What is the best Cornish scones recipe?


From its stunning coastline to its locally produced foods, the county of Cornwall is celebrated for many reasons. One of its most celebrated foods is Cornish scones as they truly enhance any Cornish cream tea and afternoon tea.

 Who doesn’t love a traditional Cornish cream tea? There really isn’t anything better than eating warm fluffy scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream with a nice cup of tea. If you’re staying with us at our Falmouth hotel you can enjoy afternoon teas with a spectacular view over the bay.

 Our Exec Head Chef Darren tells us why you need to try our cream teas during your next visit to St Michaels Resort: “I think great food experiences occur when the best ingredients are expertly combined and presented in a memorable setting. Relax into the resort vibe, slurp some good Cornish tea and nibble on a warm St Michaels scone and you’ll be so busy looking out across our sub-tropical gardens to the sea beyond that you won’t even notice the Cornish clotted cream dripping onto your chin. It’s indulgence, rest and the freshest of fresh light scones, delivered with an informal smile by our great crew here.”

 Scones can come in all shapes and sizes but in this guide, we take a look at the best Cornish scones recipe with suggested servings - jam first of course!

The Perfect Cornish Scones Recipe
The Perfect Cornish Scones Recipe

There are lots of Cornish scones recipes on the internet with some telling you to do one thing and another telling you to do something completely different and it can all be a bit confusing. If you’re looking for the traditional way to make a Cornish scone, then read on.

 Lisa, the author behind the lifestyle blog Scoop of Cornwall, tells us that she feels the best Cornish scones recipe is one from Rodda’s, who are famous for making Cornish Clotted Cream.

 “The recipe I use if I’m ever baking is this one by Rodda’s. I’ll admit, I’m not the best baker, so I’ll always look for local cafes or independent bakeries with a proper Cornish view!”

Cornish Scones Ingredients (for 12 people)

500g plain flour

5g baking powder

pinch of salt

100g caster sugar

100g diced butter

250ml milk

1 egg


Cornish Scones Recipe

Rodda’s say for the perfect Cornish scones recipe that you need to follow the following steps:

Sieve flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl, then by using your fingertips, you need to rub the butter into the flour until it is no longer visible.

The next step is to add the milk and mix well. Once the mixture starts to form, turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it forms a smooth, soft dough.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees /Gas Mark 6.

You will then need to roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 2.5 cm thick and cut into rounds with a 5cm cutter. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

For the egg wash, beat the egg in a small bowl and brush the tops of the scones twice.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Do not over-bake them or they will be dry.

Serve your Cornish scones with jam and cream


Cornish Hampers, who sell gift hampers that celebrate the vibrant and active food scene in Cornwall, shared some further steps you could follow when making Cornish scones.

 “Choose quality ingredients and be sure to use cooled unsalted butter. Handle the dough with cool hands as little as possible and with a light touch. Even if the dough looks a bit bumpy and ‘rough and ready’, the finished scones will be light, fluffy and well-risen. 

 “Make the scones by hand rather than using a food processor and avoid overworking or kneading the dough as this will result in flat, heavy scones. Cut the rounds out of the dough to a generous depth of about 5cm by pressing down on the cutter, don’t twist. Finally serve the scones warm with lashings of Cornish clotted cream and jam and a teapot filled with the finest Cornish brew. And for the perfect finishing touches, a view of the beautiful Cornish coastline whilst breathing in the Cornish sea air is a must!”

Jam or cream first & what about other servings?
Jam or cream first & what about other servings?

Think of India vs Pakistan in the cricket, Coca Cola vs Pepsi, Celtic vs Rangers in football or McDonald’s vs Burger King, the rivalry between Cornwall and Devon over their cream teas is one for the ages. 

 Cream tea has been served in the UK since the 11th century and the debate over whether the jam or the cream be spread first has raged ever since.

Our Exec Head Chef Darren has his say
Our Exec Head Chef Darren has his say

Our Exec Head Chef Darren has his say and suggested that you could even be creative with your toppings: “That debate is one for magazines (and food marketing companies) to continue to drool over, but as a good Cornish boy, I’m going for a generous smear of jam followed by an almost indecent dollop of good clotted cream on top, though why not cream-jam-cream and blow the debate wide open!”

Sarah, who runs the food blog Life In Full Flavour, told us how she likes to serve her Cornish scones: “When it comes to serving, it's got to be strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream (in that order!) which is the ultimate way to enjoy your Cornish scone. Add a cup of tea - for me, it has to be tea - and that's heavenly.”

Cornish Hampers also feel that the Cornish way of spreading jam first is their favourite: “Warm, light fluffy scones, generous in size, served with local Cornish Boddington’s fruity strawberry jam, Rodda’s clotted cream and Cornish Smugglers Brew tea are essential ingredients for the perfect cream tea.”

