Queen's former chef reveals how to make the perfect scone recipe

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Queen’s former chef reveals how to make the perfect scone
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins

The Queen’s former chef Darren McGrady has revealed how to make the perfect scones at home and they only take 15 mins in the oven.

Queen Elizabeth II ‘s former chef, Darren McGrady, regularly gives us a snippet in the royal family’s favourite foods. He worked at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and around the world as a personal chef to Princess Dianna, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Queen for 11 years. He's since released a series of tutorials on YouTube, which explain how to create some the most popular items he made for the royals.

These include classic afternoon tea treat, royal tea scones. In the video Darren explains that scones were a staple part of the Queen’s diet and she would alternate between plain and fruit scones, with raisins and sultanas, every day of the week.

He revealed: ‘She would always have afternoon tea wherever she was in the world. I remember being on the Royal Yacht Britannia, we flew out to Australia… and it was like 5 o’clock in the morning but to the Queen it was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, it was time for tea, so my first job was making scones.’


Darren’s recipe is listed below but if you’re looking for even more baking inspo, check out our recipe for savoury cheese scones or these gluten-free scones too.


  • 3 ¼ cups (418g) all purpose flour
  • 1 stick soft butter (approx 110g)
  • ½ cup (68g) plus 1tbs granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ - 1 ¼ cups (96ml – 162ml) of milk
  • 1 cup (136g) raisins (if making fruit scones)
  • 1 egg yolk for glazing




  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees (approx. 180C). In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and sugar. Add and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and about ¾ cup of milk. With a metal spoon bring the mixture together making sure you do not over mix it or you will tighten the dough. If the mixture is a little dry add more of the remaining milk gradually (You don’t want the mix too dry, or too set that it sticks to the rolling pin.)
  3. Lightly dust the table with flour and roll out the dough to about 1” (2.5cm) thick. Then cut using a 2” (5cm) round cookie cutter. Place on a baking sheet about 1”(2.5cm) apart and brush the tops with the beaten egg yolk. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes. When cooked, lift onto a wire rack to cool.
Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.