Food, History & Traditions

Scones with Tea – A Morning Tradition

In my husband’s family, it is a tradition to have morning tea. That is a cup of hot tea with a scone of two with butter or jam. My husband’s paternal grandmother was a brilliant farmhouse cook and used an old wood-burning stove – one that was without a thermostat or temperature gauge. Yet she cooked everything to perfection, testing the temperature only with the back of her hand. Wouldn’t we all love that skill? Granny Mac was of German heritage, so perhaps her cooking skills came from a background of generations of women cooking in the kitchen? Or perhaps from necessity?

Together with her husband, they owned a dairy farm, and there was plenty of fresh cream available.

Thus, making and then selling the scones was a way to supplement the farm’s income and feed Granny Mac’s ten hungry children at morning tea time.

This same recipe made the scones served to the State of Queensland’s Governor, as well as many tourists, or day trippers, in the 1950’s, who drove up the steep, Mountain Road, for a weekend picnic.

This is that never-fail secret family recipe!

Granny Mac’s Scones

prize winning scones

NB. the quantities of ingredients were never measured by the original cook, just estimated.

For the rest of us, I have provided the following measurements:


2 1/4 cup Self Raising* flour

*(Make Self raising flour by combining 2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of plain flour and sifting well)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup cream

Optional: a good handful of currants/sultanas/chopped dates – my kids love that)


  1. In a large bowl, place all the dry ingredients, (and fruit), and stir to mix thoroughly.
  2. “Cut” the wet ingredients into the mix by stirring thoroughly with the blade of a flat butter knife.
  3. Knead mix a little with extra flour, if needed. (You will want a dough that is smooth enough to handle, but not too dry)
  4. Roll or pat out on a floured board, to 1 inch high (no less)
  5. Cut 6 cm rounds with a scone cutter or as Granny Mac used: a used, empty, small baked beans tin, (cleaned and dried, of course)!
  6. Bake 12 -15 minutes @ 210 degrees Celsius on a metal scone tray

Delightful served with butter or jam and cream.

Best eaten while hot, however, they do freeze well.

Is there a traditional recipe within your family heritage? Do you still make this food?

Will you keep up this tradition for generations to come?

Something to ponder about….


31 thoughts on “Scones with Tea – A Morning Tradition”

  1. I LOVE scones…and now I have another recipe to add to my collection. 🙂 over the years I have collected many recipes, from many different sources. Even in this day and age of electronic media and storage, I handwrite, on 4×6″ recipe cards, recipes that I want to hand down to my two daughters.

    I began my blog, writing about food, recipes and experiences as a recipe tester for a professional baker, Peter Reinhart. If I can’t be in my kitchen, I want to be in my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coffee, I am so impressed that you think my recipe worthy to add to your heirloom collection. I am not familiar with Peter Reinhart, so will need to do a bit of research for him, but as a recipe tester, no doubt your knowledge would be extensive. I hope the scones measure up well!!! Do let me know how you go with them. I like to write out my recipes too, but my kids can’t necessarily understand my shorthand, so my daughter writes out the recipe in a book of her own. These kind of recipes that are handed down, are very special I think, and in some small way, the originator becomes immortal!! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One day our daughters will look back on our recipe files and be very grateful that we wrote them. To this day, as I thumb thru my boxes and see the ones gifted to me, that I’d requested from others, my heart sings. Some of my friends are gone, but one look at their handwriting and I pull the card and have a little ‘chat’. My heart warms and I am reminded that love never dies.


  2. I am more of a pancake man, but…each to their own. My dad made them. It was about the only thing he ever baked. I have progressed the art of pancake making by using buttermilk. I can’t believe they now sell ready made mix whereby you fill the ready mix in plastic bottle, shake it and bake them. What a retrograde step backwards!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, but you would be a pancake man, Gerard, with a Dutch surname!! I love pancakes too, who doesn’t? And I look in horror at those plastic bottles of pre -made pancake mix, much in the same way I do at the cake mix packets. After all, in the cake mix packets, you are paying a premium for a small amount of flour and cocoa, mixed together! You still have to add eggs, butter and milk, by which time the cost of the cake becomes ridiculous. Where will it end? Will you be able to buy ready made toast with butter and jam that you heat up in the microwave? Or Weetbix cereal pre-moistened with milk? [shudder]
      On the flip side, I would love to try your buttermilk pancake recipe, if you wish to share it with me! That would be a real treat!


  3. Mix plain flour with milk and buttermilk 50/50 add water to make it fairly watery. Add pinch of salt. I like pancakes thin and crispy with dark brown crunchy edges. Use butter for each pancake. Have the fry pan hot and each pancake taking about 3/4 minutes both sides.
    I like to sprinkle a little sugar with squeezed lime juice over the lot. For supreme pancake joy spread a little Golden syrup.
    Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that, Gerard. I’ll give it a try. Sounds quite similar to the Danish pancake recipe I use. Those I eat plain whilst my son has ice cream or jam on his. Sugar and lemon juice are great on Pikelets. If my lime tree fruits I’ll also try the lime. Thanks again.


  4. Granny Mac’s Scones is really “A Morning Tradition” for many.
    I make it a point to pair my morning tea with Scones, cookies, biscuits or muffins.
    Good going 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an incredible way to connect with the past and keep her memory alive, isn’t it? And in this way the family passes on the knowledge to the future generations. Lovely.


  5. What a lovely recipe. To be honest, scones is something I rarely reach for on a tea break or afternoon snack. I tend to reach for biscuits or chocolates when I’m naughty, and nuts when I’m feeling healthy. A lot of scones I’ve had taste rather hard and dry…maybe it’s just my luck. I’m sure good scones taste much better than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should give this recipe a go. There is no rubbing in butter and endless kneading. The secret to a good scone I feel is to be quick, and don’t fuss too much. Chocolate is everyone’s downfall, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to have The Country Women’s Cookbook, with a spiral spine, you know ? – and from it I would make scones.
    Alas, it karked: fell apart, eventually (no, NOT because of the scone recipe alone !).
    So I thank you for this, Amanda ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This will most certainly be used next Sunday – tomorrow – that’s when I always serve scones in the morning. A family recipe is a family recipe – nothing beats this!

    Liked by 1 person

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