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Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones from Voyager for Christmas Morning

Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones from Voyager for Christmas Morning


“A pound of best butter — that’s what you told me to ask for, and I did, but I kept wondering whether there was such a thing as second-best butter, or worst butter –” Brianna was handing over wrapped packages to Fiona, laughing and talking at once.

“Well, and if ye got it from that auld rascal Wicklow, worst is what it’s likely to be, no matter what he says,” Fiona interrupted. “Oh, and ye’ve got the cinnamon, that’s grand! I’ll make cinnamon scones, then; d’ye want to come and watch me do it?”

“Yes, but first I want supper.  I’m starved!”  Brianna stood on tiptoe, sniffing hopefully in the direction of the kitchen.  “What are we having — haggis?”

“Haggis!  Gracious, ye silly Sassenach — ye dinna have haggis in the spring!  Ye have it in the autumn when the sheep are killed.”

“Am I a Sassenach?” Brianna seemed delighted at the name.

“Of course ye are, gowk.  But I like ye fine, anyway.”

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager, Chap 3


What traditions does your family keep on Christmas morning?

We used to gather in the living room, and Dad would bring in coffee and hot chocolate while we opened our stockings.  Mom always put a mandarin orange in the toe, along with some mixed nuts, still in the shell (it was the 70’s – does anyone still do that?)  Those, and the little games, puzzles and books that came along with them would tide us over while Dad returned to the kitchen to make his famous potato pancakes, with strips of bacon running down the middle.

We needed a huge breakfast to fuel the session of present opening that was about to commence.  We would each open one at a time, while everyone else watched.  It took a long time, what with 5 of us and several presents each, but everyone got to see what everyone else got, we laughed a lot, and we genuinely shared Christmas day, beyond the gifts we exchanged.

These days, when we spend Christmas at home,  it’s a slightly smaller affair.  We tend to go a little lighter on the prezzies AND the breakfast — after all, it’s Christmas — there’s lots more food to come later in the day…


I can’t say that this would have been how Fiona made her cinnamon scones back in 1968 — grating the butter and rolling the dough isn’t exactly traditional — but it does result in a wonderfully tender crumb and a cinnamon-bun-like appearance with lots of crunchy sweet edges to munch on.

For an easy, no-mess Christmas morning treat, make these up ahead of time, then freeze them uncooked.  Warm up the oven while you get the kettle/coffee maker on, pop the frozen scones in the oven, then get down to the business at hand and open those stockings! (See the tips below the recipe.)

Fresh-baked cinnamon scones scenting the house and a table full of happy wames…that’s what an Outlander Kitchen Christmas is all about.

Merry day one and all.


(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones

Yield: 8 scones

Light, buttery scones rolled with cinnamon sugar.  Perfect for a sweet start to the day when paired with a cup of coffee, or a delicious afternoon snack alongside a soothing cup of tea.

Brown Sugar – ½ to ¾ Cup
Cinnamon – 1½ tsp
Flour – 2½ Cups
Sugar – scant ½ Cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Baking Powder – 1½ tsp
Baking Soda – ¼ tsp
Butter, frozen – ½ Cup (divided)
Milk – ½ Cup
Yogurt – ½ Cup

Icing Sugar – 1 cup
Milk – 2 Tble

Ensure the rack is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 425° F.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.  Cut away approx. 1 tablespoon of the frozen butter and set aside.  Grate the remaining butter and stir it into the flour mixture.

Stir the milk and yogurt together in a small bowl.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined into a slightly sticky ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and sprinkle with a little more flour.  Quickly and lightly, knead the dough 5 or 6 times.  Return the dough to the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.  Roll it out to a 12”x12” square, sprinkling lightly with flour as required to keep it from sticking.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough in a thick layer, pressing down on the sugar lightly with your palms.  Roll the dough up into a log, using a bench scraper or spatula to un-stick the dough when necessary.  Pat it out to about 4” wide x 12” long.

Flour a knife or bench scraper to cut the log into even quarters.  Cut each quarter in half on the diagonal, for a total of 8 scones.

Carefully transfer to a parchment or silicon lined baking pan.  Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush over the tops of the scones.  Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden, about 18-22 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Stir together the icing sugar and milk in a small bowl.

Drizzle the glaze over the scones and serve while still slightly warm.  Store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.  Reheat slightly before serving.

Ith gu leòir! (Eat Plenty)


I kept these basic, but you can dress them up if you want:

  • Stir 1/4 tsp ground cardamom into the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup pecans or walnuts on top of the cinnamon sugar.
  • For a real Highland treat, soak 1 cup raisins in 1/2 cup whisky for 20 minutes before sprinkling them as above.
  • Not a cinnamon lover?  How about 1 cup of blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and the zest of a lemon instead?


