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
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.
The Original Christmas Morning Scones - An Easy Scone Recipe!
If you’re looking for an easy scone recipe, this recipe for Christmas Morning Scones is it! I've seen a lot of copycat recipes out there, but this is the original Christmas Morning Scones recipe that I first came up with and shared here on An Edible Mosaic in December 2014.
Ingredients for Christmas Morning Scones
In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.
- Flour - we use all-purpose flour as the base for our scones
- Sugar - granulated white sugar
- Baking powder - the leavening agent
- Salt - a natural flavor enhancer
- Freshly-ground nutmeg - nutmeg is the classic spice in eggnog, which is another Christmas classic; it has a bright, slightly lemony flavor and aroma, and it really enhances our scones
- Unsweetened dried cranberries - or you can use sweetened dried cranberries
- Fresh rosemary - rosemary adds a slightly piney flavor and aroma that reminds me of the smell of fresh Christmas trees
- Unsalted butter - butter adds richness; also, using cold butter and cutting it into the flour so that there are small pieces of butter remaining help create deliciously flaky scones
- Half and half - or you can go for the gusto and use heavy cream (after all, it's a holiday!); whole milk will also work, but your scones will be less rich
- Vanilla bean paste - for flavor, aroma, and those pretty little black flecks of vanilla bean
- Powdered sugar - powdered sugar is the base of our glaze
- Vanilla bean paste - or you can substitute with regular vanilla extract if need be
- Freshly-ground nutmeg - to echo the flavor of nutmeg in the scones
- Water - I like a thin glaze on top of these scones, but you can use milk if you prefer
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
Christmas Morning Scones (Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg, and Rosemary-Scented Scones)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh-grated whole nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries chopped small (or sweetened dried cranberries if you prefer)
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and diced
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ tablespoon whole milk for brushing on top
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 ¾ 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.
- Half and Half Substitute: Instead of half and half, you can use cream for this recipe for even richer scones. Whole milk will also work, but your scones will be less rich.
- 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.
- Freshly-Grated Nutmeg: 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.
- Video Edit: There is a typo at 0:16 of the video; it should say baking powder, not baking soda.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 19, 2014. It was updated with more information on December 19, 2019.