These chocolate and strawberry scones are an easy-to-make, tender, and sweet addition to your breakfast, brunch or coffee/tea time break.
One of total misconceptions of scones is their dry crumb and tough texture. But I’m a huge fan of homemade scones, especially this particular strawberry and chocolate scones, which are tender and flaky. The secret, much like making homemade southern-style biscuits, is to use a light hand, not overwork the ingredients, and let the dough chill in the fridge. The technique is similar to my fig and hazelnut scones, or my eggnog scones, but these cream scones are packed with fresh strawberries and dark chocolate chips, making them a delightful treat for a special occasion breakfast, a weekend brunch, or really anytime of the year.
How do make these scones
Making scones isn’t difficult. First prep the strawberries by slicing them and then tossing with a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Set aside for the vinegar to absorb.
Combine flour, a little bit of sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Then grate some cold butter into the dry ingredients. Toss to coat the butter. Drizzle some heavy cream over the ingredients, tossing with a fork until a dough starts to form. Add the strawberries and the chocolate chips, fold the dough gently, add a little more cream, then fold more until fruit and chocolate is incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and form round disks. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge. Preheat the oven, divide the dough into scone triangles, brush the top of the scones with a little bit extra cream, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake until done.
Tips on making the best strawberry chocolate scones
- Toss strawberries in balsamic vinegar: Cut the strawberries in half or quarters (if they are large, then toss the fruit with balsamic vinegar. The sweet syrup acidic vinegar will bring out the sweetness and juiciness of the fruit itself. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, substitute with fresh lemon juice. Do not substitute with another vinegar, as other vinegars are too harsh.
- Use cold butter and cream: Cold ingredients help relax the gluten in the flour. Gluten is a protein that forms when flour reacts with water and is knead or manipulated. It gives baked goods stretchy chew. For some baked goods, like bread, you want to develop gluten. But for scones, you want to prevent too much gluten from form, as it will lead to a tough scone. Cold ingredients like cold butter and cream will help prevent the gluten from forming, as will chilling the dough.
- Chill the dough: Gluten creation is inevitable when making the dough. But you can also help relax the gluten by chilling the dough after you make. Just let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer, up to overnight, to help make the scones tender. Chilling also helps solidify the butter, which will lead to flakiness in the scones
- Grate the butter: You can incorporate the butter by using your fingers or using a pastry blender, which is how I make my Earl Grey and dried cherry scones and my British-style honey and thyme scones. But for these scones, I like to grate the butter into the dough. This gives small shards of butter in the dough, which will lead to a flaky scone. Be sure to dip the butter stick into the flour to coat it. This will help prevent the butter from melting from your hands. Keep dipping the butter stick back in the flour as you grate the butter, whenever the butter starts to melt.
- Use quality ingredients: Most recipes benefit from quality ingredients. But because there are so few ingredients in this recipe, quality butter, strawberries, and chocolate make a difference. If you have it, European-style butter, which has a higher percentage of butterfat, gives a richer and flakier scone. Ripe in-season strawberries are best in the scone but even out of season strawberries are pretty decent in this scone because of the balsamic vinegar added. However, I don’t recommend frozen strawberries for this recipe, as they shed too much liquid, making a soggy scone, fresh are the best. Finally, pick a chocolate that you like to eat out of hand. Quality chocolate chips or your favorite chopped chocolate are awesome for these scones.
Make the dough ahead
You can make the dough for these scones a day ahead of time, letting it rest in the fridge overnight. This will lead to a flakier and more tender scone, as the butter will have solidified, and the gluten in the flour will have relaxed. Just take the dough out and bake as directed.
How to store scones
Store scones at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container or resealable Ziploc bag. You can also freeze scones in a heavy-duty freezer resealable bag for up to 2 months. Keep in mind that sugar on top of the scones will most likely dissolve when you store the scones. Thaw the scones on the countertop or table to room temperature, then refresh them in a toaster oven or regular oven at 300°F, for 10 minutes or until warm.
If you like these Chocolate and Strawberry Scones, check out these other baked breakfast treats:
- Swedish Tea Ring
- Cardamom Buns
- Classic Cinnamon Rolls
- Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Apple Fritters
- Carrot Muffin with Prunes, Sunflower Seeds and Pecans
Chocolate and Strawberry Scones
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups strawberries 8 ounces
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 280 g
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 85 g
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips 85 g
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 tablespoon sparkling sugar or white sugar
- Cut the strawberries in half, or quarters (if the strawberries are large) and place them in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice) over the strawberries, toss to coat, and set aside.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using a balloon whisk, vigorously stir the dry ingredients together so they are well blended.
- Dip the butter into the dry ingredients to coat, then use a box grater and grate the butter through the big holes. If the butter starts to melt or stick to your fingers, just dip and roll the butter back in the dry ingredients to coat.
- Once the butter is grated, toss the ingredients together so the butter shards are coated. Then drizzle half the cream over the dry ingredients, tossing/mixing with a fork, until the cream has been absorbed.
- Add the strawberries, along with any juices that have accumulated on the bottom of the bowl, and the chocolate chips. Toss to evenly distribute. Then add the remaining cream and continue to mix until the dough forms.
- Divide the dough in half, roughly 475 g each (if you have a scale), and pat the dough into 2 disks, about 6-inches wide and 1-inch thick. Wrap each dough disk in plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Take the chilled dough disks out and cut each disk into 6 even wedges. Place the wedges on the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Brush the top of each scone with cream, then sprinkle a little sparkling sugar over the top of each scone.
- Bake the scones for 16 to 18 minutes, until the scones are golden brown around the edges of the scone. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.