These soft and buttery Bakery Style Vanilla Bean Scones are a must try. I love making weekends special and Sunday’s are typically for visiting with my dad and making something nice for breakfast. Scones are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make for those family days.
Of course these are not the traditional kind, but they will make you feel as though you picked them up at a great little bakery. If I close my eyes I can imagine myself stepping out of that bake shop and reaching into a paper bag to take a bite because waiting is just too hard to do. These are that good!
Scones are another one of those treats that have endless possibilities, but for some reason I keep coming back to vanilla bean. Maybe it’s the look on my daughter’s face when she wants seconds, or maybe it’s the compliments from my dad. When he says they taste better than a donut… I know I have found a good one. There weren’t many weekends as a child that we didn’t sit in the local donut shop… so those are some BIG compliments from my family.
Vanilla bean is that special universal flavor. Any season, any occasion. It never fails to work with other foods. This is simple enough to go with a cup of coffee or tea and it is also perfect for a breakfast or brunch buffet. With some eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit on the side it is sure to impress.
The History of Scones
Oh, scones, those lovely bites of goodness! They fall somewhere in between a Southern-style biscuit and a cake—crumbly on the outside, tender on the inside, and just the right amount of sweetness. Originally coming from Scotland, scones started off as an oat-based round treat before evolving as it made its way through England and Ireland.
Along the way and bringing it into modern day baking, they picked up a bit of sugar, baking powder, and a whole lot of new flavors. These days, they’re the perfect companions for a cozy afternoon tea or a quick sweet snack when you need a little pick-me-up. Whether you’re a fan of classic cream and jam or you like try something new like my recipe, scones have stood the test of time for good reason. They are like a warm hug for your taste buds—a delicious piece of history in each bite.
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What You’ll Need:
All-Purpose Flour– When measuring flour, use a spoon to lightly fill your measuring cup. If you scoop the flour with the measuring cup itself, the amounts can vary tremendously. I have tested all of my recipes using grams. I find that especially with baking, using a gram scale is MUCH more accurate and gives better results.
Vanilla Paste AND Extract– Trust me and find yourself a jar of vanilla bean paste. It’s magical stuff. Packed with vanilla flavor that can’t be compared to traditional extract on it’s own. Not only is the flavor better, it also has those beautiful little flecks from the inside of a vanilla bean. They add something special and the presentation is so pretty. This is what takes these scones from basic to bakery style in the most effortless way.
NOTE: You will use both paste and extract in this recipe, but if you can use just the paste or just the extract.
Almond Extract– We only add a touch, not enough to taste like almonds. Just enough to round off the flavors and give it a little pop of something special.
Cold Butter- I will always say that the real deal is the way to go. No margarine here. You need the butter fat to create those subtle flakes in the dough. You can use unsalted or salted. If you use salted just reduce or keep the salt out of the recipe altogether. Whichever you prefer, but in my experience a little salt is needed in desserts.
Half & Half– I use half & half in a lot of my baking. We keep it on hand for coffee so its what I used, it works fabulously in these scones. Heavy cream is more traditional, and you can substitute it in an equal amount for a great result if you prefer.
Sheet Pan– You’ll need a pan big enough to cut 8 pieces and spread them out so they can chill in the fridge before baking. I recommend an aluminum half-sheet pan.
Parchment Paper– Line your sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent your scones from sticking. It also protects against burning especially if you are using a dark non-stick pan. As an extra precaution, I spray the paper with non-stick spray just to make sure it’s easier to remove the scones.
Cooling Racks– After they bake, I place them on a cooling rack on top of more parchment paper. This is the best way to prep them for icing. When you drizzle or pour the icing on, it gives the scones some protection from sticking to the surface they are sitting on. The icing falls through the grates and does not pool at the bottom of your scones. I like to let the icing harden a little bit before serving and the rack is the perfect place to let them sit.
Looking for some more breakfast ideas?
If you try these Bakery Style Vanilla Bean Scones or any of my other recipes tag me on Instagram @joymakersandco, I’d love to see what you make!
Bakery Style Vanilla Bean Scones
- 1 Large Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon half & half
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Prepare your sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.In another small bowl, combine the eggs, half & half, vanilla paste, vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside
- Cube the chilled butter and "cut" it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork. Do this only until it looks crumbly like sand, some bits of butter will be about the size of peas. If you have ever made pie crust, this is a similar process.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix this in with a large spoon until a loose dough forms, being careful not to over work the dough. Not too wet or too dry. Just enough to shape into a ball without it falling apart.
- Place the ball of dough onto the prepared sheet pan and gently press into a disc about 3/4" thick. Carefully cut into 8 pie shaped pieces with a long knife. Don't use a sawing motion when cutting, just gently press down to cut straight across.
- Carefully separate the pieces, giving them room for chilling and baking. When they bake, you want them to have enough room so they don't become one whole disc again. These will puff up and rise a little bit.
- Once the pieces are separated, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F/ 200 C and prepare the icing.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract. Mix until smooth. Cover and set aside.
- Bake the scones on the middle rack for about 20 minutes, keep an eye on them. You want them to be a light golden color on top. Once done, place on the cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.
- Place the cooling rack over another piece of parchment paper. Drizzle the icing over the scones while they are still warm but not hot. This prevents the icing from sliding off too much. Let the iced scones sit for a few more minutes to set a little bit before serving.
- Serve this with your favorite hot drink, maybe a side of fruit salad or a nice jam. Enjoy!