This is a brilliant method if you want to quickly bash out a batch of excellent fruit scones, by making a scone cake and cutting it into slices. Takes away the hassle of rolling or patting out, cutting with a pastry cutter, collecting offcuts and re-rolling, and worrying that the scones won’t rise well cause you might have twisted the cutter round them too much and they hate it.
You can replace buttermilk with yoghurt – but I’d strongly encourage giving a go as it makes for a nice crust and very moist crumb. These are a bit more cakey than the ordinary scones (compare this recipe) and keep longer.
You can of course omit the raisins and make just plain sweet scones but why on Earth you would want to skip raisins is beyond me. Anything is better WITH raisins, cakey things especially. The basic recipe is Dan Lepard’s from ‘Short and Sweet’ but I’ve modified the cutting technique.