If you have been following along with me, you’ll know by now my obsession with all things dulce de leche. I’ve used it in banana muffins and alfajores and now, scones! Yep, that’s right, elevating yet another typically dry and boring breakfast dish with the sweet, caramely goodness known as dulce de leche. I bring you, my friends, your new weekend breakfast indulgence – Dulce de Leche Scones.
Please note: Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk has sponsored this content. All opinions are my own.
How to Make Dulce de Leche Using One Ingredient
There are lots of recipes out there for how to make dulce de leche. Some of them involve slow cookers and some require cooking on the stovetop. Many of them involve cooking sweetened condensed milk in the can it came in while others require multiple ingredients to make your own sweetened milk.
My preferred method for making homemade dulce de leche is to open a can of sweetened condensed milk, pour the contents into a pie pan, and bake it in a water bath in the oven. Here are the reasons why I like this method:
- It consistently produces a smooth consistency of rich, milky, caramel-like sauce
- It only requires one ingredient and no potential for exploding cans of hot caramel, like some of the other methods unfortunately caution could happen
- It’s super duper easy – no mixing or blending or standing over a hot stove
How to Turn Scones from Dry and Boring to Breakfast Heaven
Unfortunately, most scone recipes out there yield lackluster baked goods. They tend to be dry and boring in most cases. Until now, of course! I was inspired by Panera’s cinnamon chip scones for this recipe. And I took it up a few notches by ensuring the batter is buttery thanks to the frozen butter trick (see below) and moist thanks to lots of heavy cream. Then I topped it all off with a generous drizzle of dulce de leche. Breakfast never looked or tasted this good!
Scones are wonderful for breakfast or brunch or mid-morning or mid-afternoon or late night snacks. These would perfect on Christmas morning, in my opinion. The nice thing about scones is they come together rather quickly, require no rising time, and they bake quickly too.
To shorten the overall baking time, you can, of course, purchase a jar of dulce de leche. But, I will say, there’s just something about making your own from scratch, using a high quality brand like Eagle Brand® sweetened condensed milk. This dulce de leche recipe makes more than enough for these scones. So I’d highly recommend using the leftovers to make some Banana Muffins Swirled with Dulce de Leche or some Alfajores.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- When making the dulce de leche, check the water level every 45 minutes or so. This is very important as the water bath helps the sweetened condensed milk cook slowly and consistently. And, without the water the milk will surely burn. Quickly
- Cook the dulce de leche until the milk is a deep brown color. If you don’t have 3 hours, you can cook for 90 minutes and still have an absolutely delicious result. But, if you’ve got the time (and the patience) cook for longer and you’ll be happy you did
- When preparing the scone dough, you’ll see two types of flour are called for, all-purpose and cake. Cake flour helps to achieve a tender texture in these scones. If you don’t have it, feel free to substitute the cake flour for all-purpose or use one cup all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons from the one cup and replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk together to aerate and create a light and fluffy flour to add to your dough
- Keeping your butter cold is very important when making scones. This helps ensure a proper crumbly and flaky texture to your scones. So I recommend sticking two sticks of butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes prior to baking the scones. Then, grate the butter (it’s easy once it’s frozen) using a box grater and incorporate into the dry ingredients. This helps prevent the butter from melting as you’re making the dough and prevents the scones from spreading too much while baking. And, this trick helps produce an exterior that is evenly browned and crisp (learned this from Sally’s Baking Addiction!)
- Don’t overwork the dough. What I mean by this is don’t over mix the butter into the flour or knead the dough when you’ve dumped it out onto the counter. You want to handle the dough as little as possible to prevent the dough from becoming tough and dense
Useful Kitchen Tools for Making This Recipe
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Welcome to your new weekend breakfast indulgence – Dulce de Leche Scones!
For the Dulce de Leche:
- 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
For the Scones:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
- 1 cup cake flour * (see note below about substituting)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1 cup cold heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups cinnamon chips
- Sparkling sugar for sprinkling tops
- ½ cup dulce de leche, homemade (see above for recipe) or store-bought
- Make the Dulce de Leche: Heat oven to 425°F with rack in middle position. Pour the contents of 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch pie pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Set pie pan in a roasting pan and add enough hot tap water to pan to reach halfway up pie pan. Bake condensed milk in middle of oven. After about 45 minutes, check the water level and add additional hot water, if necessary. Continue baking, checking and adding more water every 45 minutes for a total cook time of up to 3 hours. You want the condensed milk to be thick and rich brown. Remove pie plate from water bath and cool, uncovered
- Prepare Scone Dough: Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Place in the freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together. Whisk 1 cup heavy cream, brown sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the cinnamon chips, then mix together until everything appears moistened
- Shape Scone Dough: Dump dough onto a lightly floured countertop. Dip your hands in flour and work the dough into an 8-inch disc as best you can (does not have to be perfect). Dough may be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons heavy cream. Once in an 8-inch disc, cut into 8 evenly-sized wedges using a sharp knife or bench scraper. Place scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes
- Bake the Scones: Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove scones from the refrigerator and brush tops with heavy cream then sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before drizzling with dulce de leche
- Drizzle Scones with Dulce de Leche: Warm the dulce de leche gently in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave-safe bowl on 50 % power for 30-45 seconds until it’s loosened up. Using a whisk or tines of a fork dipped in the dulce de leche, drizzle generously over warm scones
- If you do not have cake flour, substitute one cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons flour and whisk in 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Store dulce de leche in a mason jar or another jar with a tightly sealed lid in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks
- Store scones that have been drizzled with dulce de leche at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days
- Plain scones (no dulce de leche on top) may be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place scones 2-3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer until frozen then place frozen scones in a ziptop bag. Thaw at room temperature and warm in the microwave on 50% for 1-1 ½ minutes. Drizzle with dulce de leche
- Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Category: Scones, Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: scones, dulce de leche, breakfast ideas, brunch recipes, easy recipes, nut free, caramel, creme caramel, moist scones, homemade, Christmas, holidays
Thank you to Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk for sponsoring this post!