Vanilla Cream Scones

By Chef Megan Joy / March 20, 2012

We received a typical spring snowstorm yesterday- wet, heavy snow, and pockets of sunshine. I don’t mind these types of storms this time of year because whatever amount of snow they bring us, the sun usually melts the next day.

We’ve had such a mild winter it was kind of odd seeing snow on the ground again. At least I didn’t have to clear snow off of my truck. Not a fan of that. Especially the heavy kind.

One thing I have to admit is that when the weather is acting up, it’s always a welcomed excuse to stay in and do cozy things. The type of stuff you would feel guilty about doing during beautiful weather. Watch the Martha Stewart show. Recipe development. Download music. Drink hot tea. Bake cream scones.

Scones are tricky little buggers. Even at sea-level, I’ve always been on the hunt for a good, satisfying scone recipe. Over time, I’ve discovered more and more that I prefer the taste and texture of scones that have a moderate amount of heavy cream or buttermilk included in them.

So while perusing recipes on this snowy morning, I was intrigued to come across one for scones calling for all cream. No butter. Not one pat.

I added some luxurious vanilla bean paste to my dough because I am obsessed with the exotic fragrance of vanilla beans, and their beautiful seeds flecked throughout whatever they’re enhancing . But by all means, omit it if you want to savor the simple flavor of cream, flour, and sugar.

I had another thought on these too. With such a large proportion of cream, you could infuse the cream with another flavor, such as jasmine tea. After infusing, chill the cream and proceed. The jasmine and vanilla would be a lovely flavor together. Perhaps a bit of citrus zest too. Very sophisticated cream scones.

A reminder with scones and biscuits- the less they are handled, the more light and tender their texture will be.

Enjoy these fluffy, light scones. They are perfect for mornings like these.

Vanilla Cream Scones (adapted from Breakfasts and Brunches by the Culinary Institute of America)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Line a 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold cream and vanilla bean paste and mix gently by hand until the dough is just evenly moistened.

Place the dough in the lined cake pan and press into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.

Preheat your oven 350 F. Turn the dough out of the cake pan and cut into 10 equal wedges. Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with the milk and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serve the scones warm or room temperature and cozy up with a book.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

Annie - April 25, 2013

This recipe looks great. Could I add choc chips, or perhaps frozen blueberries? Gotta jazz-it-up for my grandkids.

Crissey - October 9, 2013

Wow! These are so good. Lightly sweet and great texture. And, so easy to make. The kids are asking for chocolate chips in them. I can’t wait to try lemon or orange zest. My husband’s favorite is just as they are- vanilla. Oh the possibilities! Thanks for sharing. Love your web-sight. I have always been a good baker until I moved to high altitude. Now I am learning all over again.

Christine Moore - April 13, 2014

I’ve made these scones twice. Both times the scones spread almost into each other. I live at 8200 feet altitude
The taste is incredible. Love the vanilla bean paste. Any suggestions on how to prevent the spreading?

    Chef Megan Joy - April 13, 2014

    Hi Chris, try placing the scones in the freezer til they are nearly frozen, then place them straight in the oven. I would also suggest initially raising the oven temp 15-25 degrees, placing the scones in, and then lowering the temp after 5 minutes to ‘set’ them better.

Christine Moore - April 14, 2014

Thank you. I will try your suggestions.

Pat - February 20, 2015

Megan, I continue to enjoy all of your posts. I do not live in a high altitude area so I really appreciate your adjustment tips. I have made the scones and they are wonderful. I have made the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars at least three times. They have become a favorite of a few of my friends.

Carol - April 11, 2016

I was thrilled to find a recipe that didn’t need butter and was suited to high altitude (I live at a mile high). These came out great and are delicious, but took almost 30 minutes to bake. I will be making them for a ladies tea and I think I will put them in a square pan and then cut into smaller squares. Thanks!

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