Wednesday 1 August 2012

Chai Tea and Raisin Scones

A while back, Happy Housewife inspired me to make Bara Brith, a Welsh tea cake in which the fruit is soaked in tea before being mixed into the batter.  It was delicious!  That recipe, and the dietary requirements of a friend who is allergic to milk, inspired me to make these scones.

Often, when I'm looking for a starting point for making breads or quick breads, I look to my dog-eared copy of the Sunset Cook Book of Breads.  I love that book.  I baked my first-ever loaf of bread from one of its recipes, and have tested most of the rest of them in the decades since.  They're all good, so it was to my Sunset book that I looked when making this new scone.

Tea is acidic so I reasoned that it would work well as a substitute for buttermilk. I like the spices in chai tea, especially when paired with fruit, so I decided to use chai tea and raisins for these scones.  I substituted a dairy-free soy based margarine for the butter called for in the recipe.

The scones turned out so well that I ended up making a second batch later in the week, at my husband's request.  I used butter in the second batch - the batch I used for my photos here.

To make Chai Tea and Raisin Scones, you'll need:

  • About 2 cups of very strong Chai tea, steeped in boiling water, without milk     (I used 3 tea bags in 2 cups of water and steeped it until it was very strong)
  • 1 cup raisins 
  • 3 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg white beaten with a little cold water just until frothy or a little milk, for brushing on top of the scones
  • sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones (I used coarse raw sugar crystals but regular granulated sugar will work fine too.)

Begin by steeping your tea, and measuring your raisins out into a heat proof container.

Once the tea has steeped pour it over the raisins, to cover.  Let the raisins soak until the they've cooled to room temperature.

When the raisins have cooled, drain them through a sieve, reserving the drained tea for use in your scones.

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

Add the butter and work it into the flour by rubbing it between your fingers so that it breaks into flat pieces about the size and shape of cornflakes.

Add in the drained raisins and toss them through the flour mixture so that they're lightly coated.

Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture.  

Measure 1 cup of the cooled tea and pour it into the well.  

Mix the tea through the flour mixture, first with a spoon and then with your hands, kneading the dough until it holds together.

Pat or roll the dough into a square about an inch thick.  Cut it into individual scones and transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the scones with either beaten egg white or milk and then sprinkle them with sugar.  Be generous.  The sugar will add a nice crunchy texture to the top of the scones.

Bake the scones at 400F until cooked through and lightly browned.  This took 18 minutes in my oven.

Serve the scones while they're still hot, with butter.

Leftovers can be cooled and stored in an airtight container but should be reheated before serving.


This recipe is adapted from the Buttermilk Scone recipe on page 89 of the Sunset Cook Book of Breads, published Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1981

This recipe is linked to Gallery of Favorites hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife, FoodTastic Friday hosted by Not Your Ordinary Recipes, The Pity Party hosted by Thirty Hand Made Days, to Foodie Friends Friday hosted by Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom, Robyn's View,  Angie at A lil Country Sugar,  Michelle at From Calculus to CupcakesMarlys at This and ThatLois at  Walking on SunshineLindsey at Family Food FindsCindy at Cindys Recipes and WritingsKeira at Luscious DelightsTami at Food ForaysR DawnAmberErika, and Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink, to Saturday Link and Greet at Country Momma Cooks, to Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sister's Stuff, to Weekend Potluck hosted by Sunflower Supper Club, to Think Pink Sunday hosted by Flamingo Toes, to Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, to Makin' You Crave Monday hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, to Craft-O-Maniac Monday hosted by Craft-O-Maniac, to Busy Monday hosted by A Pinch of Joy, to Manic Monday hosted by Bobbi's Cozy Kitchen, to Mix it Up Monday hosted by Flour Me With Love, to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Mama Chocolate, Full Time Mama, and Coping with Frugality, to the Tuesday To Do Party hosted by The Blackberry Vine, to Tip Me Tuesday hosted by Tip Junkie, to Watcha Whipped Up Wednesday hosted by DJ's Sugar Shack, to Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind The Curtain, to Look What I Made hosted by Creations by Kara, to Wonderful Wednesday hosted by Printabelle, to Thursday's Treasures hosted by Recipes for My Boys, to Tastetastic Thursday hosted by A Little Nosh,  and to Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

Gallery of Favorites  
  Thirty Handmade Days

  Country Momma Cooks    

 Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button   Mrs Happy Homemaker

Mixitup   Full Time Mama   Tuesday To Do Party

Tip Junkie handmade projects  

Cast Party Wednesday   Creations by Kara

   A LIttle Nosh   Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


Angie's Recipes said...

