©Tamsin Robinson
Eating & drinkingLocal

Local larder: Vanilla Scones for an East End Cream Tea

How one likes their scone, jam and cream combination often sparks fierce debate amongst East Enders. We asked local Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef Tamsin Robinson for her go-to recipe.

For these scones, she bought her ingredients from the newly opened Whole Fresh, the Best Food Centre and Simply Fresh – which are all on Roman Road.

Living in Bow, Robinson tends to get her cake fix from Loafing, and is eager to try more of Java Beans Cafe’s sugary bakes.

Serve these delectable scones straight from the oven, lathered in jam and topped with a dollop of fresh clotted cream – or vice versa – alongside a strong brew.


Makes 6-8 scones

250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder 
60g cold unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
40g caster sugar
60ml whole milk
2 medium eggs
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)


Preheat your oven to 170°C.

Place the cold butter, flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Rub the mixture together between your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. (You can also do this using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or by pulsing in food processor). Set aside. 

Mix one egg, sugar and milk together in a small bowl. Scrape in the seeds of the vanilla pod, or add the vanilla extract, and stir in. 

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and pour in the eggy liquid.

Gently stir together until the mixture begins to form a dough.

Finish forming the dough using your hands, being careful not to overwork the dough. Stop mixing when there are no more dry bits. 

Turn the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and roll to one inch thick.

Use a medium pastry cutter (about 5-6cm in diameter will do nicely) and cut out your scones. Aim to cut out as many as possible before re-rolling the dough to cut more. 

Tip: try to cut your scones out as straight as possible, as a wonky cut may lead to a wonky scone.

Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of each scone with a little egg. This will give the scones a nice colour.  

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.

Serve your scones warm with lashings of jam and clotted cream. ‘Round here, it’s got to be a thick spread of jam, then dollop of cream on top.

Originally working in finance, Tamsin Robinson enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu to re-train as a pastry chef. Having graduated with her patisserie diploma, she founded BakesterBox in 2020: a baking kit delivery service that provides baking ingredients, equipment and tutorials. 

Hungry for more? Check out Tamsin Robinson’s moist apple and olive oil cake.

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