Other toppings for your Cornish Scones

As well as the traditional jam and cream, there are plenty of other toppings that you can try with your scones as our chef Darren explains: “Added to that, the scone is about the best vehicle for all manner of treats. Why stop with jam and cream? How about Nutella, or a good blue cheese, the possibilities are endless!”

Below is a list of other potential toppings you can try with your Cornish scone:

Blue cheese
Fresh fruit such as blueberries or strawberries
Lemon curd
Plain honey
Scrambled egg

What makes a Cornish cream tea so special?
What makes a Cornish cream tea so special?

So, what is all the fuss about Cornish cream tea and why should you try it when you come and enjoy afternoon tea in Falmouth?

Put simply, no trip to Cornwall is complete without indulging in a Cornish cream tea, whether you enjoy it on the coast, on the moors or in the valleys, it is the perfect treat for any occasion.

We asked our Exec Head Chef Darren why people need to try a Cornish cream tea: “A cream tea has been the bedrock of Cornish afternoon indulgence for as long as anyone can remember. Many holiday day trips have been saved by a warm cream-laden scone, and if you’re stepping off the beach and feeling ravenous, it’s the greatest afternoon snack. Also, let’s face it, the scone is very adaptable: it’s not seasonal, it doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing, it’s widely available at a high standard across Cornwall and it’s usually on your table very soon after you order.”

Lisa from Scoop of Cornwall tells us why she’d recommend people visiting the county to try this popular treat.

 “I’d recommend everyone try a Cornish scone when visiting, they’re the perfect afternoon snack when exploring the county - just make sure you’re sticking by the Cornish tradition of jam first! 

 “For me, a Cornish cream tea should be enjoyed with a pot of Tregothnan’s loose leaf tea, with a side of sea views. With the number of breathtaking destinations Cornwall has to offer, you won’t be short of scenic spots to choose from!”

Sarah from Life in Full Flavour adds that even if she tries the treat when she is not in the county it brings back happy memories for her.

“Cornish scones are synonymous with a trip to Cornwall and even when you're not there, they can conjure up memories of the beautiful scenery, picturesque coasts, and of course, mouth-watering food. I love Cornish scones, they are a perfect dessert or treat in my eyes as they are not too heavy, not too light and the right level of sweetness.”

These are just some of the reasons why you should try a Cornish scone during your next visit to Cornwall and with our guide we have given you ideas about potential other toppings you can try. For articles like this, check out the blog section of our website.

Christmas Breaks in Cornwall
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Christmas Breaks in Cornwall

Christmas 2022 at 2021 prices

Enjoy Christmas 2022 at St Michaels with the ultimate festive coastal resort stay. Book now to enjoy 2021 prices.

Christmas at St Michaels inclusions
• Classic King Room (upgrades available)
• Breakfast each day, Brunch on Boxing Day
• 3-course Christmas Eve celebration meal
• Festive Christmas lunch and evening meal on Christmas Day
• 3-course Boxing Day feast
• Complimentary Health Club gym & swim
• Discounted spa use

4-night break, arriving 23 Dec, from £849pp
Stretch it out to 5 nights from £120pp

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Extend your weekend with a 1-night treat, from £99 per person. Taste the best of Cornwall in Brasserie on the Bay, wind down into an incredible night of comfort in our coastal bedrooms then start the week right with a full Cornish breakfast.

Your Sunday Sleepover inclusions:
• 3-course dinner in Brasserie on the Bay

Your standard inclusions:
• Classic King Room
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Complimentary swim & gym access. Fitness and yoga classes are available for £5pp.

Room upgrades are available from £20 per person per night.


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Summer stays

Kids stay free!

Get away with the whole family this Summer for unforgettable beach adventures, with kids under 12 staying for free on all stays from 5 Jun - 31 Jul* for just £238

Whether it's an action-packed coastal adventure, immersing yourselves in local Falmouth festivities or soaking up some sunshine on Gylly Beach, St Michaels is exactly where you need to be to reconnect, relax and reset. 

Your standard inclusions:
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Indulge with our most popular spa break. Our 1-night Twilight Spa Break available from Wed & Thu* from £140  per person. 

Your stay will include:

• 1 night in Classic King/Twin Room
• Cornish breakfast in our ocean-facing Brasserie on the Bay
• A 2HR Hydrothermal experience between 4-8pm on your arrival day (limited capacity)
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• A Cornish cream tea
• Tickets to Trebah Gardens and Lost Gardens of Heligan

Your standard inclusions:
• Classic King Room
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Complimentary swim & gym access. 

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1 Jun - 30 Sep 2022

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• Hydrothermal Experience in the spa
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This isn't your usual graduation location - this is graduation that is authentically Cornish. Experience crystal clear waters on your doorstep, fresh locally-sourced Cornish dining and an award-winning spa.

Your Graduation Celebration inclusions:

• 2-night stay in Classic King/Twin room (upgrades from £20pp) 
• 3-course dinner in Brasserie on the Bay on your first night
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Book an additional lunch or dinner table with your loved one and enjoy a free glass of fizz for the graduate.


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