Mother’s Day is coming up, and the perfect way to start it off is to bake a fresh, warm batch of scones for your mom! These earl grey scones made with vanilla bean sugar are quick and easy to make, and they pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. On top of that, they’re flaky, tender, and buttery – everything a good scone should be.
To make the vanilla sugar, you’ll scrape out the seeds of part of a vanilla bean and grind it with granulated sugar. This gives the sugar notes of vanilla to make it a little extra special. You can also double or even quadruple the vanilla sugar recipe and use the extra vanilla sugar in a different recipe.
As for the scones, you’ll cut open a couple earl grey tea bags and use the ground tea leaves in the dough. Once the scones are shaped into triangles, you’ll brush the tops with a little heavy cream and then sprinkle on some extra vanilla sugar for those crisp, sugar-crusted scone tops. Put them in the oven, and now you have a warm batch of earl grey scones!
tips for success
- Keep the butter cold! – Try to work fast so the butter remains cold. Keeping the butter cold ensures that when the butter melts in the oven, it will create pockets of air which results in a perfectly flaky scone.
- Save the pod! – Don’t throw away the vanilla bean pod after you scrape out the seeds! You can keep the pod with your granulated sugar in a dry container to use for future recipes for vanilla-scented sugar. Just make sure you don’t accidentally drop the pod into the batter of your next recipe when measuring out the sugar!
earl grey scones with vanilla bean sugar
makes 6 scones
- for the vanilla sugar
- 1/4 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and scraped
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- for the scones
- 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (38 grams) vanilla sugar (from above)
- 3 earl grey teabags, cut open
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cold & cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, cold (plus more for brushing)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- For the vanilla sugar: In a food processor, grind the vanilla bean seeds with the granulated sugar. Set aside.
- For the scones: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 3 tablespoons vanilla sugar, earl grey tea, baking powder, and salt together until well-combined.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until they resemble small, crumbly butter pockets (I smush the butter cubes between my fingertips to create layers of butter). Mix in the heavy cream with a fork until a crumbly dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead the dough only once or twice until it just comes together. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle. Cut into four equal pieces, and stack the pieces on top of each other (this creates those flaky layers!). Flatten again but into a 1-inch thick circle. Cut into 6 equal triangles, and arrange on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
- Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream, and sprinkle the extra vanilla sugar on top.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!