How to Make Scones Soft (8 Simple Tips)

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Scones are a staple of many cuisines across the globe. Their crumbling shell and delicate, fluffy inside provide the greatest mouthfeel.

Many bakers, however, do not know how to produce soft scones. While it is simple to achieve the crunchy, crumbly outside, many people have discovered that their scones are mushy and bread-like on the interior.

So the question is, how can you make scones soft?

Not to worry! We’ve included all of the crucial hints you’ll need to make your scones softer and lighter in this post. Everything you need to know is right here.

How to Make Scones Soft in 8 Different Ways

A few of factors must be considered while making soft scones. You want the scones to be as light as possible while avoiding the formation of gluten.

1 – Be Careful With Your Leavening Agent

Every baker understands the significance of leavening agents. Using leavening agents, on the other hand, entails more than just deciding between baking soda and baking powder. Quality and quantity are really important.

Carbon dioxide is present in these agents. When carbon dioxide is activated when mixing with a liquid or baking, it exits as bubbles. That is what gives your scones their light, fluffy, and delicate texture.

First, make sure you use the right quantity of baking soda or powder. More importantly, you should not use one in place of the other.

If you don’t have baking soda and just have baking powder, use this easy formula: one teaspoon baking soda = three teaspoons baking powder.

Still, since each activates differently, this should be the final choice.

It may surprise you, but adding additional leavening agents will not result in a softer scone! Many leavening ingredients cause your scones to rise fast and then deflate. Always use the quantity of leavening agent recommended by the recipe.

In terms of quality, be certain that your leavening ingredient is fresh. You may accomplish this by checking the expiry date or by doing a simple test.

Combine a tiny bit of vinegar with a sprinkle of leavening agent; if it bubbles, the leavening agent is fresh and ready to use.

2 – Add Cream of Tartar

A little cream of tartar in your dish might make it taste shockingly good. It will aid baking soda in producing the carbon dioxide required for the frothy texture. If you add it, you’ll get a porous scone that melts in your mouth.

The best way to make extremely soft scones is to combine cream of tartar with baking soda. Even if you use baking powder, a sprinkle of cream of tartar will not harm. It will cause your scones to rise higher and fluffier!

3 – Don’t Over Knead the Dough

Scones dough should be somewhat moist and sticky. Most bakers make the mistake of kneading the dough too hard.

Gluten develops as a consequence and is released into the components. As a result, your scone will be chewy rather than soft and fluffy.

To prevent this, just combine the ingredients until no sugar or flour streaks remain. Try not to go overboard. Stop kneading when the dough becomes sticky in your hands and continue with the instructions.

4 – Pay Attention to the Flour

The protein in the flour is what causes the chewy gluten to develop. So, just use the quantity specified in the recipe, otherwise you will have more gluten than required.

If your dough is moist and sticky, don’t add more flour.

The next step is to sift the flour to include as much air as possible into the dough before baking to make the scones airy.

Simply set a strainer over your mixing basin and gradually add the required flour. Then, shake the sieve slightly to sift the flour.

Another insider tip is to substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour. As previously stated, while baking scones, it is advisable to eliminate gluten.

Naturally, you’ll want to use cake flour, which has the lowest gluten level.

5 – Use Buttermilk

It’s a no-brainer to use buttermilk instead of ordinary milk when preparing soft scones. It’s the most popular component in every recipe that calls for soft, flaky pastry.

Buttermilk is nothing more than fermented milk. Simply said, it’s milk with a little of acid in it.

This acid is necessary for soft scones because it removes the undesirable gluten from the components.

To elaborate further, gluten is a protein, while buttermilk includes acid. Simply explained, the acid might cause the gluten in your dough to dissolve.

Additionally, buttermilk aids in the activation of the leavening ingredient, resulting in more air and softer scones.

6 – Mix Both Butter and Shortening

Instead of simply butter, incorporate both butter and shortening in your recipe for softer, fluffier scones.

This works so effectively because it combines the greatest features of each fat. While they may be exchanged for one another, they each have unique features and properties.

For one thing, butter has a rich, creamy flavor that shortening lacks. However, since it produces steam while baking, butter might induce gluten development.

The melting point of shortening is greater. As a result, it does not result in the development of gluten. Furthermore, since shortening does not spread the scones as much, they become condensed and tender. Using a balanced quantity of each is your best chance for achieving the desired texture.

7 – Refrigerate the Ingredients

Scones, unlike many other recipes, need the ingredients to be at room temperature. To make your scones light and fluffy, use chilled ingredients.

