How to make a perfect scone by the Devon Scone Company

At this year’s Exeter Food and Drink Festival, I went to a cooking demonstration by Richard Hunt of the Devon Scone Company on making the perfect scone. Having been in the industry for more than 20 years Richard is a well-known face in the area and often invited to talk at local food events. As well as running the Devon Scone Company with his wife Claire, Richard also provides a professional hospitality consultancy service aimed at sharing his expertise and knowledge with fledgling and experienced chefs or restaurants. One of his many claims to fame is that Kirstie Allsopp has used his scone recipe on her Channel 4 TV programme. As scones are very important to our business and we include Richard’s scones in our Devonshire cream tea hampers I was obviously keen to hear more about his methods for creating the perfect Devonshire scone.

Devon Scone Company

The perfect scone texture

Richard’s scones are a cross between traditional Devon splits and the standard scone. This means that the scones don’t crumble apart into lots of different pieces (important for us when sending creams teas by post). You can actually rip Richards’s scones into two even parts by hand and this is how we believe Devon scones should be!

How to get the perfect scone texture to prevent crumbs

In order to achieve a good scone structure Richard doesn't use eggs, instead his four main ingredients are butter, milk, a strong flour and natural yoghurt.

How to get a good rise on your scones

The acid in the natural yogurt helps the baking powder work better giving a good rise. This good rise actually makes it possible to cut Richard’s scones into three pieces, which is great for anyone wanting more cream and jam on board! It’s also important to keep the pastry thick when you roll it out, to around an inch and a half is ideal.

How to finish your scones off with a nice colour

In order to give his scones a nice colour Richard sprays the scones with non-egg glaze made using vegetable oil and natural food colourings but for home baking glazing with a beaten egg is fine.

Advice when baking fruit scones

Richard has learnt the hard way that when making fruit scones it’s important to use good quality sultanas as cheap ones will go dry when cooked and break when you’re eating the scones.

Devonshire scone recipe

A simple scone recipe for 20 large Buttermilk scones

Ingredients:

1kg Strong Plain flour
375ml Buttermilk
375ml Natural yogurt
125gm Unsalted butter
125gm Milk powder
125gm Caster sugar
75gm Baking powder
Egg to glaze

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190◦c, Gas Mark 5 or 175◦c for a fan-assisted oven
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a breadcrumb like texture
  3. Gently add the buttermilk/natural yogurt and work the mixture into a soft dough, without overworking the dough as it'll become tough
  4. Roll out gently to 1 and a half inches thick and cut with a straight cutter
  5. Glaze with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown

See also - Devon vs Cornwall Cream Tea Differences and advise on Re-heating & Freezing Scones

17 comments


  • Hi Devon Heaven
    Love scones and want to try your recipe could you please tell me how much fruit to put in for fruit scones.
    Thank you so much.

    Heather Hardman on

  • Your scones were delicious, they rose perfectly and the recipe I have got makes the scones huge!

    Great demonstration!

    Thanks Hannah ?

    Hannah on

  • Sorry on the last comment I didn’t make it very clear about the yogurt and milk mixture.
    I measured 250ml of yogurt into a jug and added 125ml of milk, stirred the two together before adding to the dry ingredients.

    lyco on

  • Hello Bridget – you may have already worked this out for yourself but in case you are interested…

    I made these scones and they are lovely – it’s the first recipe I’ve seen that really gives that Devon Cream Tea experience! (I live in Devon). I actually halved the quantity as if I have any left overs I only eat them and that’s not good for my waistline!

    This is what I did:

    500g Canadian Bread Flour
    375ml Buttermilk SUBSTITUTE (1/3 milk to 2/3 natural yogurt – so… 250ml yogurt and 125ml)
    65g Unsalted Butter
    65g Milk Powder
    65g Caster Sugar
    35g Baking Powder (this equates to 2 Tablespoons )

    I followed the recipe but cut them out with a square cutter as this saves re-rolling and over handling the dough.

    ENJOY!

    lyco on

  • How much yogurt do you put in the scones there is no yogurt mentioned in the actual recipe.

    bridget on

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