If you're an Earl Grey lover then I have the recipe for your new favorite treat! These Earl Grey scones are fluffy, thick, and absolutely jam-packed with Earl Grey flavor!
I was raised on Earl Grey tea, I've been sucking down several cups a day since I was a toddler. Though that now means I have total immunity to caffeine, Earl Grey remains my favorite drink - it's honestly all I drink besides water. So when I tried an Earl Grey scone in JJ Bean on my recent trip to Vancouver, I knew I had to recreate these babies when I got home, but with even MORE earl grey flavor.
Being Scottish, a delicious scone is a pretty standard snack to enjoy with your cup of tea. Some of my other favorite tea-time treats are my Orange and Ginger Cookies or another Scottish classic treat - Millionaires Shortbread. A delicious twist on traditional scones, these are great with a cup of tea, for breakfast, to serve to guests or to jazz up an afternoon tea.
Whipping Cream - The whipping cream (or heavy cream or double cream, depending on where you're from), is going to be our carrier for the earl grey flavor. It's important to get full-fat cream (33% or more) and not half and half, as the fat cells will help carry the flavor. Using cream also helps to make tender scones that aren't too dense.
Earl Grey Teabags - Of course, you're going to need some earl grey tea! I used Twinings Earl Grey Tea bags, but you can use your favorite kind of tea. I used the kind of tea bags that contain dried, finely ground black tea. But loose tea or tea leaves in temples will work great too! This method would also work well with lady grey or other floral teas.
Flour - All-purpose flour is best for these scones. Cake flour will make the scones too soft, we want them to have a good structure.
Sugar - White sugar is best to show off the earl grey flavor. Use superfine sugar (caster sugar in the UK).
Butter - Unsalted butter is best here, and unlike with other recipes, we want to use cold butter to cut into the flour - this will help to create those flaky layers you get in a really good scone.
Baking Powder - Baking powder will help to get that famous scone rise.
Eggs - Large eggs are best, and always use free-range if you can.
Vanilla - Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste work great here, try to avoid using vanilla essence. I used vanilla bean paste so I would get those gorgeous little specks of vanilla bean in the glaze, but vanilla extract will work just fine
Salt - A small amount of salt belongs in every baking recipe in my opinion! It just helps to bring out all the other flavors. You won't taste it, don't worry!
Icing Sugar - also known as confectioners sugar or powdered sugar - it's the fine powder sugar you see in the baking aisle. This is to make the glaze.
See recipe card for quantities.
Make the Earl Grey Infused Cream
The way this recipe gets so much flavor into the scones is by infusing the whipping cream with the earl grey tea beforehand. I've seen countless recipes where people just add a drop of tea or just put the leaves into the scone dough, but that won't cut it here! We need maximum earl grey flavor!
- To get started, put your heavy cream and four of your tea bags into a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. If you are using loose leaf tea, just throw it right into the cream, we will sieve it out later.
- Slowly heat the cream while stirring gently - be careful not to burst your tea bags! Let it get hot enough that it starts scalding - there will be steam rising from the cream and tiny bubbles will start to pop on the surface. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the cream and tea bags to a jug or small bowl and cover with plastic wrap - make sure the plastic touches the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Leave the teabags to infuse into the cream while it cools, this is where the real magic happens! Once it is cool, put it in the fridge to sit. I left my tea bags and cream overnight to get every drop of flavor from the earl grey tea, but it should be ready after a few hours if you don't want to wait.
- When you are ready to make your scone dough, remove the cream from the fridge so it can come to room temperature before you start.
Make the Earl Grey Scone Dough
- Preheat your oven to 375°F /190°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sieve and combine the dry ingredients - this includes the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut your butter into small cubes - the butter should be cold so it can create nice crumbly, flaky scones. Use your fingers to rub the cold butter into the flour mixture. You can also use a food processor for this, but be careful not to overmix it. You want the mixture to look kind of like breadcrumbs, with some lumps of butter still visible.
- Use your hands to flatten any large lumps of butter into the flour, the flat layers of butter will help with the crumbly texture of the scones.
- Cut open the two remaining tea bags and pour the tea into the dry ingredients. If your tea is the dried, finely ground tea found in most black tea bags, this is perfect. If you are using loose leaf tea or tea temples, you can grind them up in a spice grinder or coffee grinder before adding to the mixture. Or you can skip this step entirely as it's just an additional boost to the flavor coming from the earl grey cream.
- Take your earl grey infused cream and remove the tea bags, being sure to squeeze them gently to get out any liquid. If you used loose leaf tea, use a sieve to strain out the tea. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of cream into another container - keep this for later, we'll use it to make our earl grey glaze.
- Mix the remaining earl grey cream in a jug or medium bowl along with the eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon until combined and a sticky dough is formed.
- Tip your scone dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a little, just until it is not too sticky to work with. It should be a very soft dough, but not sticking to your hands. Form the dough into a round disk shape, don't make it too flat as we want these to be nice thick scones. See pictures for guidance.
- Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide your dough disk into 8 equal-sized wedges.
