Easy Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe (Copycat Panera)
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This Easy Cinnamon Chip Scone Recipe is a spot on Panera copycat! Cinnamon chip scones are sweet treats that are buttery, flaky, filled with tantalizing bursts of cinnamon chips right in the batter. Bake your family happy!
Never has a scone been so moist and tender on the inside with a perfectly crisp and crumbly outside. Dare we say they are better than Panera Bread or Starbuck’s cinnamon chip scone?
Looking for more cinnamon breakfast ideas to start the day? Check out my Gluten-Free Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake, Cinnamon Crunch Scones, Overnight Cinnamon Crunch French Toast, or this irresistible Gooey Cinnamon Roll recipe!
And if you are here, you are a scone lover like me: try my Maple Pumpkin Scones and these Panera Orange Scones (ah-mazing!)
Why You Will Love this Cinnamon Chip Scone Recipe
- Packed with Flavor | These delicious scones are packed with rich cinnamon and buttery flavors, ideal to serve with a hot cup of coffee.
- Quick Breakfast | Serve warm right out of the oven or store and heat for a quick and easy breakfast on the go.
- BIG Money-Saver | Perhaps you love the scones at your favorite coffee shop or café. However, the price makes you hesitate whenever you consider treating yourself to one. Problem solved—Make them at home for a fraction of the cost!
- First Time Scone Baker? I’ve got you, in no time, you will become a scone expert!
Simple Ingredients for Cinnamon Scones (Panera Recipe)
Ingredients, directions and nutritional information in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
- Flour | I use organic unbleached all-purpose flour in all my baking. While you don’t have to use organic, I would suggest unbleached AP flour.
- Brown sugar | Brown sugar adds a bit of a caramel flavor and compliments the cinnamon so well. Replace brown sugar with granulated sugar, if desired. I tend to make my scones not overly sweet, if desired, add a touch more sugar, but don’t overdo it.
- Baking powder | Baking powder is the leavening agent that helps the scones rise and have a flaky texture.
- Cinnamon | Cinnamon lends a warm holiday spice.
- Salt | Sprinkle in a pinch of salt to enhance the sweeter notes in this recipe.
- Butter | It is important to use REAL butter for this scone recipe. I have found in pastries that Irish butter or European-style butter with higher fat content works best for a more tender, lighter scone. If you can afford it, go for it. For easier scones, grate the butter using a cheese grater. Salted butter is what I typically have on hand, if using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt to the recipe.
- Heavy cream | Heavy cream brings a tenderness to the texture of the scones. While milk or half and half still work, you’ll have drier results, you can also replace with 1/2 cup buttermilk for a more tangy flavor.
- Egg | Adding eggs to the scone dough makes for a richer taste and fluffy texture. The eggs may also be used for the optional egg wash that gives the scones a glossy finish.
- Vanilla Extract | Deepen the flavor of your scones with a dash of creamy vanilla extract.
- Cinnamon chips | For this recipe, cinnamon chips are optional. Delicious cinnamon chips melt like chocolate chips and add little bursts of cinnamon flavor. You typically find Hershey’s cinnamon chips during the holiday season at the grocery store. Or purchase the cinnamon chips from Amazon. For the best flavor, I highly recommend you buy them from King Arthur Flour – they are more of an authentic cinnamon chip and not a cinnamon-flavored chocolate chip. Or go one better and make homemade cinnamon chips!
- Demerara sugar | The coarse, crunchy sugar adds a sweet crispy crunch to the scone tops.
Optional Cinnamon Glaze
- Powdered sugar | It acts as the sugary sweet base for the glaze.
- Cinnamon | Enhance the glaze flavor with cinnamon.
- Melted butter | Melted butter gives the glaze a creamy taste and glossy texture.
- Vanilla | Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to deepen the glaze flavors.
- Cream | You may use heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk to make the glazing fluid.
- Baking Sheets & Parchment Paper | These two pieces of equipment, will take you far in your baking adventures! I love the USA Brand of baking pans!
- Bench Scraper | Use this tool for everything from scone cutting, scooping vegetables into a pan and scooping pizza dough or pastry dough.
- Scone Pan | If you want perfectly shaped scones every time, use this regular or mini scone pan to make your scones, just press portions in and bake.
How to Make Cinnamon Scones
STEP 1 | Mix the Dry Ingredients
Start by making the buttery dough for the perfect scone. Get the oven ready by preheating it to 375 degrees F. Next, grate the butter using a box grater or chop it into ¼ inch cubes. Then, place butter in the freezer until it’s time to add it to the recipe, this will ensure tender scones!
