Buttermilk scones

Classic, moist buttermilk scones that work well as a base for any fillings you want to add (nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit). Adapted from Bon Appetit.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, diced
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or chocolate chips (mini ones are best)
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugar topping

  • Spoonful of milk or cream
  • Couple of spoonfuls sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into large bowl. Add butter and lemon peel; rub in with fingertips until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Mix in cranberries or chocolate chips.
  3. Stir buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together in moist clumps.
  4. Gather dough into a large ball (sprinkle a bit of flour on top if it’s too sticky). Divide into three similarly sized balls. On lightly floured surface, gently flatten each ball into a chubby round (about 5″ diameter). Brush each round lightly with milk (if you don’t have a pastry brush, just dip two fingers in milk and rub lightly over dough) and sprinkle with sugar. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake until scones are golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 18 small scones.


  • Dough can be prepared one day ahead. After forming dough into rounds, wrap and refrigerate. When you are ready, finish with sugar topping, cut and bake as directed.
  • Scones are best eaten fresh. After the first day, you may reheat scones for a few minutes in a low oven or 6-10 seconds in the microwave.

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