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Close up of three stacked scones with light colored background

Savory Scones

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 medium scones 1x
  • Category: Bakery
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


This savory recipe is stunning and ready in an hour. I use cheese and chives for an amazing flavor, but think of this as a master scone recipe dough where you can add other ingredients, like bacon, green onions. They rise beautifully and bake to a fantastic golden brown. Wait until you smell the aroma in the kitchen!


Units Scale
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, cold
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Scant 1 cup grated cheese (I also use the food processor until I get tiny bits)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven at 375ºF / 190ºC.
  2. Have ready oven trays or cookie sheets.
  3. I use the processor at the beginning, but you can do it by hand.
  4. Put flour, salt, cheese and baking powder in the bowl of the food processor or a large bowl.
  5. Pulse a few times to mix or mix with spoon or spatula.
  6. Scatter cold diced butter and pulse until it is the size of peas.
  7. By hand start mixing the butter into the flour with the palms of your hands. It wil take a bit since the butter is cold.
  8. If using the processor transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  9. Add pepper and chives. Mix a bit.
  10. Mix together sour cream and milk in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture.
  11. Mix with a fork until most of the dry ingredients are mixed. There will be dry patches, that is fine.
  12. Now, you can give it a few turns inside the bowl with your hand or do it on the counter.
  13. The dough should come together just barely, be careful not to overwork it as it will soften the butter too much and that will prevent the scones from rising properly. It should have some dry spots. It doesn’t need to come together like pie dough.
  14. Give it a few folds onto itself and pat it about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
  15. Using a round cutter dipped in flour, cut circles. See Notes below for comment on cutter size. Continue dipping in flour to prevent sticking every time you cut a scone.
  16. Put them on the baking sheets spacing a bit, and put them in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  17. Make sure the oven is at the right temperature and bake them for about 15 minutes, until puffed and no longer creamy inside. You might need to open one and check.
  18. The bottoms will be golden but the rest of the scone not so much.
  19. Let them cool until warm and enjoy.


Add ins and substitutions: 
Cheese: gouda and white cheddar are my favorites, but I used to make them with Parmesan and also Fontina and Gruyere work very well. Semi-hard cheeses with a sharp flavor are the best. 
Herbs: you can add a tablespoon of oregano, thyme or even chopped basil. 
Spices: a touch of smoked paprika works really well. Also chili powder or ground jalapeños can add a nice kick.
Sour cream: you can use cream cheese. 
Milk: both the milk and sour cream can be substituted for Greek yogurt or buttermilk. They will be more tender and moister. Also heavy cream can be subbed, and they will be denser and richer. 

3 secrets for great scones:
Very cold ingredients. I’m not kidding when I say frozen butter, at least very cold. And don’t take the cream half an hour before you start mixing the scones. Butter, cream, milk, they belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them.
Don't work the dough. It should come together but still have floury patches. You don’t need to work it until it’s smooth, like a pie dough for instance. It is an uneven dough, with dry spots sometimes, and that’s good for flakiness later. 
A rather high oven. They need that extra heat (and baking powder) to rise however they can in spite of all that butter and cream. And if by any chance you forgot to turn the oven on before you start with the mixing, please don’t leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter. Put them in the fridge or freezer the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature.

How to store scones:
Room temperature: I highly recommend eating them warm from the oven. If there are leftovers, store them in an airtight container for a day (two at the most). And always warm them before eating, for about 10 minutes at medium temperature (350°F/180°C). It makes all the difference in flavor and they will get some of that tenderness and richness back. 
Freezer: one of the most wonderful things is that they can be frozen raw, already formed. So you can make a big batch, cut them, put them on trays and freeze them. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, container or use plastic wrap, so the tray doesn't occupy freezer space. As they are frozen solid, they can be piled together. This way, you can bake them to order! Directly from the freezer into the hot oven following the recipe. They might need to bake for a few more minutes.

Yield: depending on the size of the cutter you use will be the amount of scones you get. I like to use small and medium ones, from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. But you can use any size really, or cut triangles with a kitchen knife also, like we do with the Blueberry Scones


  • Serving Size: 1/25
  • Calories: 62
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 169.3 mg
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.2 g
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.6 mg

Keywords: savory scones