Traditional Irish Scones

Discover the secret to making light, fluffy, and authentically delicious Irish Scones right in your own kitchen. This traditional Irish scone recipe, passed down from my mother, is a perfect treat for breakfast, afternoon tea, or to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

scones on a baking sheet

Growing up in Ireland, scones were more than just a treat; they were a part of every significant family gathering, a comforting snack during rainy afternoons, and a must-have at tea time. This recipe is inspired by the scones my mother used to make and pairs wonderfully with my Orange Butter, slathered over the warm scones.

Why This Recipe Works

This authentic Irish scone recipe captures the essence of the Emerald Isle with its simple ingredients and method. Using Irish butter and buttermilk, it achieves a perfect balance between a tender crumb and a rich, buttery flavor. The addition of an egg wash gives these scones a beautifully golden finish, making them irresistible.

Irish scones can be made healthier and savory by omitting the sugar and swapping in sharp cheddar or dried herbs.


The key to these traditional Irish scones lies in the quality of the ingredients:

  • Irish Butter: Provides a richer, creamier taste.
  • Buttermilk: Reacts with the baking powder for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Self-Raising Flour: Ensures the scones rise perfectly, but you can use purpose flour with a raising agent if needed.
Irish scones on a plate filled with jam and cream


Feel free to adapt the recipe to your liking:

  • For a healthier option, substitute white flour with whole wheat.
  • Add dried currants or sultanas for a sweet version, or sharp cheddar and herbs for a savory twist.
The perfect Irish scone is not hard but instead is light, fluffy and buttery. It should be served warm with butter or allowed to cool slightly and served with jam and cream.


  1. Prep Your Ingredients: Measure out all ingredients and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. This creates the perfect base for your scones.
  3. Incorporate Butter: Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, rub the Irish butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients: Make a well in the center of your flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk, combining gently until a soft dough forms. The dough may seem dry at first, but eventually it will come together.
  5. Shape and Bake: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gently roll out to about 1 inch thick, and cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 -15 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Hint: For an extra golden crust, brush the tops of the scones with a mixture of egg and a splash of milk before baking.


To keep scones fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 6 months, then thawed at room temperature or gently warmed in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk? Yes, you can just regular milk. The buttermilk creates a softer crumb, but they are still delicious without it.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

This traditional Irish scones recipe is more than just a way to bake; it’s a journey to the heart of Irish culinary tradition, inviting warmth, comfort, and the simple pleasure of sharing good food. Whether you’re celebrating your heritage or simply seeking the perfect scone, this recipe delivers delicious results every time…plus it’s SO quick to make!

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Irish scones on a plate filled with jam and cream
This recipe for traditional Irish scones was passed down from my mother. Served for breakfast or afternoon tea and accompanied with jam and clotted cream or simply with butter, these authentic scones are simple to make but absolutely delicious!
Jenna Shaughnessy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 8 scones


  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour sifted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 10 tbsp salted butter cold – I prefer to use Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk cold
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • generous pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.  Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
  • With your hands, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles course breadcrumbs.
  • In another bowl, mix the egg into the buttermilk.
  • Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk and egg until you have a soft dough. It should just come together and you should be able to handle it without it being really sticky.
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and knead a couple of times just to remove any cracks. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  • Roll out to around 1 inch thick and cut with a cutter or glass dipped in flour.
  • Place on a floured/buttered baking sheet (or use parchment paper). You should get about 8 scones.
  • Brush each scone with milk to help brown the tops when baked.
  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the scones are golden.
  • Best served immediately but can be warmed the following day or eaten cold.

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