How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (2024)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read ourdisclosure policy.

Today I’m showing you all my best tips and tricks for How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits!

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (1)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have noticed that I’m slightly obsessed with making baked goods as thick, tall, and beautiful as possible. Like they came straight out of a bakery.

There was the time I experimented with the secret techniques to getting super THICK cookies every time. Because who wants sad, flat cookie puddles?!

Or even that time I shared 3 easy tips for baking TALL bakery-style muffins.

If you know me at all, you know I fully believe baking is a SCIENCE. And the best way to quickly and easily learn that science is through mouth-watering visuals.

So today, I’m sharing the sweet science behind getting TALL scones and biscuits that rise as high as possible with those amazing flaky layers (tons of instructional photos included below!).

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (2)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (3)

Sprinkle of Science

How to Make Tall Scones and Biscuits

Why Are My Biscuits Flat? Why Are My Scones Flat?

  1. Expired leavening agents. Your baking powder and/or baking soda could be expired. Most scone and biscuit recipes call for quite a large amount of leavening, and if either are expired, your scones simply won’t rise to beautiful heights. You can learn more about the science of baking soda and baking powder here, as well as how to test them for freshness.
  2. Shaping errors. More on this just below.

Why Should I Avoid Over-Kneading Biscuit or Scone Dough?

Over-kneading your dough will result in scones and biscuits that are tough, dense, or rubbery. The longer you knead the dough, the stronger the gluten network will be. We want just enough gluten for the scones to hold their shape, but not so much that we sacrifice the light and flaky texture.

Over-kneading your dough also increases the chance of your butter getting too warm. Keep reading to learn why that can cause all sorts of problems!

Use COLD Butter for Biscuits and Scones!

My top tip for flaky scones and biscuits is that the butter must be COLD from the start to when the dough enters the oven. The cold butter melts upon entering the heat of the oven and the water content in butter evaporates in steam. As the steam escapes, it bursts up and creates that beautiful tall, flaky, fluffy texture. I like to cube then freeze my butter before assembling the dough.

Just take a look at the photos below. One of the Chocolate Chip Scones was kept cold throughout preparing the dough and preheating the oven, and the other was allowed to come to room temperature before hitting the oven. You can see what a difference this made in the height and texture of the scones.

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (4)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (5)

I also always prefer to use unsalted butter for baking – find out why here.

How to Make My Biscuits and Scones Taller & Rise Higher

Laminate your scone dough! A little bit of lamination gets scones and biscuits to shoot up sky-high with tons of flaky layers. Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it actually is.

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (6)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (7)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (8)

Here’s how to laminate your scone or biscuit dough:

  1. If adding any mix-ins, fold into dough prior to step 2.
  2. Turn the craggly mass of dough out onto your work surface.
  3. Shape it into a rectangle.
  4. Fold the rectangle horizontally in thirds, like you’re folding a piece of paper to go into an envelope (see photo below).
  5. Flatten it out into a rectangle again.
  6. Now fold it in thirds once more, but going the opposite direction. This will also help you to gently ‘knead’ the dough so it comes together into a more cohesive disk without overmixing it. Overmixing leads to rubbery and tough scones and biscuits.
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (9)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (10)
How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (11)

Factors That Help Scones Rise with Flaky Layers:

  • Layers and pockets of cold butter
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Clean knife cuts when shaping the dough
  • High oven temperature

What’s the Difference Between Biscuits and Scones?

The reason the same technique is used for achieving beautiful heights for both recipes is because they’re very similar. They both use the ‘biscuit method’ for forming the dough, which refers to the technique of cutting cold butter into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, food processor, or a fork.

In fact, making pie dough is a similar technique, and I use the lamination trick above in my Best Ever Pie Crust recipe too!

The main differences between biscuits and scones are that unlike biscuits, scones typically include an egg and more sugar in the dough. Generally, biscuits tend to have more butter. Some scone recipes are made with cream instead of buttermilk. These small differences result in varying tastes and textures, but both are equally delicious!

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (12)

Love the science of baking? Check out all my baking experiments HERE.

Scone Recipes to Try:

  • Classic Scones
  • Blueberry Scones
  • Shallot, Jalapeño, Goat Cheese, and Honey Scones
  • Pumpkin Scones
  • Cranberry Orange Scones
  • Chocolate Chip Scones

Biscuit Recipes You’ll Love:

  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Red Lobster Copycat Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
  • Cheddar Biscuits

Photos by Joanie Simon | The Bite Shot and Ashley McLaughlin.

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”cfPUXCtW” upload-date=”2022-04-20T22:02:11.000Z” name=”How to Make TALL Scones” description=”Ever wondered how to make TALL flaky scones?! A little bit of lamination gets the scones to shoot up sky high with tons of flaky layers. Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it actually is. And if this seems like way too much work, just skip this step. You’ll still have tasty scones!” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

How to Make TALL Scones & Biscuits (2024)


How do I make my scones rise higher? ›

How to make scones rise high? Once you've cut out your scone shapes, flip them over and place upside down on the baking tray. This will help them rise evenly and counteract any 'squashing' that happened when you cut out the dough. Perfect scones should rise to about 2 inches high.