This saves time since you don’t have to take your ingredients out of the fridge to warm them up beforehand. Simply use chilled ingredients. Some bakers also advocate chilling the bowl for added coolness.

Chilling your dough before baking is another technique to keep it cold. After you’ve finished combining, let the dough rest in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.

8 – Eat the Scones Fresh

You should always eat your scones fresh once you have completed all of the necessary stages for the ideal soft scones. If you leave them outdoors, they will get stale and lose their flavor. Their texture will be dry as well, making them chewy rather than airy.

If you wish to save the scones, place them in the freezer or store them in an airtight container. Keep them away from moisture and, if they adhere to each other, place paper towels between them.

How to Make Soft Scones

The aforementioned suggestions are simple to include into any dish. Even so, if you use the incorrect recipe, or worse, a box of scones mix, your scones will not be as soft as you hope.

This recipe incorporates all of the aforementioned suggestions, as well as the ideal component ratio, to produce fluffy, airy, and, most all, soft scones.


The following items will be required to create the scones:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg
  • cup buttermilk
  • cup heavy cream


The instructions below will walk you through the recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 420 F
  2. Whisk the cold liquid components (eggs, milk, and cream) in a chilled bowl. Then, beat until fully blended.
  3. In a separate basin, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  4. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and gently work it in with your fingertips.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the liquid ingredients, stirring to mix.
  6. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and knead the dough for no more than 10 seconds.
  7. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
  8. Take the dough out and form it into a -inch disk
  9. Cut the disk into equal-sized triangles
  10. Place the scones on a baking sheet, barely touching.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown

Final Thoughts

Scones should be rather simple to prepare. Despite this, many people struggle to grasp the intricate texture of these pastries, which should be crumbly on the exterior yet soft on the inside.

Air is a necessary ingredient in the preparation of soft scones. During the baking process, you’ll want to integrate as much as feasible. This may be accomplished by using a leavening agent, sieving the flour, or using buttermilk and cream of tartar.

The only thing to avoid while preparing soft scones is gluten. Due to the presence of flour protein, gluten may readily develop during the baking process. You may, however, circumvent this issue by using cake flour and buttermilk.

Nothing can stop you from enjoying the wonderful pastry with your afternoon tea now that you know how to make scones light and fluffy.


How do you make soft scones?

The use of buttermilk helps to keep the scones soft. Freezing the scones before to baking ensures that the butter is cold, which produces the airy pockets inside the scones. Adding an egg keeps them rich and soft. You do not have to use the whole quantity of liquid.

How do you keep scones soft?

You should cover them with foil or plastic wrap. Putting them in an airtight plastic container or sealed plastic bag will also work. It is critical that the scones be stored at room temperature. As long as it’s not too hot, storing them in a pantry or breadbox is acceptable.

Why my scones are not soft?

The dough was overworked.

Overworking the dough will result in harsh and chewy scones rather than light and fluffy scones. The idea is to massage the dough with a delicate touch until it barely comes together. Follow this advice: Expect lumps and bumps in your dough; when it just comes together, it’s ready to use.

How do you keep scones from getting hard?

“Try not to overwork it – don’t over-stir or knead it too much, as this will cause the gluten in the flour to work harder, resulting in a tougher scone,” Vanessa advises. Instead, merely work it until it begins to come together, then roll it out to the thickness you want and cut it into even rounds.”

Why do scones get hard?

Overworking the dough: If you overwork the dough, your scones will be harsh and chewy instead of the desirable light and crumbly quality. The idea is to massage the dough lightly and just until it barely comes together.

Are scones supposed to be hard or soft?

Scones should be crusty on the exterior and soft and moist on the interior. They should not be crumbly or dried.

Are scones better with or without eggs?

I discovered that adding eggs made the scones less flaky and melt-in-your-mouth. They’re excellent on their own, but they’re even better with honey butter, jam, or whipped cream. It’s the ideal basis for a variety of flavor variants, like my lemon poppy seed scones, chocolate scones, raspberry scones, and more!

Does scone dough need to rest?

The reason is simple: much as with other doughs, including pizza dough, resting allows the gluten in scone dough to relax fully, preventing it from snapping back during shaping or baking.

Should butter be soft for scones?

One of the key distinctions between English-style scones and biscuits and American-style scones is the use of softened or room-temperature butter rather than cold butter. Cold butter is rubbed or “cut” into the dry ingredients and left in pieces in biscuits and American scones.

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