Utah Scones

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Utah Scones are unlike scones anywhere else in the world! Unlike European scones that are served with clotted cream and tea or American biscuits, these scones are deep-fried pieces of a puffy flatbread that are enjoyed with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, honey, and butter.

Image of honey being drizzled on the Utah Scones

From inventive dipping sauces (hello Fry Sauce!), to desserts passed off as salads (cough, cough, strawberry pretzel salad), to funeral potatoes, way too much Jell-O, and soda shops on just about every street corner, I present to you another Utah specialty: Utah Scones! 

What Is A Utah Scone?

In most places around the world, the name “scone” means a cookie or biscuit-type treat that is served with tea. In Utah though, scones are pieces of fried dough served hot and finished with a myriad of sweet toppings. These scones are a cross between donuts and Fry Bread. They’re typically eaten with powdered sugar, honey, and butter. 

This Utah Scone recipe is unbeatable! The dough puffs up as it’s fried, creating a deeply golden treat with a lightly crisp exterior and a soft chewy interior. The toppings add a nice sweetness, making this an irresistible dessert — that yes, is sometimes passed off as breakfast in Utah!

Process shots-- images of the wet and dry ingredients being mixed together

What Is The Difference Between Fry Bread And Utah Scones?

The two are similar, but one is savory while the other is sweet.

Fry Bread is typically enjoyed as part of a savory meal — usually replacing bread for sandwiches or replacing tortillas for tacos (like in Navajo Tacos). It can also be used to dunk in your favorite chili or soup recipe.

On the other hand, Utah Scones are sweet. Right out of the fryer they’re drizzled with a combination of a couple of the following: honey, honey butter, jam, pancake syrup, a vanilla sauce, a sprinkle of powdered sugar. They can also be dredged in cinnamon sugar right out of the fryer. (Fried scones with honey butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar seem to be the most prevalent topping throughout Utah.)

QUICK TIP

Utah Scones are typically enjoyed as a sweet treat, but you can leave off the sweet toppings and enjoy them as a savory meal instead! There are practically endless applications for how to use this recipe.

What Do Scones Taste Like?

If the deep-fried scones are coated in cinnamon sugar, they taste similar to a donut. They’re hot with a crisp outside and ultra-soft chewy interior. With honey and butter on top, they taste like sweet fried dough.

Process shots of Utah Scones-- images of the dough being rolled into a ball and then divided into 8 parts and each piece being pressed into 6-inch rounds

Where Can You Buy Scones In Utah?

If you happen to be visiting Utah, be sure to try one of our famous scones! Here’s a list of food trucks and restaurants where you can find Utah Scones.

But if you can’t make it out to the Beehive state to find a Utah Scone near you, don’t worry, these scones are surprisingly quick and easy to make. So much quicker than making donuts from scratch! In fact, one of my favorite things about these scones is there is no kneading and no rising time required. Unlike when you’ve got to wait for white bread, honey whole wheat bread, or dinner rolls to rise, these scones can be made shortly after the dough is finished.

How To Make Utah Scones

The dough for these scones comes together quickly and doesn’t require rising time — hooray! That said, we do recommend resting the dough for 15-20 minutes to allow the gluten to relax–this makes it easier to form pieces of dough before frying. 

Once the dough has rested, it’s time to fry. A couple of different options here:

  1. Use a deep fryer (We love this deep fryer). It makes frying very easy and less messy than using a pot– thanks to the deep fryer lid. It also ensures the temperature stays consistent (you can set a temperature and forget about it!), which is important for even frying.
  2. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you’ll want a heavy-bottomed deep pot (I recommend using a large (5 quart) cast iron pot) and thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil and ensure it maintains the right heat throughout frying. We want to ensure the temperature stays consistent and doesn’t get too hot (or too cool) which will affect how the bread fries.
    1. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, try this trick: Stand a wooden spoon handle in the hot oil. When bubbles gather around the stick, the oil is ready to fry.
    2. Another trick: Add a kernel of popcorn. Popcorn kernels pop into popcorn at 350 degrees F, so if it pops, you know the oil is ready!

QUICK TIP

By using a large, deep pot instead of a shallow skillet, you’ll have much less mess! The oil won’t pop out on you or all over your stove.

Process shots-- images of the dough being fried

Utah Scone Recipe Notes

  • Yeast. There is yeast in this deep-fried scones dough recipe, but it does not require rising time.
  • Kneading. No kneading is required for this dough! In fact, the less you touch the dough, the better.
  • Whole milk. We’ve tried all different kinds of milk and whole milk is our favorite in terms of richness and flavor. While you can use 2% or 1%, we don’t recommend skim milk or plant-based milk alternatives. 
  • Dough texture. The dough is shaggy and rough looking. It is supposed to be sticky, but not so sticky that you can’t work with it. Add a touch of extra flour if needed, but avoid adding too much extra. On the flip side, if the dough is too dry, you may need a touch more milk. (There are always going to be variations due to climate, humidity, and individual measuring discrepancies).
  • Rustic is the goal. The more bubbles and bumps on the scone, the better! This is the perfect surface area to add lots of toppings! Roughly press the dough out with your hands. Don’t use a rolling pin– it’s not needed!

Overhead image of the Utah Scone ready to be served

STORAGE

How Long Will Utah Scones Keep?