- The trick to soft, tender, flaky scones is COLD ingredients! This is one of the rare times we don’t want room temperature ingredients.
- Don’t over moisten or over work the scone dough!
Now, grab a large bowl and combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk the ingredients well until thoroughly combined.
Add the frozen butter to the dry ingredients. Use a fork, pastry blender, or your hands to combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
I like using my hands so I have complete control over the dough and can easily mix the butter into the other ingredients. If you are worried your hands are too warm, run them under some cold water and dry just before mixing.
STEP 2 | Add the Wet Ingredients
Time to add the wet ingredients to the scone dough. First, in a large measuring cup, mix the heavy cream, large eggs, and vanilla extract.
Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, dig out a well in the center of the cinnamon mixture. Pour the liquids into the well and use a fork to combine the ingredients until well incorporated. Pay close attention and stop mixing as soon as the ingredients are combined. Try your best not to overmix the dough.
If the dough is somewhat loose and crumbly, don’t fret! This is precisely how the texture should be at this stage. When squeezed in your hands, the crumbly scone dough should stick together. But, if it falls apart easily, you should add one teaspoon of cream at a time until it sticks together when gently pressed in your hands. Be sure to mix as you go.
Now all that’s missing from the cinnamon chip scone recipe are the sweet cinnamon chips—carefully mix them into the dough.
STEP 3 | Form the Scones
Grab a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Next, turn the dough onto the sheet or a lightly floured surface. Keep in mind that it will look like a crumby mess! No need to worry or wonder what you’ve done wrong!
Then, form the dough into a ball. To make this step a little easier, use the parchment paper to contain the messy dough and gently press it together. Carefully knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. If it’s still too dry, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cream over the top and quickly work it in.
Time for your next decision! Do you want to make 8 large scones or 16 mini scones? I have the directions for both below.
For 8 Large Scones
Once you form the dough into a ball, slowly press it into an 8-10 inch circle. You want the circle to have a slight mound towards the center. Additionally, try to take your time and gradually press the ball into a flattened circle. Otherwise, the crumbly dough may fall apart.
Next, cut the circle into 8 triangles. First, cut it in half, then cut it into quarters. And finally, cut each quarter in half again to make 8 large scones. Use a pastry cutter or pizza cutter to make this step as easy as possible.
16 Mini Scones | Cinnamon Scones Panera Recipe
If you’d prefer 16 mini scones, slice the dough ball into two halves using a sharp and smooth knife. Then, pat and shape the pieces into two smaller 5-inch dough discs. From here, cut each disc in half, then in quarters, and lastly, into eighths. You should have a total of 16 mini scones, eight from each disc.
Now, use the following instructions for the mini or large scones. Place them onto the parchment lined cookie sheets and separate the scones so they are evenly spaced. Use a spatula or bench scraper to make handling the doughy scones easier.
If you’d like, sprinkle the tops with sweet Demerara sugar. Lightly pat the crystals into the scone dough. Then, it’s time to freeze the scones! Do not brush the egg wash over the scones until you are ready to bake them.
STEP 4 | Freeze and Bake
Freeze the scones for 30 minutes. Freezing the dough allows the butter to firm again and the gluten to “relax”, producing the perfect texture and buttery taste.
After chilling, brush the scones with egg wash for a glossier finish. This step is not required, but I do recommend it. Pour the egg and heavy cream into a small bowl and mix them together. Then, brush the wash on the tops and sides of each scone.
Slip the baking sheets into the preheated oven.
Large scones: Bake the larger scones for 16-20 minutes until they are set and have a subtle golden brown color.
Mini Scones: The smaller scones will bake a little faster. Set a timer for 13-18 minutes. But you should check them before the timer goes off. The last thing you want is overbaked scones. Baking the scones for too long significantly impacts the final texture and flavor.
Finally, remove the scones from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
Now, for your last decision for this recipe—do you want the glaze to drizzle the scones or cover them completely? To create a defined drizzle with the sweet cinnamon glaze, you must let the scones cool completely. However, if you’d rather the glaze cover the entire scone and almost melt into the crust, then allow them to cool for just 10 minutes.
STEP 5 | Glaze and Serve!
Make the cinnamon glaze by combining powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and butter. Then, slowly add a little cream at a time while whisking continuously. Keep pouring the heavy cream until the glaze is fluid but not too runny.
Now, glaze the flaky scones to your preference—either a stunning drizzle or completely covering the outside. And serve!
- If you want your scones to look picture-perfect, try your best to smooth out the cracks when forming the flattened discs of dough. If there are cracks in the dough, they will also remain through baking. Press firmly but gently, and take your time.
