The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

scones melting in oven

yjbus's picture

scones melting in oven

ingredient list:

butter, blueberries, heavy cream, sour cream, ap flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest


i made these twice today and both times they just fell apart and melted (as in the dough melting) in the oven.  the strange part is i made these a week earlier with dried cranberries instead of frozen blueberries and they came out near perfect.

my first thought was that using frozen blueberries somehow destroyed my scones, but i made these a few months back using the same recipe, except that i used whole milk instead of heavy cream.

so heavy ceam + dried cranberries = good scones

heavy cream + frozen blueberries = melted scones

whole milk + frozen blueberries = good scones


could anyone give me some advice or explanation please.



thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Without ingredient quantities, it's anyone guess. 

Can you post the recipe?

If they "melted", the most likely cause is too high a percentage of fat relative to other ingredients.

If you used the same quantities of fat when you had a successful bake, my guess is that you (or your scale) measured one or more of the ingredients incorrectly this time around. You may also have used butter, heavy cream, and/or sour cream with significantly higher fat content than was used in your previous bake. The result, again, being too high a percentage of fat relative to the other ingredients.

I doubt your mixing technique had anything to do with it, as scones require very little mixing. If you over mix scones, they bake up like bricks (hard and crumbly), but they shouldn't melt.



lazybaker's picture

Not enough flour.  The measurement of flour was probably off. 

R.Acosta's picture

to eliminate the sour cream?  Most recipes I've tried for scones are relatively simple, almost like a biscuit recipe. As in flour, salt, water, sugar, etc.,

Also, did you freeze the dough before cutting the scones out and throwing them in the oven?


margieluvschaz's picture

I use Sylvias recipe for lemon blueberry scones from this site they are great- try it- was your butter hards them crumbled/vut in?  Is your baking powder fresh- if it's old your scones won't rise.  Good Luck!


yjbus's picture

i just made another batch but this time i did 50% whole milk and 50% heavy cream.  the scones only melted half as much and a few actually looked half decent.


this leads me to conclude that if i just stuck to the original recipe and did 100% whole milk, i would have little to no melting scones and they would all keep their shape.

the problem is, i want to use heavy cream because it tastes better.  i like the creaminess of it.  i can already tell that the 50/50 scone is a little too light for my tastes.

perhaps i could eliminate some butter or heavy cream but then that would reduce the richness and creaminess of the scone.

any ideas?

yjbus's picture

thomaschacon was right in that there is too high of a fat percentage.  i really like this recipe though which is why i didnt just find a cream scone recipe.

my only other question is why did the ones using frozen blueberries scones melt and the ones using dried cranberries not?

how does the extra water from the frozen blueberries come into play?

PaddyL's picture

I'd say it was the frozen blueberries to blame for the melting scones.  When they thaw, they automatically add extra liquid from the bits of ice on top of the juice.

pjaj's picture

I've never heard of putting any sort of cream in a scone until after it's baked, then clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Buttermilk is a common ingredient, but scones are not a rich cake. Typical recipe

  • Self Raising Flour 1lb
  • Salt 1tsp
  • Butter / cooking fat 4oz
  • Milk / Buttermilk 10 fl oz (approx)

Sieve flour and salt, rub in fat, add enough liquid to give a soft dough. Kneed lightly till smooth. Roll out 1" thick and cut into rounds. Brush with egg and / or milk if you wish. Bake on a lightly greased sheet for about 10 minutes at 450F / 230C .

This make a very basic plain scone. You may add 2-3oz sugar and / or 1-2 beaten eggs (but reduce milk accordingly)/

For fruit scones add 4oz dried fruit after fat is rubbed into the flour.

For cheese scones add 6oz strong grated cheese  after the fat is rubbed in (but leave out the sugar and fruit!!)

If you are using frozen fruit then thaw and allow to drain before adding to mix.



yjbus's picture

rub? lol. im talking about the sweet, triangular, cake/biscuit thing we americans call a scone.
the recipe I use is from cooks illustrated hence the weird ingredients. but the recipe is very solid and im not going to give up on it until I know for sure it cant be worked out with heavy cream.

pjaj's picture

As the great man said "Two countries divided by a common language"

golfermd's picture

I've had great success with this Tyler Florence scone recipe:  I do add 1/4 cup more heavy cream, and mix to just combined. I've been making them for nearly 5 years without failure. I've also varied it to include orange-cranberry, and limited success with a maple-oat-nut scone. You can also purchase scone pans to bake with, but I don't use them.


yjbus's picture

yeah i checked that one out and it looks pretty solid and similar to the recipe im using now. 

but mine uses 8 tbl butter, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup whole milk/heavy cream with 2 cups of flour as well.

but you're telling me that 5 tbl butter plus 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream stays stable.  that makes me confused and i just did some quick math and here's what i found.

1/2 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup heavy cream + 8 tbls butter = 1400 calories from fat and 148 grams of fat

1 1/4 cups of heavy cream + 5 tbls butter = 1500 calories from fat and 155 grams of fat.

so your recipe actually has more fat than mine but stays stable...

i know for sure if i use all heavy cream it will turn into a puddle of scone and if i use all whole milk it will keep its shape nicely.   this is not making much sense to me.

i guess the only explanation is that the sour cream is the x factor.  even though it has the least fat im guessing it carries the most weight?

what i was going to try tomorrow was to cut the butter in half and only use 4 tbls while keeping it all heavy cream but now im not so sure what to try...


o and i was thinking about scone pans but i consider that cheating.  lol

golfermd's picture

Sorry, wish I had a logical explanation for you but I don't. I am no where experienced enough a baker to hazard a reasonable thought on it. I just know they work for me.


yjbus's picture

ok, i figured it out.   the problem was in how i was making and shaping the scones.

the cooks illustrated recipe instructs to fold the dough into layers and to sprinkle the blueberries on and to roll it up like a jelly roll to promote layering and flakiness.

while this is good in theory, it creates a very uneven dough, especially with large, frozen blueberries inside.  there would be thin flaps of dough hanging off, pockets of air where blueberries fell out, etc.

using all whole milk helped this process because the dough is actually a lot more moist using only whole milk and the layers tend to meld together. but using heavy cream created a much drier, firmer dough where the layers stayed distinct from eachother and ultimately just melted off.

i made my original recipe again but instead of rolling it up like a jelly roll, i just created one mass of dough/blueberries and cut triangles from it and they kept their shape nicely.


golfermd's picture

Glad that worked for you. That's how I form mine as well. When I perfect the Maple-Oat-Nut recipe I'll post it. That was Starbucks number one selling scone. No idea why they stopped making them.