1-bowl chocolate chip scones (without butter) from scratch — freezer friendly

Scones complement your morning (and also afternoon!) coffee or tea. The crusty and crumbly exterior contrasts so well with the fluffy and moist interior. The perfect yin and yang!

Sometimes you wake up late and want a pastry, (I’m not a morning person, are you?) but it’s absolutely impossible to make cinnamon rolls, donuts, or even muffins from scratch. What do you do? Try making these chocolate chip scones for a quick morning breakfast treat!

The dough comes together pretty quickly; I can usually put them together in less than 30 minutes. Then you can brew your coffee while the scones are baking in the oven for the next 18 minutes. In less than an hour, you can have freshly baked scones made from scratch in your pajamas! Doesn’t that sound tempting?

But what if you don’t even feel like putting the dough together first thing in the morning? This recipe can be made ahead of time and then frozen until you are ready to bake. No matter how tired, I can still manage to get up to turn on the oven and pull the frozen scones out of the freezer, and then roll back into bed to wait for the oven to heat…

This recipe is very versatile. You can use it as your blank-slate scone recipe to make your favorite scones. I have experimented with different add-ins over the years. Chocolate chips are still the most popular scones for my kids. Some days, when I want fruitier scones, I add some orange zest and my homemade orange extract to brighten the sweetness of the chocolate chips. Dried apricots also go well with chocolate chips and add an extra layer of fruitiness to the scones. Basically, you can add any kind of dried fruit you like. I suggest sticking with dried fruit; fresh or frozen fruit add a lot of moisture to the batter and can alter the texture of the scones. Other than fruity, you can also go nutty! Chopped pecans go well with chocolate chips or fruit.

I have been making this recipe for many years. In fact, this is one of the first recipes I tried to bake, and because of that I always thought that all scones are made with heavy cream, not butter. But after researching online for more scone ideas, I realized that many scones are made with butter. If you are interested in learning more about the differences between the two types of scones, King Arthur Flour website has an article “cream scones vs. butter scones” comparing them in details. I guess my scones are called cream scones after all. As long as the scones taste good, I guess that’s all it matters. Let’s get baking!


Recipe

1-bowl chocolate chip scones (without butter) from scratch [freezer friendly]

Ingredients

  1. All-purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Baking powder: 1 Tbsp.
  3. Granulated sugar: ¼ cup
  4. Salt: ½ tsp.
  5. Semi-sweet chocolate chips: ¾ cup
  6. Heavy cream: about 1¼ cup
  7. Egg wash: 1 large egg + 1 Tbsp. water/ heavy cream
  8. Optional vanilla icing: 1 cup powdered sugar + 2-3 Tbsp. milk/ heavy cream + ½ tsp. homemade vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425 ℉.
  2. Sift 2 cups of all-purpose flour into a big bowl. Then add 1 Tbsp. of baking powder, ¼ cup of sugar, and ½ tsp. of salt into the same bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add ¾ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Toss well with the flour mixture from step 2. (See Variations below for other add-ins)

4. Drizzle about 1¼ cup of heavy cream (see Final notes below for additional information about the amount of heavy cream to use) into the dry ingredients while using a rubber spatula to mix it in. Mix until all the ingredients just come together. It’s okay to have a few dry crumbs. Don’t over mix, otherwise the scones will be dense.

5. Put the mixture from step 4 onto a lightly floured surface. Very gently knead the mixture into a dough ball. Again, don’t over knead, otherwise the scones will be dense. I suggest pressing the dough out, folding it back on itself, and turning. Repeat eight to ten times.

6. Roll the dough out to 8-9 inches in diameter.

7. Cut the flattened dough into 6 equal wedges. (See Variations below for other shape options)

8. Put the wedges on a cooking sheet/ baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. [If you are making these for freezing, stop at this step. See Final notes below for further instructions.]

9. Brush the scones with a layer of egg wash. And sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

10. Bake for 18 minutes or until the top of the scones are golden brown and cracked a little.

11. Let the scones cool on a tray for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack.

12. (Optional) For a deluxe sweeter version, drizzle some vanilla icing over the cooled scones. Hot scones will melt the icing right away. The scones will still be sweeter but just won’t have the swirly icing effect.


Variations

  • Other add-ins:
    • You can substitute other types of chocolate chips. Sometimes I use a combination of bittersweet and milk chocolate chips.
    • You can also substitute other dried fruits and nuts to your scones. For larger dried fruits like apricot or prune, I cut each piece into 2-3 smaller pieces. For smaller dried fruits like raisins, I just use them whole.
    • Here are some add-ins I frequently use:
      • chocolate chips + orange zest + homemade orange extract
      • chocolate chips + pecan
      • chocolate chips + dried apricots
      • dried apricots
      • dried apricots +raisins
      • dried prunes
  • Other shapes:
    • It’s not ideal to knead the scone dough over and over too many times (to avoid dense scones), but it doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the shapes! Every now and then, I will make the scones in different shapes for my kids.
  • Use any cookie cutters to cut the shape out of the flattened dough. Or if you are up for a challenge, you can use a pairing knife to cut any shapes you like. Can you tell I cut a little car for my car-crazed son?
    • After you cut out the shapes from the initial flattened dough, gently knead the rest of the dough back together and cut some more shapes.
    • Just make sure to adjust the bake time depending on the size of your cutout scones.

Final notes

Heavy cream amount:

  • Don’t pour the entire 1¼ cup into the the dry mixture all at one time. The different add-ins could change the amount of heavy cream you would need. I would drizzle about 1 cup of heavy cream and mix it with the dry ingredients together first and see if the dough needs more heavy cream.
    • If the dough is still dry and hasn’t come together yet, then slowly drizzle a little heavy cream at a time to bring the dough together.
    • On the other hand, if the dough has already come together, then don’t add any more heavy cream. You don’t want the dough to be too wet either.

Make-ahead freezer friendly instructions:

  • Put the wedges on a cooking sheet/ chop board to freeze them for a few hours so they won’t stick to each other before storing them in a Ziploc bag. Remember to write the date on the Ziploc bag. Scones freeze well for about 3 months.
  • When you are ready to bake them, take them out of the freezer when heating the oven to 425℉.
    • Follow the instructions from step 8 to step 12. Remember to bake for a few more minutes (4-7 minutes) because they are frozen.
  • With this freezer friendly option, you can bake only the scones you are going to eat the same day, and freeze the rest for another day. Nothing beats freshly baked scones!
  • If you make several batches of scones with different add-ins and freeze them, then you can mix-and-match and bake a tray of variety scones!

What are your favorite add-ins for your scones?



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