar, scoop it into a ¼ measuring cup for dry ingredients and press with the back of a spoon. Keep measuring and pressing until the sugar is packed to the top of the measuring cup.
- Sweet apple varieties like Fuji or Red Delicious are your best bet here.
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