- The scones won’t expand too much. However, it’s still important to spread them out on the baking sheet to allow them to cook evenly.
Variations & Substitutions
Adjust the recipe to make it fit you and your preference:
- Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the scone dough for an extra crunch and some nutty flavor.
- Sprinkle in some semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.
- Use butterscotch baking chips instead of cinnamon chips, or omit and add extra cinnamon.
- Include extra cinnamon chips or sprinkle more on top after glazing for even more sweet cinnamon flavor!
- Make a coffee sweet glaze by adding a small amount of strong coffee or espresso powder —YUM!
High Altitude Cinnamon Chip Scone Recipe
- For higher altitudes, you may need a bit more cream. Try not to add too much, though. You just want enough to bring the dough together.
- Increase temperature to 400 degrees F
- Decrease baking powder to 2 teaspoons
Make Ahead | Make your dough discs and slice them into the desired wedges. Then, double wrap in plastic wrap and place in a Ziplock bag. Store the dough in the freezer (up to 3 m onths) until you’re ready to bake.
Baking Scones from Frozen | Remove the dough from the freezer when ready to bake the scones. Then, proceed with the recipe as directed, increasing the bake time by a few minutes.
Storing the Scones After Baking | Eat the cinnamon chip scones soon for the best texture and flavor. To store leftovers or save the baked scones for later, place them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. Freeze in airtight container for up to 2 months.
Reheating | Reheat the room-temperature scones by placing them in the microwave for just 15 to 30 seconds. You can do this in increments until the scone is heated to your preference. From frozen, reheat the buttery cinnamon scones by warming them a little longer in the microwave or wrapping them in foil and heating them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may know the difference when you see the two side by side. But what really makes a scone different from a biscuit? Firstly, scones are typically more dense, crumbly, and dry, while biscuits are flaky, buttery, and moist. However, this doesn’t mean that scones are overly dry—they are the perfect consistency to pair with a hot and creamy beverage, like your favorite latte or cappuccino.
Furthermore, biscuits are made with more butter and acidity. On the other hand, scones use more rich and dense ingredients, like cream and eggs.
Using cold butter is critical to making the perfect homemade scone. When the butter is cool, it remains solid until the scones are baked in the oven. The pieces of butter then melt and create flaky layers.
So, if your scones have a more dense and solid texture, your butter may not have been chilled enough. Next time, place the butter in the freezer for a few minutes, then add it to the recipe.
You can use either one interchangeably, they will both yield a tender, flaky scone. If using buttermilk, the acidity will react with the baking soda, for an even more tender scone. Traditional scones are made using heavy cream.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe
I’ve successfully replaced regular flour in scones with a good gluten-free cup-for-cup flour. To be safe, check the vanilla extract and cinnamon chips for a gluten-free label. Start checking for doneness at the lower end of the time, as gluten-free baked goods should not be over-baked.
What Goes with Cinnamon Chip Scones?
There’s no better way to eat a scone than by washing it down with a delicious beverage. Pair this cinnamon scones recipe with your favorite morning drink, like:
- Starbucks Copycat Eggnog Latte Recipe
- Try it with this Starbucks White Hot Chocolate
- Bulletproof Coffee
- Christmas Morning Chai or my easy Chai Latte recipe
- Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate
What to serve with Cinnamon Chip Scones
- How about popping several of these onto this Pancake Breakfast Charcuterie Board?
- Juicy breakfast link sausages, made even easier in your air fryer!
- Instant Pot Egg Bites Recipe with Sausage and Cheese
- Easy Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole Recipe
Freeze the scone dough before baking so the butter is nice and firm. Then, while the scones bake, the butter will melt and create the perfect flaky layers.
I hope you loved this Cinnamon Chip Scone Recipe — if you did, would you share your creation on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest? And be sure to comment below!
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About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.
These turned out absolutely amazing! I have never made scones and was worried they would be hard or tough. These were so flaky and had a great flavor. The cinnamon glaze really tops them off in a great way! I didn’t drizzle I just dunked mine in them. And I doubled the glaze recipe because I knew I was going to love it!
I love hearing that Jennifer, thank you so much!
My favorite treat from Panera! These were so easy to make and tasted even better! Definitely making these again.
Yay! Thanks so much Amy!
Ok, the glaze on these is enough to make me make them every week!! SO GOOD!
Thanks so much Lynn!!
Scones are always a treat and these copycat Panera scones fit the bill perfectly! I made the mini version and now have a freezer stocked for a quick breakfast option. thank you for another winner Kathleen!
Yippee!! Thank you Tasia!