Easy Homemade Dark Chocolate Chip Scones

These big, bakery-style dark chocolate chip scones have a glittery, sugared exterior, and are made with heavy cream and butter to give them a perfectly moist, flaky texture. They’re quick and easy to make in only 30 minutes and are delicious on their own or spread with clotted cream or raspberry jam. Serve with your favorite coffee or tea drink for a cafe-style experience at home!

These scones use my Easy Plain Scones recipe as a base: perfectly flaky and crumbly while remaining moist and flavorful!

Two dark chocolate chip scones stacked on a wooden plate.

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I love coffee, and I love afternoon tea, so it follows that I love scones. I’ve got a whole collection of scone recipes (my favorite are the orange scones with orange icing!) and have also shared my tried and true basic scone recipe so you can make whatever flavor your heart desires! 

These easy dark chocolate chip scones have been deemed by my husband and my scone-loving neighbors as the best they’ve had. Don’t change a thing, they said! I didn’t even have a chance to eat a second scone from my last batch because my husband ate the five ones remaining after I distributed a couple to family and neighbors for taste-testing. Well, that’s the kind of feedback I like to see and hear before I publish a recipe!

Overhead view showing the inside texture of a flaky homemade dark chocolate chip scone.

  • QUICK TO MAKEThese homemade chocolate chip scones come together start to finish in only 30 minutes so they’re easy to whip up on the fly!
  • EASY – Using a food processor to cut in the butter makes these a cinch to make!
  • PERFECT TEXTURE – These scones are slightly glossy with a crisp, sugared exterior, studded with decadent dark chocolate chips, and crumbly-moist with a flaky, buttery interior — perfect for enjoying on their own or breaking apart and spreading with your favorite topping.
  • NOT TOO SWEET – So you can enjoy them for breakfast or with an afternoon latte!

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Scones

There are no fancy ingredients in these scones, so you might even already have everything you need on hand. Perfect for spontaneous weekend baking projects!

Overhead view of ingredients for easy homemade chocolate chip scones made with butter and heavy cream.
  • Dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and table salt. Be sure to use an aluminum-free baking powder like Rumford.
  • Unsalted butter: Keep it cold until you’re ready to add it!
  • Wet ingredients: Egg and heavy cream
  • Flavorings: Vanilla extract
  • Mix-ins: Dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate for chocolate chunks). Ghirardelli is my chocolate brand of choice for baking projects like this! You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Toppings: Brushing the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkling with coarse sanding sugar gives these scones a slightly glossy finish with a glittery, sugary exterior. The cream helps with browning too!

Why do I make my chocolate chip scones with heavy cream AND butter?

Many scone recipes call for either heavy cream or a combination of butter and milk, but I find that using both butter and heavy cream yields both a wonderfully flaky scone and a rich, moist texture. 

My recipe is a bit on the higher side for butter content and a bit on the lower side for liquid, making for an outstanding scone that’s:

  • Flaky and crumbly,
  • Soft and moist,
  • Moderately dense without being tough or dry, so it holds up to spreads, and
  • Extra-flavorful. 
Overhead view of chocolate chip scones on small wooden plates and a white cake stand.

Finishing touches on your scones

Before baking, you can brush your scones with egg wash, heavy cream, or milk. While any of those will aid in browning, egg wash makes baked goods extra shiny, while heavy cream gives a subtle gloss I love for scones. Heavy cream also sits in a thicker layer than milk when you brush it on top. If you skip the brushing step before baking, you’ll end up with a dull surface and less of that appealing golden brown color.

To get that enticing glittery sugar top, I recommend using coarse sanding sugar. If you do any amount of baking at home (especially muffins, scones, and cookies) this sanding sugar will give that finishing touch that makes it look and taste like it comes from a bakery or cafe!

Making Easy Homemade Chocolate Chip Scones

Making homemade chocolate chip scones is extremely quick (30 minutes) and easier than you’d think! There are just five basic steps.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in the cold butter with a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingertips (I love using my food processor for this!).
  3. Toss in the dark chocolate chips.
  4. Mix in wet ingredients until a crumbly dough just starts to form. Do not overwork the dough!
  5. Shape and cut your scones. Brush with cream to add a subtle gloss and aid in browning, and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar for a nice glittery exterior. Bake and enjoy!
Step by step photo collage for making homemade dark chocolate chip scones from scratch.

Expert Tips for Making Perfect Scones

  • Make sure to use an aluminum-free baking powder like Rumford. Some popular brands like Clabber Girl contain sodium aluminum sulfate, which can make your baked goods taste bitter or metallic. Your baking powder should be free from lumps and not older than 6 months to a year.
  • Keep your butter in the fridge until you’re ready to add it. Steam created during baking from the cold butter helps create the flaky layers of your scones. Leaving some larger pieces of butter up to the size of a pea when you cut it into the dry ingredients will make your scones extra flaky and delicious.
  • Don’t overwork the dough after you add your wet ingredients. This will develop a gluten network, which is great for sturdier baked goods like bread or pizza dough, but will make your scones tough. The dough will be pretty dry but minimize handling it — just enough for the dough to come together into a disk.
  • When cutting your dough into wedges or using a cookie cutter, use a straight down and up motion rather than sliding the knife across or twisting the cutter. Twisting or sliding will interfere with the way the scones rise on the edges.
Two dark chocolate chip scones on a small wooden plate, with an open scone on another wooden plate in the background.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Homemade scones keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-4 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. They can become dry if they’re stored too long. You can also freeze them before or after baking (see the next FAQ for details!).