What is the simple secret to taller biscuits? ›

Keep the oven hot.

When baking buttery treats like biscuits, the key is to bake them at a temperature where the water in the butter turns quickly to steam. This steam is a big part of how the biscuits achieve their height, as it evaporates up and out.

How do you make my biscuits rise higher? ›

It's easy! We use an oven-safe skillet to bake biscuits and bake them close together. I've found that biscuits rise taller when they are placed close together.

What is the trick in making good scones? ›

Rather than mixing the ingredients together, use a technique called “cutting”. Use a flat-bladed knife or a palette knife and cut it (or pull it) through your ingredients when you add the wet ingredients so they are just barely incorporated. Don't overwork the dough.

Why don't my scones rise very much? ›

If the dough is too dry, the scones won't rise and will be crumbly. On the other hand, if the scones are too wet, they won't rise either, and will be too tough and chewy once baked. Don't hesitate to tweak the amounts and proportions to get the right texture.

What not to do when making scones? ›

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Baking Scones
  1. Using anything but cold ingredients. The secret to the flakiest scones is to start with cold ingredients — cold butter, cold eggs, and cold cream. ...
  2. Only using all-purpose flour. ...
  3. Overmixing the dough. ...
  4. Not chilling the dough before baking. ...
  5. Baking them ahead of time.

Should biscuit dough be cold before baking? ›

But if you chill your pan of biscuits in the fridge before baking, not only will the gluten relax (yielding more tender biscuits), the butter will harden up. And the longer it takes the butter to melt as the biscuits bake, the more chance they have to rise high and maintain their shape. So, chill... and chill.

Are biscuits better with butter or shortening? ›

Crisco may be beneficial for other baking applications, but for biscuit making, butter is the ultimate champion!

How to make biscuits if you don t have shortening? ›

If you're starting with a biscuit recipe that calls for shortening, you can swap in butter or margarine at a 1:1 ratio. We even have a recipe on the site from Sweet Laurel Bakery that uses almond flour instead of all-purpose and coconut oil instead of shortening or butter.

What ingredient most caused the biscuits to rise? ›

While biscuits receive some leavening power from chemical sources — baking powder and baking soda — the difference between serviceable and greatness comes from the extra rise that steam provides. In order to generate steam, the oven must be set at a minimum of 425 degrees for at least 10 minutes prior to baking.

What is the secret to a good biscuit? ›

Use Cold Butter for Biscuits

For flaky layers, use cold butter. When you cut in the butter, you have coarse crumbs of butter coated with flour. When the biscuit bakes, the butter will melt, releasing steam and creating pockets of air. This makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside.

Is buttermilk or heavy cream better for biscuits? ›

The extra fat in the heavy cream is helpful because buttermilk in stores is often “low-fat” buttermilk. Buttermilk. The buttermilk adds a tangy flavor to the biscuit and helps hydrate the dough just enough to create a nice structure for our biscuits.

How to get scones to rise high? ›

To ensure taller scones, start with a thicker dough disc and place the scones on a tray with sides, allowing them to slightly touch one another. This arrangement encourages the scones to push against the pan and each other, promoting height.

What type of flour is best for scones? ›

Use all-purpose flour for a higher rising scone that holds its shape nicely, both in and out of the oven. To make more delicate, lower-rising, cake-like scones, substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour.

What's the difference between a scone and a biscuit? ›

"Scones are typically made using a quick bread method with a higher ratio of liquid to flour, and sometimes no butter at all," says Snyder. In contrast, biscuits have a high ratio of butter, and the lamination process needed to achieve flaky layers is a key differentiator to scones.

Why aren't my scones light and fluffy? ›

Overworking the dough: when you overwork your dough, your scones can come out tough and chewy, rather than that desired light, crumbly texture. The trick is to use light pressure and only the work the dough until it just comes together.

What is the raising agent in scones? ›

The steam produced from the milk expands, and causes the scone mix to rise. This steam evaporates and is then replaced by air. The carbon dioxide produced from the chemical raising agent (baking powder/bicarbonate of soda) expands due to the heat from the oven, and causes the scone mix to rise.

Does baking soda make scones rise? ›

Always use well-chilled butter! Also, make sure you use the correct amount of baking powder or bicarbonate of soda in the recipe. These leavening agents release carbon dioxide which escapes in the form of bubbles when heat is added – these help the scones rise properly and give them a light and fluffy texture.

Why does cold butter give a better risen scone? ›

Butter must be COLD from the very start to when the dough enters the oven. The cold butter melts upon entering the oven and the water content in butter evaporates in steam. As the steam escapes, it bursts up and creates that beautiful tall, flaky, fluffy texture.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated:

Views: 6450

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.