Simple Scones, Three Ways

Several years ago, a good friend stayed at my apartment for the weekend. That Sunday morning, I woke up to discover she was already in the kitchen making scones. They were simple! They were easy! They were delicious! She had the recipe committed to memory, and she taught it to me. 

I’ve fiddled with the simple scone recipe a bit, and I’d like to share the basic recipe, plus three variations on it.  In fact, in honor of Persephone Magazine, I “invented” a brand new, never before tried (by me) pomegranate scone recipe!

Simple Scones 1

These scones are fantastic with whipped butter and jam. The cranberry-lemon scones and the pomegranate scones are perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea, and the cheese scones are great for any time of day, including dinner. If you occasionally feel the need to throw yourself a posh little tea party (the good kind, not the political kind), scones are the way to go!

A pomegranate scone, broken open, with whipped butter.

Are you making scones yet? Well, why not? Go make some right now… that’s an order! Scones!

An afternoon tea scene with scones and tea.
At this moment in time, I could out-twee anyone in the world.


Simple Scones
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. butter
1 cup buttermilk

Cheese scones on a baking sheet before going into the oven.
Cheese scones on a baking sheet before going into the oven.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands to mush in the butter. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk.  Beat ingredients together with a wooden spoon until they form a large dough ball.  Divide dough into 6 smaller dough balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pat down tops slightly. Sprinkle additional sugar on tops if desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the outside (watch them carefully). Test centers with a toothpick to make sure they are baked all the way through.

For variety, additional ingredients can be added to the recipe at the dry ingredient stage:

  • For cheese scones, add 1 cup of shredded aged cheddar.
  • For cranberry-lemon scones, add 1 cup of dried cranberries and the zest of 2 lemons.
  • For pomegranate scones, add 1 cup of pomegranate seeds (be careful not to break them when you mix).

Serve scones with whipped butter (of course), English double cream, jam, marmalade, or lemon curd.

A plate full of jammy dodgers.
Holy crap! Is that a plate full of TARDIS self-destruct buttons?!? Run for the hills!

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

10 replies on “Simple Scones, Three Ways”

I just made them and they are really good, the texture is perfect! I did end up using buttermilk since I had to run to the store anyway. I did the cheese variation, but I couldn’t taste the cheese much. The cheddar I used probabaly wasn’t sharp enough, next time I’ll use more since I never have an aged cheddar in my fridge.

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