Treacle Scones

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Granny’s long-awaited and ever-popular recipe for Scotland’s favourite tea time treat… the freshly baked Treacle Scone!

Treacle Scones from Baking with Granny. Traditional Scottish recipe for delicious easy scones.
Treacle Scones from Baking with Granny. Easy to make authentic Scottish scones.

I truly believe there’s a scone for everyone!

Growing up, I was only ever a fan of Plain Scones. These days I’m first in line whenever there’s a Cherry Scone on offer. And I will always devour a Cheese Scone, especially when it’s cold & dreich outside.

Treacle Scones aren’t ones I have delved into that much though. However they are a favourite of Granny’s and one I am often asked about a recipe for. Good old fashioned treacle scones! Renowned as another classic Scottish bake.

I feel like treacle scones vary a little from other scones. Although they are made in the same way, with appearance and texture also being pretty much the same, it’s the flavour in treacle scones that sets them apart.

The warming spices, combined with that unmatchable treacle flavour. Perfect with a slathering of butter, and served with a cuppa. You might think they are more somewhat autumnal or winter flavoured treat, but here in Scotland that means we can enjoy them in the peak of our cold rainy summers too!

Treacle Scones recipe from Scotland. Simple to make, with store cupboard ingredients.

What is treacle?

Similar to golden syrup, treacle is a by-product from the process of refining sugar. It is a similar texture to golden syrup, although usually slightly thicker. Treacle is dark in colour with a strong, sweet & somewhat bitter taste. 

What is the difference between treacle and molasses?

Treacle and molasses are very similar, and both occur as part of the sugar refining process. The main difference between the two is that molasses are boiled down for longer than treacle, so it becomes thicker, darker and less-sweet.

Generally you can swap treacle for molasses, if you cannot get your hands on treacle (and vice-versa) but the degrees of sweetness and consistency of dough may vary as a result.

Our treacle scone recipe is made with treacle in mind, so we would always recommend trying to get your hands on some proper treacle of treacle scones, if you can.

How to make treacle scones?

In theory, treacle scones are incredibly easy to make. You start by mixing your treacle, sugar, and milk together, before setting aside to prepare the dry ingredients. You then sift your flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice & ground ginger into a large bowl. Next, you rub in the butter with your finger tips. Finally, you add the treacly liquid before gently mixing all the ingredients together to create a soft, sticky dough.

You’ll then take your dough and flatten it out on a well-floured worksurface, before cutting your scones to your desired size. Next you pop them onto a baking sheet, before brushing with a little milk and bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Like I say, “easy” in theory. But scones can take a bit of practice to master. Take a look at Granny’s Top Tips below for all our secrets to make the perfect treacle scones.

Easy traditional Treacle Scones recipe from Baking with Granny.


Self-raising Flour
Scones are generally quite dense in texture but there are a few elements in the ingredients that help prevent them from being like biting into a rock. One of those is the raising agents. Self-raising flour already has a raising agent incorporated…as the name would suggest.

Baking Powder
As well as the raising agent in the flour, baking powder adds a bit of lift to Scottish treacle scones. Baking powder is a convenient choice as it is a ready-mixed leavening agent, generally made of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar (usually some cornflour too). In fact, our Fruit Scone Recipe simply uses a combination of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar, as opposed to baking powder.

Mixed Spice and Ground Ginger
The flavour combo of choice.

It should come as no surprise that homemade treacle scones do in fact contain treacle!

Not able to get your hands on treacle? Molasses can be used as a substitute, but despite being very similar, it would give exactly the same results. Try and get your hands on a tin of treacle first.

Light Brown Sugar
Unlike Plain Scones and Blueberry Scones that use Caster sugar, Treacle Scones call for some light brown sugar, which compliments the treacle and spices perfectly.

In a pinch you could use caster sugar but your scones will be sweeter. Or if you prefer a richer flavour, dark brown sugar is an option too.

Margarine or Butter
In terms of flavour, butter is always king when it comes to baking scones. However, when it comes to texture, a decent block margarine can be just as good.

You want your butter/margarine to be cold though, as this will allow you to crumble it into the flour & sugar without it turning to mush; instead you want it to make a sand-like consistency. It is these little “grains” of buttery sand that will melt during baking, leaving a beautiful air-pocketed texture within your scones.

The liquid that brings it all together. You can use whichever milk you prefer, but a full-fat milk produces the richest scones. Dairy-alternative milks also work great in scones, with soya being my personal favourite.

Treacle Scones recipe from Baking with Granny, with steps on how to make the perfect treacle scones.

