Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (2024)

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Come see my traditional Irish Scones recipe and get my clotted cream recipe too! If you’re looking for some Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day or just because, these will be some of your favorites! Make sure to save this to Pinterest too!

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (1)

Any time a holiday pops up, I like to dive deep into the culture around the food that belongs to the people of that holiday. Last fall, I really geeked out learning about Samhain, which is the origin holiday for Halloween. For St. Patrick’s Day I find myself doing something similar. I’m diving in deep to more of the traditional foods one might find in Ireland this season instead of dying everything green. Sure maybe I’ll add in some green colored food too, but the true food stories I like to tell here revolve around culture and the dishes that help to define our culture like this Irish Scone recipe with clotted cream.

Irish Scones recipe history

Irish Scones are closely related to English scones. They are traditionally served with tea, eaten at breakfast or an accompaniment to stew. Like a biscuit, they’re moist on the inside and more dense on the outside with crispy, buttery edges. In Ireland scones are traditionally served with butter, jam or a clotted cream, which is similar to whipped cream but not as sweet. It is suggested you eat Isih scones warm, right out of the oven, or heat them before eating.

No one really knows who invented the scone – the Irish, English or the Scottish. But the first reference is found in the 1500s in a poem by a Scottish.

Irish Scones can be made plain, with berries or with dried fruit. (Making them look very similar to these Samhain soul cakes {HERE})

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (2) Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (3)

A simple recipe that can be made quickly

I decided to make my Irish Scones recipe plain so that it could not only go with not only the clotted cream recipe I made, but also with my Guinness Irish Stew {HERE}. When it comes to making the Irish scones, the recipe is pretty straight forward and simple. It only calls for a few items including; flour, sugar, cold butter, buttermilk, salt and baking powder. Better yet, these can be made in about 30 minutes.

The taste of Irish Scones

So, unlike the scones you might get from Starbucks, Irish scones are not overly sweet. In fact, I added a little more sugar to these than they might traditionally have to give them a little more sweetness. They are a very neutral baked good, which makes them pair well with stews or jam and tea. They paired perfectly with my Guinness Irish Beef Stew and my clotted cream recipe too. I just want you all to be aware of that so that if you make these – and the clotted cream as well – you will know you’re not making something that’s going to taste like a pastry from an American cafe or a roll at a restaurant.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (4)

Making my clotted cream recipe

You may be wondering what clotted cream it. It’s basically a thick, unsweet cream that has a butter-like consistency. Now, I made a faux clotted cream recipe to go with my biscuits. Why is it faux?

  1. Clotted cream is almost impossible to find the United States. If you found it somewhere, please let me know where.
  2. Traditional clotted cream is made with unpasteurized milk, which is also nearly impossible to find in the US due to laws surrounding the selling of raw milk. And I might live on a farm but I’m not buying a cow. (Probably not, anyways. Never say never.)

So, while you can find recipes calling for the use of pasteurized milk that you have to cook over low heat for a very long time, I decided to short cut it and make a faux clotted cream recipe using mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone cheese has a very high fat content, similar to clotted cream. Combining it with a little heavy cream and a little sugar will get you very close to the traditional clotted cream flavor profile. And it’s fairly easy to find in the U.S. I’ll share the recipe below.

The flavor for clotted cream is again very neutral, like the scones themselves. You hear “cream” and I’m sure your mind goes automatically to whipped cream or coffee creamer, but that’s not what this is supposed to taste like from a sweetness perspective. The clotted cream will have a touch of sweetness that is just supposed to be barely there. If you are American you may actually be surprised at how little sweetness it actually has. It’s the reason it is paired with jam.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (5)

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (6)

The jam for the scones

Since jam is also traditional for Irish scones recipes, you will see that I have mine pictured with jam. Apparently, in the United Kingdom strawberry jam is the most traditional jam to eat with scones. You can find my small batch strawberry jam recipe {HERE} if you want to make that. However, I served mine with raspberry jam because I had some on hand. I’ll share the recipe for it below.

