Nothing beats long-awaited catchup between two long-time buddies over a lovely late afternoon tea with some soft, flaky, and buttery buttermilk scones that are moist with the fragrant butter on the inside yet crisp and delicious on the outside. Any afternoon tea or party would not be complete without this simple recipe that yields the best sweet and savory scones to balance out your tea or coffee palate.
This basic buttermilk scones recipe will yield 10 delicious scones just by using 30 minutes of your day!
Mandy popped over to my place the other day, warm scones in hand to chat about life as well as bake together over a cup(s) of English tea. My mother’s buttermilk scones were once my all-time favorite until I had a taste of the fresh buttery scones that Mandy baked just for our gathering. (this stays between us!) Of course as an aspiring baker myself I just had to ask her for this buttermilk scone recipe, the golden-brown tops of the scones made these the best scones I have ever set my taste buds on.
Thankfully Mandy was my first friend in primary school (and oldest bestie), if not she may not have willingly shared her perfect almond and cranberry scones recipe that she named “My Ultimate Scones” that she talentedly adapted from the recipe book – Delia Smith: How to Cook.
Hence in this buttermilk scones recipe I share with you a sweet treat that is flaky and not as chewy but abundant with the decadent savory taste and smell of butter and these sweet scones get their sweetness from some fresh cranberries in the buttermilk mixture.
BUTTERMILK SCONES RECIPE
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Main Ingredients for this Buttermilk Scone Recipe
This easy cranberry scone recipe requires only eight ingredients, most of which you can already find in your kitchen or pantry and the rest you can easily get from your local supermarket.
- BUTTERMILK: To avoid dry, bland, and flat scones use heavy cream or buttermilk. In this recipe other than light and flaky scones that rise well, I use buttermilk as it has some acidity that gives the scone dough a tangy flavor and makes it more tender.
- SELF-RISING FLOUR: all-purpose flour also works but you will have to add baking powder, for a straightforward hassle-free recipe, self-rising flour is the way to go for this flour mixture.
- BUTTER: refrain from using cold butter as room temperature butter is softer and easier to handle as it will break easily when you cut it up with a pastry blender hence it mixes faster with the dry ingredients. The melted butter in these buttermilk scones will give make them a buttery heaven in a bite!
- CASTOR SUGAR: sugar can be adjusted according to preference but bear in mind that major adjustments will cause a change to the texture of your cranberry buttermilk scones.
- DRIED CRANBERRIES: These dried fresh fruit elevate your buttermilk scones by giving them a natural shot of sweetness and balances out the savory relish from the butter. Remember to add these when you are adding your sugar to your dry ingredients.
- TOASTED ALMONDS: This additional ingredient finesses your buttermilk scones to give it coarse crumbs and an absolutely delectable fragrance.
- LARGE EGG
Baking Tips for Cranberry Buttermilk Scones
- When using the pastry blender to cut up your butter in your flour, make sure they look like small pieces of breadcrumbs in the end. The small chunks of butter will met when baked in high temperature hence giving your buttermilk scones a nice flaky texture.
- Mix the dough and the wet ingredients with a spreading knife or spatula in a cutting movement until it begins to come together then finish mixing it with your hands – it should be soft but not sticky. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time.
- When rolling the dough into a ball, do it on a floured surface so they do not stick to your work surface. However only use as much flour as needed to prevent them from sticking as adding too much extra flour can dry out the scones. We still want our dough to remain slightly wet as it will yield softer scones once baked.
- Roll or pat dough into a circle at least 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. Make sure to not roll it any thinner than this as you want your scones to have a nice volume and rise.
- When cutting your buttermilk scones shapes from your dough do not twist it, just lift it up and push the dough out. If you twist your cookie cutter the edges of your dough will be shaped according to the twisting direction and produce lopsided scones that do not rise up tall and straight.
- Place your buttermilk scones cut out from a pastry cutter or round cookie cutter onto parchment paper or even better an insulated baking sheet to avoid the bottom of the scones becoming too brown or even burnt.
How to Serve Homemade Buttermilk Scones
These English scones or American scones (depending on your recipe) are best served with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Other than adding dried cranberries and toasted almonds to create a cranberry buttermilk scone with toasted almonds you could also spice up your buttermilk scones through these methods:
- Spreading a single layer (or more) of Butter
- Clotted Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Honey Butter
- Fresh blueberries for blueberry scones
- Pumpkin Scones
- Chocolate chip scones
- Savory herbs scones
By using this easy recipe as a launch pad, you are able to experiment with different toppings or add different ingredients to your scones such as white chocolate chips, ham, herbs and scallions or cinnamon just to name a few!
What are some of your favorite ways to eat your scones?
Let me know down in the comment section below!
Storing and Reheating Scones
This buttermilk scone recipe yields buttermilk scones that can be kept in an airtight container or Ziploc bag at room temperature for a maximum of 4-5 days. If you plan to keep them longer then wrap them individually to prevent loss of moisture and keep them in your refrigerator.
Scones are always best when they are slightly warm, so when taking them out of the refrigerator be sure to microwave it for about 20 seconds before serving.
If you have tried this buttermilk scone recipe and loved it, I have more recipes in my recipe section for you to master and if you would love to give more sweet desserts a go, I have a cake recipe section that will definitely catch your fancy.
Some cake recipes worth highlighting are my noteworthy cheesecake recipes. You can always try my Japanese Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, and Matcha Cheesecake, and for those who want to indulge without guilt — Low Carb Cheesecake and Burnt Cheesecake both are flourless keto desserts perfect for those who are in a keto or low carb diet.
- 2-3 tbsp buttermilk, plus a little extra for brushing
- 225g [8 ounce] self-rising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
- 75g [2.6ounce] butter, at room temperature
- 40g [1.4 ounce] castor sugar
- 40g chopped dried cranberries
- 40g chopped toasted almonds
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- (1) Prepare ingredients and preheat oven to 220C / 425F
(2) Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl
(3) & (4) Add butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter in the flour, until it looks like breadcrumbs. (if you do not have a pastry blender, use fingers to rub the butter lightly into the flour)
- (5) & (6) Add sugar. (if you have additional dry fruit or nuts, add them in at this stage) and mixed well.
(7)& (8) In a measuring cup, beat the eggs with 2 Tbsp buttermilk together, and add this to the dry mixture.
- (9) & (10) Mix the dough with a spreading knife or spatula with cutting movement until it begins to come together, finish mixing it with your hands – it should be soft but not sticky ( if the dough seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time)
(11) Form the dough into a ball, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll/pat it into a circle at least 1 inch (2.5cm) thick – not to roll it any thinner, this is the secret of well-risen scones.
(12) Cut out the scones by placing the cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp ‘TAP’ – do not twist it, just lift it up and push the dough out. Carry on until you are left with the trimmings, then bring these back together to roll out again until you can cut out the last scone.
- (13) Place the scones on the baking sheet, brush them lightly with buttermilk and dust with a little flour.
(14) & (15) Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well-risen and golden brown.
(16) Remove them to a wire rack to cool.
Traditionally, scones are served with clotted cream and fruit jam.
- You will also need:
A lightly greased baking sheet dusted with flour
A 2-inch (5cm) cookie cutter
A pastry blender
- Remark: You may add the almond & cranberries to the basic buttermilk scones, traditionally, scones are supposed to serve with clotted cream and fruit jam
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g