HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Scones - egg or no egg?

My "go to" recipe for scones is really good. The recipe I use contains no eggs but I've seen recipes that do contain eggs. What would the addition of eggs do for the texture of scones?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Scones typically differ from biscuits in two ways - the addition of sugar, and the addition of egg. In my experience the small amount of egg in scones gives them a richer taste, but doesn't alter the texture much.

    1. I've not seen a scone recipe calling for egg; seems to me it would make the scones less flaky, which is one of the things I love most about them. I've not made any in years, but the recipe is pretty much identical to a rich shortcake, only with fruit or whatever added, and dropped instead of being rolled out and baked in pans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        This chow recipe uses cream, butter, and 1 egg
        This uses milk and butter, but no egg

      2. We're vegan so obviously make ours without eggs. Egg allergies are common as is high cholesterol to you might want to take into consideration who will be eating them. I don't know about the texture.

        1. In baking, eggs serve as a leavening agent. By adding an egg to your recipe the resulting scones should be somewhat lighter in texture than they might be without the egg. The egg also makes them richer and, I believe, provides a better mouth feel for the consumer. When I want a more dense scone, I simply omit the egg. When I want them lighter in texture, I add the egg. Depending on the humidity, I sometimes find that adding an egg increases the cooking time (by a minute or two) because the egg represents a slight increase in the liquid content of the recipe.

          1. Reading the comments, I'm now thinking that w/o egg produces a biscuit like texture and w/egg a more cake like texture. Thanks for all the input!

            1 Reply
            1. re: emmisme

              Hummm... There's a breakfast & lunch place in Culver City that I really love, but their biscuits are extremely weird, cake-like things baked in one piece in a pan and then cut into squares. They taste like biscuits, mostly, but sure don't feel like them. After reading this, I'll bet they use egg in there.

            2. From everything I have read about, the eggs are a more recent addition and the traditional recipes have no eggs (as is baking powder). I don't have eggs in my recipe.

              I have to disagree that the eggs would act as a leavener. The eggs in a scone recipe wouldn't be beaten to add air, so are more likely to act to hold the batter together and the added fat would be a tenderizer.

              1. The history of biscuits and scones (and Irish soda bread) are covered on this page at Food Timeline

                While the word 'scone' goes back to the 15th century, the baking soda/powder version, like the American baking powder biscuit dates to the mid 19th. In UK usage biscuit is different, more like a cookie (which according to one legal ruling goes soft with age rather than hard). The notion of scone in American usage comes from the products that shops and bakeries sell, something that is richer and sweeter (usually) than home made biscuits.

                Egg may help extend the shelf life. Biscuits, without egg, go stale pretty quickly, almost as soon as they cool down. That's ok when biscuits are served freshly baked at breakfast or supper with gravy.

                Some of scone recipes on this other food history page have as many as 2 eggs per 2 cup flour batch. but there are also ones without eggs.

                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj

                  The combination of a very short dough and the addition of sugar gives a scone - or biscuit - the ability to stay palatable whether it's stale or not. Even my non-sweetened short biscuits are very enjoyable split and toasted after days in the fridge, or even kept out (bagged, of course) if the weather's cool. Mold is the enemy here.