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Fennel and thyme scones with hokey pokey butter

Savoury scones, beautifully balanced with whipped honey butter.

By Cynthia Adey
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking (plus setting, cooling)
  • Makes 10 scones
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You'll love these scones with fennel seeds and thyme – their savouriness is beautifully balanced with the whipped hokey pokey butter. The secret to good scones is in the soft sticky dough, a light touch and a very hot oven. Any leftover honeycomb can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.


  • 375 gm (2½ cups) self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 30 gm chilled butter, chopped
  • 310 ml (1¼ cups) buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
Whipped hokey pokey butter
  • 135 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm liquid glucose
  • 50 gm honey
  • 12 gm bicarbonate of soda
  • 175 gm unsalted butter, softened


  • 1
    For whipped hokey pokey butter, line an oven tray with lightly greased baking paper. Combine sugar, glucose and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and brushing down side of pan with a clean, wet pastry brush to remove any undissolved sugar crystals. Then cook, without stirring, until syrup reaches 155°C (hard-crack stage) on a sugar thermometer (8-10 minutes). (You may need to tilt the pan occasionally if the liquid isn't deep enough to allow the thermometer to register accurately).
  • 2
    Remove syrup from heat and, working quickly, whisk in soda (be careful, hot syrup will start to foam up), then keep whisking for 3 seconds to combine. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared tray. Be careful, the mixture will be extremely hot; pour it away from you. Leave to cool without moving the tray – this will help preserve the bubbles – until honeycomb is firm and set (30 minutes). When cool, break into shards and store in an airtight container.
  • 3
    Whisk butter and a pinch salt flakes in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (5 minutes). Lightly crush 40gm honeycomb and fold into butter then transfer to a bowl until serving.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220°C. Lightly grease a 20cm-diameter sandwich tin, then line base with baking paper. Combine flour, sugar, fennel and thyme in a bowl, then rub in butter. Stir in enough buttermilk to mix to a soft sticky dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly just until smooth. Press dough out until 3cm thick, cut into 5cm rounds. Gently press dough scraps together and repeat until all dough is used. Place scones in prepared tin then brush with a little extra buttermilk. Bake until golden and cooked through (15 minutes). Serve warm with hokey pokey butter sprinkled with extra crumbled honeycomb.


Scones are best made on day of serving.