I am not a Utahn. This is not a scone.

Unfortunately, neither of those statements is true. I have lived in Utah for over ten years, ever since I came here for college. I didn’t plan to stay, in fact I couldn’t wait to graduate and get the hell out. But then I met a boy and fell in love. And so I stayed.

Turns out Salt Lake City is a really, really great city. I’ve come to love it and it has become my home. For some reason, however, I’ve still had a hard time fully embracing the fact that I am from here now, that I am no longer an outsider.

Scone dough

Rolling out the scones

Now, about these scones. You’re probably thinking, that is not a scone. And you’d be right, and you’d be wrong. This is not the classic scone, the sweeter cousin to the biscuit, the one we’re all familiar with. This is a Utah creation, a flattened ball of dough deep-fried and topped with sweet toppings like honey and jam.

Not the healthiest treat, no, definitely not. But there’s definitely a reason why it’s so popular here. The recipe I used is a conglomeration of recipes my mother-in-law gathered for me from some local cookbooks and family recipe boxes, and scaled down to a more realistic yield for two people.

I topped the hot scones with powdered sugar and a generous scoop of cinnamon honey butter. It got a little messy, and a little sticky. It was wonderful.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make these myself. Maybe I thought it would mean that I had given in to Utah. And maybe I have. I’ve embraced the scone (okay, more than embraced, these things are fried heaven), and I think it’s time to embrace my inner Utahn.

Utah Scones
Makes approximately 8 scones
View printable recipe

2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 – 1 cup warm water
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon honey butter, recipe below

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and 3/4 cup warm water. Mix with a spoon until dough comes together into a ball. Dough should be moist but not sticky. Use remaining 1/4 water if needed. Cover dough and let rest for one hour.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat to 375 degrees F. Oil should be at least 2 inches deep.

Meanwhile, roll out the scones. Pinch off a tablespoon sized ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Stretch and pull with your hands if necessary. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Continue with the rest of the dough.

When oil has reach 375 degrees, place first scone gently into the oil. Scone will bubble vigorously in the oil and puff up. Fry until golden brown on first side, about 2 minutes, then flip over. Once both sides are browned, remove from the oil and place on a paper bag lined sheet pan to cool slightly.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with the cinnamon honey butter or other desired topping. Repeat with remaining scone dough.

Cinnamon Honey Butter
Makes approximately 1 cup

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

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26 Responses to Utah Scones with Cinnamon Honey Butter

  1. Priya says:

    Omg, wat an interesting scones..

  2. cwdurbin says:

    Looks and sounds almost like a sopapilla. Yummm!

  3. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    These look dangerous and delectable! Never heard of these before, thanks for sharing :)

  4. Crystal says:

    I have to make these!! Will post about it when I do! BTW I am in SLC too, well I moved from there too Tooele, but my family is there and we visit often. Thanks again for yummy stuff!

  5. Tiffany- Food Finery says:

    ok girlie :) i LOVE utah scones!!! 2 things… 1) i use yeast (is that weird???) and 2) you're never supposed to measure or roll :) you just rip it off and pull it a little before frying! i am happy you decided to make here home <3

    • Mark says:

      I remember these and “Scones”. Didn’t realize they were unique to Utah, but I haven’t seen any of them since leaving Utah. I just figured that the other scones were just a different kind. As I remember we always used yeast, basically they were made from bread dough and fried. There was no measuring the dough nor rolling them out, mom would give us each a piece of dough and we’d form it however we wanted (usually the traditional shape). Don’t know if I’ll make them now, (probably not a good idea since I’m diabetic) but boy do I have fond memories…..

    • Kassey says:

      I wish I would have read this before making, they turned out much more dense than the ones we get in the restaurants here. My husband is military so we are not from Utah but have lived here almost 6 years and today he wanted scones from Sil’s cafe in Layton and these were just not the same :(

  6. Kalyn says:

    I do understand those feelings about not wanting to say you're from Utah. I feel that way myself at time, but mostly I like it.

    And I have never made Utah scones, but they look amazing.

    And very fun meeting the guy who got you to stay in Utah; he seems great!

  7. Emily says:

    These sound a lot like something we have where I live called fry bread. Very original name, I know. They are fantastic with berry jam!

