Scones are quick to make and are best consumed warm on the same day.
However, in the busy lives that we lead, it’s easier to make a big batch and eat them over the course of the next week or two. You might even want to incorporate them into your lunchbox meal prep for the week.
Do you have a few extra scones on your hand? Don’t let them go to waste.
In this article, we’ll go over how to store scones, how long they’ll last on average, and how to revamp the stale ones, so let’s dive in!
Yes, scones can go bad after a day or two from baking. After this time, they’ll harden and lose their flakiness.
However, they’d still be edible, just not as yummy.
If you forget your scones on your kitchen counter for longer than a week, they may become moldy and smell bad. In this case, you need to discard the scones immediately.
Generally speaking, the lifespan of a scone depends on the temperature at which it’s stored, how much butter is in it, whether it was kneaded with milk or water, and how long the extra toppings will last.
To keep things simple, let’s assume room temperature is about 77°F, and the basic ingredients in scones are butter, milk, and flour.
Here’s how long the different types of scones will last in that scenario:
This variation of scones should be consumed within a day or two of baking. Remember, most types of cheese will go bad quickly at room temperature, so keep your cheese scones in the fridge.
If you want your cheese scones to last longer, you can freeze them, but you might compromise the original texture.
Tattie scones are a staple in the traditional Scottish breakfast, and they’re best consumed warm. Yet, if you have some potato scone leftovers, they can be good to go in the fridge for a few days.
It’s also possible to freeze your potato scones, but the key is getting to reheat them evenly later on. The same goes for griddle scones.
First things first, not all fruit scones are made equal. For example, some have dry fruits such as sultanas, and other scones are made with fresh cranberries.
Both of these make terrific treats with your morning coffee, but they won’t last the same length of time. As a general rule of thumb, scones made with dry fruits will last longer than those made with fresh ones.
It’s no secret that our ancestors preserved their fresh produce for a long time by sun drying them. That’s usually because the water content in the fruits is what causes them to go bad quickly.
For instance, you could get away with keeping raisin scones on the kitchen counter for a day or two. On the other hand, strawberry scones might go bad after just one day.
When we say scones, most of the time, we’re referring to the plain type that we slice open and top with clotted cream and jam. These are the classic English scones.
A good-old English scone will last about two days in the kitchen, a week in the fridge, and up to three months in the freezer. That said, when storing at room temperature, it’s key to wrap each scone individually, or they’ll dry out on the first day.
Since butter to flour ratios differ between recipes, some scones will last longer than others. To clarify this matter, scones with a higher fat-to-flour ratio will keep better.
Additionally, classic scones kneaded with water rather than milk will retain their freshness for a little more time. Similarly, when eggs are used in the scone mixture, the pastry may taste great on the first day but could spoil faster than scones without eggs.
How long a glazed scone will last depends on the type of glaze it has. If it’s topped with a cream cheese glaze like that of cinnamon rolls, the scones should be eaten on the same day or refrigerated for up to a week.
However, if the glaze is made with mainly confectioners’ sugar and water, it won’t cause the scones to go bad as quickly. So, the lifespan of the scone will remain the same as without the glaze.
To get the most out of your baked goods, you need to know how to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Scones can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, depending on when you plan to eat them.
To keep scones in your kitchen, you can store them in an airtight container. This way, they can stay fresh for two to four days.
Plastic, glass, or ceramic containers are perfectly fine for storing scones for a short period. First, line the bottom with a paper towel and carefully arrange the scones on top of it.
Then, place another paper towel on top of the scones and close the container. It’s important to cover the scones because they’ll dry out quickly and become stale if you don’t.
If you don’t have paper towels, kitchen napkins will suffice. The reason for using the napkins is to absorb any moisture that can cause the scones to soften.
Lastly, note that storing your scones on your kitchen counter isn’t advisable if you live in a place with a scorching climate.
Some types of scones won’t fare well without some sort of cooling. This is particularly true with scones with perishable toppings and fillings, like custard scones or cream cheese and turkey scones.
For these, it’s best to keep them in the fridge if you’re going to eat them within the next few days.
