This easy-to-make Christmas Morning Scones recipe, aka Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg, and Rosemary-Scented Scones, captures the flavor and aroma of Christmas morning! They have a unique, festive flavor, are easy to make, and will become your family’s new favorite holiday morning tradition.
Whatever you do, DO NOT make these scones.
I made them, tasted them, and did a double take. (Oh my God, they are the best scones. Ever.) I may have had to sit down and I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head a little.
I thought it was a fluke, so I made them again and invited a bunch of ladies over. And everyone who’s had them has told me that they’re the best scones they’ve ever had. (Totally blushing here, but hey, they said it and so I had to share it, lol.)
Which sounds like it’s great, right?
(I’m telling you, no matter how much you want to, don’t go make them!)
The problem is that these scones then become the standard by which all future scones are judged. Your taste buds will be tainted the same way that mine are. These scones will wreck it for all the other decent scones out there, making you think a sufficiently good scone just isn’t worth it. Not the time, not the effort, not the money, and not even the flour that went into making it.
You will want Christmas Morning Scones all.the.time. Whether it’s Christmas morning or not.
Which normally wouldn’t be a problem (I’m not afraid to whip up a batch of scones on a random Thursday afternoon), but they are for Christmas morning. They’re special, if you will, and sacred in a way.
So do yourself a favor and don’t make these scones.
If You Want Another Festive Scone Recipe
Above: Christmas Eve Scones are a play on this festive scone recipe, and are flavored with orange, cloves, and fresh rosemary.
And if, on the off chance, you didn’t heed my warning and went ahead and made these scones, you might also like my Christmas Eve Scones! They’re a play on this recipe with the flavors of orange, cloves, and rosemary.
What Do These Scones Taste Like?
I asked everyone who tried these scones how they’d describe them, but I think my 11-year-old niece said it best: “It’s like you came up with the flavor of Christmas.” (That, my dear, is exactly what I was going for. ;) )
These scones are crisp outside and tender and soft inside with a rich vanilla bean and spiced nutmeg flavor. They’re laced with the piney aroma of rosemary, and feature fruity bursts of cranberry. A simple glaze on top adds shine and sweetness for the perfect finishing touch on these pastries.
So, on the off chance that you don’t heed my advice and decide to go ahead and make these, first of all, know that you will never be the same. But also take note that you can make the dough the night before and bake them off in the morning (just to make your life a little easier).
And on Christmas morning there is nothing that will make your house smell more like Christmas morning than these scones.
Christmas Morning Scones – An Easy Scone Recipe!
If you’re looking for an easy scone recipe, this recipe for Christmas Morning Scones is it!
Ingredients for Christmas Morning Scones
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Freshly-ground nutmeg
- Unsweetened dried cranberries
- Fresh rosemary
- Unsalted butter
- Half and half
- Vanilla bean paste
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla bean paste
- Freshly-ground nutmeg
How to Make Christmas Morning Scones
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry cutter.
- Mix in the half and half.
- Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and briefly chill (or make it up to 3 days in advance).
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, brush the tops with milk or half and half, and bake on a baking sheet with a silpat baking mat.
- Cool and then glaze.
How to Store Scones
Like most fresh homemade baked goods, these scones are best served the same day they’re made. Once they’re baked, you can keep them in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but by the second day they will be a bit drier.
However, you can make the dough up to 3 days ahead of time at store it in the fridge. Bake the scones straight from the fridge the morning you want to serve them. This is perfect for Christmas morning; you can have the dough already made so all you need to do is bake the scones!
Tips for Making Perfect Scones
- Don’t over-mix the dough. For soft, tender scones, it’s important not to over-work the dough. There should be a few lumps of butter.
- Splurge for half and half. Yes, these scones will work with whole milk, but the flavor and texture will be different. Or if you really want the richest flavor and softest texture, use cream. (Hey, it’s the holidays, right?!)
- Freshly grate the nutmeg. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference freshly grated nutmeg makes in terms of flavor and aroma.