  8. Isabelle @ Crumb says:

    Yum! I'd never heard of Utah scones, but they look delicious. They kind of remind me of the Spanish olive oil tortas I sometimes buy at the fancy-shmancy store as a treat (I refuse to deep-fry at home… I'm afraid that if I start, I'll never stop, and then I'll be 500lbs).
    I guess most cultures have at least one dessert based on the concept that dough + oil + sugar = delicious! :)

  9. Jessica Johns says:

    The lady who ran the daycare I went to as a kid used to make these! (I grew up in Idaho, and I'm sure these aren't isolated to Utah, tehe.) I loved them, especially with homemade raspberry jam. We always called them scones… I didn't even know the other kind of scones existed until I got into cooking! I've been looking for a recipe for a long time… thanks for sharing!

  10. Taste and Tell says:

    I didn't intend to stay in Utah, either, but here I am!! These are my husband's favorite, and we have them for Christmas morning every year. Love them!

  11. Sarah@AlpinePoppy says:

    Oh my heck! You are totally from Utah now :)

  12. Cookin' Canuck says:

    I had the same experience. We moved here about 12 years ago and were certain that we would have moved on about 5 years later. Not the case! It took me awhile to wrap my head around the Utah scone thing, but must say they are a great treat, particularly drizzled (or drenched) in honey.

  13. grace says:

    utahn. that's fun. :)
    i don't like scones as a rule, but i've neither seen nor tasted scones like these. i'm intrigued!

  14. Jenn says:

    Now these are the scones that I grew up eating. When I got into cooking and saw these “other scones” that were more like biscuits I was so confused? I had no idea it was a Utah thing?

  15. Suzy says:

    I had ‘scones’ for the first time when my family and I visited Utah when I was 5, and any scone since then has paled in comparison..I don’t want a biscuit…I want a scone…I want this scone. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

  16. Brinlee says:

    I’m a Utahn, living in Las Vegas. I know exactly how you feel. I’ve felt that same way about this place. Anyway, I googled scones looking for the Utah recipe, and had no idea what that other thing was that kept coming up so THANK YOU for posting this!! I would have been lost. They look delicious and I can’t wait to make them! Thanks again!

  17. shirley elizabeth says:

    How funny – I thought I knew quite a bit about Utah, being an Arizonan myself, but I’ve never heard this called Utah Scones. It’s Indian Fry Bread, and the best part about hiking down into the Grand Canyon. Also, if you make them bigger, they’re delicious for Indian Tacos.

  18. Ummm… drooling my mouth out over here! Yum YUM!

  19. Rachel says:

    LOL my husband was born and raised in SLC and we lived there for 8 years. I never felt like I fit there and we ended up back in the Midwest. It is an interesting place when it comes to food, though. They call small elephant ears scones and they have meat pies that are unique to Utah.
    We usually buy frozen bread dough, thaw it, pinch chunks off and flatten them, then fry them.

  20. A says:

    These are not native to Utah, they are knock-offs of sopapillas. Regardless, they look delicious.

  21. Stephanie says:

    This post relates to me on so many levels. 1. I ordered a “scone” in Utah, received a Utah “scone” and was mystified! 2. I also met a boy and am now in Utah. =) 3. I still feel an outsider though and haven’t yet fully embraced that I’m currently in Utah. Not sure how long it’ll take me?

    • Annalise says:

      Don’t worry, I still feel like that sometimes too. I definitely felt more like I belonged once I stopped focusing on a few negative things I was still holding on to. Now I’m proud to be a Utahn!

  22. Grady says:

    I have been eating and making this bread dough for over 60 years, we call it bannock and it is great in dutch ovens, on a stick over fire coals, Navajo taco’s, scones, etc. Most of the basic ingredients and how to make this bread came from our grandparents here in the west that crossed the plains in the days of the pioneers and brought this basic bread knowledge with them from Europe and the British Isles. As a survival food it is hard to beat.

  23. Josh says:

    I am 36 years old and from the West (California, Hawaii, Idaho, and now Utah) and today is the first day that I have–in my life–heard that there is another type of scone other than this so-called “Utah scone” … My son brought a biscuit with fruit home from preschool and said “we made scones at school” and I mockingly laughed in his sweet little face.”That’s not a scone!” I declared. “That’s some sort of biscuit thingy. Scones are wonderful deep fried things youdrench with honey butter. I’ll show you a picture of a scone!” Then I Googled it and found that my entire life has been a lie (at least where scones are concerned). My mind is blown. This is like the time I was living in Belgium and they asked me if I had ever tried their little “sprouts” … “Yes,” I said, “but we call them Brussel spr- ooooooh.”

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