  • If you’re planning ahead, mix together the dry ingredients and grated butter, and chill them in a sealed container in the freezer overnight.  Stash the bowl in the freezer overnight too.  The colder everything is, the easier the dough is to work with.
  • For fresh scones in the morning without all the work, make a batch ahead of time, then freeze the scones on the baking pan.  Transfer the frozen-solid scones to a freezer bag or sealed container and return to the freezer.  To serve, bake the scones on a parchment-lined baking pan at 375° F for 25-30 minutes, then glaze as above.
  • You may have trouble cleaning the pan if you don’t line it with either parchment or silpat.  Use aluminum foil in a pinch, but watch carefully to make sure the bottoms don’t burn.
  • For more photos, check out Outlander Kitchen on Flickr.


  1. I love cinnamon scones. I’ve never grated the butter before but it makes total sense. I keep scrolling back up to look at those layered beauties. I’m in the midst of making the treats for my trip north and I may have to add these to them. Sounds like a plan to me. 🙂

    • Theresa
      December 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Christiane…I`ve seen the cinnamon scone recipe on your site, so I`ll take your praise as a great compliment! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Christine
    December 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

    These look amazing, totally loaded with cinnamon!

    I have a friend who totally loves the Outlander series (but I’ll admit that I tried to read the first book and it didn’t grip me quite the same way it did her) and she’ll go bonkers over your site. 🙂

    • Theresa
      December 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Send your friend over, Christine, we’d love to have her! You’re welcome too, of course, I just wouldn’t mention that you couldn’t finish Outlander too loudly around here… 😉 Theresa

  3. ruaTimeTraveler2
    December 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Well you have done it again!… mouth is watering for this ….I love scones and these look like the best ever!…I so enjoy your page it is the best!
    I love the way you lay it out tell the story and the photo’s make it all one enjoyable ride…You are a true Time Traveler…and you take us all along for the ride…

    • Theresa
      December 21, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Oooh, thank you Vickie! My best wishes for a joyful Christmas to you and your family…

  4. Emily @ Life on Food
    December 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful scones. Cinnamon is my favorite flavor. Your wooden Santa face is a treasure.

    • Theresa
      December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Thank you Emily! My wooden Santa was created by a very talented neighbour — it is treasured greatly around here…

  5. Kristy
    December 26, 2011 at 5:59 am

    we made these yesterday for Christmas breakfast and they were AMAZING! thank you! so delicious!

    • Theresa
      December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Glad you liked them — and thanks so much for letting me know! Happy New Year…

  6. Lior
    January 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    i’m going to try this in a gluten free recipe…one of these days! i’ll let you know how it comes out!

  7. Lesley
    January 5, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Hi Theresa
    going to try these very soon with my girls who all love baking.
    I freeze and grate the fats for pastry as well, the easiest way to keep everything cold’

    • Theresa
      January 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

      It’s a great trick, isn’t it? 😉

  8. Kathy C
    January 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I made these this morning and they turned out wonderfully. Even my ultra-fussy son, who doesn’t want to try anything new, ate one and enjoyed it. The blueberry variation also caught my eye and I will be making it soon. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Kate
    February 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I loved these, ate more than I should have with my morning coffee……

    • Theresa
      February 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      There’s no such thing as too much Outlander! 😉

  10. Cindy Karas
    March 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I am known as the “Scone Lady” in my parts but I can’t wait to make these!!! I love your method for rolling and folding… very unique! These look outrageous! I have never substituted coconut oil for all or part of the butter but wonder how they would do… what do you think?

    • Theresa
      March 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Cindy — I hope these live up to yours! I’m also known for being a bit of a “scone lady” in these parts, LOL…I have never used coconut fat in scones, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work…perhaps try half butter half coconut oil first and see how that goes? Love to hear back from you, Cindy…Theresa

  11. tami hottinger
    June 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    the whole orange-in-the-stocking, etc..brought back a lot of memories! i didn’t know about your sight last year so i’ll be making these…..TOMORROW! thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Mindy Reed
    June 30, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I made these for breakfast this morning and let me tell you, they we SO GOOD! And so easy too! Delicious!!!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!! My two year old saw them when he woke up and yelled… “I bite the breakfast!!!” lol!

    • Theresa
      June 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Great news, Mindy! Glad you liked them.

  13. Bree
    August 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Moran Taing for such a wonderful recipe. I love making these. I did alter the recipe one day and put cheese and steak bits in for tea one day. Very tasty 🙂
    I really do think grating the butter makes the difference.

    • Theresa
      August 2, 2012 at 6:53 am

      My pleasure, Bree! And I’m so glad you love them…savoury scones like the ones you describe are some of my favourites…Theresa

  14. bullrem
    September 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I made these the first time you posted them and OMG they are to die for. yummy
    Helen in Ark.

  15. Barbie Zuleski
    November 26, 2012 at 6:41 am

    So happy we found you, the family will be having these scones for Christmas Morning, I plan on making three batches and freezing for the big day. Thank you.

    • Theresa
      November 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      That’s great Barbie! Funnily enough, I made a batch of Fiona’s scones just 15 minutes ago, destined for the freezer. Nothing like easy peasy scones any day of the week. 😀

  16. Robin Dalton
    February 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Stardreamer Astrology.

    • Theresa
      February 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Thank you, Robin!