These scones look delectable. A perfect breakfast.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Angie. I'm glad you like the recipe.

Anonymous said...

All I had to read was scones and I was IN! I love scones any kind. My mum makes the best scones I've ever tasted but I'm going to try this .. smothered in cream... mmmm

Aunt B said...

Thanks Mr CBB. Enjoy! :)

Unknown said...


Aunt B said...

Thank you Courtney and thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe.

Unknown said...

Love Chai tea so I am positive that I would love this recipe... Thanks for sharing @ Foodie Friends Friday and also love the way that you have all the hosts names linked ~thanks for that... Just realized that I wasn't following your blog... Well I am now! ~~ Marlys

Aunt B said...

I enjoy Chai tea too Marlys, it's a lovely combination of spices. :)

Thanks for hosting. It's my pleasure to link the names. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipes.

I'm following you too, both on blogger and on FB. I always enjoy finding interesting new material to read, and recipes to cook.

Ericka Breedlove said...

This sounds like a great recipe! I love the idea of Chai Tea in a scone! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the idea Ericka. :) Thanks for hosting. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipe.

Kim (Sunflower Supper Club) said...

Aunt B these look so delicious! My 16 year old daughter loves Chai tea and can't wait for me to make them. I'm pinning and can't wait to try them. Thanks so much for sharing at the Weekend Potluck. Have a terrific week!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad that you and your daughter like the recipe Kim. Thanks for pinning it forward, and for hosting the potluck. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipe.

Jeannie said...

Looks wonderful! I love the sugar coating on the top!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like them Jeannie. Thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe.

Winelady Cooks said...

These look so good. I like making scones especially when the weather gets a little cooler. I'll be making these as soon as there's a chill in the air.

Thanks so much for sharing,

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the recipe Joanne. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Printabelle said...

My daughter and I love chai, too, and these look marvelous. I think I have that sunset cookbook and it is really good! Thanks for linking up!

Aunt B said...

Thanks for hosting, and for stopping by to check out the recipe. :)

Kaz @ Melting Moments said...

oh these flavours sound yummy!

Aunt B said...

Thanks. I'm glad you like them. Thanks for dropping in to check out the recipe.

Becky McNeer said...

There would be no leftovers in my house! These look great. THanks for linking to Foodtastic Friday!

Deana said...

Looks yummy........Thanks for linking up @ CountryMommaCooks link and greet party.....hope to see you again tomorrow : )

Aunt B said...

They didn't last long at our house either. :) Thanks for hosting. Great links this time.

Aunt B said...

Thanks for hosting, and for stopping by to check out the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Those look delicious!! :-)
(I came here from the Delicious Dish Tuesday link)

Thanks for sharing!


Aunt B said...

Thanks for stopping by Bonnie. I'm glad you like the recipe. I love that crab dip you posted. I've pinned it and I'm now following you on FB.

Love Bakes Good Cakes said...

I've only made scones once - they were so good - I don't know why I haven't made them again. I pinned these to try :)

Kim (Sunflower Supper Club) said...

Good Morning Aunt B! Just wanted to pop in and let you know I picked these as my personal favorite from last weeks Weekend Potluck. We are making them this weekend! Thanks for linking up, and I can't wait to see what you bring this week! Have a great weekend!

Diane Balch said...

Baking with tea I love it... probably a little safer that baking with Sherry especially in the afternoon. It would be wonderful if you would share this recipe on foodie friday today.

Aunt B said...

Thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe Jamie, and for pinning it forwarrd.

Aunt B said...

That's a wonderful compliment Kim! Thank you. And thanks for hosting. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipes.

Miz Helen said...

I just pinned your great recipe, thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Miz Helen

Aunt B said...

Grinning now Diane. Thanks for the chuckle. :)

I'll pop by and link up later today. Thanks for the invitation.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Miz Helen! I appreciate you sharing my recipe forward. :)

Thanks for hosting too. I saw some great recipes at this week's party.

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

Your scones sound like a real treat! I love the idea of the Chai Tea flavour with the raisins.

Aunt B said...

Thanks April. I'm glad you like the recipe. :)

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

WOW! This looks fun and so so so good! Sure wish I had some of these to try right now!
Another fantastic share! Thanks so much!

Aunt B said...

Thanks Alesha. I'm glad you like them. :) I'm looking forward to checking out the links at this week's party.