Treacle Scones

Scones are a big part of Northern Irish baking. To be honest, scones are popular on both sides of the Atlantic, although the American variety do tend to be bigger. These Treacle Scones are a nice variation on a plain scone (recipe here). They are a little sweet and the treacle adds a lovely depth of flavor and color. Best served with a slathering of butter and your favorite jam.

Living in the US means that some of my traditional ingredients aren’t as easy to come by, so I needed to go to a specialist store to get the black treacle required for this recipe, as it’s not available in standard supermarkets over here. The closest equivalent to black treacle in the US is dark molasses (not blackstrap). According to the internet – and my taste test – they are not exactly the same thing, but it’s a pretty good substitute if you can’t find black treacle.

Just to check the difference for myself, I baked one batch of scones with treacle and one with molasses. The treacle batch was darker and sweeter and the molasses batch was lighter and a little more bitter. But either way, both sets of scones were delicious!

Black Treacle Scones on the left, Molasses Scones on the right

As with any scone recipe, this is a simple recipe. But don’t mix it too much, don’t knead it too much and don’t roll it out too thinly. Follow these simple directions and you’ll be rewarded with a light, fluffy tasty scone.

Treacle Scones

Scones are a big part of Northern Irish baking. These Treacle Scones are light and fluffy and sweet with a hint of black treacle.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 8 scones


  • 6 oz or 175g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • oz or 45g butter
  • 2-3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp treacle (or molasses)
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • Preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  • Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the beaten egg, treacle and buttermilk and mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Roll out on a floured surface until the scone dough is approximately 2.5cm/1 inch thick and cut into rounds. I get 7-8 scones from this quantity of dough.
  • Place on a floured baking sheet, brush the tops with milk and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool for as long as you can hold out. Then break open, butter and enjoy!
Keyword scones, treacle

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  • Mum

    The scones in NI aren’t small any more. They are massive. Far too big for morning coffee except you have had no breakfast .

  • John

    Excellent! I tripled the recipe and glad I did. I got some Black Treacle from Amazon and love the milder flavor over molasses. Strawberry Jam and some real butter as a topper on the warm ones out of the oven. Love them! Thanks for sharing.

    • CJ

      I haven’t made these in ages, must check to see if I have any treacle. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Elaine

    Yummy. Just made these, didn’t have buttermilk it’s not common over here (Perth, Scotland, UK), used normal milk instead, turned out lovely. It was such an easy recipe. Next time will make it thicker.

  • Andrena Fisher

    Took a notion for treacle scones. My dough became really sticky and needed a lot more flour but I maybe put in too much treacle in hindsight. I did use the hot spoon method. They were very tasty though and yummy with butter and jam.