With a rich flavor from the eggnog and little bursts of cinnamon throughout, these eggnog scones are the prefect addition to any brunch table. The best part? These are best made ahead for easy Christmas mornings.
My love of scones is real and it is deep. These eggnog scones are no different, with a buttery and flaky texture, no jam or cream is necessary, but no one would stop you! These are a riff on my classic Buttermilk Scones with eggnog acting as the perfect swap for the buttermilk.
What Makes these Eggnog Scones Special?
- The flavor from the eggnog comes through as a richness in the scone that is unbeatable.
- Little bursts of cinnamon sugar throughout is an exciting discovery.
- A quick eggnog glaze on top adds a little extra sweetness and reinforces the eggnog flavor.
- These scones are best baked from frozen, making them a dream for easy make-ahead breakfasts.
In addition to the eggnog, the rest of the ingredients are pretty traditional to my standard sweet scone.
- All-purpose flour. This is the best choice to avoiding a scone that is too cakey or too tough.
- Baking powder. There’s a lot of baking powder in this recipe, a full tablespoon, this gives us that fluffy rise.
- Cold butter. Usually baking recipes call for room temperature butter. Here we want a cold butter that will create steam in the hot oven and give us that flaky texture.
- Granulated sugar. Sweetens and helps to brown the scones.
- Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
- Cinnamon chips. You can use store bought as well, but these chips will melt into the scone creating little pockets of cinnamon sugar.
- Egg. Both for structure (this is what differs a scone from a biscuit) and used as an egg wash for a glossy shine when baked.
- Eggnog. Use a good quality eggnog for the best flavor. Like wine in cooking, use a eggnog you would drink!
Tips for Making Flaky Scones
Scones, similar to biscuits or pie crusts, rely on the butter to provide the flaky texture we definitely want.
Use cold butter. Cold butter is the key for creating the flaky texture. When the cold butter hits the hot even, it will immediately create steam, and steam creates an air pocket (aka flakes) in the texture.
Rub in the cold butter properly. Everyone has their preferences to how they want to incorporate the cold butter into the flour. Some like to freeze and grate the butter, however I find that I’m missing those big pockets of butter when done by hand. Plus, grating butter is kind of a pain in the rear!
I prefer to rub the butter in by hand. A pastry blender also works, but then I have another thing to wash. Instead, I add the cubes of butter into the flour and begin to mash it between my thumbs and fingers. This is called the “rubbing method”. Eventually, you will see the texture turn sandy. I stop when I have still quite a few pieces of 1/2″ crumbles in the mixture.
Keep the other ingredients cold. Now that we have done all the work with the cold butter, keep the rest of the ingredients cold too.
Only add as much liquid as needed. When adding your eggnog, you don’t want to add the full amount right out of the gate. You only want as much as needed to create a shaggy dough. A shaggy dough is sticky and a little clumpy, but not overly wet and sloppy, if that makes sense.
The amount of eggnog you need to add will depend on a number of factors, like flour brand, humidity that day, moisture in the butter, etc. So hold back a 1/4 cup of the egg and only add it if necessary to avoid pockets of dry flour.
Chill the dough. Before baking, freeze the dough. At least for 30 minutes, but overnight or even a few months before also works! That’s what makes this a great make-ahead recipe. Freezing the scones before baking will reset the butter to solid, helping to create those flakes and encourage the scone to bake up instead of out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically, yes, but they will be quite dry when defrosted. Refresh in a warm oven for a few minutes to help. It’s better to freeze the unbaked dough and bake fresh that morning.
These scones are moist and cakey enough that they don’t require any additional elements. That being said, a cinnamon butter, nutmeg whipped cream and/or a cranberry jam would all be delightful with these scones. Slice down the center and smear on your desired toppings.
If you overshoot the eggnog amount and you have a sloppy instead of sticky dough, heavily flour a countertop, tip the dough on top and heavily flour the top of the dough. Fold the dough over a few times to gently work the flour in. If it’s still very wet, repeat.
- 375 g all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 150 g unsalted butter cold, cubed
- 80 g cinnamon chips
- 1 ¼ cup eggnog cold, divided
- 1 large egg cold
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Egg wash 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
- 113 g confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
- Eggnog scones. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.375 g all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 50 g granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, Pinch allspice, 1 teaspoon salt
- Using finger tips, rub in cold butter until mixture mostly resembles sand with some ¼" pieces of butter remaining. Stir in cinnamon chips.150 g unsalted butter, 80 g cinnamon chips
- In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup of eggnog, egg and vanilla extract – reserve remaining ¼ of the eggnog.1 ¼ cup eggnog, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pour into flour mixture and stir together with wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Dough should just hold together but not be soupy. Add additional ¼ cup of remaining eggnog only as needed to create a shaggy dough.
- Divide dough into 2 and place on floured surface. With floured hands, shape each piece of dough into 1" tall disc, approximately 5" wide. Slice into 6 wedges. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about ½" of space between each wedge.
- Freeze baking sheet for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 425°F. Brush frozen scones with egg wash. Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning sheet pan once, until dough is golden brown.Egg wash
- Eggnog glaze. While baked scones are cooling, make glaze by whisking together confectioners’ sugar and eggnog. Drizzle on cooled scones.113 g confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons eggnog
- Scones are best enjoyed day of. Store leftover scones in airtight container. Refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes.
- Scone dough can be made in advance. Store unbaked scones in freezer-safe bag for up to three months. Bake from frozen, no additional time should be necessary.