Like most fried foods, scones are the absolute best right out of the fryer! I don’t recommend frying ahead of time, but the dough can be prepared ahead of time.

Makeahead: Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. When ready to fry, remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before frying.

Keep it warm: Add an oven-safe cooling rack to the top of a sheet pan. Place fry bread pieces straight from the fryer onto the cooling rack in a single layer. Place sheet pan in a 200 degree F heated oven until the rest are fried. 

Store: Store scones (before topping with butter/honey/etc.) loosely wrapped with plastic wrap for 1-2 days. Texture and flavor do suffer the longer the scones have been out of the fryer.

Side view of a scone

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Utah Scones

5 from 1 vote
Utah Scones are unlike scones anywhere else in the world! Unlike European scones that are served with clotted cream and tea or American biscuits, these scones are deep-fried pieces of a puffy flatbread that are enjoyed with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, honey, and butter.
Print Recipe

Utah Scones

5 from 1 vote
Utah Scones are unlike scones anywhere else in the world! Unlike European scones that are served with clotted cream and tea or American biscuits, these scones are deep-fried pieces of a puffy flatbread that are enjoyed with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, honey, and butter.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword utah scone recipe, Utah Scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 8 scones
Calories 200kcal
Cost $3.12

Equipment

  • Deep fryer OR a large/deep pot with thermometer (Note 1)

Ingredients

Utah Scones

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-1/3 cup (313g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (NOT soda!)
  • 2 teaspoons white, granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (240g) warmed milk (we use whole)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + more for frying

For Topping (Pick Through What Sounds Best To You!)

  • Mix together 1/2 cup white, granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Softened honey butter, softened regular butter, honey, powdered sugar, fresh berries, jam, syrup, etc. (Or top it with something savory like taco seasoned ground beef)

Instructions

  • DOUGH: Melt butter in the microwave. Let the butter cool back to room temperature (it's important it's not hot!) Microwave the milk until just warmed (Note 2), but not hot. Mix together melted butter and milk and set aside. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
  • DOUGH CONT.: Dough should be rough, shaggy, and fairly sticky, but not too sticky you can't work with it. Lightly flour your hands and knead dough just a few times to shape it into a ball being careful to not overwork/over-handle the dough. In the same bowl you used for mixing, drizzle a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bowl. Rub oil on the bottom of the bowl and slightly up the sides. Add the dough ball back into the bowl and turn the dough to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let rest for about 15-20 minutes. We don't need the dough to rise, just the gluten to relax!
  • PREPARE FOR FRYING: Add 1 inch of oil to a large cast iron pot and heat to 350 degrees F. Divide the rested dough into 8 equal portions (cut the ball of dough in half then half again to get 4 large triangle pieces. Cut each triangle into 2 pieces to get 8 equal triangles). Lightly flour your hands and work with one piece of dough at a time (keep the rest of the dough portions covered). Holding the piece of dough with your hands gently work the dough into a circle pressing it out with your fingers (don't roll out the dough with a rolling pin or flatten on the table). The dough should make a thin 5 to 6-inch circle and doesn't need to look pretty -- it's supposed to be rustic looking!). The thinner the pieces, the better, keep working the dough outwards being careful to not rip it.
  • FRY: Gently drop only one piece of dough at a time in fully heated oil. Fry about 30 seconds up to 1 minute per side (if not using cast iron pot, it will be longer -- fry pieces to a deep golden brown color) flipping the dough with 2 forks (or tongs) halfway in between. Use a large slotted spoon (or tongs) to remove dough onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat to fry remaining dough.
  • FINISH: Right out of the fryer enjoy the scones! Either dredge all sides in a blend of 1/2 cup white sugar with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar or top with butter, honey butter, honey, jam, syrup, berries powdered sugar, etc. Best enjoyed hot!
  • STORAGE: Like most fried foods, scones are the absolute best right out of the fryer! I don't recommend frying ahead of time, but the dough can be prepared ahead of time.
    Make Ahead: Cover the dough tightly and place in the fridge. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. When ready to fry, remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before frying.
    Keep It Warm: Add an oven-safe cooling rack to the top of a sheet pan. Place fry bread pieces straight from fryer onto cooling rack in a single layer. Place sheet pan in a 200 degree F heated oven until the rest are fried. 
    Store: Store scones (before topping with butter/honey/etc.) loosely wrapped with plastic wrap for 1-2 days. Texture and flavor does suffer the longer the scones have been out of the fryer for.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Frying Equipment Options:
      1. Use a deep fryer
      2. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you’ll want a heavy bottomed deep pot (I recommend using a large (5 quart) cast iron pot) and thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil and ensure it maintains the right heat throughout frying. We want to ensure the temperature stays consistent and doesn’t get too hot (or too cool) which will affect how the bread fries. If you don't have access to a thermometer, try this trick: add a wooden spoon handle in the hot oil. When bubbles gather around the stick, the oil is ready to fry.
Note 2: Test Milk Temperature: Drizzle a few drops of the warmed milk onto the inside of your wrist. If it is warm and comfy it will be perfect for the yeast. If it feels hot, it will be too hot for the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will simply remain dormant.
Note 3: Calories do not include toppings just the fry bread, as toppings may vary.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.7g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 8.2mg | Sodium: 16.4mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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