These super quick and easy date scones really live up to their name: they really are super quick and very easy to make with just a few basic ingredients – and they work out perfectly every time!
Sometimes these date scones are called lemonade scones or three ingredient scones because they have few ingredients and the soda pop (called lemonade in the UK and Australia) acts as the rising agent. Leave out the dates and these are plain and simple scones to make. Swap out dates for other tasty treats, a suggestion list is below.
Today we made these scones with dates because we all enjoy the extra flavor and texture that the dates bring. Dates also add an extra little bit of sweetness that we like, too.
Tip: It is really important not to handle the scones or the dough very much at all. Each time you excessively stir, knead, or touch the scones, it makes the scones a little less light and fluffy.
So firstly, I suggest that you use a wide, flat blade knife (a butter knife is fine) to stir the ingredients, and then to lift the raw, cut scones from your board or bench onto the baking tray.
Secondly, knead the dough as little as possible. It might seem like the dough isn’t quite as well mixed as you think it ought to be, but that’s fine. Have a look at my photos below for reference.
Self rising flour – 3.5 cups plain self rising flour, plus a little extra for (a) dusting onto a bread board or the kitchen bench, and (b) to dip your scone cutter (or glass, if you don’t have a scone cutter) into when you’re cutting out the scones from the dough.
Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream – (10 oz / 300 ml) – Called thickened cream in the UK and Australia. Cream goes by many different names around the world, so what this is called really depends on where you are. Cream is categorized by fat content, this is the 30% to 35% fat type of cream.
Sprite / 7 Up / Lemonade – (10 oz / 300 ml) – The name of this ingredient also depends where you are. This is the lemon and lime carbonated soda drink, the brand names in North America are typically Sprite or 7 Up. In the UK and Australia this is simply called lemonade.
Tip: Make sure it is not flat, we will use the bubbles in the rising process.
Today I used a ‘no name’ brand because it was all my local store had. I’ve used the popular name brands before, and as far as I can tell, there is no difference in the end product, so whatever drink is available to you – use it.
Dates – I used 1 cup of pitted (no seed) and chopped dates. You can certainly make this recipe without the dates, if you prefer, or you can substitute the dates for something else. I’ll give you some suggestions below.
Whipped cream, to serve
Strawberry or raspberry jelly (jam), to serve
Start by preheating your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius). You’re going to use the middle shelf in the oven, so if you need to rearrange some shelves, do it now before the scones get too hot to handle.
Also, place a sheet of baking paper onto a baking tray now while you still have clean hands. In a little while, you’re going to cut the scones out and place them directly onto the paper covered baking tray, so it needs to be easily accessible.
Add all the flour to a fairly large sized bowl.
Using the flat blade knife, make a well in the centre of the flour. However, keep in mind that you should sort of “flick” the flour away from the centre, so that you’re not inadvertently packing the four down at all.
Once you have a hole or well in the center of the flour, pour in the cream, lemonade, and the chopped dates (if you’re using them, or an alternative).
Use the flat blade knife to stir the ingredients together until they are only just combined. Please don’t worry if you still have wet or dry patches in your dough.
If you have a very large bread board, you can use it next to knead the dough on. If you don’t, use a super-clean spot directly on your kitchen bench. I used my bench today. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto the bread board or bench, then tip the lightly combined dough onto it.
Using your (clean, obviously!) hands, gently knead the dough a few times. You want the ingredients to be combined, but you don’t want to touch or compact the dough any more than you really have to. If there are still a few small wet or dry patches, that really is okay.
I used my hands to stretch, lightly press, and shape the dough into a rough oval shape. The shape doesn’t matter at all – you just want the dough to be even thickness all over. A little over half an inch (or 1.5cm) thick is perfect.
If you have a scone cutter (or even a round cookie cutter), you can use it to cut the scones out. However, I’m staying in a holiday house at the moment and don’t have anything like that, so I used a glass today. Just dip your scone cutter (or rim of a glass!) into some of your extra flour (to prevent the dough from sticking to it), then press and turn it (at the same time) into the dough to cut out a circle.
As you cut each date scone out, lift it off the bread board or bench by sliding the flat blade knife underneath it. Place each scone onto the baking paper covered baking tray. Each scone should be almost touching the one next to it – not quite, but almost.
The scones will expand a little and rise, and by having them almost touch, it will give them room to expand and rise, but also give each one some support from its neighbor. See my photo below.
After you’ve cut out as many scones as you can from the dough, you can recombine the dough and knead it again a couple of times, then press it out again. Cut more scones and place them onto the tray. Continue until all your dough has been used up.
This recipe should make about 20 date scones (see my photos).
When all the scones have been cut out and placed onto the baking tray, they’re ready to go into the preheated oven on the middle shelf.
Leave the date scones to bake for 15 minutes. They should change color on top – from a white/ cream color to a lovely pale golden color, as in the picture below. Please just be aware of the time – these lovely little bites will harden and burn very quickly if left in the oven for too long.
Take the baking tray out of the oven and use a clean flat blade knife to remove them from the baking paper and onto a serving plate. They’re delicious while they’re still warm, or you can allow them to cool and eat them later.
I cut my date scones in half and spread each side with a generous amount of raspberry jelly, topped with a dollop of double (ie, 40%) cream. Delicious!
If you’re looking for something to replace the dates with, here are my suggestions:
- Finely chopped dried apricots
- Roughly chopped M&Ms
- Chopped dried pecans or walnuts
- Chocolate chips
Date Scone Recipe
- Mixing bowls
- Large bread board – or clean counter top
- 3.5 cups Plain self rising flour
- 10 ounces Whipping cream. Also called heavy cream. 30% to 35% fat. (300 ml)
- 10 ounces Lemon / lime soda pop. Ie. Sprite or 7 Up. Called lemonade in the UK and Australia.
- 1 cup Dates. Pitted and chopped finely. No seeds.
- Whipped cream To serve with
- Raspberry jam To serve with
- Preheat oven to 360 F (180 C)
- Prepare baking tray with baking paper
- Add flour to large mixing bowl
- Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour. Make sure you do not compress the flour.
- Pour whipping cream, lemon soda (Sprite, 7Up, Lemonade) and chopped dates into the centre of the flour
- Use a flat knife to stir ingredients together until they are just combined. Do not overstir.
- Sprinkle flour onto large bread board or counter top
- Tip the lightly combined dough onto bread board (or counter top)
- Gently kneed dough. See detailed description above.
- Stretch and lightly press the dough until it is roughly oval shaped and half an inch (1.5 cm) thick.
- Cut scones out and use flat knife to place them onto baking tray per description above
- Place baking tray into preheated oven
- Bake date scones for 15 minutes – don't let them burn
- Take out of oven and serve with your favorite toppings! I'm using raspberry jam and whipping cream today.