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Apple Cinnamon Scones

Light as air and crumbly, these apple cinnamon scones are packed with chunks of apple and spicy cinnamon. The scones are made with a basic buttermilk scone base so the texture is supremely tender.

Apple cinnamon scones and slices of green apple on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Fall is on one of my favorite baking seasons. All the cozy and warm spices, apple, pear, pumpkin, and everything that screams comfort. I just adore it!

The evenings have begun to cool down and I can definitely feel the crispness of fall in the air. It's perfect apple picking weather.

And with those apples, you can make baked apple fritters or apple cinnamon scones. Just the kind of breakfast I enjoy! This recipe is so similar to my chai pear scones. If you liked those, you'll definitely love these.

Today's apple and cinnamon scones recipe yield ultra-thick and buttery scones with soft flakey centers. The ultimate texture and flavor combination.

A hand holding a scone that's been broken open so the flaky center is visible.

I have already shown you how to make soft scones. I took my plain scone recipe and added bits of crunch apple and cinnamon to make the perfect satisfying breakfast.

My base scone recipe is the best I've tried and I've made a fair amount of scones in my lifetime. It can support just about any add-in you choose.

I love making scone dough with buttermilk. It's the only way to achieve those soft centers that are supremely moist. The outside of the scones bake up golden brown and crisp with delicate crumbs in each bite.

Once you master scones, you will want to make them all the time.


Tips for making apple cinnamon scones

  • Handle the dough as little as possible. It does require some kneading but take care not to overwork it. Knead it just until it comes together and holds its shape.
  • Overhandling the dough will also cause the butter to warm up and melt. You need those little bits of cold butter throughout the dough to ensure the texture is soft in the center.
  • I like to freeze my scones for 30 minutes before baking. This helps to make sure the butter is super cold and it prevents spreading.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream for a crispy top. Sometimes I like to sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar for extra crunch and flavor.
  • A hot oven is a must! This will cause the scones to rise tall and turn gorgeous golden brown.
A close up view of an apple cinnamon scone on a parchment lined baking sheet with slices of green apple next to the scone.

You can cut the scones any way you like. I always slice mine into triangles. That's more out of habit than anything.

But you can certainly roll the dough out and use a biscuit cutter to cut small rounds. Take care when doing this though. It's easy to overwork the down with rolling.

Cut the apples into small bits so they cook all the way through and become soft. Or if you'd like a crunchy apple texture, cut them slightly larger.

The glaze is a simple mixture of confectioners' sugar and apple juice. I love the added apple flavor from the juice. You can use milk or heavy cream with a teaspoon of vanilla.

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A close up view of an apple cinnamon scone on a parchment lined baking sheet with slices of green apple next to the scone.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Yield: 8 scones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Light as air and crumbly, these apple cinnamon scones are packed with chunks of apple and spicy cinnamon. The scones are made with a basic buttermilk scone base so the texture is supremely tender.

Ingredients

For the scones

  • 2 ¾ cups (357 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1 cup (125 g) chopped fresh apple, your favorite variety (about 1 medium apple)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the glaze

  • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple juice

Instructions

Make the scones

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. 
  2. Gently fold in the apples. Whisk the vanilla and buttermilk together and gradually add it to the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together. You may not need all the buttermilk. Add a little at a time until the mixture is moist but not too wet. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough four or five times. Pat the dough into a 7-inch round circle. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into four triangle shaped wedges. Arrange the scones 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Brush the tops of the scones with cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and drizzle with glaze. Scones are best enjoyed right away.

Make the glaze

  1. Add the confectioners' sugar to a small bowl. Drizzle in just enough of the apple juice to create a pourable glaze.

Notes

  1. Milk or heavy cream can be used in place of apple juice. You may want to add a teaspoon of vanilla and/or cinnamon for flavor.
  2. This recipe yields 8 large scones. For smaller scones, cut the dough into  16 pieces instead of 8.

Watch the scones closely as they bake because smaller scones may require a shorting baking time.

Make ahead tip

  1. You can refrigerate the dough overnight then simply shape the scones and bake them the next day.
  2. You can keep leftover scones for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
  3. Unglaze scones can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat and glaze before serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 scone
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Joan

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Excellent recipe. I didn’t have 30 minutes to freeze the dough, but the scones rose nicely. The dough needed very little kneading and came together perfectly. Love this buttermilk basic scone dough. The cream and vanilla glaze made them even more delicious.

Esther

Sunday 20th of June 2021

They were absolutely scrumptious!!! Perfectly crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside! Thank you so much for this recipe! (Btw, I love your other recipes too)

Maria

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Could I substitute pears for apples? If so, should I adjust any other ingredients or leave the recipe as is? Thanks!

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Pears are great substitutes for apples and no other changes would be necessary.

Maureen

Sunday 30th of August 2020

My teenage daughter just baked these for the family. They are delicious! Great recipe!

Joanna

Saturday 4th of July 2020

These were yummy! My first attempt at scones.

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