Mother's Day in Ireland is on March 22 and this white scone recipe (and several variations) from Irish chef Darina Allen are the perfect treat for the big day!

These scones are my mother’s recipe, which I introduced to a wider audience in my first “Simply Delicious” TV series. I thought this would be a useful recipe to teach the clergy in the special course I ran for them since it is simple and quick, but also makes a large amount, so they could freeze leftovers and reheat them quickly in the oven for visiting parishioners.

When my mother made these for us as children, they were always tender and delicious—but adding a few golden raisins was as adventurous as we got. These days, we teach numerous twists on the original (see below).

Read More: How to use Kerrygold butter to make delectable Irish scones

Darina Allen's white scone recipe

Makes 18–20 scones.


  • 7 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 2 cups milk

To glaze egg wash, made by whisking 1 organic egg with a pinch of salt granulated sugar, for the topping.


Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large, wide bowl.

Cut the butter into cubes, toss in the flour, and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs—surprisingly, this results in lighter scones. Make a well in the center.

Whisk the eggs with the milk in a pitcher.

Add to the dry ingredients and mix to a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured board. Don’t knead but shape just enough to make a round. Roll out to 1in thick and cut or stamp into scones. Stamp out the scones with as little waste as possible; the first scones will be lighter than the second rolling. If you cut them into squares or triangles with a knife or pastry cutter, as my mother did, there is no need to roll again.

Transfer the scones to a baking sheet—there is no need to grease it. Brush the tops with the egg wash and dip each one in granulated sugar. Bake in the hot oven for 10–12 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve split in half with homemade jam and a dollop of whipped cream or with just butter and jam.

Read More: How to make the perfect Irish soda bread


Golden Raisin Scones

Add 3/4 cup plump golden raisins to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Muscatel Raisin and Rosemary Scones

Add 3/4 cup Muscatel raisins and 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Cherry Scones

Add 1 cup quartered candied or dried cherries to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Crystallized Ginger Scones

Add 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (or drained and chopped stem ginger) to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Candied Citrus Peel Scones

Add 3/4 cup candied orange and lemon peel to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in. Coat the citrus peel well in the flour before adding the liquid to stop it from sticking together.

Sugar and Spice Scones

Add 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the basic mixture with the flour. Instead of dipping the glazed scones in granulated sugar, use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar.

Poppy Seed Scones

Add 1/4 cup poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.

Serve with freshly crushed strawberries and whipped cream.

Chocolate Chip Scones

Chop 4oz best-quality chocolate and add to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Strawberry, Raspberry, or Blueberry Scones

Add 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (or whole raspberries or blueberries) to the basic mixture after the butter has been rubbed in.

Increase the sugar by 2 tablespoons.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Scones

Add 3/4 cup fresh raspberries and 3oz chopped white chocolate to the basic mixture after the sugar has been rubbed in.

Read More: Darina Allen: The woman who put Irish cooking on the map

* Originally published in 2014, updated in March 2020

What Irish recipes will you be trying out for Mother's Day? Let us know in the comments!

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