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!
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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!
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!
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
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.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Cut in the cold butter with a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingertips (I love using my food processor for this!).
- Toss in the dark chocolate chips.
- Mix in wet ingredients until a crumbly dough just starts to form. Do not overwork the dough!
- 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!
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.
Troubleshooting and FAQs
Easy Homemade Dark Chocolate Chip Scones (with Heavy Cream)
- Food processor
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.