Try these chai scones, infused with warming spices and tea leaves. Rich and buttery, perfect with some clotted cream, jam, and a side of chai.
We Brits love our scones, and we take them incredibly seriously.
They make for an epic tea-time treat and they’re a brilliant sweet snack. Scones should be light, fluffy and soft.
They’re not the same as the American style biscuits – despite the similar appearance. American biscuits are more tender and flaky than British scones.
My family love their scones, it’s a real treat when the scones, clotted cream and jam come out. Usually it’s a birthday treat or something I whip up when we’re all back home together, which doesn’t happen often!
The best part of these scones (other than the incredibly soft and fluffy texture) is the chai flavour. It’s filled with warming spices and infused with tea leaves. I make my own chai spice mix (chai masala) so I’ve used that as it’s the flavour we’re used to over here.
Which reminds me, I really need to post my chai masala recipe on my website.
I’ve included information on ground spices you can use instead, if you don’t have your own spice mix. It imparts a ton of depth to these chai scones, and the rich clotted cream and sweet jam all blend together really well.
What are scones?
Scones are a baked good commonly enjoyed in Britain, but they’ve gained international popularity and recognition – and rightly so. They’re a leavened good, which means they contain some form of raising agent to create lift during the bake.
Scones are generally lightly sweetened though savoury variations can easily be made. The dough tends to consist of very few ingredients, normally flour, butter, milk, sugar and baking powder.
Scones are normally enjoyed with tea but they also make the perfect snack. They can be buttered, or coated in a thick layer of clotted cream, followed by jam. This gives it a rich and creamy sweetness which works well with the soft, light scone.
I would describe the texture as somewhere between a cake and a soft bread. It’s not complicated to make by any means!
What can I serve these Chai Scones with?
The classic combination is clotted cream and jam, in that order (in my opinion at least). They’re great just buttered and I’m partial to the occasional salted butter and honey combination.
Don’t hate on me for that, it’s not traditional but it tastes incredible.
What if I don’t want the scones chai flavoured?
Well, you’ll be missing out. But I understand (I don’t really) but ok.
You can adapt these to keep them plain, by just using milk rather than infusing it with tea leaves/bags and spices. Omit the saffron too and they’ll be just vanilla flavoured. It is still delicious – I promise!
Can I make these vegan?
Yup! Use a plant based block butter – like Naturli, and use vegan yogurt or vegan mayonnaise. A plant based milk such as oat milk or soy milk gives the most neutral flavour in my opinion.
Mayonnaise? In a scone?
This almost always raises an eyebrow and the number of messages I receive about this is insane.
It’s not a typo, I’m being 100% serious. Mayonnaise is an excellent tool for baking. It’s not only a flavour enhancer but it adds moisture to sweet baked goods and creates an insanely tender crumb.
Baked goods will taste even richer when you add this secret ingredient into it. It’s not a large amount to change the flavour of the scones but trust me IT WORKS.
If you still feel totally distraught by it you can always use natural yogurt or soured cream instead.
What you’ll need for the Chai Scones
- Self raising flour – this provides the lightest texture, however if you can’t get hold of it, use around 240g plain flour and 10g of baking powder
- Baking powder – for extra leavening
- Unsalted butter – you can use salted, but it is slightly noticeable in the final taste. Omit the additional salt if so
- Vanilla extract
- White caster sugar – aim for caster over granulated as it dissolves more readily due to the finer grain
- Chai spice – see recipe notes for an alternative
- Saffron – really enhances the chai flavour. A common addition to our homemade chai mix
- Tea leaves/tea bags – I find the leaves far more flavourful. If using leaves don’t forget to strain this at the end through a fine sieve. We don’t want tea leaves IN the final scone
- Natural yogurt/soured cream/Mayo – tenderisers and flavour enhancers
We’ll also make an eggless ‘egg-wash’ with milk, butter and some form of syrup. This egg wash is only for sweet baked goods, not preferable for anything savoury due to the syrup adding sweetness.
How to make Chai Scones
1) Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add melted butter and mix to incorporate
2) Add infused tea and the tenderiser (yogurt/mayo/soured cream)
3) BRIEFLY knead dough together until just combined
4) Roll out between baking paper to stop this from sticking. Roll to around 2-2.5 cm thickness
5) Using 2.5″ round cutter, cut out as many as possible
6) 2-2.5cm thickness is preferable for chai scones. Excess dough can be brought back together and re-rolled
7) Brush egg wash on chai scones
- 250 g self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 75 g unsalted butter melted. (Vegan butter works too)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 25 g white caster sugar
- 2 tsp chai spice*
- Pinch of saffron
- 2 tsp tea leaves/2 tea bags
- 2 tbsp natural yogurt/soured cream or even vegan mayo
- 100 ml milk heated in microwave, steep tea leaves and masala and saffron for 10 mins
- 1/2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp syrup (maple/golden/agave)
- Melt the butter and then pop into the fridge to cool down for 10-15 mins. At this point preheat your oven to 200’C fan, or 220’C conventional
- Microwave/heat your milk until just at a boil. Take off the heat, add your tea bags/leaves, saffron, vanilla and chai spice. Steep for 10 mins.
- Mix your flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
- Mix your cooled melted butter into the flour using a pastry blender/fork/knife until a breadcrumb texture
- Pass your steeped chai through a fine sieve and then add this in along with mayo/yog/cream. Mix until it just comes together. Your dough should be a little tacky. Knead as little as possible
- Transfer your dough between two baking papers and roll until 2cm thick
- Cut out your scones with a 2.5″ round cutter. Any dough scraps can be brought back together and re-rolled
- Mix your egg wash ingredients together and microwave for 10s to melt the butter and loosen the syrup. Brush on top of each scone
- Bake on a lined baking sheet on the middle rack for ~12 mins or until just golden brown on top