What is the Difference Between Cornish and Devon Scones: An Exploration of Two Iconic Delights

Do you know what separates Cornish and Devon scones? The answer is simple but often overlooked. These two traditional English pastries are seemingly identical in appearance, yet their slight differences can be tasted in every bite. If you’re a fan of scones and are curious about the subtle distinctions that make these two varieties unique, then this article is for you.

Both Cornish and Devon scones share the same origins: they were created in the West Country of England to be eaten as a sweet and satisfying snack. However, they have distinct characteristics that are rooted in their geographical locations. Cornish scones tend to be denser and richer, whereas Devon scones are made lighter and fluffier. These variations in texture are the result of distinct ingredients and cooking methods, which we will examine in this article.

So, what is it that sets these two tasty treats apart? The answer revolves around the ingredients of each pastry. While Cornish scones contain butter, clotted cream, and raisins, Devon scones use only butter and baking powder, paired with cream and jam to serve. However, these differences in ingredients mean that each option is equally delicious but in their own unique way. Whether you prefer the richer and denser taste of a Cornish scone or the fluffier texture of a Devon scone, both options are sure to tickle your taste buds.

Cornish Scones

When most people think of scones, they may envision them as a small, sweet baked good usually accompanied by a cup of tea. However, in Cornwall, UK, scones are much more than that. Cornish scones are a savory delicacy often eaten as part of a cream tea or with a hearty bowl of soup or stew.

One of the key differences between Cornish and other scones is the way they are made. Cornish scones are typically made with a mixture of lard and butter, which gives them a richer, more savory flavor compared to other scones that may be made with only butter. They are also often made with a combination of white and wholemeal flour, giving them a slightly denser texture.

Another hallmark of Cornish scones is their triangular shape. While most scones are round and flat, Cornish scones are cut into triangles and baked into a sort of triangular “loaf.” This unique shape makes them perfect for splitting in half and slathering with butter, jam, and clotted cream.

In Cornwall, there is also a longstanding debate about the proper way to serve a cream tea: should the jam or the cream go on top of the scone? It’s a contentious issue that Cornish scone fans take very seriously.

Devon Scones

Devon is another region in the UK known for their scones. Devon scones are also called “cream tea” scones because they are traditionally served with clotted cream and jam as part of a cream tea. These scones are smaller than their Cornish counterparts, and they have a lighter texture due to the addition of more baking powder. The dough is also slightly sweeter, which means the final product is a sweeter scone that pairs perfectly with the tartness of jam and cream.

  • Devon scones are round and flatter than Cornish scones.
  • They have a light and fluffy texture due to the addition of more baking powder.
  • Devon scones are made with a sweeter dough than Cornish scones, which makes them perfect for a cream tea.

The traditional way to serve a Devon scone is with clotted cream and jam. The clotted cream is spread onto the scone first, followed by jam. The order is important because it’s believed that jam was traditionally spread first in Devon, while clotted cream was spread first in Cornwall.

If you’re looking to make your own Devon scones, there are plenty of recipes available online. One important tip to keep in mind is to handle the dough gently and avoid overworking it as this can lead to tough, dense scones. Remember to serve them warm with plenty of clotted cream and jam for the perfect cream tea experience.

Ingredients Instructions
225g self-raising flour 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
pinch of salt 2. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
1 tsp baking powder 3. Stir in the sugar.
50g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 4. Whisk together the egg and milk in a separate bowl.
25g caster sugar 5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the liquid mixture. Mix together until a soft dough is formed.
1 egg, beaten 6. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 2cm (¾in).
75ml milk 7. Cut out rounds with a 5cm (2in) cutter and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Brush the tops with a little milk, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden.

These Devon scones are bound to be a hit with your friends and family, especially if you serve them for a cream tea. The light, fluffy texture and sweet flavour make them the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients Used in Cornish Scones

Before we can dive into the differences between Cornish and Devon scones, it’s important to understand the key ingredients used in Cornish scones. The recipe for Cornish scones is simple but demands high-quality ingredients to ensure the perfect taste and texture.

