Scones vs Biscuits: Everything You Need to Know

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Are you perplexed by scones and biscuits? You are not alone, believe us!

These are two of the most popular baked pastries in the world, but they also exist in a gray area that often leads to confusion when browsing for recipes or ordering at a bakery or café.

In today’s scone versus biscuit guide, we’ll put an end to the debate by discussing the origins of each tasty delicacy and the distinctions between them. Let’s get this party started!

What Are Scones?

Scones were traditionally created by shaping oats into big loaves, then cutting them into triangles and baking them over a fire at high temperatures.

Scones are commonly believed as having originated in Scotland. While it is unclear when scones initially appeared, it is thought to have been somewhere around the 1500s, long before the United States was formed.

Nowadays, when the term scone is used, it refers to either British or American scones. Let’s take a look at each one individually:

British Scones

Scones became increasingly popular in Scotland when they became a thing. Scones eventually made their way south to England, where people enjoyed the dish and began modifying the recipe.

Flour was utilized as a basis instead of oats. Also, English bakers abandoned open flame cooking and turned to ovens to prepare their scones, which have remained popular to this day.

With time, people in England became more inventive, including dried fruits, primarily currants and raisins, into their scones.

Scones were, and still are, served with jam and clotted cream (a form of thick cream that falls between whipped cream and butter in most parts of the UK.

Which one to put first is a rather passionate discussion that has yet to be resolved, much like the peanut butter and jelly conundrum.

Scones across Europe and Commonwealth nations became the variant known as British scones as time progressed.

Scones were brought to the Americas by settlers from these locations, where individuals made their own adaptations to make the baked pastries more in keeping with local resources and taste.

Basic Recipe

Heres a basic recipe for British scones:

  • Ingredients:

    8 ounces self-rising flour
    2 ounces butter
    1 pound sugar
    a teaspoon of salt 5 fl oz milk
    1 beaten egg

  • 4 inches in thickness.
    Cut out circles using a 2-inch cutter.
    Brush the egg on the circles.
    Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.


    Combine the ingredients well.
    Lightly knead and pat to 3 inches on a floured surface.

American Scones

When scones traveled from the United Kingdom to the United States, the recipe made many diversions throughout the nation.

In general, scones in northern America did not deviate too much from the traditional British form.

Bakers up there continued to employ eggs or milk as liquid components in their scone recipes, which resulted in baked pastries that were thick and crumbly but not flaky, quite similar to the original scone.

They didn’t stop there, adding dried fruits as well as additional tastes like cheese and lemon or orange zest to the mix.

They gradually increased the amount of sugar in the recipes to make their scones sweeter and crunchier than the original.

In contrast, scones in the southern United States were transformed into a more fluffy and flaky variation known as the Southern biscuit.

This variation resulted from the use of wheat flour, lard, buttermilk, and extra butter to produce the sones, which meant greater fats and crispiness.

Because coffee and tea snacks were more popular in the northern parts of America, the original type of scones remained more popular than in the southern regions.

Southern Americans preferred savory cuisine and rich entrees that could be paired with gravy.

Basic Recipe

Heres a basic recipe for American scones:

  • a teaspoon of salt
    1 egg
    2 tsp. vanilla extract

    1 tablespoon heavy cream and 3 cups heavy cream
    14 cup granulated sugar
    1 tbsp. baking powder
    8 tbsp (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter

    1 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Steps:

    Using parchment paper, line a baking sheet.
    Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing basin.
    Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
    Add the grated butter to the dry ingredients.
    To coat all of the pieces equally, toss the butter in the flour mixture.
    To prepare the dough, combine the wet and dry components.
    Pat to a thickness of about 1 inch.
    Cut the dough into triangles or wedges and place them on a baking sheet.
    While the oven warms up, chill the scones.
    Brush the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar once the oven is ready.
    Bake the scones for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

What Are Biscuits?

Unlike scones, which have numerous similarities between the British and American variants, biscuits are a whole different story!

Biscuits are baked goods in both cuisines, but the similarities end there.

As a result, while discussing biscuits nowadays, we must distinguish between British and American biscuits. Let’s take a look at each one individually:

British Biscuits

Ordering a biscuit in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia, and other European and Commonwealth nations implies getting something quite similar to what Americans call cookies.

The typical form of these baked delicacies, often known as English tea biscuits, is spherical. Their sides may be smooth or wavy, and the top can be plain or textured with a fork, depending on your preferences.

Unlike British scones or American biscuits, British biscuits have no layers. They are often soft, creamy, and crumbly. Most recipes make them simple, with no dried fruits or other flavour additives.

This is presumably why these biscuits go well with so many different cuisines. You may, for example, offer them as a snack with a cup of tea or coffee, or use them for graham crackers in a cheesecake foundation.

You may also include them on a cheese plate or serve them with a variety of sweet toppings such as honey, jelly, or jam.

Basic Recipe

Heres a basic recipe for British biscuits:

  • Ingredients:

    250 g butter, softened
    1 pound of white sugar
    350 g flour a pinch of salt

  • Steps:

    Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
    Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
    Knead the dough until it is smooth.
    Pat the cookies out to about 2 inches on a floured surface.
    Place on a baking sheet that has been buttered.
    Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

American Biscuits

American biscuits are also known as Southern biscuits. They’re usually spherical, with a bread-like texture and a savory yet somewhat sweet taste.

