I have many memories of my mother’s cooking from my childhood, and I still make many of the recipes she cooked for me; Grandma’s spaghetti, Risotto Milanese, self-saucing chocolate pudding and one of my all-time favourite comfort foods, ‘Italian Stew’, a recipe someone gave her that came off the back of a tomato puree can involving beef strips, onions, capsicum, tomato puree, egg fettuccini and about half a packet of tasty cheese. Heaven.

However, memories of my father cooking when I was a child are few and far between. I remember him standing over his home-made barbie in front of the veggie patch, searing sausages and steaks while my mum prepped the classics- potato salad with mayo and hard-boiled eggs, ‘normal’ salad of lettuce, tomato, carrot and tasty cheese, and my least favourite, cold curried rice, with those dreaded sultanas.

The only other thing I remember my Dad making was scones. Or should I say, his version of scones, which is pretty much damper. The ingredients are self-raising flour, water, or sometimes milk if he’s feeling particularly decadent, and sultanas, which he mixes into a dough, shapes into a mound, bakes, slices and serves piping hot with margarine and honey.

My Dad’s not fussy when it comes to food and is most certainly the source of my practical streak, but even I can’t bring myself to simplify the recipe this much. Sure, his method cuts out most of the work and most of the ingredients that make up the scone but I’m sorry to say, it also cuts out most of the flavour. Might be ok for a jolly swagman but it ain’t gonna cut it for me.

Scones are somewhat fiddly, with the rubbing of butter into flour and the stickiness of dough. That kind of stuff is best avoided in my opinion, so I think my Dad’s on the right track. Grandpa’s scones are a delicious compromise. I only tasted them once, when I was 12 or 13, but I remember them fresh and hot from the oven, firm on the outside, rich and fluffy on the inside. It was a delightful surprise as I never knew Grandpa could cook. We slathered the scones with butter and jam. ‘They’re lemonade scones,’ he said. ‘Really easy.’

A few years ago I came across a lemonade scones recipe on Exclusively Food which is a great resource for basic Aussie recipes. This soon became my go-to scone recipe. It consists of only three ingredients (not counting the optional egg wash): self-raising flour, lemonade and cream. The cream fulfils the role usually played by butter and milk, the lemonade tops up the liquid, acts as a sweetener and the bubbles also help the scones rise.

I always judge recipes in terms of the ratio of effort over results, and the results here are truly worth it. The scones come out of the oven beautifully flakey inside, they rise beautifully and have a lovely golden crust. I would love to experiment with other soft drinks- ginger beer and date scones would be pretty tasty. But I can’t go past this recipe so I’ve never gotten around to it.

Lemonade Scones (from Exclusively Food)
325g (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) of self-raising flour
2/3 cup cold lemonade (I’ve also used lemon squash. It really makes no difference)
2/3 cup full fat cream, cold. I used pure cream as it was on special but you could also use thickened cream.
A beaten egg or milk to glaze, if desired.

Preheat oven to 225°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. The oven must be very hot as scones have a very short cooking time.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour to remove any lumps. Combine lemonade and cream in a medium bowl or jug.

Pour lemonade and cream mixture in to flour and gently stir ingredients together. Be careful not to over mix as the scones need to be light. The dough will be quite sticky and elastic.

Place dough on a lightly floured bench and split in half. Continue halving the dough until you have 16 even portions (I got 15, one was a bit of a runt so I broke it up and added it to the other smaller ones). You may need to heavily flour your hands to do this. Quickly form the portions into balls.

Place the scones in the centre of the tray, so they are just touching. Glaze if desired. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Serve immediately, don’t wait!

What’s your favourite family recipe?

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12 Responses to Lemonade Scones and family recipes

  1. Gaby says:

    Wow, those scones look too good to have only three ingredients, one of them being a soft drink!
    Gaby recently posted…Review- Cafe Newtown

    • Lau says:

      Cheers! I cannot emphasise how easy these are. They’re also really good when you have guests stay over and you wake up and want to make breakfast, but can’t really be bothered.

  2. Melissa Daisley says:


  3. zomg only 3 ingredients??? thats brilliant i love recipes that arent too complicated and dont need heaps of stuff!
    chocolatesuze recently posted…March Into Merivale Launch 2011 7

  4. Mama Kelly aka Jia says:

    These look wonderful!!! And so simple to prepare!!
    Mama Kelly aka Jia recently posted…Red Beef Curry

  5. Kat says:

    Not my favourite recipe but this post just made me think of something funny that happened this week.

    We used to make Pelmeni (which are most easily described as Russian dumplings. It was a whole day team process.

    I discovered them for sale in the frozen food aisle of an IGA this week.

  6. Natalie says:

    I’ve never heard of putting lemonade in scones but I want to try it now, it makes sense!! Ginger beer & date sounds amazing too. What about Fanta orange & cranberries?!!
    Natalie recently posted…Brilliant Green Broccoli Soup

    • Lau says:

      You pretty much can’t go wrong with any soft drink flavour. It gets so diluted by the flour that mistakes are pretty much impossible. That’s the great thing about it.

  7. Candy says:

    This is the most interesting recipe I’ve seen in a while. I can’t wait to try it!

    Thanks for sharing the memories and the recipe.
    Candy recently posted…Cookbook Review – Mary Macs Tea Room- 65 Years of Recipes from Atlantas Favorite Dining Room

  8. Liz says:

    My grandpa makes lemonade scones as well!! He’s 93, and he’s always baked and cooked little simple things for us to eat when we visit (chocolate mousse and lamingtons are among them… he fervently believes in at least a 2 course dinner). When I moved out of home he gave me his lemonade scone recipe… I’ll have to track it down!!

  9. iec3 says:

    Thanks for this recipe. We are a class of students learning English. There are 20 of us. We’re cooking for the whole English Centre tomorrow. Will let you know how we go.
    Bye IEC3 students
    Aranmore Catholic College

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