How Earning An F In AP Calc Gave Me The World’s Best Scone Recipe

There are three things you should know about me. I hate the smell of Febreeze, I’m terrible at math, and I make the best damn scones in the world. While my first fun fact isn’t particularly relevant to this article, the last two are the reasons for which you’ve clicked on this link. Let me explain.

At the end of my junior year of high school, my well-intentioned but admittedly useless guidance counselor advised me to take AP Calculus because “colleges want to see students challenge themselves.” What colleges probably don’t want to see are students who follow that advice, discover the hell that is AP Calc, and swear off all math-related courses for the rest of their undergraduate careers. That’s how my story ends.

My story begins, however, with a puke-green textbook. The cover of this repugnant tome was adorned with roller coaster tracks—as if the sickening feeling I’d get every morning at 8:25 wasn’t acid reflux, but an adrenaline rush. As if the nausea I’d experience upon entering room W205 was something akin to the excitement felt by amusement park patrons. It wasn’t.

Two weeks into the school year, I brought home my very first F and hardly protested when my mom suggested I get a tutor. Enter Dr. Irwin, calculus professor, life-saver, and scone master. At least twice a week for the rest of the school year, I’d visit Dr. Irwin, who’d both restore my sanity and keep me well fed with all sorts of chocolaty desserts.

It was during one afternoon’s discussion of integrals and derivatives that my dear tutor introduced me to what would soon become part of my very identity: chocolate chip scones. Roughly eight months later, for graduation, Dr. Irwin gave me a scone pan and the accompanying recipe—both of which I take back to school every year.

As I near my last year of college, I’ve long since earned the reputation of Scone Girl and it is one I carry with pride. And so, in honor of nearly four years of not having touched a calculus textbook, I’ve decided to share my famous scone recipe with the world. For it is now the (calculus) student who has become the (scone) master.





2/3 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

3 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

8 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter

1 cup chocolate chips* (and then some)

1/2 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 375F. Grease pan and set aside.

Meet Skippy the scone pan. Odds are you don’t have a Skippy of your own, so a traditional baking sheet will work just fine.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.12.08 PM


Beat egg with buttermilk and set aside.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.04.26 PM


In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 9.48.41 PM



Add butter, cutting with a pastry blender or rubbing with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Odds also are that you don’t own a pastry blender—or, as in my case, even know what a pastry blender is. That’s OK. Just roll up your sleeves and squish the butter around in the dry mixture with your hands. Don’t let any big lumps remain.




Lightly stir in chocolate chips and sugar.

And add more chocolate chips if necessary (frankly, it’s always necessary).



Stir in buttermilk mixture with a fork until a soft dough forms.


Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.14.48 PM


Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 times.

It’s OK if your dough is a little crumbly at this stage. Don’t go overboard with the flour; using a bit less will keep your batter moist and easier to knead.




Separate dough into eight equal pieces and press into each cavity of the pan.

If you aren’t using a scone pan, pinch off tablespoon sized pieces of batter and drop onto a greased baking sheet as you would with cookies.




Bake 20-25 minutes or until medium brown.

The timing depends on the strength of your oven, but I like to take my scones out once the top has a nice light golden brown color to it.



Let cool 20 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.





And voila! You’ve just made yourself eight new best friends—unless of course you eat all of these yourself.

Enjoy with chocolate milk, coffee, or—my favorite—champagne. Bon appétit!

Let us know your results by tweeting @LitDarling!



*chocolate chips can be substituted with frozen blueberries or cranberries. In that case, make sure your fruit is frozen before you add it to the mix.

Scroll To Top