American biscuits, on the other hand, may be blop-shaped, square, or rectangular. They belong to the same carbohydrate family as bagels, bread, and rolls.

When comparing American biscuits to British scones, you’ll notice that they seem quite similar. Southern scones, on the other hand, are topped with gravy rather than jam and clotted cream.

American biscuits may also be served in a variety of ways, including:

  • Plain and simple.
  • For a morning sandwich, split the bread and load it with a cheese, vegetable, and meat combination.
  • As a side dish to fried chicken.

The South’s appreciation of substantial meals has a significant impact on biscuits.

They began as scones imported from the UK, but when butter, lard, buttermilk, and heavy cream were added, Southern cookies with greater volume, flakiness, and fluffiness were formed.

Basic Recipe

Heres a basic recipe for American biscuits:

  • 4 teaspoon sea salt
    1 cup buttermilk, chilled

    4 tsp. baking soda
    4 tbsp. chilled butter
    4 tbsp. baking powder

    1 cup flour 2 cups

  • Steps:

    Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing basin.
    Incorporate the chilled butter.
    Mix in the buttermilk until the dough comes together.
    Fold the dough over several times on a floured board and pat it to about 1 inch thick.
    Cut the dough into circles and place them on a baking sheet.
    Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Scone vs Biscuit Comparison

Now that you know what scone and biscuit imply in various regions of the globe, let’s do a quick head-to-head comparison of British and American varieties:

British Scone vs American Biscuit

For starters, British scones are more sweeter than American biscuits since they are cooked with more sugar and fat.

Not to mention that scones in the United Kingdom are often served with jam and clotted cream, while biscuits in the United States are typically served as a savory meal with gravy, chicken, or soup.

Despite their identical appearance, British scones are richer and thicker than American biscuits. The former comprises milk, whilst the latter contains buttermilk or cream to provide a flaky, light texture.

Finally, British scones originated in Scotland, but American biscuits originated in the American South.

British Scone vs American Scone

Scones from the United Kingdom and the United States are quite similar. They’re both soft, moist, and somewhat sweet.

On the surface, an American scone seems to be heavier and more crispy. It also crumbles more easily than the more substantial British version.

British Biscuit vs American Biscuit

A flaky, fluffy, and somewhat sweet American biscuit. It is incredibly rich and comes in a variety of forms.

American biscuits, which originated in the South, are linked with delicious and substantial meals.

British biscuits, on the other hand, are essentially what Americans and many others across the globe refer to as cookies. They’re circular disks with a delicate, crumbly feel.

Do Scones Taste Like Biscuits?

No, since they are baked differently, scones and biscuits do not taste the same. Not to mention that they are frequently served with a variety of toppings, flavors, and side dishes.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a full scone versus biscuit comparison to clear up any misconceptions, as well as fundamental recipes to get you started on your baking adventure.


What is the basic difference between a scone and a biscuit?

So, what exactly is the difference between a scone and a biscuit? The solution is often one ingredient: eggs. Scones have them, but biscuits do not. Aside than that, the components and technique are almost identical.

What are characteristics of a good biscuit scone or pastry?

A biscuit is defined, light, and airy, but substantial enough to eat with gravy or stew. A scone is thick, crumbly, and drier than a biscuit; it crumbles into wonderful bliss rather than flaking.

What is special about scones?

Scones are a British afternoon tea classic that go well with jam and clotted cream. Scones have a distinct texture that distinguishes them from cake and from biscuits and pastries. Scones are often baked using wheat, butter, sugar, and milk, but where did the recipe come from?

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.

What is correct scone etiquette?

The Fundamentals of Eating a Scone Correctly

Break apart a tiny bite-sized chunk of scone with your hands, or cut the scone horizontally with a knife. Spread cream and jam over the broken-off piece of scone using a knife. The bite-sized scone should be consumed in 1-2 nibbles.

What are 3 facts about scones?

A scone is a single-serving cake-like bread.
Scones are often prepared using wheat, barley, or oats and should be mixed by hand.
Scones are said to have originated in Scotland.
Scones are spelled’s-con’ or’s-cone’.
Scones were initially round and flat, rather than the current hefty circular form.

What are the 4 steps of the biscuit method?

I want for everyone to be successful!
Step 1: Combine all of the dry ingredients. In a large mixing basin, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
Step 2: Add the butter.
Step 3: Add the milk.
4th: Knead the dough.
Step 5: Shape and roll the dough.
Step 6 is to bake.

What are three characteristics of a quality scone?

or chippy or chibbly texture.The ideal scone, in my opinion, should have fluffy height and be light and flaky. The inside crumb should have a light-colored moist, soft, and sensitive feel. The scone should neither be soggy or doughy, nor should it be so firm that it cracks.

What to avoid when making scones?

5 Scones Baking Mistakes to Avoid
Using anything other than cold substances. Start with cold ingredients — cold butter, cold eggs, and cold cream — for the flakiest scones.
Using just all-purpose flour.
The dough was overworked.
The dough was not chilled before baking.
Baking them in advance.

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