A summer scone recipe with apricot, chamomile and honey, as imagined by the creator of a royal wedding cake

Claire Ptak shares a deliciously summery summer scone recipe.

‘I’ve never been a huge fan of chamomile tea, but it’s one of my favourite baking flavours, particularly as vanilla is so ubiquitous,’ says Claire Ptak, the baker and owner of Violet Cakes, who came to fame as the creator of the wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The fusion of British and American influences didn’t stop there in Claire’s career: she has recently put together an afternoon tea menu for Henry’s Townhouse, the Jane Austen-inspired townhouse hotel in Marylebone, London. It’s only being served up for a few days, from June 18-20.

The menu is described as ‘British Elegance meets Californian Flair’, and features morsels such as summer pudding buttercream cakes, savoury feta chive scone sandwiches with comté & chutney and donut glazed madeleines, all washed down with Hambledon English sparkling wine.

If you can’t get down to London to enjoy it yourself — or if the £125 per person price is out of your price bracket — then we’ve got some help here, as Claire has kindly shared her scone recipe to give you a chance to make your own afternoon tea at home.

Chamomile is the key ingredient in these scones, which Claire featured in her recent book, Apricot, Chamomile and Honey Scones, Love is a Pink Cake.

‘I especially love it paired with apricots — they harmonise to be greater than the sum of their parts. Add clotted cream and a perfectly buttery scone
and it’s difficult to do better.’

You can book a spot at Claire Ptak’s afternoon tea via email to henrys@thecollinscollection.co.uk or by calling 01451 850 577.

Recipe: Apricot, Chamomile and Honey Scones


Makes six large scones

For the compote:

  • 1kg (2lb 3oz) firm, ripe apricots, halved and stones removed
  • 1⁄2 vanilla pod
  • 1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers (or 2–3 teabags, opened, depending on size)
  • 150g (3⁄4 cup) caster sugar

For the scones:

  • 280g (2 cups) plain flour 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 115g (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) cubes
  • 100g (scant 1⁄2 cup) double cream 100g (scant 1⁄2 cup) whole milk

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg white, beaten 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

To serve:

  • Clotted cream to serve (or use whipped cream or mascarpone)
  • Honey, for drizzling


First make the compote — put all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss together well. Macerate for 1 hour to dissolve the sugar and draw the juices out of the fruit.

Tip into a heavy-based saucepan and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, or until the apricots have broken down a bit. Allow to cool and then transfer to a container to chill in the fridge. This will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/190°C/ 375°F/gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, then add the cold butter, blitzing until it resembles a coarse meal texture. (You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter.)

Drizzle in the cream and milk, mixing until the dough just comes together (be careful not to overmix). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, pat into a cube shape and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Once rested, roll to a thickness of 2cm (3⁄4in), then cut into 6cm (21⁄2in) rounds and place on a tray. Chill for 20 minutes in the freezer, then remove and transfer to your lined baking tray. Whisk together the egg wash ingredients and brush this over the chilled scones. Bake for 15–20 minutes until springy and golden at the edges.

Allow the scones to cool slightly before filling with compote and a dollop of the cream. Add a drizzle of honey and serve immediately.