The 21st century evolution of the scone 91



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Once upon a time, a long long time ago when I was a little girl, a scone was a little round, slightly sweet morsel to be eaten with jam and cream. Sometimes you just had butter. The ultimate gastronomic limit which the scone was taken to, was to possibly add sultanas or dates. They were really good, even though my poor old mum would stress because her scones were often more like rock cakes – yet, like all of her home baking, I enjoyed them.

But like so many things, scones have changed. They have taken on a daring new persona. They have morphed from simplicity into a complex amalgam of flavours. You can have mocha mud cake scones, passionfruit and white chocolate scones, berry and white chocolate scones, mocha and chocolate scones, spinach and feta scones and mercifully, plain and date scones. Now I don’t dislike these scones. In fact I have taste tested most of them. I enjoyed this process and the white chocolate and passionfruit one came out as a clear winner. But is it still classed as a scone? If one is literally minded, it probably is not. Is it perhaps a tea cake?

Like so many things, the scone is now up-to-date and keeping up with the gastronomic Joneses. With the advent of shows like ‘Master Chef’, budding foodies can waft around the supermarket with recipe cards which take their humble lamb chops, vegies and mash up to a cook book photo shopped new level. Scones have obviously followed this trend.

When did it begin? Well the scone revolution emerged when a certain Queensland politician’s wife called Flo created the pumpkin scone. Possibly the best achievement of their combined careers? Then there was the cheese scone, warm with melted cheese and butter.

Yum. Add some chives – even better. I made those for my kids in the 1990s. Great with a yummy vegetable soup. But back to these modern creations. The melted white chocolate which has baked onto the baking tray combined with the taste and crunch of passionfruit is truly blissful. I can’t even wait till I get home and the front seat of the car is awash with crumbs. It is $1.70 well spent. I try to convince myself it is a carb and a protein unit with a bit of fat thrown in. Hopefully it can be counted as my lunch, but only one leaves me hungry for more.

Like many good things, food follows fashion. Once upon a time there was only white bread. I used to pick it up from the corner shop for mum. It came in a loaf which had two ends to it. I would split it in half and scoop out the yummy soft white centre where it had been joined. For some obscure reason we called it the ‘kiss’ and my sisters would yell to mum, “Karen’s stolen the kiss again!” Ah, memories. It is where my love of calming carbohydrates was born.  But I digress. Bread has also undergone a huge culture shift, with numerous varieties available for every occasion. And for once I celebrate this diversity of our carbohydrate culture.

Do you love scones? Do you make your own? What variations do you enjoy? Tell us below.

Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. I like both plain and sultana scones like my mother used to make but I don’t have her recipe and bought ones are seldom nice.

    2 REPLY
    • You can have a copy of my grandmother’s scone recipe if you like. She used to win prizes at the Easter Show for her cooking.

      2 REPLY
      • Yes please Helen. ..? 🙂

        1 REPLY
        • My mum made the best Pumpkin scones. She also made Sultana & Carrot ones that I loved. I don’t have her recipes though which is sad. 🙁

      • Helen, I read you comment about scones, .. could I please have your recipe, I love scones , but I make the worlds worst.!!! My late Mum made lovely light Moorish ones, but unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of notice of how she did it…

  2. I make my own, cant stand microwaved scones>. been caught a few times.

    2 REPLY
    • Helen Fenton, I would love your recipe for scones, mine are always a bit tough. 🙂

    • I have tried many different recipes but can’t produce a light, reliable scone, any help welcome please. 🙂

  3. I like plain old fashioned scones best and even if I say so myself I do make really good ones. But I must confess to liking the spinach and feta ones, spread with cream cheese, from the muffin shop

  4. My mum used to make the best scones ever and so did my mother-in-law. They were so yum. Xxxx

  5. Love scones but wouldn’t dream of offloading my home made attempts on anyone lol. I didn’t know there was only white bread many moons ago, when I was a child we often had Hovis loaf and they were wholemeal.

  6. I love them – both date and plain with lots of jam and cream but haven’t made them since becoming sensitive to gluten. Used to buy choc ones from ‘Bakers Delight’.

  7. For me they are big instead of a small treat with jam and cream. Nothing wrong with variety just not so big. Please.

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