- Make sure to chill the dough before baking. This helps solidify the butter a bit so the scones don’t spread out too much as they bake. Just 10 minutes in the freezer makes all the difference!
More Festive Scone Recipes to Make
- Small Batch Maple Walnut Scones
- Vanilla Bean Caramelized Pear Scones with Dark Chocolate Chunks
- Pumpkin Scones
- Christmas Eve Scones
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Christmas Morning Scones (Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg, and Rosemary-Scented Scones)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-grated whole nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries chopped small
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and diced
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 tablespoon whole milk for brushing on top
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated whole nutmeg
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
Other Toppings (optional):
- Unsweetened dried cranberries
- Fresh rosemary leaves
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat liner for easy cleanup; otherwise, lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, dried cranberries, and rosemary in a large bowl.
- Cut in the butter with a fork or using two butter knives until it looks like coarse meal. Stir in the half and half and vanilla bean paste. (The dough should come together, but not be too wet.)
- Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and chill 10 minutes in the freezer.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press the dough out to a circle about 7 to 8 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Cut the circle of dough into 8 equal wedges.
- Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little milk, and bake until puffed and light golden brown on top and bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes. Cool completely.
- Once cooled, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze. Dip the tops of the scones into the glaze, letting it run down the sides; sprinkle a few dried cranberries and rosemary leaves on top, if desired. Place the scones onto a wire rack and let the glaze set completely before serving.
- Instead of half and half, you could use whole milk or cream for this recipe.
- Make Ahead: You can make the dough up to 3 days in advance. If you do so, instead of chilling it in the freezer for 10 minutes, wrap it up and refrigerate it until you're ready to bake the scones. Bake the scones straight from the fridge the morning you want to serve them.
- Take a couple minutes to freshly grate your nutmeg because it makes all the difference in terms of flavor! I recommend using a microplane to grate whole nutmeg.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 19, 2014. It was updated with more information on December 19, 2019.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!
Oh,Faith,you were not exaggerating in the slightest! These flavours are absolutely perfect, and I was told to throw out my other scone recipes and use this base for other flavour combinations. Thanks so much for this. You will now be a part of my family every time I make scones. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best for 2023.
Laura G says
Delicious Christmas morning scones! Great flavor.
I can’t believe I haven’t commented on this before!! It’s tradition for me to make these at every Family Christmas Brunch. These not only smell incredible, but they combine all my favorite smells of the holidays into one super cozy treat ❤️ Christmas isn’t Christmas without them! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
Autumn Rose Cruz says
These are so yummy and taste like Christmas straight up! If you want to capture the essence of the holidays in a scone look no further!
Ok, is it Christmas yet?! Never mind! I’m making them this weekend! ☺️❤️
L C says
Absolutely spectacular scones. I’d never made scones before, so these definitely set the bar high for any other future attempts. I added chopped dates in addition to cranberries and they went really well with the richness of nutmeg and the freshness of the rosemary. Wonderful recipe that I will definitely make again!
We just made these for Sunday breakfast and they were incredible! I love the vanilla bean paste in it and how fluffy they are. The glaze is perfect!
These are the best!!! Have made lots of subs. Dried apricots and chopped almonds and cinnamon. Fried cherries and almonds and nutmeg. I’m getting ready to try lemon dried strawberries and lavender. So versatile!
Fig/pecan or walnut
Pretty much any dried fruit
Any spice you like
Any nut you like
Very versatile. Just swap for what you like
Brown sugar for white
Almond extract for vanilla
It’s your kitchen
I’ve made these for 2 years now and used all kinds of fruit/nuts/spices. The only scones I make now.
I made these vegan by replacing the half and half with coconut holiday nog and replacing the butter with Earth Balance plant based spread. I used Zulka Morena sugar ( non bone char processed). These turned out wonderful and delicious. I felt so damned christmasy.