  17. Terri B
    March 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Theresa. I wanted to let you know that I’ve made your scones a couple of times and they are wonderful and quite easy. I could practically see my family members biting their tongues to avoid saying “YOU made these?” 😉

    I especially love your tip about using grated frozen butter. I grated it by hand for my first batch but since then I’ve used the ice shaver insert of my Salad Shooter. It grates a whole stick in about 15 seconds flat – just like they used to do it in the 18th Century. 🙂

    Terri B

    • Theresa
      March 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Smart, Terri! I use the grater on my food processor when I’m making multiple batches. It speeds up the process and is easier on the old arm!

  18. Dee White
    March 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I bookmarked this when I saw it on facebook and just got around to making them. Delicious! Lovely, tender texture. Excellent tip on grating the butter. I will remember it! I leave a stone in my oven all the time because I bake bread every 3 days. Because of that I think 19 minutes was just a tad too long. Next time I’ll take them out at 17 minutes.

    • Theresa
      March 8, 2013 at 10:49 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them, Dee!

  19. Carolin
    May 11, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Wow, these turned out just great!!!!!! Even looked like the ones on your pictures, only one left now…

  20. Theresa
    June 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I love these scones! Making them again for the umpteenth time. Once added bacon to them. So yummy. Today I am out of brown sugar and have substituted maple sugar. Thank you for so many awesome recipes!

  21. Orchid
    September 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    These were amazing! My daughter thought they were divine! We had fun grating the butter. She said it looked like popped corn!
    This is one we’ll make time & again. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  22. Georgia Kline
    December 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Dear Theresa,
    I love your website, your recipes and your wit!
    I was wondering if you think I could make plain scones from this recipe? (my daughter and I make scones for tea and I don’t think she is cinnamon fan.) Would I just leave out the brown sugar or use white granulated sugar instead?

    • Theresa
      December 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Hey, Georgia! You can of course leave the cinnamon out…a bit of orange zest instead? Or, I suggest a blueberry filling in the tips below the recipe for those who aren’t cinnamon fans. Or, you could try Mrs. Graham’s Oatmeal Scones

  23. Chloé
    December 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Made them this morning, they’re outstanding! It was a tough fight between me and the sticky dough, but Iwon it 😀 I like the frozen butter tip, very useful. Next time I’ll try with walnuts in the filling, it sounds delicious. And oven’s temperature a little bit lower. Thank you for all these wonderful recipes, I’ve already picked the next one 🙂

  24. Susan
    December 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

    My Armstrong ancestors apparently stopped making scones at some point, and started makings Southern biscuits instead. (I’d love it talk to those women!) I think I need to take us back a bit, and make these for Christmas breakfast. They look worth all of the effort. Fabulous recipe!

  25. Rebecca
    December 11, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Just finished my first batch — I followed your instructions perfectly and they came out beautifully!! (I am not a baker by any stretch, so this is huge for me!) Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes and wonderful talent with us. Your website is great.

  26. Susan
    February 15, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Fiona’s Scones are a hit in my house. I made a batch for my husband to take to work for the Outlandish ladies he works with.

    • Theresa
      February 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Good news!

  27. Mary
    May 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    These are the best things I ever baked! Thank you so much!

  28. Codi
    May 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Im a big fan of scones and quite enjoyed these.
    I altered it using some frozen blueberries and lemon zest and they were a success.
    I love that these are not overly sweet 🙂

  29. Mel
    May 24, 2015 at 9:22 am

    This recipe looks absolutely delicious! I just wonder about the difference between baking powder and baking soda; I always thought they were the same? I have never noticed two in the store either. Thank you 🙂

    • Theresa
      May 24, 2015 at 10:28 am

      They’re different, and not interchangeable. You’ll find them next to each other in the baking aisle.

    • Mel
      May 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you Theresa. I am living in Switzerland, and am afraid I have never seen two different baking powders. I will check and also Google both; they sounded interchangeable, but are not as you say.

    • Theresa
      May 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      You didn’t mention that you’re in Switzerland. I think both should still be available, but I’m really not sure. Google will give you the answer! Good luck.

    • Chloé
      May 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Mel, baking powder is levure in french and lievito per dolci in italian; bakin soda is bicarbonate de soude/bicarbonato di sodio. Bye 🙂

    • Codi
      May 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

      In culinary school a good rule to fallow that i learned, is that Baking Powder PUFFS and Baking Soda SPREADS.

  30. Melissa
    June 10, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    These are very good. Everybody liked them. I opted to not do the glaze. Instead I put turbinado sugar on top of them before baking.

  31. Reva Callaway
    December 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I just wanted to thank you for the ‘grated butter’ trick! I use it all of my recipes now that call for cutting butter into flour. It makes it so much easier!

  32. Helene
    December 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    My fifteen y/o daughter and I made these last night. They are delicious. I took them to work today and every one loved them. Thank you for sharing .

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