Earl Grey Scones | Soft and fluffy scones flavored with Earl Grey tea. These easy-to-make, tender scones are the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. Fluffy earl grey scones are great on their own or spread liberally with butter and drizzled with honey.
This earl grey scones recipe is one of my favorites from this year. They all are I guess, but a soft, flavorful scone will always have my heart. Earl grey tea is also my favorite tea to drink, so baking with it just seems to make any treat a little more special.
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You can incorporate the earl grey flavor into these scones in two ways:
- With brewed earl grey tea
- Using the tea leaves themselves
Tea leaves give baked goods a rustic speckled look that I love.
I cut open a tea bag and use those leaves. Leaves in tea bags usually seem to be a bit smaller and I find they kind of just sink into this scone dough really nicely. If you are using loose-leaf tea, you may want to grind it up a bit in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder so you don't have large leaves in your scones.
Not into tea-flavored baking? Try my other scones recipes. If you're looking for something super savory with a hint of spice, try my Cheesy Chive + Cayenne scones. Or if you're craving fall flavors, try my Pumpkin Scones with an easy Maple Cinnamon Glaze.
About the ingredients for this recipe. See the recipe card below for exact amounts.
- the dry ingredients: the usual suspects in a scone - flour, baking powder to help the dough lift in the oven, sugar, and salt
- the wet ingredients: you'll need cold butter for this recipe (this is what makes scones flaky and tender) as well as milk of your choice (I use almond milk because I don't like cow's milk) and you'll need to brew a strong cup of Earl Grey tea and then let it cool.
- flavor: the primary flavor in these scones comes from the steeped earl grey tea and from the earl grey tea leaves.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
To make these earl scones you'll first brew the tea and then let it cool while you get the rest of the dough ready.
How to brew earl grey tea
- Boil the water. Bring the water to 208°F. If you're not up for measuring that, just stop your kettle just as it starts to boil. Earl grey tea doesn't need boiling hot water.
- Add the tea bags to the measured hot water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Letting it steep longer can result in bitter tea.
- Remove the tea bags. Don't squeeze them, simply lift them, let them drip a moment, and then discard them. Squeezing tea bags into the cup can release extra tannins and result in bitter tea.
Now let the tea cool for use in this recipe. You can put it in the fridge while you continue.
Make the tea and let it cool.
Cut open the remaining tea bag and pour the leaves into a bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt).
Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients. I do this by shredding the stick of butter on a cheese grater.
You're looking for medium-sized bits with all the butter coated in flour.
Next, add ⅔ of the liquids and bring the dough together. I don't always need all of the liquid - it depends on many things like humidity, flour brand, room temperature, etc.
What you're looking for is a shaggy dough. Stir until it just comes together and isn't sticky. It may be a bit tacky. Add more liquid if the dough is too dry and all of the flour hasn't been incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough or pat it with your hands into a circle about eight inches wide.
The dough should be approximately an inch high. This will yield high, fluffy scones.
Cut the scones into 6 triangles. Set them on the prepared baking sheet, spaced apart.
Brush the scones with leftover or extra almond milk to give them a more golden top. You can also use an egg wash for an even more golden top.
Bake the scones at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes.
RECIPE TIP: Don't over-mix your scones dough. Overmixing the dough will yield tough and chewy scones, not light and fluffy and flaky scones.
What is the secret to good scones?
To make sure your scones are light and flaky follow these tips:
Use very cold butter and coat it in the flour.
This is what gives the flakiness. The butter melts in the oven and creates pockets in the flour which interrupts the gluten bonds - resulting in a flaky texture.
Mixing flour in dough recipes and kneading it leads to strong gluten bonds which is great in a loaf of bread or a dinner roll because it gives you the 'pull' that bread usually has. We don't want that in a scone, so just barely mixing the dough together helps to not activate the gluten too much. The butter also helps to get in the way of the gluten bonds, as explained in tip 1.
✔ This recipe is vegetarian
> Don't like earl grey tea? Leave out the tea leaves, and use plain water or milk instead of tea.
Scones last for a day or two at room temperature but are best on the first day.
A lot of websites recommend storing scones in an airtight container but I think this diminishes their light and flaky texture and makes them heavier. I prefer to store mine on a plate and cover them with a folded dish towel. This recipe makes only 6 scones so they are usually gone pretty quickly in my house.
Tips + FAQs
Earl grey tea is a black tea flavored with the oil from the rind of a bergamot orange.
Earl Grey tea does usually contain caffeine but I use these caffeine-free Earl Grey tea bags by Tetley when I'm drinking tea because I drink tea in the evening.
Most teas are edible. Loose teas usually have bigger leaves than bagged tea. You can grind either tea leaves smaller in a food processor or mortar and pestle to get a finer tea to add to baked goods. This works well for recipes like these scones where you can see the leaves dotted throughout and it enhances the rustic look of these shaggy, flaky scones.
Use fresh leaves. Don't steep it for too long. Don't squeeze the tea bags.
Earl Grey Scones
- Make the tea: Bring water almost to a boil. Measure ⅓ cup of the water in a mug and add two Earl Grey tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes then allow it to cool to room temperature. (I put mine in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.)
- Mix dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Open the third tea bag and add the tea leaves to the dry mix. Whisk together well.
- Add the cold butter: You can either cut the butter into small cubes or grate the butter in with a box grater. I prefer to grate it. Cover the butter in the flour mixture and then make snapping motions to combine the butter well with the flour mixture. You want small to medium sized pieces of butter, like pea-sized.
- Add liquid: Add most of the cooled tea and the almond milk to the dry ingredients. Mix together until a dough forms. Add the rest of the liquid if you need it. The dough will be tacky but you don't want it to be too wet.
- Cut scones: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Gently roll the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide. The dough should be about an inch thick.Cut into 6 wedges.
- Brush the tops with almond milk (optional). This gives a more golden top once baked.
- Bake scones: Bake on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with butter and honey.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
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