Saturday Snacks: Let’s Bake Grand Floridian Resort’s Classic Scones!


Can I just say how very lovely it was to meet so many Saturday Snacks readers at this week’s DIS Family Reunion? Thank you so much for stopping me and saying hi. Whether we had the chance to meet in person at the reunion or not, the fact that you would take time out of your weekend to read anything that I might have to say is an honor. Your time is precious, and I am so thankful for you.

We all have our coping mechanisms, don’t we? You know, those go to tried-and-true things that we turn to when days aren’t so lovely or weeks stretch on into seeming eternities. For me, one of my biggest coping mechanisms when dealing with a rough week is to make Saturday morning scones.

I learned how to make scones a hundred years ago from a friend of mine who had the recipe handed down to her from her mother. It’s a simple and fantastic recipe, and although my friend stops and rolls out the dough and cuts her scones into perfect petite triangles, I choose to skip the rolling out step and simply drop the dough in massive heaps on a baking sheet. I know it sounds like a mess, but it’s really not, trust me. What I end up with are two glorious scones bigger than the palm of your hand. Friends, it’s one of my greatest joys to sit down with one of those freshly baked scones and a fresh jar of lemon curd on a Saturday morning and go to town. The more lemon curd, the better. When I know I’ve got Saturday morning scones coming, the rest of the week is just a bit brighter.

It’s with this in mind that we turn to an equally tried-and-true Disney recipe for today’s Saturday Snacks installment: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa’s Classic Scones. The recipe originally comes from the Garden View Lounge, which has now transformed into the Garden View Tea Room and is now the location (when the tea is being offered) for the resort’s afternoon teas. I’ve never had tea at the Grand Floridian, and I’m hopeful that the event will return at some point soon, but in the meantime, making their scones at home will just have to do. And spoiler alert: these scones do in fact meet the Saturday morning scones need.

I had my very first scone at a hotel just outside of Shannon, Ireland when I was a senior in high school. Thanks to my parents, I had the opportunity to visit Ireland and London during Spring Break that year with our county’s theater department. My first scone was tasted on our first morning of the trip. I was a bit out of sorts after the long flight and the immediate start to sightseeing that happened immediately after that long flight. We had a beautiful breakfast laid out in front of us, during which I learned that bacon is very different in Europe and that scones are somewhat strange little things that aren’t necessarily sweet even though they appear as though they should be. After my first bite, I didn’t quite know what this thing was in my hand. Was it supposed to be savory? Or sweet? What exactly is it and why doesn’t it taste like anything in particular?

Fast forward years and years and years and I am now someone who turns to my scones recipe on the regular. Unlike the scones that I had so many years ago, I enjoy putting all sorts of dried fruit into the ones that I whip up in my kitchen. My go-to dried fruit are cranberries, but I’ve also used all sorts of others like dried pineapple, chunks of dried apricot, chunks of dried whatever you name it; I’ve thrown them all into my scones. The very first batch of scones I ever made was for a friend’s birthday, and I decided to make them using raisins. They turned out so beautifully, and I was so happy that I was actually able to make these little things and enjoy them greatly.

The Grand Floridian’s recipe has us using raisins, but not of the garden variety, of the golden variety. So, you want to make sure to pick up a box of golden raisins on your next trip to the store. Other than that, the ingredients consist of kitchen staples that you and I likely have hanging out in the dark recesses of our pantry or refrigerator. And thankfully, this recipe is super simple and uses just nine different ingredients. If we’re gonna make scones from scratch on a weekend morning, let’s make sure that the recipe’s simple, right? Right.

Our first step is to preheat the oven to 425°F. We’ll be giving our stand mixer a rest this weekend, and will instead need to pull out the largest bowl we’ve got in the cabinet. I grabbed my favorite glass bowl and tossed in 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons of baking powder, a half cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

A quick note: scones just aren’t very sweet. Of course, the dried fruit that you and I may choose to use will help in the matter, as will that half cup of sugar that we just tossed into our bowls. The recipe includes a cook’s note regarding something that I have always done with my scones: adding more sugar. More is more, after all. The note let us know that we can sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the scones before popping them into the oven to sweeten things up just a bit. I’ve always done that, and not only does it give the scones added sweetness, it also gives them just a bit of added texture.

The recipe asks for us to sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in our mixing bowl. As I normally do, instead of taking the time to laboriously sift 4 cups of flour and other dry ingredients, I grabbed my handy-dandy whisk out of the drawer and gave everything in that bowl a very thorough whisking. This does the job in breaking down the ingredients and making sure that everything is combined perfectly. Are the end results as light and fine as when sifting the ingredients? Not necessarily. But in my book, the time saved is worth it. And the end results are just beautiful. But you do you. If you want to sift everything, go for it.

We now get to play with our food and work 2 tablespoons of margarine and 2 tablespoons of shortening into the flour with our fingertips (or the end of a whisk or a pastry cutter) until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, or “coarse meal,” as the recipes puts it.

Our next step is to beat 3 eggs and combine them with a cup and a quarter of milk in a separate bowl. The type of milk isn’t specified, and since I still had some whole milk on hand from last week’s Tres Leches Cake, I decided to use a combination of 2% and whole milk. I figured the little bit of extra fat might help things just a bit. That being said, I usually just have 2% or skim on hand, so without that whole milk, the scones would’ve still been great.

Once the milk and eggs were combined, I stirred them into the flour mixture in the large bowl. I know that I had to be careful at this point because my tendency is to overwork dough. Once things came together, I made the conscious decision to stop stirring. It was a little unsettling, however, because at this point the dough is also still fairly lumpy. But I stopped stirring, and I was glad that I did so.

