Scones – My Son’s 1st Pop Up Bakery

Lemon-Raisin Scones on a Cooling Rack | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Last week my husband got a craving for scones. Instead of turning to me, or making them himself, he asked our 12-year-old son to bake them. He challenged Charlie to have hot scones ready by the time he left for work the next morning. 7:30am is an hour my boys rarely see, because they are deep in REM sleep. Agreeing to this request was based on one thing, and one thing alone, money. My sons get an allowance, but it isn’t always enough to satisfy all the activities and toys they want, so the thought of a few extra bucks in his pocket was enough to get him out of bed. And, he loves to bake, so it wasn’t much of a hardship. The night before, he picked a recipe from Baking with Julia, set up his mise en place (a fancy way to say ingredients and equipment), then set his alarm for 5:30am. He woke me up at 6am, so I could sit in the kitchen, bleary eyed, with my coffee and answer any questions he had. It was quite something to watch him navigate the recipe. He didn’t know what a pastry blender was or what cornmeal looked like, so the instructions of “cutting the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until is resembles cornmeal” meant nothing to him. I showed him a jar of cornmeal, handed him the pastry tool and off he went. Scones are really quite easy to make, but it does require a gentle touch, so they don’t come out too tough. He did it perfectly.

My husband is a big fan of raisins, so Charlie folded them in during the last steps and added a bit of zest to the dough as well. He made an entire batch, which was way more than my husband could eat, so Charlie got the idea of texting our family members, who live near by, to tell them he had hot scones coming out of the oven and he was selling them. The price is fair, the product is amazing, the baker is adorable and he sold out for the day. By the time the scones were cooling on the racks and his costumers were showing up at the back door, he had crawled into my bed and fallen back to sleep. I was left to run the store, which was just fine with me. The scones were such a success that he’s now taking pre-orders for all kinds of baked goods and has a schedule of when he has to deliver the goods. It’s the best summer job I can think of and he’s going to be a skilled baker by the time he hits the 8th grade. Could I be any prouder of him, nope, not possible! He’s my fabulous baker boy.

Lemon-Raisin Scones

by Marion Cunningham from Baking with Julia and baked by Charlie (12)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup buttermilk, maybe a little more

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup raisins or dried currants or whatever you want, dried cherries would be good.

1/2 stick butter, melted, for brushing the tops

1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling over the top

To make the scones:

Preheat the oven to 425°F

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Dry Ingredients | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

A Pastry Blender and Flour on Countertop | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender, until it resembles cornmeal. Above is a pastry blender and cornmeal. You actually want some of the flour to resemble cornmeal, once it is cut with the butter, but you also want to keep some of the butter in pea sized pieces, which will create the flakiness in your scones.

Scone Dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add one cup of buttermilk  and zest, gently stir it with a spoon, just to moisten the flour. It is ok if some of the flour is still powdery, but if it seems like there are big bunches of dry ingredients still in the bowl, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. Add the raisins, but don’t stir them in, they will get incorporated when you do the “kneading.”

Making Lemon-Raisin Scones | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to do the gentle kneading. You are really just turning the dough over on itself, using a bench scraper is very handy to get this done without over working the dough. Turn the dough 12 times, as Charlie is doing in the above pictures.

Dividing Scone Dough in Half | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Divide the dough in half.

Rolling Scone Dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

As an experiment Charlie rolled one piece of the dough into a log that was about 1 1/2-inches wide.


Cutting Scones | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Then he cut the dough at an angle with the bench knife.

Cutting Scones | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

to get his triangular scones.

Cutting Scones with a Pizza Cutter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

With the other piece of dough he rolled it into a 1/2-inch thick disc,

Scone Dough Shaped and Cut | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

and cut it into wedges using a pizza cutter. Brush the top of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Scones on a Baking Sheet | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place the scones on the prepared baking sheets.

Baked Lemon-Raisin Scones | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake the scones for about 12 minutes or until golden and set. Cool and eat, or sell, warm.

22 thoughts to “Scones – My Son’s 1st Pop Up Bakery”

  1. Aw, so cute! With all the baking practice he’s getting at such a young age, he’ll have a bakery opened before you know it!…and maybe his scone sales can pay for baking school too 😉

  2. Comments at our house were they were some of the best scones ever–delicate without falling apart. and tasty!

  3. I love this story, love it! And what a great initiative (and why not money as the impetus? It is the only thing that makes my son work!) and an even greater summer job! And I am making these scones!

  4. Absolutely adorable. That was very entrepreneurial of him to text to get extra cash for the scones. I’m glad they turned out. I didn’t expect anything less 🙂

  5. Sweet post (scones and time in the kitchen with your son). Gives me the confidence to try and make my favorite coffee companion. Do you know if you can make the dough the night before and bake them off the morning?

  6. enjoyed watching the segment in KinK that your fabulous baker boy introduced how to make it. really lovely way to guide kids to the kitchen! from Japan.

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