Yup! You can freeze them before or after baking.

Freezing unbaked scones: You can freeze the unbaked scones after you brush them with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze them separately on a baking sheet for an hour or until they’re set, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months until you’re ready to bake.

To finish making the scones, remove from the freezer while you’re preheating the oven. Bake as instructed, adding a couple minutes to the baking time. Alternately, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for the normal amount of time.

Freezing baked scones: You can also store baked scones in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. Thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Here are some toppings that go great with dark chocolate chip scones:

  • Clotted cream
  • Butter
  • Raspberry jam

However, these chocolate chip scones are flavorful and moist enough to eat on their own too!

While I love the speed and ease of using a food processor to cut in butter, you definitely don’t need one to make these scones! You can also cut in butter using a handheld pastry blender or just your fingertips! Just use a pinching motion on your butter chunks as you work it into the flour until you reach the right consistency. Avoid using the palms of your hands to cut in butter, as this will transfer too much heat to the butter — you want it to stay as cold as possible for the best flaky texture! I’ve also seen people grating their cold or frozen butter with a cheese grater and then mixing it into the flour.

Sure! Instead of making a 7-inch round and cutting into 8 pieces, form the dough into a 7-inch square instead for mini chocolate chip scones. Cut into a grid of 9 squares, then cut each square in half diagonally. Bake for about 15-18 minutes instead of 18-22 minutes.

The culprit here is your leavener.  Either you accidentally used baking soda, or something is amiss with your baking powder. If your baking powder is clumpy, contains aluminum (like Clabber Girl), or is old or expired, it can cause a bitter, sour, or metallic taste in your baked goods. If you’re at a high altitude (over 3,500 feet) you will need to slightly reduce the amount of baking powder as well.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Easy Homemade Dark Chocolate Chip Scones (with Heavy Cream)

These big, bakery-style dark chocolate chip scones have a glittery, sugared exterior, and are made with heavy cream and butter to give them a perfectly moist, flaky texture. They’re quick and easy to make in only 30 minutes and are delicious on their own or spread with clotted cream or raspberry jam. Serve with your favorite coffee or tea drink for a cafe-style experience at home!
Print Recipe
Course: Afternoon tea, baked goods, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 scones
Calories: 429kcal
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:30 mins

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter diced into 1/2-inch cubes (keep chilled)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream to brush on top
  • coarse sanding sugar to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick whirl to combine.
  • Add the cold, diced butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture mostly looks like damp sand and some pea-sized pieces of butter remain. (See note 1)
  • Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and toss in dark chocolate chips until they’re evenly distributed.
  • Mix the egg, cream, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl or measuring cup.
  • Create a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk it around from the center with a fork or use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix until a dough starts to form. This will still be pretty dry looking and crumbly (see process photos in post), but that’s normal! Don’t overwork the dough trying to get it too smooth.
  • Form the dough into a ball, pressing any loose crumbles into the dough until it holds together, and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
  • Flatten into about a 7” circle. Using a floured knife or bench scraper, cut the circle in half, then each half into four wedges. (See note 2) 
  • Arrange the scones about 1 inch apart on your prepared baking pan and brush the tops with a bit of heavy cream. Sprinkle liberally with coarse sanding sugar. (You may freeze the unbaked scones at this point if you'd like to save them for later. See note.) Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown around the edges of the top.
  • For mini chocolate chip scones: Form the dough into a 7-inch square instead of a 7-inch circle. Cut into a grid of 9 squares, and cut each square in half diagonally to make 18 mini scones. Position about 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar as directed above and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Store for up to 5 days at room temperature (they may dry out over time) or refrigerate for up to a week. See notes for freezing instructions.

Notes

  1. Pulsing the butter with the dry ingredients in a food processor is great because it’s quick and doesn’t transfer heat to the butter. However, if you don’t have a food processor or prefer a more hands-on approach, you can rub the butter in with a handheld pastry blender or your fingertips (not the palms of your hands, as they will transfer too much heat).
  2. When cutting your scones, cut straight down and remove the knife straight up, rather than sliding the knife across the dough. Sliding or twisting will interfere with the nice flaky rise on the sides of the scones.
Freezing scones:
To freeze before baking: Arrange unbaked scones on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or until set. Then store for up to 3 months in an airtight freezer bag until you’re ready to bake them. Bake the scones as directed, or bake straight from the freezer and add a few minutes to the baking time.
To freeze after baking: Arrange baked scones on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour until set. Store for up to 3 months in an airtight freezer bag. Thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave, or preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes until warm.
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Nutrition

Sodium: 318mg | Calcium: 163mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 600IU | Sugar: 16g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 199mg | Cholesterol: 71mg | Calories: 429kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Fat: 25g | Protein: 6g | Carbohydrates: 46g | Iron: 2mg

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These turned out perfectly and I am not a very talented baker! Highly recommend, and just a warning you’ll want to eat the whole batch…

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