While these were absolutely delicious, they hardly rose at all. I used fresh baking powder and refrigerated the discs overnight (to deal with less prep in the morning.) Any ideas??
Megan, I’m so happy you liked these, thank you so much for leaving a comment! I’m sorry to hear that they barely rose though; that is strange, especially since you used fresh baking powder. I’ve baked these scones straight from the fridge several times and never had an issue with them not rising, so I don’t think that’s it. I want to try to help you troubleshoot though! Did you cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looked like coarse meal (as opposed to fully mixing it in)? Did you make any changes to the recipe?
Thank you, Faith. I used a pastry blender, so maybe I blended too much…? I was thinking it was how I incorporated the cream too. No changes to the recipe, though. Thanks for helping!
argh, serves me right for not reading the directions more carefully before I made these, but you don’t say to add the first vanilla bean paste listed (1 tsp in the Scones section) to the dough, I assume either with the butter or the half and half. I didn’t realize that until I’d already formed the dough, and I’m reluctant to add it now in case the handling makes the dough tougher than it should be. I’m hoping the vanilla bean paste in the glaze will get these up to par when I bake them tomorrow morning, but please fix the error in your posting. Thank you!
Donna, Thank you so much for leaving a comment to let me know! (I’m really surprised no one has mentioned that to me before!) I truly appreciate it, and I’ve fixed the recipe. And I apologize for that. You’re right, the vanilla bean paste gets added in with the half and half. Thank you again! Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Hello! I was wondering if you be ok with me baking these for a local Holiday Baking contest? I will site you and the edible mosaic as the source.
-DeAnna in Missouri
DeAnna, Sure, go ahead and make them! :) Thank you for crediting me as the source. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a win for you. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Is it December yet? I woke up this morning thinking about these scones. 😄 They are so good!
6 Tbs = 85 g butter. I noticed before I made them. Came out absolutely delicious.
I’m going to try making these for Christmas morning when my in-laws visit, what would you suggest serving them with? We usually just have butter (or clotted cream) and jam with regular scones in our house :)
Laura, I’m so happy you’re going to make these for your family on Christmas morning! These scones are glazed, so I don’t typically serve them with clotted cream and jam. However, if you want to go a more classic route, you could leave off the glaze and serve them with clotted cream and jam. I think cranberry jam would be a lovely flavor accent! I have a delicious and easy cranberry sauce here if you’re interested: https://www.anediblemosaic.com/vanilla-spiced-cranberry-apple-sauce-crazy-for-cranberry/. I hope you enjoy them!
Can I use milk instead of cream for the actual recipe or just on top?
Britt, You can use whole milk instead of cream in the recipe and on top, they just won’t be quite as rich. But they’ll still be delicious! Hope you enjoy them if you give them a try. :)
My daughter-in-law made these scones last Christmas morning and they were, indeed, the best scones I have ever tasted! I would like to make them but have been unable to find unsweetened cranberries locally. Where do you buy them?
Debbie, I’m so happy you enjoyed these scones, it makes my day to hear that! I actually got these cranberries at a local market when I lived in Kuwait, but I’ve also seen unsweetened cranberries on Amazon. Hope you’re able to find them, they are definitely hard to track down!
Tamela Sargent says
These were perfect for my Christmas in July craving! Took a batch to the office and everybody loved them, great recipe!!
Thank you for sharing, now this is in my Christmas recipes!!
These were obscenely delicious! I knew when I was struggling to keep myself from eating the raw dough that this recipe was going to be something special 😊
For the last 10 years I’ve been searching for the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. It would have to be something I can prepare the night before and just throw into the oven Christmas morning. Something that feels special and festive without being so over the top that it’s too much to have knowing there would be a big Christmas dinner feast that night. I’ve tried and dismissed so many recipes that were excellent but not quite festive enough, or too much work, or just didn’t seem Christmasy. I made these this Christmas and I have found my new Christmas morning breakfast. Thanks for posting, these were perfect!!!