On the other hand, putting your plain scones in the refrigerator may not be the best way to keep them fresh. It’s unfortunate, but it happens because the moisture will cause them to lose their crunch and become soft.
For long-term storage, you can store the leftover scone for up to three months in the freezer. Beyond this duration, the quality of the scones may slowly deteriorate.
You can freeze scones at different stages, like before or after baking them — more on how to do that below!
To cut your baking time in half, you can freeze your scone mixture and use it later. All you need to do is follow your recipe and mix the dry ingredients first, then rub in the butter.
Now, you can freeze this mixture. On the day you plan to eat the scones, add the milk and fold them a few times to form the dough.
Freezing the butter and flour will save you some time while producing warm and fresh scones!
Out of all the ways to keep your scones fresh, this one is my personal favorite. All you have to do is place the uncooked scones on a baking sheet and freeze them uncovered.
Once they’re rock solid, transfer them to a Ziploc bag or container. If you put them directly into the freezer bag, they’ll likely stick together and become hard to separate later.
When the day to serve the scones comes, transfer them to a lined baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven. You don’t even have to defrost them first.
In the oven, just add about three extra minutes to the time given in your recipe. And voila! You just got your house smelling like a bakery while keeping your countertops clean!
This is the best method if you only need a few scones at a time. Once you’ve baked the scones, wait for them to cool down completely.
Then, place them on a plate and freeze them uncovered for about an hour. Doing so allows the moisture to escape and ‘lock in the freshness’ as quickly as possible.
After that, transfer the frozen scones to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Then, close the bag tightly to prevent freezer burn.
When you’re ready to have some scones, allow them to defrost at room temperature and heat them in the oven for five to ten minutes at a temperature of 300°F.
Homemade scones can last up to a day or two if they’re stored in an airtight container. Beyond this point, you’ll risk compromising the freshness of your scones, and they’ll become dry.
If they’re kept in the fridge, they can remain good for about a week. As for keeping your homemade scones in the freezer, they’ll be of top quality for over three months.
To know the exact time to expect your store-bought scones to stay fresh, check the best-before date. In general, some scones will last for a day, like homemade ones, and some can stay fresh for up to four days.
Some commercially made scones have shortening in place of butter in the dough, giving the product a longer shelf life.
That said, there are a couple of tricks to keep up your sleeve with store-bought scones if you’re trying to ensure maximum longevity:
- First of all, make sure you’re buying the scones on the day they were baked. That date is usually labeled on the packaging.
- On the same day of purchase, freeze those scones. If you missed that, no worries, just make sure to freeze them before the best-by date has passed.
Not all scones have to be refrigerated. In fact, some scones are better left outside!
The types of scones that need to be placed in the fridge are those that have quick expiring fillings or toppings like fresh cream or fruit slices.
For plain scones, it’s better to keep them in the kitchen if you’ll use them the next day or in the freezer if you won’t be eating them soon.
In my house, we hate to throw away food, so we always make small batches of everything and store leftovers when they’re still fresh. However, sometimes we still end up with stale scones.
Here are a few ideas to spice those leftovers:
One way to revive old scones is to toast them like bread. First, slice the scones and spread some butter on both sides.
After toasting, top them with cream and jam and have them with tea. The scones will be a little crunchier than fresh ones but still equally delicious.
The second way to rescue stale scones is to transform them into croutons. Just cut them into small pieces and mix in some melted butter.
You can also sprinkle the scone cubes with your favorite spices, like cinnamon. Then, spread them on a baking sheet and dry them at 356°F for about six minutes or until they’re golden and crunchy.
The third way to give life to your sad scones is to turn them into mouthwatering pudding. All you need is some heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and the old scones.
Crumble the scones up and place them in a deep oven dish. Then, mix all the other ingredients in a separate bowl and pour them over the scones.
After that, let the scones soak up the milk for 30 minutes or more. Finally, bake the pudding at 356°F for 40 minutes or until the surface turns golden.
In this article, we discussed how to store scones, how long different types of scones last, and how to keep scones fresh.
To sum it up, you can store scones at room temperature, in the fridge in an airtight container, or in a freezer bag, depending on when you want to serve them.
There are plenty of options to spice up your old scones and keep the leftovers as delicious as possible!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.