The key ingredients in Cornish scones are:

  • Flour: The main ingredient in scones is flour, and Cornish scones use all-purpose flour. The flour should be sifted before being used in the recipe to get rid of any lumps and aerate the flour, giving a lighter texture to the scone.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is added to the flour to give the scone its rise.
  • Butter: For the perfect Cornish scone, unsalted butter is used. The butter should be cold and grated, making it easier to combine with the flour.
  • Milk: The last critical ingredient in scones is milk, which brings the dry ingredients together to form the dough. For Cornish scones, a full-fat milk is used.

While these are the staple ingredients in Cornish scones, some bakers may add other ingredients like sugar, eggs, or cream to enrich the dough and give the scones a sweet taste. It is worth noting that some bakers use traditional Cornish clotted cream in the dough instead of butter, giving the scones a creamier texture.

Ingredients used in Devon Scones

Devon scones, similar to Cornish scones, require basic baking ingredients such as flour, butter, milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt. However, there are certain additional ingredients that are used to give Devon scones their unique flavor and texture.

  • Clotted cream – The star ingredient of Devon scones is clotted cream, which has a distinct thick and creamy texture. It is made by heating unpasteurized milk until a thick layer forms on top, which is then cooled and skimmed off. Clotted cream has a higher fat content than regular cream, which gives it a rich and buttery flavor.
  • Egg – Devon scone dough usually contains one or two eggs, which adds richness and moisture to the scones. Eggs also contribute to the scones’ golden brown color.
  • Raisins or currants – Some recipes call for raisins or currants to be added to the scone dough. These dried fruits provide a sweet contrast to the buttery scone and are a common ingredient in traditional Devon scones.

While these additional ingredients are not essential, they are integral to the flavor and texture of Devon scones. In fact, the use of clotted cream is unique to the Devon region and is what sets Devon scones apart from their Cornish counterparts.

To get a better idea of the differences between Devon and Cornish scones, let’s take a look at a comparison table:

Feature Devon Scones Cornish Scones
Shape Round Triangular
Clotted Cream Must be served with a dollop on top Can be served with or without
Jam Served on top of the cream Served underneath the cream
Texture Moist and fluffy Dense and crumbly

Overall, while the ingredients in Devon scones are similar to those in Cornish scones, the extra use of clotted cream, eggs, and raisins or currants adds a unique flavor and texture to these delicious treats.

Texture of Cornish scones

Cornish scones are known for their unique texture that sets them apart from other scone varieties. Here are some key factors that give Cornish scones their signature texture:

  • Dry ingredients: Cornish scones are made with a combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. The dry ingredients are mixed together thoroughly before the wet ingredients are added. This ensures that the scones have a light, crumbly texture.
  • Butter: Cornish scones are made with cold butter that is cut into small pieces and mixed into the dry ingredients. When the scones are baked, the butter melts and creates pockets of air that give the scones their fluffy texture.
  • Milk: The milk that is added to the dry ingredients should be cold, just like the butter. Cold milk helps to keep the butter cold and ensures that the scones will rise properly. It also creates a moist texture that keeps the scones from becoming too dry or crumbly.
  • Mixing: When making Cornish scones, it’s important not to overmix the dough. Overmixing can lead to tough, dense scones. Instead, mix the dough just until it comes together and then knead it gently a few times to bring it together.
  • Shape: Cornish scones are traditionally round and cut into triangles. This shape allows for even baking and ensures that the scones hold their shape.

Texture of Devon Scones

Devon scones are famous for their light and airy texture. The scone dough is rolled out to a thickness of around 2cm and then cut into rounds using a cutter. The key to achieving the perfect texture in a Devon scone is to handle the dough as little as possible, so as not to overwork it. Overworking the dough will lead to a tough, heavy scone.

  • The scone should have a slightly crispy outer layer, with a soft and fluffy interior.
  • The texture of Devon scones is achieved by using a combination of baking powder and cream of tartar as leavening agents. The cream of tartar reacts with the baking powder to form tiny air pockets, which create the light and airy texture of the scone.
  • The dough for Devon scones should be on the wetter side, as this will help to keep the scone light and moist. The addition of buttermilk or yogurt can help to achieve this.