This scones are seriously the best scones I’ve ever had. Perfect combination of flavours! Thank you for the recipe! :)
This is the only scone recipe my wife will let me use anymore. Highly recommend if you want a scone with a great taste, that is moist and does not overwhelm.
This is my go to recipe for all scones! Since becoming vegan, I have tried several vegan scone recipes and they were all mediocre at best. For this recipe, I simply did a 1:1 swap on the butter and milk (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and Cashew Milk) and they have come out perfect every time. I have even swapped out the rosemary/cranberry/nutmeg for other flavors. Don’t get me wrong, the original flavor is my favorite, but that seems too special for “every day” baking!
I make scones all the time and I love them. I usually make the dough ahead of time, cut them into triangles and wrap them individually and put them in the freezer. Then when I want a scone I take one out and bake it. Do you think I could do that with this recipe?
Sue, I haven’t tried it, but I think that method would work fine here! If you decide to try it, please let me know how it goes.
These scones look wonderful!!! Do you think I’d be able to use almond flour instead of all purpose flour? Also, I’m guessing that there is no healthier substitute for the powdered sugar in the glaze?
Dee, I haven’t tried altering this recipe so I don’t know how the scones would turn out with those changes; I’m the same way though – I always like looking for ways to make a recipe healthier or paleo-fy it! :) You might be interested in taking a look at my Paleo Cranberry Scones, which use almond flour and forego the glaze. Or if you decide to experiment with this recipe, please let me know how it goes with your substitutions!
Hi there –
If I wanted to make the dough a few days in advance should I leave it in the freezer or fridge? Or is that just a bad idea all around?
Kate, I’ve made the dough for this recipe a day in advance and left it in the fridge overnight and it worked really well. I think making the dough up to 2 days in advance and leaving it wrapped in the fridge would be fine; please let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
Aunt Peg says
You are absolutely right about these scones, Faith. They are an explosion of Christmas in your mouth, and it has now become our Christmas morning tradition. Thanks for creating a new tradition in our family!! Merry Christmas! And happy new year to you and Mike!!
Aunt Peg, I’m so honored that my recipe has become one of your family’s Christmas traditions. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Uncle Mark, Sara, Eric, and Andy! xoxo
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
Made ’em. They are SOOOOOOOOO good! Thank you!
I love the flavor combination here. A stroke of genius…I will be making these!
I consider myself warned but…now I’m going to have to make them.
Until now I’ve been immune to the lure of scones – no longer. These sound awesomely tempting. Your photos are lovely, as usual.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
These scones are just gorgeous Faith! They absolutely look like the best ever :).
Where do you find vanilla bean paste? Is it better than vanilla extract?
Mandy, I buy vanilla bean paste at Wegmans, which is just a regular local grocery store in my area (I get the Nielsen-Massey brand). I’ve also seen it available at specialty food or bakeware stores, and of course there’s always Amazon if you can’t find it anywhere else.
For me, I find vanilla bean paste to be a bit more intense-flavored than most vanilla extracts. Plus, it lends all those gorgeous black vanilla bean specks to whatever it is you’re making. If it’s easier to find, you could use the scrapings from a vanilla bean instead or even swap it out for vanilla extract. (The jar of my vanilla bean paste says 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste = 1 tablespoon vanilla extract = 1 vanilla bean.) I hope this helps!
These scones sound so good, and I bet they smell amazing! NOM NOM NOM.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
That may be the best compliment ever “You came up with the flavor of Christmas’. The rosemary in these is genius – just beautiful, Faith. Merry Christmas!
Becky Winkler says
These sound so good! I might have to make a gluten exception and bake these for my boyfriend’s family this Christmas :)
Beautiful scones! Very tempting…
Kelley Campana says
Omg!! These are really horrible!! In a good way!! Have you used this recipe for different types of scones? Blueberry etc? I feel like this is the absolute best scone I have ever had in regards to texture moisture level etc!! Love!!!!!! I want to hoard them and not share!