Muffins + Scones

Sprinkle Scones with Icing

sprinkles cones with icing on baking tray
sprinkle scones on wire cooling rack

“A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones, when there came – a loud knock.” -JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

I make scones for every possible occasion, as they can be shaped ahead of time and frozen, then pulled out and baked as needed. I like them plain, packed with fruit, dusted in sugar, coated in icing, studded with chocolate and white chocolate and more chocolate, dotted with crystallized ginger and dried cranberries and poppy seeds and candied orange.

And while Bilbo probably wouldn’t add sprinkles to his scones, I often do, because I have two little nieces whose eyes light up at the sight of rainbow specks on pretty much anything. My two teenage children also will gravitate towards sprinkle treats as well. These scones are soft, tender, and delicious.

cutting scones using a bench scraper

Scone Technique

I had been making scones the same way for years – an adaption of Ina Garten’s Strawberry Scones from her first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa. However, I changed things up after stumbling upon a genius idea from Cook’s Illustrated. Their scone recipe included folding the dough over several times to create multiple flaky layers. I applied this technique to my tried and true recipe, and my perfect scone was born.

NOTE: Putting another baking sheet nestled directly underneath the one the scones are on helps keep the bottoms of the scones from browning too quickly before they fully bake. If you like the bottoms extra crisp, you can just use one pan.

sprinkle scones, unbaked on baking tray

More Scone Recipes:

sprinkle scones on wire rack
sprinkles cones with icing on baking tray

Sprinkle Scones with Icing

Servings: 8 scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Freezing Time: 20 minutes
Tender, buttery vanilla scones with sprinkles mixed into the dough! Topped with an easy icing and more sprinkles.
Sarah Kieffer
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • ½ cup [120 g] heavy cream plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup [320 g] all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup [50 g] granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons [1 ½ sticks or 170 g] unsalted butter cold, and cut into ½ in [12 mm] pieces
  • 1/3 cup [50 g] sprinkles


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ¼ cup [150 g] confectioners’ sugar
  • Sprinkles for sprinkling


  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Add the sprinkles and mix again until combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead four to six times, until the dough comes together, adding more flour as necessary if the dough is sticky. Pat the dough gently into a square and roll it into a 12 in [30.5 cm] square, dusting with flour as necessary. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. Fold the dough in thirds again by folding in the short ends, making a square. Transfer it to the prepared sheet pan and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. You can watch a video here to see how to do this step.
  • Return the dough to the floured surface, roll it into a 12 in [30.5 cm] square, and fold it in thirds. Turn over the dough so it’s seam-side-down, and gently roll out the dough into a 12 by 4 in [30.5 by 10 cm] rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut it crosswise into four equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally into two triangles. Transfer the scones to the prepared sheet pan and freeze the scones while the oven is preheating.
  • Meanwhile, position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375F [190C]. Stack the sheet pan with scones on another sheet pan. Brush the tops of the triangles with a little heavy cream, making sure it doesn’t drip down the sides. Bake until the tops and bottoms are light golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through, 18 to 25 minutes.
  • For the icing: While the scones are baking, in a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, water, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and use a spatula to mix together, then whisk until well combined and smooth. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing to your preferred consistency; the icing should be thick but pourable.
  • Transfer the top sheet pan to a wire rack and ice the scones immediately, using the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Sprinkle the tops with sprinkles. Scones are best eaten the same day they are made.
  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at 8:16 am

    5 stars
    These were soo yummy!!! So glad I made this recipe! I was looking for vanilla bean scones, so I omitted the sprinkles and used vanilla bean paste in the scones and icing and they were perfect!!! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sunday, August 27, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made these twice and they are perfect– great texture, perfect level of sweetness, and easy to make.

  • Reply
    Patty Campbell
    Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 9:08 am

    What brand of sprinkles do you use? Yours don’t seem to bleed and turn everything grey.
    And thanks for adding a great technique to the scone recipe, I hope to make scones soon.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm

      I find jimmies works best – they are a little larger and don’t bleed into the batter as much as the smaller sprinkles. I often use the Wilton ones or Target brand.

  • Reply
    Friday, August 18, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious scones!!!

  • Reply
    Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 10:18 am

    2 stars
    Lovely photography, but true scones are not sweet. They should be the texture of American baking powder biscuits. If you want to make cookies, make cookies. (There are plenty of traditional UK recipes for cookies loaded with butter+flour+sugar studded with glaced fruit and nuts).
    As far as Ina Garten and CI recipes are concerned, they probably got started with the Cream Scone recipe from Fanny Farmer’s 1930’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook. A few small tweaks and they claim to have created their own recipe.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Sue, I appreciate your dedication to the history of the scone, but I think at this point what is known as the “American scone” is an acceptable evolution of this baked good. For decades now, American bakeries (even respectable ones) have been selling scones plump full of chocolate, white chocolate, sugar, and yes, even sprinkles. Hundreds of cookbooks are filled with recipes with this type of scone. Even today, thousands of people started their morning with such a treat. I truly don’t write this in any way to be snarky or defensive, but I would argue that labeling my recipe as “scone” is warranted. (And yes, I could make cookies, but they are very different from scones texture-wise, and wouldn’t be a great replacement.) I do understand your frustration, as several English friends of mine have expressed similar sentiments, and I do know the pain of watching something I love be adapted or changed into something I loathe (for me, The Lord of the Rings book to the movie). But, we do only live once, and when I see a good friend so moved by Peter Jackson’s abomination, I have to let go and live and let live. I wish you much peace, Sarah

4.41 from 5 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating