Scones are great for breakfast, snacks, or as a complete meal. You can have them at different times of the day with different drinks, depending on the toppings you use.
The most common scone topping is cream, whether it’s clotted, sour, or thick.
Still wondering what to put on scones? Read on to find more topping ideas and easy recipes!
Eating scones without cream almost seems wrong. There’s always a need for that rich and silky cream, but the question is: what cream goes with scones?
Different people will tell you different things, but here are some of the creams we love to put on scones:
- Clotted cream
- Creme fraiche
- Double cream
- Extra thick double cream
- Sour Cream
- Whipped Cream
Clotted cream is a delicious addition to your soft and warm scone. It’s got a rich and indulgent taste that’ll keep you coming back for more.
If you typically don’t have the time to make your own clotted cream, you can always head to your favorite supermarket and get one. You can even take the easier route and order online.
However, for those who enjoy basking in the results of their patience, you can whip your own clotted cream using only one ingredient.
To make a homemade clotted cream, you’ll need a carton of pasteurized heavy cream and a large oven dish. The great thing about this is you’ll only need about five minutes of prep time and a lot of patience.
Here’s how to make it.
First, preheat your oven to 180°F.
If your oven runs hot, lower the preheating temperature to 170°F. This low temperature will help create that skin on top of the cream later.
Then, pour the carton of heavy cream into a large oven dish. Preferably, the dish should be wide and have a thickness of about half an inch to an inch because you’ll want to expose as much surface area to the heat as possible.
Once the oven is hot enough, carefully insert the dish inside.
Set your timer for 12 hours. The long heating hours help evaporate the undesired liquid parts of the cream while the fatty cream rises to the top.
The fatty cream is what you’ll collect once the baking is over.
Because of the long heating hours, you may want to start the baking process early in the morning. Alternatively, you may begin preparing at night, so you’ll have a delicious cream waiting for you in the morning.
Once you hear that oven ding, take out the dish carefully. You should have a thick skin of cream at the top at this point.
Let the cream cool at room temperature first. Cooling the cream helps the layer firm up, making it easier to collect.
Once cooled, pop the dish into the fridge for another 12 hours. Then, take it out and finally scrape the hardened cream on top.
Discard any excess liquid from the dish. Then, mix the cream until you achieve a smooth consistency.
Sometimes, you just want to spread some cream on your scones, but you don’t have any clotted cream. In this case, creme fraiche is a great substitute!
Creme fraiche is a cultured cream with a similar consistency to sour cream. However, it doesn’t provide a sharp tang.
What’s good about creme fraiche is that it has a nutty flavor and a silky texture, perfect for a spread.
Of course, you can save some time and simply buy one. However, you can also fix some homemade creme fraiche if you’ve got heavy cream and cultured buttermilk.
Like clotted cream, you’ll need only a few ingredients but a lot of patience. Here’s how to prepare a pint of creme fraiche at home.
Mix 2 cups of pasteurized heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk in a glass jar.
Then, cover the jar with cheesecloth or any breathable material you have at home. You can use a piece of clean cotton fabric, a coffee filter, or a fine mesh bag.
Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours at room temperature until it thickens.
After the thickening process, stir the mixture. Then, cover the jar with the lid and store it in your fridge for another 24 hours before using it.
If you’ve heard that French phrase “creme de la creme,” that’s the essence of the double cream. It’s the best and creamiest fat you get from separating cream’s lighter and heavier parts.
When you skim the heavier parts, they’ll have at least 46% of fat. This fat content makes them spreadable like soft butter.
As a result, it’s one of the richest and most decadent spreads you can use on a scone.
In the US, you may have to order online or check the international aisle at your grocery store to get a double cream.
If you can’t get that double cream, though, here’s how you make one at home. The one ingredient you’ll need is good old regular milk.
Pour half a gallon of milk into a large pan, then turn on your stove to medium-low heat.
Heat the milk until it becomes foamy. Typically, the milk will softly boil as it develops foam.
Collect the fats rising on top of the milk using a slotted spoon. Transfer this fat onto a clean and airtight container.
Let the collected fat rest inside the fridge for about 24 hours. This step helps the fat firm up and become a cream.
