Simple Apple Cider Scones (With a Secret Ingredient!)

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Don’t tell anyone, but these apple cider scones are one of my favorite desserts ever. The dough has fresh apples and warming spices and the scones are glazed with tangy, sweet glaze made with a secret ingredient. We devour them almost instantly and I think you’ll love them, too!

If you love apple desserts, don’t miss this apple crisp that’s so good, we served it at our wedding! You can also try this Caramel Apple Galette or Blackberry and Apple Crumble!

apple cider scone recipe food processor easy

Make a batch of these apple cider scones for the perfect fall breakfast! Made with fresh apples, warm spices, and a delicious apple glaze, they’ll give you that fall flavor any time of the year.

In the battle of classic fall flavors, anything apple outweighs pumpkin spice for me every time. It has the most perfect apple flavor with warm spices. Just one smell of literally anything apple in the oven will cause me to say, “that smells so good” all day long. If you’re like that too, then don’t sleep on this recipe. It’s seriously easy yet tastes like you really put in some work.

apple pie scone

You’ll love these apple cider scones

These apple cider scones are so easy to make! They can be made using a food processor or a pastry cutter. They include real apples and you actually can make this without any apple cider at all thanks to my secret ingredient: lime juice.

Hear me out – baked apples lose that bright, fresh flavor. A local ice cream company adds a touch of lime juice to their caramel apple ice cream and it tastes exactly like a fresh Granny Smith apple. Just a tiny splash of lime juice will make this glaze taste exactly like biting into a fresh apple (but better).

Equipment

You only need a few common kitchen tools for this apple scone recipe: a food processor, half sheet pan, parchment paper or a silicone mat, a knife, and a small bowl and whisk to make the glaze.

how to make apple cider scones

Ingredients

Scone Dough Ingredients

Flour – Choose regular all purpose flour or self-rising flour. If you opt for self-rising, skip the next two ingredients.

Baking powder – These are egg-free scones so you need to use baking powder to get them to rise. If you don’t have any, try these DIY baking powder options.

Salt – Did you know salt reacts to the baking powder to make it work? Always add salt when you use baking powder.

Butter – The secret to making tender flaky scones is butter. You need to break it into just the right size and integrate it perfectly with the dough.

Heavy cream – American-style cream scones are light and flaky, like a tender biscuit. You can use buttermilk for extra lift.

Egg – You can certainly skip this ingredient, but it makes any scone recipe light and fluffy.

Brown sugar – I love how brown sugar adds a little extra flavor to these delicious scones. They add a touch of caramel flavor thanks to the molasses.

Apple pie spice – Although it’s more appropriate to use mulling spices, most of us don’t have those on hand. Grab some apple pie spice or even use regular ground cinnamon to add those warm spices to the scone dough.

Cinnamon extract – This is totally optional, but this easy homemade cinnamon extract adds an extra kick of cinnamon flavor. You can substitute the cinnamon extract with vanilla extract or skip it entirely.

Fresh apples – Choose a firm, tart apple like Pink Lady or Granny Smith for these homemade apple scones.

This recipe was adapted from Baking a Moment.

Glaze Ingredients

Powdered sugar – The teeny tiny granules of powdered sugar absorb liquids and will set as a hard glaze, adding the perfect touch of sweetness.

Fresh apple cider or milk – Use regular apple cider or even apple juice for a natural apple flavor. If you don’t have that available, use milk, but don’t skip the lime juice!

Lime juice – Just a splash of fresh or concentrated lime juice will make your glaze taste just like fresh apple juice. It contrasts perfectly with the sweet, warm flavor of the scones. I promise you – it really works!

easy apple scone recipe apple cider

How to Make Apple Cider Scones

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add your flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and apple pie spice. Pulse for 2 seconds to integrate.
  • Add cubed cold butter to flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor. Mix for 5-10 seconds or until it makes coarse crumbs.
  • Add the extract, egg, and half of the heavy cream. Pulse 2-3 times and then add the remaining cream and chopped apple. Process for 2-5 seconds or until the scones look like large crumbs. You may need to add slightly more cream. If you can squeeze the dough and it holds together, it’s ready.
  • Pour the crumbly dough onto your prepared baking sheet or a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead it into a ball, then press it down to create a thick circle approximately one inch tall.
  • Cut it into 8-10 pieces and separate them for easy baking.
  • If you’d like a little extra crunch, sprinkle the tops of the scones with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow the apple cider scones to cool on the tray.
  • Assemble the glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together. When the scones have cooled, drizzle them with the glaze and allow it to set.
  • Enjoy!
apple cider scones

Storing Apple Cider Scones

These scones are the flakiest within a few hours of being baked, but they can also last in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. Reheat them in the microwave for 30 seconds to bring out all of the flavors and refresh the tender texture. Store them in the freezer for 2-3 months by storing them in a freezer safe bag. Be sure to thaw them overnight and then reheat in the microwave or air fryer.

