Whip up these Strawberry Shortcake Scones for a sweet and simple breakfast treat or as the base for the best strawberry shortcake you will ever have!
A few years ago, I went on a quest to discover what makes a scone different from a biscuit. Apparently, almost nothing! In fact, when I compared recipes from all over, the only real difference I could find between the two breads was an egg. Yep. A scone is simply a biscuit enriched with egg (at least here in the U.S.).
So, when I was craving strawberries a few weeks ago, I decided to add them to my basic biscuit recipe along with an egg to make some strawberry scones. After a couple of tries and a couple of tweaks, this recipe was born.
Do not skip the freeze-dried strawberries! They are tangy and full of amazing concentrated strawberry flavor that really makes these scones shine. I buy mine at Aldi but I have found them at Target, too.
With strawberries are coming into season now, it’s a perfect time to make these scones! Your mouth (and your family if you are sharing) will thank you!
Prep the Strawberries
Start here so that the strawberries are ready to use once you’ve assembled all of the other ingredients. The fruit needs to be dried a bit so they don’t turn your scones into a soggy mess. Cut your berries into small pieces and place them in a single layer on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and pat dry, then leave the paper towels in place to absorb a little more liquid while you prep the scone dough.
In a medium bowl, crush the freeze-dried strawberries and set them aside. Later on, you will coat your pieces of fresh strawberry with this strawberry powder, punching up that strawberry flavor.
Mix up the Scone Base
I use a food processor for this, but you can certainly use a pastry blender or fork instead and do all of this in a large bowl. Just like with our Easy Drop Biscuits, you want to start with the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add some sugar and mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk or a few quick pulses of the food processor.
I am, once again, going to encourage you to get yourself a kitchen scale to make your baking easier and more precise. More precision = better results. Don’t we all want that? That and less clean-up, which using a scale gives you, too. Find my favorite here.
Next, add your very cold butter, which should be straight from the frig and cut into small pieces. Pulse a few more times until the butter is pea-sized. If you are doing this by hand, consider grating frozen butter into the dry ingredients and stirring every once in awhile to coat all the pieces. It’s a quick and easy way to incorporate the butter by hand!
Whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla together, then add the liquid slowly to the flour-butter combo until the dough barely starts to come together. It will look pretty crumbly and that is what you want! In fact, you will be convinced that you want to mix it more. Resist that urge so that you don’t overwork your dough and end up with tough scones! If you are using a food processor, empty your dough into a large bowl.
Add the Strawberries
Move your strawberries from the paper towels into the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and stir until all of the strawberry pieces are coated. It may get a little bit sticky, but that is okay! Put all of the the coated strawberries into the scone dough and mix gently by hand just until the strawberries are evenly distributed.
Again, resist the urge to mix too much here. Biscuits, scones, and really any other tender baked item need to be handled (mixed, touched, worked, rolled, or otherwise manipulated) as little as possible. The more you handle it, the more gluten develops and the tougher the finished product.
Shape the Scones
This seems tricky, but really isn’t. And honestly, you can put these in whatever shape suits you! Take a scoop and make these drop scones for a quick and easy method (this is what we do with our Easy Drop Biscuits!) or go ahead and shape these like traditional scones. It’s up to you!
To shape traditional scones, place your dough onto lightly floured parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Gently press everything together in an even circle roughly 7 inches across and 1 inch tall. It’s okay if it’s not perfect!
Take a bench scraper or a butter knife and cut the circle into even wedges, flouring the scraper or knife as you go so that it doesn’t stick to the dough. Gently separate the wedges so there is a 1/4-inch gap between them. Sprinkle the scones with coarse sanding sugar (or regular granulated sugar), then bake! They are done when they are golden brown and no longer feel spongy in the middle.
Let these cool slightly before removing them to a cooling rack. You can whisk up a quick glaze of powdered sugar and milk to drizzle over the top to take these up yet another notch. But they are truly so amazing just as they are.
Time to Eat!
Enjoy your Strawberry Shortcake Scones with a warm with a cup of coffee or tea for a mid-morning snack.
Or pile more fresh strawberries on top along with some whipped cream for a decadent strawberry shortcake.
These Strawberry Shortcake Scones travel well, so are a good thing to take to a friend who needs a little pick-me-up. They would also be great served at brunch alongside this Egg Casserole with Bacon and Spinach.
These scones are best enjoyed the day they are baked, but they will keep in an airtight container for a few days. You can also freeze them for up to a month. Simply reheat in a low oven or in the microwave.
Strawberry Shortcake Scones
- 7 ounces (1-1/2 cup) diced strawberries (1/4-inch pieces)
- 9 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 3-1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter cold and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) whole milk or your favorite milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1/2 ounce) freeze-dried strawberries crushed
- 1 tablespoon coarse sanding sugar or regular granulated sugar (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the diced strawberries onto a paper towel and press down with another paper towel. Allow to sit sandwiched between the paper towels while you mix the dough. You want to draw as much moisture as possible out of the strawberries at this stage so that the dough doesn’t become too wet to work with once you add the fruit.
- While the strawberries dry, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse a few times to fully mix, then add the butter pieces and pulse again until the butter is broken up into small pea-sized pieces. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender or fork in a large bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract. While the food processor is running, pour in the liquid until barely mixed. The dough will still look crumbly at this stage, but will hold together if pressed. Place the dough in a large bowl.
- Remove the strawberries from the paper towels and toss with the crushed freeze-dried strawberries until coated. Add the strawberries to the dough and gently fold them into the dough with a large spatula or with your hands until the strawberries are evenly distributed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and dust with flour. Turn the dough out and gently press it together into one 7-inch circle or two 4-inch circles, about 1 inch thick.
- Using a bench scraper or knife dipped in flour, gently cut the dough into 6-8 even wedges, pulling the wedges apart slightly. The wedges should be about 1/4-inch apart, but still in a circle.
- Sprinkle the top of the pieces with coarse sanding sugar (or regular granulated sugar) and bake for 18-20 minutes for one large circle or 16-18 minutes for two smaller circles. When done, the scones will be golden brown and will no longer feel doughy. The tips in the middle of the circle should feel firm when pressed gently. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan on a cooling rack, then remove and enjoy!