The cream may look coagulated when you take it out of the fridge. Don’t worry; that’s where your blender comes in.
Pour the cream into a blender and blend it until you achieve a creamy and silky consistency.
Extra thick double cream is also known as a spooning cream, making it perfect for spreading on scones.
This type of cream contains the same fat content as double cream. The only difference is in its process, where it’s quickly cooled after heating, which produces a thicker consistency.
Extra thick double cream also tastes amazing in most deserts. You can easily purchase it in most supermarkets.
If you’re into tangy flavors, sour cream may be a perfect cream topping for you. Although it’s not the most popular choice, this shouldn’t stop you from using it.
Some people mix sour cream with whipped cream for a more balanced flavor. The tang from the sour cream blends well with the sweetness of the whipped cream.
Alternatively, you can add a drizzle of honey to a quarter cup of sour cream to get that balance. If you love trying new recipes, you can make your own sour cream at home!
You’ll need a cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar, and a quarter cup of milk.
Mix the heavy whipping cream and milk in a glass jar. Then, add the lemon juice or white vinegar.
Close the lid and shake until the mixture looks homogeneous.
Open the lid and cover the jar with either kitchen paper or cheesecloth. Tie this material with a rubber band.
Then, leave the jar at room temperature for about 24 hours to let it firm.
Once firm, stir the cream a few times and cover the jar with its lid. You can keep this sour cream inside the fridge for up to two weeks.
Whipped cream is a fantastic topping for virtually any dessert, and it’s no different for scones.
Most American homes always have a tub of whipped cream in their fridge, making it an easy spread for your scones.
If you prefer a more authentic whipped cream, though, we got you. You’ll need heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a little time.
Before starting anything, chill a large metal bowl in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This step helps you get more volume from the cream because cold cream whips better.
Mix 1 ½ cup of cold heavy cream, ½ cup of powdered sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
You can leave the vanilla extract out of the recipe if you don’t have any. However, we think it’s essential because it gives the whipped cream more dimension.
Beat the mixed ingredients on low speed using an electric mixer. You can also use a regular whip, but you’ll need some elbow grease.
Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. Once you achieve stiff peaks, continue whipping for a few more seconds to stabilize the cream.
You can keep this whipping cream in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
There seems to be a huge debate about whether the jam or cream goes first on scones. When jam comes first, they call it the Cornwall Way, while the other way around is the Devon Way.
It seems like a useless discourse, but both sides have their arguments.
The Cornwall Way takes the more logical reasoning: putting the jam first protects the cream from melting. On the other hand, the Devon Way argues that it’s the historically correct framework for a scone.
Even the Queen of England weighed on this debate. The Queen’s final verdict: jam comes first.
However, the Queen’s personal preference still can’t dictate everyone’s choices. So, if you prefer cream first, then no one’s stopping you.
Choose your favorite option to dress the scone, as long as you’re enjoying it; that’s all that matters.
If using cream is not your cup of tea, you can choose from many scone toppings. You can even go either sweet or savory, depending on your mood.
Here are some toppings that can pique your taste.
Fresh fruits are the easiest toppings you can put on a scone. Chop some up and top off a creamed scone with it.
While we can’t tell you what fruit is best, the crowd’s favorites are berries and peaches.
Fruit curds are fantastic dessert toppings made from citrus fruits, such as lemon, lime, berries, passion fruit, or grapefruit.
If you like a slight tang in your sweet scone topping, spread some fruit curds on your scone.
Powdered sugar is a simple yet delicious addition to a scone. Just sprinkle it over your scone to your heart’s desire.
You can also take it up a notch by using powdered sugar to make a vanilla glaze.
Using fruity jams is another mouthwatering topping you can use for scones. Not only do jams have a reputation for being a staple topping, but they have good spreadability, too.
A drizzle of honey or maple syrup is one of the best additions to a warm scone. They add that hint of sweetness without overpowering the taste.
A sweeter option for a scone topping is some chocolate sauce. Add some chocolate chips for a more chocolatey treat.
Choices for scone toppings are virtually endless. You can choose from a range of creams, jams, fruits, or meats to create your favorite topping combination.
Now that you know what to put on scones, try them out, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite!
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.