If you don’t want an entire batch of scones around tempting you, bake just however many you need and freeze the rest of the dough! You can actually bake unbaked scones directly from the freezer, although you’ll want to drop the temperature to 375. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Tips & Variations

There are lots of little ways to tweak this recipe, so here are some of the things I tried and enjoyed:

  • Add 1/4 tsp of apple pie spice to the glaze for extra apple cider flavor.
  • Replace the cinnamon extract in the dough with lime juice to add extra fresh apple flavor.
  • If you don’t have a good processor, you can make the dough with a pastry cutter and a medium bowl. Be sure to grate your frozen butter into your dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients.
  • Form your scones however you’d like. You can squeeze it into clumps with your hands and bake drop scones instead of triangles.
  • If you pour out your scone dough and it’s too dry, never fear! You can add a splash of cream and work it in gently with your hands. Consider chilling the dough before baking if you do this.
  • Brush your scones with an egg wash for a golden crust. I love these scones without this extra step, so I never bother!
homemade apple cider scone recipe with fresh apples

FAQs

Do you have to chill scones before baking?

Technically, no. If you use very cold, frozen butter and make your scones quickly, you shouldn’t need to chill them. It won’t hurt you to chill your dough, though, and will likely improve the texture of your scones. If you like flaky scones, stick your baking sheet with your triangular scone slices in the fridge or freezer for 20-30 minutes before baking.

Why are my scones falling apart?

American scones are very tender thanks to the way you break the butter into small crumbs. If your scones are falling apart, it’s possible your butter pieces are too tiny (you pulsed for too long in the food processor) or your mixture is too dry. Add more liquid next time (start with an additional tablespoon and go up to an additional 1/4 cup as needed) or try adding an egg. Another tip is to let your scones cool completely on the tray instead of moving them to a wire rack. These tender scones are the weakest just out of the oven, so give them a little time to come together.

Related Recipes

If you love these apple pie scones, you’ll love these other homemade scone recipes!

easy apple cider scones pin
apple cider scone recipe

Apple Cider Scones with a Sour Apple Glaze

Made with fresh apples, warm spices, and a delicious apple glaze (with a secret ingredient), these apple cider scones taste like fall any time of the year!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 scones
Calories 391 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Apple Pie Scone Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon extract, or vanilla extract or lime juice
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small apple, diced into small pieces

Apple Glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs apple cider, or apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice, fresh or concentrated

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, add your flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and apple pie spice. Pulse for 2 seconds to integrate.
  • Add cubed cold butter to flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor. Mix for 5-10 seconds or until it makes coarse crumbs.
  • Add the extract, egg, and half of the heavy cream. Pulse 2-3 times and then add the remaining cream and chopped apple. Process for 2-5 seconds or until the scones look like large crumbs. You may need to add slightly more cream. If you can squeeze the dough and it holds together, it's ready.
  • Pour the crumbly dough onto your prepared baking sheet or a lightly floured surface. Knead it into a ball, then press it into a thick circle approximately one inch tall.
  • Cut it into 8-10 pieces and separate them for easy baking.
  • If you’d like a little extra crunch, sprinkle the tops of the scones with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow the apple cider scones to cool on the tray.
  • Assemble the glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together. When the scones have cooled, drizzle them with the glaze and allow it to set.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t have a good processor, you can make the dough with a pastry cutter and a medium bowl. Be sure to grate your frozen butter into your dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients.
  • Form your scones however you’d like. You can squeeze it into clumps with your hands and bake drop scones instead of triangles.
  • If you pour out your scone dough and it’s too dry, never fear! You can add a splash of cream and work it in gently with your hands. Consider chilling the dough before baking if you do this.
  • Brush your scones with an egg wash for a golden crust. I love these scones without this extra step, so I never bother!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sconeCalories: 391kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 244mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 723IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 2mg
Keyword apple cider, apple pie scones, cider scones, scones
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2 Comments

  1. Is there brown sugar in this recipe? I don’t see it in the ingredients but it’s in the directions. Please let me know, I want to try this recipe.

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