A Traditional Cream Tea – scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream

cream tea

Scones with jam and clotted cream

If you are British you will already know exactly what you need for a Cream Tea. Apart from a good pot of tea, you need scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. To me it says summer time.

Although we might not have quite made it to summer yet, and the weather is having a hard time even remembering that winter is over, the days are getting longer and summer sports are making an appearance. Cream teas go hand in hand with the tennis at Wimbledon and afternoons of cricket.

So they were exactly what was needed at a recent tennis competition that I helped organise at school recently. We served strawberries and cream, Pimms and Cream Teas.

Over four days I made 140 scones. Because the dough is not enriched with a lot of butter, eggs or milk, scones will start to go dry very quickly and are at their best still warm from the oven. I froze mine as soon as they had fully cooled so that they would be fresh on the day and they don’t take very long to defrost.

scones with jam and cream

Cream Tea

I asked my mum to send me the recipe we have always used as I knew it was a good one.



250g SR flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

30g sugar

55g butter

1 egg

Around 100ml milk


Set the oven to 200°C.

Put the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and mix.

Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the beaten egg and enough milk to combine to a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead very lightly.

Gently roll out to around 2cm thick and use a cutter to make your scones. The number of scones this recipe makes will depend on which size cutter you use, but you should get 9-12 average sized scones.

The less you handle the dough the better the scones will be, so make sure you cut out as many as you can from the first rolling. Then gather up the leftovers, knead briefly and roll out again. If you roll any dough out for a third time it is likely to produce scones that are drier and tougher. I gather up the leftovers from the second batch and then just divide it with a knife so that I know which ones they are. They make great testers!

Put the scones on a floured baking tray and bake for around 15-20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown.

Put onto a wire cooling rack to cool.

At school we served them with strawberry jam and clotted cream but at home we had to make do with raspberry jam as I have yet to master strawberry jam making! My strawberry jam tastes pretty much how it should but doesn’t look very good and is never thick enough. It’s more of a strawberry sauce than a strawberry jam! Hopefully this year will be different…

afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea

Even if you don’t particularly like cream you may find that you like scones with jam and clotted cream – give them a try if you haven’t already.

I’m not sure that I will be making scones any time soon as I was virtually making them in my sleep by the end. I will however be sampling them at any opportunity!

Categories: Baking, Biscuits and Cookies, Jam making and Preserves, Pastry, Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Lovely! I love afternoon tea and when I was in the UK, I made sure to have tea as much as possible. I even had a tea in California for my 25th birthday. Thanks for sharing your mum’s recipe.

  2. Ah, you’re making me feel ‘homesick’ for England! I adore cream teas. The best one I’ve had was during a trip to Cheddar Gorge a few years ago. There was a tiny shop that had a whole myriad of delicious dairy goods and… ah, the best clotted cream. Ever. Can’t wait to try your scone recipe. I’m still awaiting the discovery of the perfect, foolproof scone recipe and your photos look perfect! Thanks (oh, and I can definitely understand being over baking scones after completing 140! Eek!)

  3. These look so tall, light n fluffy! Bet they taste great! 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness! I have some family in England and when ever we go, we have this amazing cream tea! I love it! The scones look great! 🙂

  5. I love cream teas. It’s hard to find clotted cream over here but when we do I get it!

  6. i plan to make these for coffee morning, how long do you think to defrost? will i have time if I take them out in the morning?

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