Granny's Top Tips

• For perfect treacle scones you want cold ingredients and a hot oven. Use margarine/butter that is straight from the fridge, and ensure you fully pre-heat your oven.

• Many treacle scone recipes will advise you to warm your wet ingredients first. Granny advises against this; partly because it’s not necessary – simply mixing your treacle well with the milk will allow them to combine. But it also goes against the cold ingredients/hot oven concept, which helps you achieve perfect treacle scones.

• Try to get as much air into your dough by sifting the dry ingredients from a bit of height and raising your fingers as you rub in the butter.

• Scottish treacle scones require a soft touch, so don’t be too rough with your mixing and kneading. Less is more.

• Put down the rolling pin! Simply stretch out your dough with your hands. And always leave it a little thicker than you think you should.

• When you cut your scones from the dough DO NOT twist your cookie cutter. This will twist the edges of the dough and prevent them from rising as well. And by doing so, you will make Granny want to cry.

• Always leave your scones to rest before baking. This lets the gluten in the flour rest & calm down a little. 10 minutes is ideal but if you can do longer, even better. I’ll usually take this time to wash my dishes.

• A beaten egg gives the best colour to scones when brushed on top, but milk is my personal preference. Just be careful that you don’t let it run down the sides of your scones or it could effect the doughs ability to rise.

Treacle Scone recipe from Baking with Granny. Easy, traditional scone recipe from Scotland.
Treacle Scones from Baking with Granny. Traditional Scottish recipe for delicious easy scones.

Treacle Scones

Traditional recipe for homemade Scottish Treacle Scones.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Scottish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12



  • Pre-heat your oven to 220°c (200°c for fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 7). Grease two baking sheets with a little butter and set aside.
  • Measure your milk into a jug, before adding the sugar and treacle. Mix together with a fork/whisk, until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients have combined - this may take a few minutes of mixing. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, mixed spice and ground ginger into a large bowl, holding the sift up to allow some air into them.
  • Using the tips of your fingers, rub in the margarine/butter to the dry ingredients, again lifting as you do to allow air in. Continue until you have a sandy consistency.
  • Create a well in the middle. Pour in the milk/treacle mixture. Using a wooden spoon, gently bring the ingredients together to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured work surface and gently knead together, before stretching the dough to about 2-3cm thickness.
  • Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut your scones out and place them onto your pre-greased baking sheets. The smaller your cutter the more scones you will get. Reform and stretch the dough as required to use all of the dough.
  • Leave your scones to rest on the tray for about 10 minutes before brushing the tops with some extra milk.
  • Bake in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. If you are making smaller scones, keep a close eye on them as you may need to reduce the baking time to suit. If bigger you may need to give them slightly longer.
  • Once cool enough to touch, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy whilst still warm.


  • For full ingredient explanations, including substitutions, please see the Ingredients information above.
  • For all our tips in achieving fool-proof scones, please see Granny's Top Tips above.
  • Treacle scones are best enjoyed on the day you bake them, but they can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days - you may want to warm/toast them a little before eating.
  • Treacle scones can be frozen. Simply wait until the are completely cool, before placing them into a freezer bag. Remove one scone at a time (or as many as required per serving) and let them thaw out before eating. You can then warm/toast too, if you want.
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Free-from & Vegan

Nut-free: There are no nuts used in this Treacle Scone recipe but, as always, be sure to double check your individual ingredients allergens list.

Dairy-free: To make this a dairy-free Treacle Scones recipe, simply use a dairy-free milk & margarine.

Vegan: As there is no egg in this scone recipe, simply follow the dairy-free tips above to make these a Vegan Treacle Scones recipe. The scones pictured are actually vegan, made with dairy-free margarine and soya milk.

N.B. Any advice or suggestions to make recipes “free-from” or vegan are purely that – suggestions. Please be careful to double check all ingredients individually, taking extra caution when serving to those with allergies & intolerances.

Treacle Scones recipe from Baking with Granny. Traditional Scottish recipe for treacle scones.
Treacle Scones recipe from Baking with Granny. Easy recipe from Scotland for authentic treacle scones.

One Response

  1. I don’t know whether you can help me. I’m from Germany and can not buy treacle here. Maybe I can substitute it with ‘Zuckerrübensirup’? It tastes sweet with a little bit of bitterness.

    Am I right that golden syrup is no good substitute for treacle? I can’t buy it here neither but found a recipe to make it at home.
    Does it make sense to mix golden syrup with Zuckerrübensirup?

    Thank you in advance and thank you very much for your wonderful recipes!

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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