River Cottage Australia



Dates give these traditional scones a punch of healthy sweetness without being too cloying, and the orange is an aromatic addition. 


  • 3 cups (450g) self-raising flour

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tbsp sugar

  • 60g cold unsalted butter

  • Grated rind of 1 orange

  • 8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

  • 1 ¼ cups (310 ml) buttermilk

  • Splash of milk, for brushing

  • Whipped cream or butter to serve


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 210C (425F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • 2.

    Sift together flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor, add the sugar, pulse with butter until crumbly. Add rind and pulse again. Add most of the buttermilk, reserving 2-3 tablespoons, then mix until just combined (do not over mix).

  • 3.

    Turn mixture out on to a floured work surface and pull dough together with your hands. Add remaining buttermilk if needed to hold dough together, the mixture should be quite moist and slack. Add dates, knead a few times lightly, then pat into a round shape that is 4cm thick. Do not over work.

  • 4.

    Use a round 5cm diameter biscuit cutter or glass tumbler to cut out scone shapes. Gather together scraps and knead lightly, repeat with remaining dough.

  • 5.

    Line a baking tray with side with baking paper or dust with a little flour. Place scones on baking tray, about 3cm apart. Brush with milk and scatter over a few seeds. Bake 10-15 minutes, until scones have risen and are golden. Serve with whipped cream or butter.


Recipe, styling and photography by Kate Gibbs

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