To achieve the perfect texture in a Devon scone, it is important to bake them at a high temperature. This helps to create a burst of steam, which further contributes to the light and fluffy texture of the scone. It is also important to allow the scones to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving, as this will help to set the texture and prevent the scones from becoming too crumbly.

Texture Description
Light and airy The scone should not be heavy or dense, but rather have a delicate texture that practically melts in your mouth.
Crispy outer layer The exterior of the scone should have a slight crunch when you bite into it, providing a nice contrast to the soft interior.
Moist The texture should not be dry or crumbly, but instead have a moist and tender crumb that is almost cake-like in consistency.

In summary, the texture of a Devon scone is light and fluffy with a slightly crispy outer layer. Achieving this texture requires a delicate touch when handling the dough, the use of the right leavening agents, and baking at a high temperature. The result is a scone that practically melts in your mouth and is a true delight to eat.

Traditional serving methods for Cornish and Devon scones

When it comes to serving Cornish and Devon scones, there are some traditional methods that locals and visitors alike follow. These methods vary slightly between the two types of scones and depend on the preferences of the person serving them and the occasion.

  • Cornish scones: In Cornwall, it is common to serve a split Cornish scone with a dollop of jam (usually strawberry) and a generous helping of clotted cream on top. This is known as a “Cornish cream tea” and is often accompanied by a pot of tea. The scone is split in half horizontally and the jam is spread on the bottom half while the clotted cream covers the top half. Some people prefer to have the cream on the bottom half, but this is a highly debated topic in Cornwall.
  • Devon scones: In Devon, scones are served slightly differently. The scone is split as with the Cornish variety, but the clotted cream is placed on the bottom half and the jam on top. This is known as a “Devon cream tea” and is served with a cup of tea. Some people believe that the Devon method is more practical as it prevents the jam from slipping off the cream and makes the scone easier to eat.

In addition to the different serving methods, there are also different types of scones that can be served. Some people prefer to have a plain scone with no jam or cream, while others like to experiment with different types of jam or spreads. Savory scones are also becoming increasingly popular, especially in cafes and tearooms, and can be served with butter, cheese, or other spreads.

The table below summarizes the traditional serving methods for Cornish and Devon scones:

Cornish scones Devon scones
Splitting method Horizontally Horizontally
Order of jam and cream Jam on bottom, cream on top Cream on bottom, jam on top
Additional toppings Sometimes served with butter or other spreads Sometimes served with butter or other spreads

Regardless of how they are served, Cornish and Devon scones are a delicious treat and a must-try for anyone visiting the counties. Whether you prefer the Cornish or Devon method, one thing is for sure – there’s nothing quite like a freshly baked scone served with homemade jam and clotted cream.

What is the difference between Cornish and Devon scones?

Q: Are there any differences in the ingredients used for Cornish and Devon scones?

A: Yes, there is a slight difference in the ingredients used. Cornish scones traditionally use clotted cream instead of butter, whereas Devon scones use butter.

Q: How do the texture and taste of Cornish and Devon scones differ?

A: Cornish scones are typically denser and moister due to the clotted cream used in the recipe. Devon scones are lighter and fluffier due to the use of butter. In terms of taste, Cornish scones have a slightly sweeter and richer taste compared to Devon scones.

Q: Are Cornish and Devon scones often served differently?

A: Yes, they are. Cornish scones are often served with clotted cream and jam on top. Devon scones, on the other hand, are usually served with jam first and then topped with clotted cream.

Q: Is one type of scone more popular in a certain region than the other?

A: Yes, Cornish scones are more popular in Cornwall, while Devon scones are more popular in Devon. However, both types of scones can be found throughout the United Kingdom.

Q: Can I use the terms “Cornish” and “Devon” interchangeably when referring to scones?

A: While they may seem similar, it is important to differentiate between the two as they have distinct differences in their ingredients, texture, and presentation.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the differences between Cornish and Devon scones. Whether you prefer the sweeter, richer taste of a Cornish scone or the lighter, fluffier texture of a Devon scone, it’s clear that both of these beloved treats have their own unique qualities. Be sure to come back soon to learn more about other regional delicacies!