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
A festive favourite

Christmas Breaks in Cornwall

Christmas Breaks

Christmas at St Michaels is a special experience. Flavoursome, festive food, warming evenings around the fire and 4-nights of coastal bliss. It's never too early to make plans!

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


From £935pp

Sunday Sleepover
From £169 for 2

Sunday Sleepover

Extend your weekend with a 1-night treat, from £169 for 2. 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
• Classic King Room
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Complimentary swim & gym access. Fitness and yoga classes are available for £6pp.

Offer starts from just £169 for 2.

Upgrade to a Luxury Room from just £10pp.

Stay must be within 10 weeks of booking.


Summer Chillout
From £175

Summer Chillout

Whether it's a special occasion or some well-earned us-time, sometimes one night is all it takes to feel good again. Our Summer Chillout deal offers the very best rate available on selected dates this month.

Your stay includes:
• 1-night in a Classic King room*
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Complimentary access to gym and swim facilities

Summer Chillout starts from £179 per couple, valid on selected nights.

*Room upgrades are available.

Summer Luxury
5 nights for 4

Summer Luxury

The perfect summer escape combined with unmissable value. Enjoy a free night when you stay for 5 nights in July, August and September.

Your standard inclusions:
• 5 nights for the price of 4 in any Luxury room type
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Complimentary swim & gym access

Valid on stays from 01 Jul - 30 Sep 24.

Last Minute Bed & Breakfast
20% off in 21 days

Last Minute Bed & Breakfast

Escape for a dose of coastal goodness and enjoy 20% off last minute Bed & Breakfast stays within the next 21 days. Celebrate a special occassion or just treat yourself to some much-needed 'us time'. Wander down subtropical resort gardens and onto the sheltered calm sands of Gylly Beach. Drink in ocean views over your Cornish breakfast, then head out onto beaches and coastpaths, or take a stroll into the bustling harbourside town of Falmouth.

Your Last Minute inclusions:

• Complimentary Health Club swim & gym access
• Full Cornish breakfast

Discount applies on Bed & Breakfast stays within 21 days of the time of booking.

Twilight Spa Break
Dip & Dine

Twilight Spa Break

Our most popular spa break is back. Spend a blissful twilight evening in our spa, with a 2-hour Hydrothermal Experience followed by a 3-course dinner in our AA rosette Brasserie on the Bay.

Your Twilight Spa Break inclusions:
• 1-night stay in a Classic King Room
• A 2-hour Hydrothermal Experience in the spa
• A 3-course dinner in the Brasserie on the Bay
• Full Cornish breakfast

Your standard inclusions:
• Complimentary access to gym and swim facilities

Offer starts from just £125pp.

Upgrade to a Luxury Room from just £10pp.

Available on Sun-Thu stays, excludes bank holiday weekends and special occasion dates. Stay must be within 10 weeks of booking.

Be Free
3 nights for 2

Be Free

Cornwall's natural beauty shines through no matter the season you visit. With stunning evening sunsets and miles of dramatic coastline to explore from our doorstep, it's the perfect time to detox from the day-to-day. What's more, you'll enjoy your third night with us free of charge.

Your inclusions:
• 3-night stay in a Classic King Room
• Full Cornish breakfast each morning
• Complimentary access to gym and swim facilities

Available on 3-night stays until 31 Mar 24 or between 01 Oct - 23 Dec.



Cornish Summer
2-nights from £340pp

Cornish Summer

Spend an authentically Cornish short break at St Michaels this summer and experience the golden sands, sun filled evenings and crystal clear waters of the south Cornish coast. Including a 3-course dinner in the Brasserie on the Bay.

Your inclusions:
• 2-night stay in summer
• A 3-course dinner on one evening in the Brasserie on the Bay
• Full Cornish breakfast
• Swim & gym health club access
• 2-Hour Hydrothermal Experience

2-night Cornish Summer starts from just £340pp

Valid on stays from 01 Jul - 30 Sep 24.

Summer Lodge Escape
3 nights from £579

Summer Lodge Escape

Open the doors of your lodge onto your private terrace, soak in the Cornish sunshine and enjoy free Hydrothermal Experience use during your visit. We'll also leave a few goodies in your lodge, including complimentary ferry tickets to the stunning St Mawes, two cocktail vouchers and a fully stocked mini bar on us.

Your inclusions:
• 3-nights in a Spa Garden Lodge
• Unlimited free Hydrothermal Experience use in our Spa
• 3-course dinner in the Brasserie on the Bay on the first night
• Complimentary ferry tickets to St Mawes
• Fully stocked mini bar on us on arrival
• Cocktail vouchers for 2

Offer starts from just £579pp.

Valid for 3-night stays between 01 Jul - 30 Sep 24.