- Alternatively, if you want round scones like in traditional English-style scones recipes you can roll the dough out on your work surface to about an inch thick and use a circle cookie cutter to cut out rounds. Both ways work great, I just like the look of the wedges.
- Transfer the unbaked scones to your prepared baking sheet, spaced a little apart to allow room for spreading.
- Brush the top of the scones with egg wash and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the scones turn golden brown. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your scones, so keep an eye on them.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Earl Grey Glaze
The glaze is the real finisher on this amazing earl grey scone recipe. The scone I had in Vancouver had a vanilla bean glaze on top, but I wanted to take it one step further and make these the most flavorful earl grey tea scones ever, so there is earl grey in the glaze too!
- Melt the butter and mix with the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. It's best to use a small or narrow bowl that is just wide enough to fit your scones in, a large bowl will mean the glaze is too shallow and you won't get a nice thick topping.
- Take the reserved earl grey infused cream from earlier and spoon two tablespoonfuls of it into the glaze mixture, stir until combined. If the glaze is the consistency you want you can stop there, if you want it a little thinner keep adding earl grey cream or even some milk to get it to the desired thickness.
- Dip the tops of the scones into the glaze. Make sure the scones are totally cooled before glazing - If you dip warm scones the glaze will drizzle down the side and be thinner and more see-through. But if you wait until they are cooled the glaze will sit nicely on top and be thick and delicious.
- Let sit for 10-16 minutes to set then enjoy with a big pot of tea!
Earl Grey Honey Scones - Substitute the vanilla in the glaze for 2 tablespoons of honey.
A touch of citrus - Squeeze some orange or lemon juice (or any kind of citrus fruit) nto the scone dough and top the glaze with some lemon zest for a zingy addition.
Other types of tea - This scone recipe also works beautifully with Lady Grey tea, or any other kind of floral tea.
Keep your scones in an airtight container and do NOT place them in the fridge. Refrigerated scones are dry scones and nobody likes that! They should keep in an airtight container for about 5 days - if they last that long!
These Earl Grey Scones are the ultimate indulgence for tea lovers. Whether you're starting your day with a delicious baked treat or impressing guests at a tea party, this is one of those scone recipes that will never let you down!
Earl Grey Scones
- Cookie Sheet
For the Earl Grey Scones
- 1 ½ cups Whipping Cream 325g
- 6 Earl Grey Teabags or equivalent in loose leaf
- 3 cups Flour 375g
- ⅓ cup White Sugar 66g
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 ½ sticks Butter (cold) 170g
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Earl Grey Glaze
- 2 tablespoon Earl Grey Infused Cream reserved from making the scones
- 1 cup Icing Sugar 130g
- 3 tablespoon Butter melted
- 2 tablespoon Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Prepare the Earl Grey Infused Cream
- Put the cream and four teabags into a saucepan and heat over medium low heat.1 ½ cups Whipping Cream
- Stir gently while the cream heats up until you start to see tiny bubbles forming on the surface. Remove from the heat and cover with plastic wrap do not remove the teabags, we're going to let them sit in the cream to get all that wonderful tea flavour out. Make sure the plastic is touching the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming
- Once it has cooled place in the refrigerator until ready to use. I left mine overnight for maximum tea infusion - but it should be good to use after a few hours if you're in a rush.
- Let come back to room temperature shortly before starting to make your scones.
Make the Scones
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.3 cups Flour, ⅓ cup White Sugar, 1 tablespoon Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon Salt
- Cut the butter into small cubes and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. You can also do this in a food processor if you don't want to get messy. Keep incorporating the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs with some lumps of butter. Flatten the lumps of butter with your hands - this will help the texture of the scones!1 ½ sticks Butter
- Cut open the remaining 2 teabags and pour the dried tea in with the flour/butter. mixture.*6 Earl Grey Teabags
- Remove tea bags from the earl grey cream (or strain out leaves if using loose-leaf). Take 2-3 tablespoons of the earl grey infused cream and set it aside - this will be used to make our glaze later.
- Mix the remaining cream with the eggs and vanilla extract.2 Large Eggs, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently, just until everything is combined and a sticky dough forms.
- Tip your dough out onto a floured surface and knead a little, just until the dough stops being too sticky to handle.
- Form the dough into a circle shape with your hands. Don't make it too flat - we want these to be nice and thick! See images in post for guidance.
- Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the circle into 8 even wedges. Place on your baking sheet with a little space between them to allow for slight spreading. Brush with a little eggwash.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
Make the Earl Grey Glaze
- Melt the butter in the microwave in 30 second increments.3 tablespoon Butter
- Mix butter with icing sugar and vanilla until smooth, add 2 tablespoons of earl grey cream and mix together. Add more cream until the desired consistency is reached. It should be runny enough to dip the scones in, but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon so it won't just run off the sides of the scones. If you have used all the cream and it's still too thick, add a dash of milk.2 tablespoon Earl Grey Infused Cream, 1 cup Icing Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Dip the scones into the glaze and place back on the baking sheet to set for about 15 minutes before serving.