How do you eat a scone with clotted cream

When it comes to eating Irish Scones, apparently the English have something to say about it. There is a debate on the best way to eat the scones. Do you put the clotted cream on top of the jam (Cornwall) or does the cream go on the bottom (Devon)? Apparently it is also not traditional to cut them but to serve them with it right one top too? So I did the American thing and made them into little biscuit sandwiches. Now you just can flip your scone over and have it in the Cornwall way or the Devon way.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (7)

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (8)

Tips for making my Irish Scones recipe

  • Traditionally, the butter is left cold in this recipe and it is cut into the flour. This is similar to puff pastry {recipe HERE} although the results are very different and the scones take far less time. To do this, you will need a pastry cutter. I have this one {HERE}.
  • However, there’s also no need to be fancy and you can use your hands to mix it in as well. I tend to use both and cut it in first with the pastry cutter and then really use my hands to bring the dough together.
  • The dough will seem piece-y since you are using cold butter and cold buttermilk. Even if you decide to use the pastry cutter above, I recommend really going in with your hands to help mold the dough before rolling it out. It can feel a little bit gritting and I find that after working with it for a few minutes, the grittiness dissipates. Once this is done, put it back in the fridge for 5 minutes to let the butter re-harden before rolling it out.
  • My Irish Scones recipe uses buttermilk. Can you use regular milk? Yes, but I recommend buttermilk for the best flavor and texture. It’s really about the high fat content. If you absolutely have to use regular milk use the full fat whole milk.
  • You might noticed that my scones seem a tad tinged on the bottoms. This occurs just along the edges of some of them depending on how the butter milk drips down. The bottoms are not burned at all. The buttermilk just gets a little brown when it hit the hot baking sheet.
  • However, make sure to use parchment paper. It will help to protect your bottoms from burning.

Serving and storing

Irish Scones should be served warmed. If you need to make them ahead of time, store them in an air tight container for up to two days. Then reheat them in the microwave for 15 seconds or so.

You can keep the clotted cream in an air tight container in the refrigerator for one week. The raspberry jam will keep for 2-3 weeks. I store it in a quilted jam jar {HERE} with these reusable lids {HERE}.

Looking for other Irish recipes or St. Patrick’s Day ideas?

If you love Irish food, check out some of the other recipes that would work perfectly for St. Patrick’s Day or year-round too.

  • Cottage Pie {HERE}
  • Guinness Irish Stew {HERE}
  • Irish Soda Bread {HERE}
  • Bailey’s Chocolate Cake {HERE}

Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends! I hope you love this Irish Scones recipe and my faux clotted cream recipe too! You can find the full, printable recipes below. I look forward to seeing you again!

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (9)

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (10)

Traditional Irish Scones recipe with clotted cream recipe

Come see my traditional Irish Scones recipe and get my clotted cream recipe too! If you're looking for some Irish food for St. Patrick's Day or just because, these will be some of your favorites! Make sure to save this to Pinterest!

5 from 7 votes

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Course: Dessert, tea

Cuisine: British, Irish

Keyword: clotted cream recipe, Irish scones, Irish scones recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 11


  • 1 Baking sheet

  • Pastry cutter

  • Rolling Pin

  • Parchment paper


Ingredients for the Irish Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 14 Tbsp. cold butter, salted
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Additional flour for rolling out
  • Additional buttermilk for brushing on top of the dough circles

Ingredients for the clotted cream recipe

  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar

Ingredients for the raspberry jam

  • 12 oz frozen raspberries If you want to use fresh use 2 cups
  • 1/2 juice from a lemon About 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 3 cups sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees,

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and whisk well. Or use a sifter and sift it together.

  • Cut the butter into the flour mix with a pastry cutter, fork or using your hands.

  • Whisk together the egg and the butter milk.

  • Make a well in the center of the flour mix and little by little add the egg mix. Use your hands to bring it all together.

  • Use your hands to work the dough into a ball while in the bowl. It should be sticky but once you work with it enough it will no longer stick to your hands. Make sure to work it long enough so it is also no longer gritty.

  • Put the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes and prep the roll out area with parchment paper and additional flour. Dust the surface with flour and dust a rolling pin.

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and turn it out onto the parchment paper. Dust the surface with a little flour and then roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick.

  • Cut the biscuit shapes with a biscuit cutter or just use a glass rimmed with flour, which is what I do. I get about 11-12 scones from this recipe. It will depend on how thick or thin you roll them.

  • Place the dough circles on a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush them on top with a little more buttermilk.

  • Bake for 10 -15 minutes.

  • Serve warm with clotted cream and jam!

Instructions for the clotted cream

  • Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer until there are stiff peaks.

  • Refrigerate until needed.

Instructions for the raspberry jam

  • Mix together the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan on the stove over medium to low heat. Mix continuously until the sugar completely dissolves.

  • Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.

  • Allow to cool completely on the stove then add to a jar and refrigerate.

Traditional Irish Scones Recipe with Clotted Cream (2024)
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