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Irish Soda Bread Scones

Servings 9 large scones


  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
  • extra sour cream for brushing
  • raw sugar for sprinkling optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, two knives or you can rub the butter in with your fingertips, until the mixture is crumbly and you have varied size butter chunks no larger than peas.
  4. Add caraway seeds and raisins and lightly toss until raisins are coated in flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and egg together until well blended.
  6. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and pour in the egg/sour cream mixture. Toss gently with a fork until you've distributed the wet ingredients well and mixture begins to hold together a bit. Your mixture is going to seem to be too dry, but try to resist adding more liquid. (See note.)
  7. Use your hands to gently mix/lightly knead the mixture in the bowl until it comes together.
  8. Once the dough comes together with no crumbs, on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a large square 1 inch thick. Mine was a little over 6" square.
  9. Using a floured knife, cut into nine squares. Place in freezer for 30-60 minutes or until butter is nice and firm.
  10. Remove from freezer and place scones about 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut an "x" into the center of each scone. Brush tops of unbaked scones with additional sour cream. Sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired.
  12. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden. Do not over bake or you'll risk drying out the scones. Allow to cool and set up for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then serve warm or remove to a rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Notes

*I usually put a sheet or two of waxed paper down on the counter, lightly sprinkle some flour on it and pat my scone dough on that. It makes for easy clean up. Once I've cut the scones, I can also just wrap them in the waxed paper and put them in the freezer.

*Please resist the temptation to add more liquid of any kind. I tried adding an additional 1/4 cup of sour cream and I didn't like the texture. It kind of got gummy. Just gently work the dough in the bowl and it will come together for you.

*Be careful not to over measure your flour. I use the spoon and sweep method. First I stir the flour to lighten it up, then spoon it into my measuring cup and sweep across the top with a knife to level it. This insures you don't pack it in the cup. No shaking it to level it, no pushing it down with your spoon.

*These are best on the first day, but leftovers come back to life nicely when warmed up in a toaster oven for about 3 minutes. I do like these best warm, so I even warmed them up on day one, since they were completely cool by the time we ate them.

*Because the sour cream is thick, when you brush the tops of the scones, it will leave brush marks that you might see after baking. This did not bother me. If it bothers you, thin the sour cream with a little milk so that it's just loose enough to brush with no evidence of the brush stroke.

*If you're against raisins and caraway seeds, and you've decided to omit them, you certainly can make these scones plain. However, I might recommend you try one of my other scone recipes where butter and cream, and often vanilla, bring extra flavor and richness to a plain scone. You could use the scone dough from my Jammy Thumbprint Scone Bites and just cut them into triangles instead of rolling and filling them.

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