The History of Scones: What Are They & Where Did They Come From?

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What are scones?

Get ready to indulge in a delicious treat that’s perfect for breakfast or tea – the delightful scone! Hailing from jolly old England, these pastries are the perfect blend of rich and savory, with a touch of sweetness and a flaky, dense texture that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Picture a warm, buttery scone fresh from the oven, bursting with flavor from dried fruits and spices. And let’s not forget about the endless topping options – from creamy clotted cream and tangy marmalade to sweet jams and honey. It’s no wonder scones are a beloved treat around the world!

But wait, there’s more! Scones can also take a savory turn with ingredients like potato flour and cheese, perfect for those who prefer a more savory breakfast option.

Where are scones from?

Let’s take a trip back in time to 16th century Scotland, where the term “scone” was first used to describe a delectable pastry. It’s believed that the word is derived from the Dutch term for bread, but one thing is for sure – the Scottish have certainly perfected this delicious treat!

With a variety of mouth-watering options, it’s no surprise that Scotland is considered the epicenter of scone-making. From savory soda scones made with flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, to treacle, potato, and griddle scones cooked to perfection on a hot griddle, there’s a scone to suit every palate.

What's the difference between a scone and a biscuit?

These delightful pastries often get mixed up, but fear not – we’re here to set the record straight.

First, let’s talk about the ingredients. Scones are like the sweet cousin of biscuits, with eggs and sugar in the mix, along with some scrumptious add-ins like dried fruit or nuts. Biscuits, on the other hand, are more of a savory snack that pair well with soups or stews.

Next up is the texture. Scones are dense and crumbly, with a hearty texture that will fill you up and keep you satisfied. Biscuits, on the other hand, are flaky and light.

The origin of both treats is also different; scones are steeped in British tradition while biscuits are an American classic. No matter where they hail from, one thing is for sure – both scones and biscuits are delicious, and there’s no wrong way to enjoy them!

How do you properly eat a scone?

  1. Grab a plate and use a spoon to scoop Devonshire (clotted) cream and and lemon curd- enough for one heavenly scone.
  2. Use a knife to cut the scone horizontally. Cut off a bite-sized piece from one of the cut halves. Cut off each bite as you go and enjoy the tea time experience; don’t cut up your entire scone at once.
  3. This is where the magic happens – use your trusty knife to slather on a generous helping of cream and curd onto your scone piece. The order of the cream and curd is up to you, as disagreements about what goes first go back the origin of cream tea in the 11th century.
  4. And finally, take a bite and relish the explosion of flavors in your mouth. Remember to eat each bite-sized piece in 1-2 bites.
  5. Congrats, you just nailed the art of scone-eating!

What goes first, cream or curd?

Disagreements about what goes first go back the origin of cream tea in the 11th century. Those in Devon, home of Devonshire cream, put on the cream first and then lemon curd, arguing:
  1. Cream is like the butter of the scone experience. It’s not something you’d want to put on top of jam – that would be a no-go!
  2. The tradition of serving scones with jam and cream dates back to a time when jam was considered a luxury item. So, you’d only use a small amount and spread it on top of the scone, under a dollop of cream.
  3. A little trick to get more cream on your scone is to load it up first! Don’t be shy with that cream, let it pile up high.
  4. And here’s a bonus tip: applying cream before jam can help prevent the dreaded cream-on-nose situation. Some say that spreading jam on top of cream makes it flatter – try it out for yourself!

The Cornish custom is to spread the jam or lemon curd first, followed by the cream. They claim that:

    1. It spreads more easily.
    2. The taste of the cream is more noticeable when on top.
    3. You wouldn’t put cream on the bottom of a fruit salad!

As you can see, these reasons provide little, if any, evidence of either method being better. So get out there and see for yourself what tastes better!

Try the best scones you’ll ever have! Visit our online store at and get them shipped to your doorstep or visit our Tea Rooms in Michigan, the Pink House Tea Room in New Baltimore and the Royal Treat Tea Room & Just Delicious Scones Bakery in Roseville!

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