The easy way to make a cream tea

Cream tea in the garden

It's really easy I promise! Here are some simple instructions on how to make a cream tea to enjoy at home.

A traditional Devon cream tea is comprised of two scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream and a cup of tea. On this page is a recipe for the scones and instructions for making a cup of tea that tastes like one I would make for you.


    Take 2 cups [8 oz] of self-raising flour [If you don’t have self-raising then use plain flour but add 2 tablespoons of baking power]
    2 ounces of margarine or lard
    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda [If you use baking powder leave out the bi-carb]
    ½ cup [¼ pint] of milk [if the milk is just turning sour it works better but fresh is OK too]
    Pinch of salt

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Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and rub together to a sort of breadcrumb mix.

Add all the milk at once and mix lightly to a spongy dough.

Knead lightly to make the dough smooth and roll it out to about ½ to ¾ inch thick.

Cut out with a 2" round cutter [or if like me you can't find yours then use a mug] brush lightly with milk and bake in a hot oven (220 - 230 degrees C, 425 - 450 degrees F or gas mark 7 - 8] for about 10 minutes.

This quantity makes about 12 - 15 scones

Cool the scones on a wire rack so that the outside stays crispy.

Variations for scone recipe:
Add a half cup [2 oz] of currants, sultanas or raisins to the dry ingredients to make fruit scones.


Add a half cup [2 oz] of chopped nuts to the dry ingredients.

[Be cautious about too many extra ingredients or you may find your scones won't rise - less is more]

Points to remember:
The most important things to remember are to add all the liquid at once and cook them quickly.

Scones don't keep very well so only make as many as you need for your cream tea. They are very quick, especially if you've got the oven on for something else.

While you are washing up, put the kettle on ready for a pot of tea. By the time that you've finished washing up the scones should be cooked and the tea will be made. You now have two of the four main components of a cream tea.

How to make tea the “English way”

One of the biggest complaints of English people visiting the United States is that Americans don’t know how to make "proper" tea. Here’s how we do it:

Just before your kettle has reached boiling point, pour a little hot water into the teapot and allow it to stand for about a minute so that the pot is warm.

Empty out the hot water from the nicely warmed pot and put in the loose tea or tea bags, whichever you have.

When the water is boiling and not before, pour it onto the tea in the teapot.

Leave the tea to brew for 3 or 4 minutes and stir it well before you pour it out.

Most English people have milk in their tea but an increasing number are now drinking it black with a squeeze of lemon.

How to assemble your cream tea

By the time you’ve washed up and made the tea the scones should be cool enough to eat.

Simply split the scones in half
Cover with a thick layer of strawberry jam.
Top with large spoonful of Devon cream
Serve on your best china plates.

Alternatively, some people put the cream on first and top it with the jam. My personal favourite is jam and then cream, but that's partly to do with the way I was brought up.

Pour out a lovely cup of tea.

If it’s a summer afternoon then why not sit out in the garden and enjoy your cream tea.

Sadly all this clotted cream is not good for the waistline, however a little now and then is good for the soul.

Tell us about YOUR cream tea

Other people's cream teas!

When I told my friends about this page some of them sent me pictures of their cream teas. Like we said before, it's really easy and it is such a special treat.

Click on the links below to see what they did.

Audrey the Editor's cream tea

Elizabeth the Healthy Eating expert's cream tea

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