How Do You Properly Eat a Scone?

Having served scones with tea for almost 30 years now, we’ve been asked countless times on how you’re supposed to properly eat a scone. After years of experiments, research, and feedback from guests and experts alike, here’s what we’ve come up with on how to properly eat a scone.

Pick a scone

Choose your scone: Take a look at the selection of scones and choose the one you want to eat. There are different types of scones, such as plain, fruit, cheese, and savory ones, so choose the one that appeals to you the most. At our Tea Rooms, we serve sweet scones and our staff is always happy to make a recommendation! Once you have made your selection, place it on a plate.

Prepare your spread

Choose a spread to go with your scone. Popular spreads include butter, jam, honey, marmalade, clotted cream, whipped cream, or a combination of these. If you’re using butter, make sure it is at room temperature so that it spreads easily. If you’re using jam or honey, give the jar a stir before you use it to make it easier to spread. Our housemade Devonshire cream and lemon curd is served between fridge and room temperature in our tea rooms to allow it so spread easily but drip.

Cut your scone

Take a knife and cut your scone in half horizontally. Use a gentle sawing motion so that you do not damage the scone. Just Delicious Scones can easily be cut with a butter knife but most other scones you find may be tough and dry and for those you’ll need a sharper knife to cut. Be careful not to cut yourself! Or just avoid the risk and opt for Just Delicious Scones.

Apply the spread

Apply a generous amount of your chosen spread onto one half of the scone. Use a knife or spoon to spread the topping evenly, making sure to cover the surface of the scone all the way to the edges. If you’re using clotted cream and jam, the order of what goes first has been hotly contested as long as the tradition of cream tea has been around. Those in Devon, home of Devonshrie cream, put on the cream first. The Cornish custom is to spread the lemon curd or jam first. Read more about it in The History of Scones: What Are They & Where Did They Come From?

Sandwich your scone

Place the other half of the scone without spread on top of the scone half with spread. There is no need to press the scones, as the two halves will stick together in the next step and you don’t want the toppings/fillings to ooze out!

Cut into smaller pieces

Cut your scone into smaller pieces or wedges using your knife. If you are sharing the scone with others, make sure to cut it into equal portions. If you’re eating alone, you can cut it into as many or as few pieces as you like. The size of the pieces will depend on your preference, but traditionally, scones are cut into quarters. 

Eat your scone

Pick up one of the smaller pieces or wedges of the scone with your fingers or a fork. Take a bite, and enjoy the taste and texture of the scone. Savor the flavors and textures of the scone. If you’re eating with others, make sure to pace yourself with the rest  of your party so that everyone can enjoy the scone and you’re not finished too quickly.


Repeat until you have eaten all of the scone or until you are satisfied. If you’re eating with others, make sure to offer them a piece before you finish the whole scone. Enjoying scones with a cup of tea is an expected pairing but you can subtitute it for a coffee, hot chocolate, or just a warm glass of milk!

How do you eat your scone? What do you do differently? Let us know your traditions in the comments below!

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