These easy cinnamon scones get a burst of autumn flavor from a homemade cinnamon butter!
For the cinnamon butter:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the scone dough:
- 270 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 ¼ cups), plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
- 2/3 cup milk
For the cinnamon glaze:
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (you might need a little more, depending on the consistency you want and how much glaze you want on each scone)
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon very hot water (you may not need it all)
Make the cinnamon butter:
- Add softened butter and cinnamon to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or a sturdy spatula to thoroughly mix until butter is a deep brown color and all cinnamon is incorporated.
- Transfer cinnamon butter to a piece of parchment paper. Use the sides of the paper to gently press butter into a log shape, then twist the ends and tuck them under the butter to make a little bundle. See the post above for photos of this process!
- Place butter in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, until butter is very cold and no longer soft.
- Carefully shred the cinnamon butter over the large holes of a box grater. Once shredded, transfer butter back to the freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Note: You can prepare and shred this cinnamon butter in advance if you like! Store the butter log in the fridge for 3-4 days before shredding, or store shredded butter in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make the Scones:
- Heat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
- Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add grated cinnamon butter to flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Add milk a little at a time; stir until just combined. The mixture should still be a little crumbly - that’s ok!
- Tip dough onto a lightly floured cutting board. Use your clean hands to quickly and gently bring the dough together, then fold it over on itself a few times and pat it into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Work quickly here to avoid melting the butter with the heat from your hands!
- Use a large knife to divide the dough into 8 evenly sized wedges, then transfer to a sturdy metal baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat or a piece of parchment paper.
- Place scones in the fridge for 20 minutes (or in the freezer for 10 minutes) to chill. This will help them keep their shape and rise well in the oven.
- Transfer scones to the oven and bake at 425° F for 12-18 minutes until golden brown. The total baking time will depend on the size and thickness of the scones.
- Remove scones from the oven and let cool completely before adding glaze.
For the Glaze:
- In a medium bowl, combine cinnamon, powdered sugar, and melted butter.
- Mix with a spoon until smooth.
- Add the hot water a teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. You may not need all of the water.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled scones and enjoy!
Additions and substitutions. Reduce the amount of cinnamon in the cinnamon butter if you’d like a more mellow flavor. Add up to ⅓ cup sugar to the dough if you would like sweeter scones (you may also need to add an extra splash of milk if you go this route). Stir a handful of walnuts or pecans into the scone dough for extra texture. Use milk or cream instead of hot water in the glaze, or skip the glaze entirely and sprinkle scones with demerara or turbinado sugar just before baking for an extra pop of sweetness and some texture.
Make-ahead tips. Make the cinnamon butter and shape as directed, then store in the fridge for 1-2 days before shredding. Store shredded butter in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months (you can add the butter to this scone dough straight from the freezer when you’re ready for it).
Adjust the shape and size of your scones. Shape your dough into a large square and cut it into thirds from top-to-bottom and side-to-side to form nine square scones if you like. Make mini scones by shaping dough into two or three smaller rounds before cutting, or add a splash of milk to the dough for a looser consistency that's perfect for drop scones. If you adjust the size of your scones, just remember to adjust the baking time as needed!
Storing and freezing scones. These scones are best eaten the day they are baked, but you can store extras in an airtight container on the counter for a day or two without affecting the texture too much. Freeze extra scones in an airtight container for up to 3 months; defrost by placing on the counter for a few hours or heating in a 300° F oven for a few minutes until warmed through. We recommend freezing scones before adding the glaze for best results.
A note about butter. We love shredding the butter for scone recipes because it gives the final product great texture. Wrap a bit of the parchment paper around the end of your cinnamon butter when shredding it with a box grater: It gives a better grip, acts as a small buffer between your hands and the blade, and stops the butter from melting as quickly. You can also shred butter using the shredder attachment of a food processor, or you can cut the butter into small cubes and cut it into the dough using a pastry blender (just like in a biscuit recipe!) If you cut the butter in with a pastry blender rather than shredding it, your scones will be a bit flakier (more like a biscuit-y texture).
Adjust the amount of milk if necessary. If you measure your flour by weight (with a kitchen scale) the amount of milk in this recipe should be just about perfect. If you measure your flour by volume (with cups), you may find you need an extra Tablespoon or two of milk to help the dough come together. If it's especially humid outside, or if you cut the butter into the dough (instead of shredding it) you might need a tiny bit less milk than the recipe calls for: start with just ½ cup milk and add a Tablespoon at a time as necessary.
Keywords: breakfast, fall, brunch