Our next step is to fold in one cup of golden raisins. And, if you’re a Schitt’s Creek fan, this is definitely the time to say “Fold in the raisins, David!” I poured in the cup of raisins and chuckled to myself as I thought of Moira and David and all the trouble they had folding in the cheese.

Just in case you don’t know how to fold in an ingredient, it’s fairly simple: simply turn the spoon and keep turning the spoon through the dough until those raisins are worked in. If you and I overwork the dough, the end result will be scones that are as hard as rocks. So, it’s important just to simply scoop to the bottom, lift the spoon, flip the spoon over, and move that clump to the bottom, scoop up more, and repeat. I hope that makes sense. Fold in the raisins, friends.

It was at this point that I realized that the dough sitting in my bowl was possibly the stickiest dough I had ever experienced in my entire life. The recipe now asks for us to roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Many apologies to the bakery team at the Grand Floridian, but I completely disagree. That surface needs to be floured, but not in a light fashion. I started with a lightly floured surface and then turned the dough out onto the counter, and as you would imagine, the dough stuck.

I decided to back up and apply more flour to the counter and to all surfaces of the dough, and then began again to roll it out. Of course, it stuck to my rolling pin as well, so I generously floured that, too. Yes, the end result will produce scones with a little bit of flour on the outside, but it’ll also produce scones rather than raw dough stuck like glue to your counter. So you decide.

We’re now asked to grab a 2-inch round cutter and cut out 40 scones from the dough that we’ve rolled out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Unfortunately, I was short one 2-inch round cutter. And there was nary a cookie cutter to be found at my Target, so I resorted to thinking through what in my kitchen could suffice. Thankfully, I had a small Orange Bird 2020 Flower and Garden Festival glass sitting in my cabinet that rang in at 2 1/2 inches across. Yes, it would be bigger than the 2 inches called for in the recipe, but it would have to do. Orange Bird to the rescue.

I quickly found when trying to cut the dough with my Orange Bird glass that I needed to also flour the glass or the dough would not pull away, so if you’re using a cookie cutter or a glass from your cabinet, just make sure to flour it before cutting out each scone. It makes an immense difference.

Keep cutting out the scones and re-rolling the dough until you’ve gotten as many as you can out of the dough. While the recipe said that I should get 40 2-inch scones, it makes sense that I got 28 2 1/2 inch scones. I definitely wouldn’t mind the slightly larger scones, and I definitely wasn’t worried about having 12 less than what was called for in the recipe. It was going to be a win-win. I just knew it.

I gently transferred each scone (and I say gently because they wanted to get out of shape and stick when I tried to move them) to a baking sheet that I had lined with parchment paper. I noticed when I read the fine print on the parchment paper box that the paper is only good for up to 420°, but I decided to take my chances on those extra 5 degrees and everything turned out just fine. But it’s good to mention just in case. Ahem.

I placed my baking sheet into the oven, and while the recipe says that the scones should bake for 12 to 15 minutes (or until light brown), I did as I’ve been doing recently and set the timer just a little bit shy of the minimum suggested time. I set the timer for 11 minutes, and walked away from the oven.

When the timer sounded, I opened the oven door to see perfectly baked little scones waiting for me. The scones had popped up just like you would want them to. The golden raisins had caramelized beautifully. It was a sight to behold.

The recipe asks us to serve them at once with Devonshire cream or butter and jam. Devonshire cream, while just fine, isn’t something that I keep on hand at all times. Butter and jam? Yes. But even those aren’t my go-to for scones. It’s lemon curd or bust, baby.

I pulled the finished scones off of the baking sheet and replaced them with the next round of dough and popped them into the oven. And while they were baking, I gobbled up my first scone smothered in lemon curd.

I did try one without the lemon curd, and it was so good. You could taste the sugar shining through the scone. The golden raisins were lovely, and will be something that I turn to in the future when I’m making my Saturday morning scones.

While I normally gravitate toward the ginormous variety of scones, these smaller, more petite scones definitely were just lovely to look at and lovely to eat. If you have a gathering or a shower or an outing to go to in the future, these scones would be a delightful addition. Pick up a jar of lemon curd or your favorite jam, and your friends will love you.

Speaking of jam, I also pulled the leftover apricot jam from Ohana’s Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Bread out of the refrigerator and slathered it onto a scone. As I’m sure you can imagine, it was delicious.

The scones, paired with your favorite cup of tea (Irish Breakfast tea for me, please) would be the perfect way to begin your weekend with a little Disney magic. As I have discovered time and again, the bakery team at the Grand Floridian knows what they’re doing. And we get to reap the benefits.

Please let me know if you decide to give the Classic Scones a whirl. I’d love to hear how it goes, and what you thought of the process and the end result!

I hope that your weekend is filled with all of your favorites. And possibly a little rest, a sprinkling of adventure, and a TON of magic. Thank you so much for reading!

Ps. If you’re new to Saturday Snacks and you’d like to get caught up on all of our Disney snack adventures thus far, click here to check things out.

Ready to make the Grand Floridian’s Classic Scones? The recipe is below:

Grand Floridian’s Classic Scones

Makes 40 (2-inch) scones

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Work the margarine and shortening into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Combine the beaten eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Stir it into the flour mixture just until the dough comes together. Fold in the raisins.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. With a 2-inch round cutter, cut out 40 scones and transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are light brown. Serve at once with Devonshire cream or butter and jam.
  5. Cook’s note: for a sweeter treat, sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the scones before baking.