These Cinnamon Raisin Scones are soft and crumbly, with a crisp exterior and buttery crumb. They are perfectly spiced and loaded with California raisins!
This post has been sponsored by California Raisins and I was compensated for my time spent creating this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.
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There’s nothing better than having a freshly baked Cinnamon Raisin Scone to go alongside that afternoon cup of coffee.
Scones have the best combination of textures — a golden, slightly crunchy exterior that gives way to a tender and buttery interior. They are the perfect complement to your favourite hot beverage or a tall glass of milk.
These Cinnamon Raisin Scones are made with the help of California Raisins.
California Raisins are the closest source of raisins for Canadians, and we love them in both sweet and savoury recipes!
They are always plump and sweet — a fabulous way to incorporate more fruit into your diet and the most convenient (no sugar added!) snack. Our kids love throwing a handful into their lunches or swapping out the chocolate chips in this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe for the best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
For more recipe inspiration, visit californiaraisins.ca.
- Flour: I use all purpose flour in this recipe, but when baking for my family I often swap all purpose for whole wheat in many baking recipes without fail. I recommend only swapping up to 50% of the flour for whole wheat to ensure they stay light and aren’t too dry.
- Sugar: I have only tested this recipe with granulated sugar, so I cannot comment on swapping for sugar substitutes or brown sugar. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: I use a combination to ensure the lightest. flakiest scones. Yes, you need them both.
- Cinnamon: ground cinnamon adds warmth and a bit of spice.
- Salt: salt is just as important in baking and desserts as it is in savoury dishes. It balances out all the flavors.
- Cold Salted Butter: cold butter is important here, because the tiny clumps will melt in the oven and create a beautiful flaky texture — absolutely essential in a good scone!
- California Raisins: to add flavour and texture!
- Buttermilk: the acidity in buttermilk is key here, and store-bought is the best way. It reacts with the baking soda to product a light and airy scone.
- Egg: an egg adds structure to the scones and makes them super soft.
- Glaze: the glaze is made up of powdered sugar, cinnamon and a bit of milk. Add the milk very gradually so that it stays thick!
How to make Cinnamon Raisin Scones:
This is just a brief overview! You’ll find the step-by-step instructions down in the recipe card.
- Stir together the dry ingredients.
- Add the cold butter and work in until pea-sized chunks remain.
- Stir in the wet ingredients: egg and milk.
- Add the California raisins and knead on a lightly floured surface just until no longer sticky (be careful not to work in too much flour or they will be tough).
- Shape into a disc, then cut into 8 triangles.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake just until golden, then top with glaze if desired.
Scones are a quick bread of British origin. They are shaped from a disc of dough that is cut into triangles and baked until golden. Scones are slightly drier than a biscuit, with a crisp crust but a buttery, crumbly interior. They are the perfect complement to a hot drink or glass of milk.
There are so many different versions of scones these days that it can be hard to distinguish between the two.
British scones are more often circular in shape and a little less sweet. They are also often served with toppings like butter and jam.
American scones can be a little denser and sweeter, and are less likely to be served with jam although they may include a glaze or frosting.
Absolutely! You can freeze scones before or after baking.
Before baking: shape and cut scones, then place on a baking sheet and freeze one hour or until firm. Place in a zip top freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. To bake, place the scones on a baking sheet while the oven preheats, then simply pop them in the oven. Bake until light golden in color.
After baking: you can freeze baked scones after cooling completely by placing in a zip top freezer bag or container. To serve, I recommend thawing overnight and reheating in the oven or air fryer for a soft, crumbly texture. You can also microwave them. I recommend glazing just before serving.
Scones may be flaky and a little crumbly (thanks to the crisp exterior), but they should not be dry or unpleasant to eat. The inside should be soft and moist.
Tips and Tricks:
- Choose real butter: I have successfully made these raisin scones with hard, dairy-free margarine but real butter will give the best flavor and texture. However, if you need these to be dairy- free you can swap the butter and choose any non-dairy milk you enjoy drinking.
- Don’t overwork the dough: the trick to a light and flake scone is not to overwork the dough. Overworking the dough will develop the gluten which will make the scones tough instead of tender.
- Don’t add too much flour: I said it before and I’ll say it again — don’t add too much flour. When baking scones it’s important to go by feel more than measuring cups. Weighing your flour is the easiest way to start with the right amount, and when kneading you should add just enough so that it is not sticking to your hands when you form the disc. This will keep your scones light and airy.
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Cinnamon Raisin Scones
- 2 cups all purpose flour (260 grams)
- ¼ cup sugar (50 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter (cold, cubed) 112 grams
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup California raisins
- milk or cream
- granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ¼-½ teaspoon cinnamon (depending on how strong you want the flavor)
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Add cubed butter and work in with a pastry cutter or fork until pea-sized chunks remain.
- Add buttermilk and egg and stir until combined. Add California raisins and knead until dough comes together (don't overmix!).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until no longer sticky (tacky is fine but not overly moist and sticky). Shape into a disc roughly 8 inches wide and 3/4-1" thick. Cut into 8 triangles.
- Place on prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk or cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before adding the glaze
- Stir together powdered sugar and cinnamon. Add just enough milk, gradually, until a thick glaze forms. (The thicker it is, the better it will set and firm up on the scones).
- Flour: I haven’t tested this recipe with whole wheat flour, but I suspect it would work just fine. I recommend only using up to 50% whole wheat flour
- Butter: cold, salted butter will give the best results. If necessary you can substitute with very cold, hard dairy-free margarine blocks but they may not be as crumbly. If you only have unsalted butter, you can add an extra pinch of salt.
- Buttermilk: I don’t recommend substituting the buttermilk because the acidity helps the scones to rise and yields a flaky, fluffy texture. If needed you can make your own buttermilk.
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