Traditional Buttermilk Scones

Traditional Buttermilk Scones
Traditional Buttermilk Scones

Scones are a big part of a traditional afternoon tea, but they also work well as part of a brunch menu, or as something different instead of biscuits.

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Scones ingredients | Traditional Buttermilk Scones

Here is your shopping list for this traditional Buttermilk Scones recipe:

  • Flour – To make it gluten free, you can use King Arthur’s Measure-For-Measure Gluten Free flour instead of regular flour.
  • Sugar – regular white sugar
  • Baking supplies – baking powder and baking soda
  • Spices – salt, nutmeg
  • Sugar (optional) – for dipping
  • Dairy isle – buttermilk, margarine
  • Serve with: Clotted cream* and jam. Clotted cream is a British spread that has a consistency half way between cream cheese and whipping cream. Although the name may sound a little off-putting, it really is delicious!

Utensils and Supplies

  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • mixing bowl
  • pastry blender* – if you don’t have a pastry blender, two regular knives will work.
  • rolling pin – if you don’t have a rolling pin, you can also use your hands to pat out the dough
  • round cookie cutter – if you don’t have a round cookie cutter, you can use the top of a small round drinking glass instead.

How To Make Traditional Buttermilk Scones

Line a cookie sheet with some parchment paper. This will prevent the bottom of the scones from burning and makes them easier to remove.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

Use a pastry blender to cut the margarine into the flour mixture. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use two knives cutting in a cross wise motion to cut up the margarine.

Keep cutting until the margarine has been cut up into pea sized pieces.

Mix in the salt, nutmeg and dried fruit.

Add the buttermilk.

Gently mix by hand until the mixture sticks together enough to be rolled out. Do not use a beater for this. You will either end up with a bunch of crumbles or really tough scones.

Roll out the dough to about 3/4" thick | Traditional Buttermilk Scones

Use the rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 3/4 inch thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use your hands to pat out the dough to this thickness.

Use a round cookie cutter or small glass with the edges dipped in flour to cut out circles from the dough.

If you have dough left over, you can ball it up and repeat the rolling out process to cut out some more scones.

Place the scones on the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little sugar if desired.

Bake at 375F for 12 to 15 minutes until they are a little brown on the top.

Serve them warm or cool with clotted cream and jam.



Traditional Buttermilk Scones

This simple recipe for traditional buttermilk scones comes from my sister-in-law Mary.  It is really easy to cook and makes the best scones I have ever had.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 scones
Calories 111 kcal


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit raisins, or currants
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • sugar for dipping optional


  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Cover the cookie sheet with a layer of parchment paper.
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
  • To this mixture, cut in the margarine.  Do this either by using a pastry blender or with two knives in a cross-wise cutting motion.
  • Add the salt, nutmeg and dried fruit.
  • Stir well to coat the fruit with the flour mixture.
  • Over all of this, add the buttermilk.
  • Gently mix until you can pat out or roll out the mixture (do not beat).
  • Roll out to about a 3/4" thickness.
  • For round scones, use a round cookie cutter, or a small glass dipped in flour to cut them.
  • For a bit of sparkle, dip the tops of the scones in sugar.
  • Bake on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes depending on size.  They should be light brown on top and bottom when done.
  • Serve the scones (warm or cool) with clotted cream (or Devonshire cream) and jam.


Covering the cookie sheet in parchment paper will prevent the bottom of the scones from burning, and make them easier to remove.


Serving: 1 gCalories: 111 kcalCarbohydrates: 18.7 gProtein: 2.6 gFat: 3.6 gCholesterol: 1.3 mgSodium: 253.3 mgSugar: 7 g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Put scones on parchment paper on a cookie sheet


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8 Responses

  • I made these scones niece’s wedding shower tea. I used dried cranberries, orange zest and white chocolate chips, and drizzled an orange glaze over the top when they were cool. Fabulous response from the guests…they didn’t need a thing, and disappeared!

    • Hi Sandra…those scones sound delicious! I haven’t tried using white chocolate chips in them, but that’s a great idea. And I bet the orange glaze looked really pretty (as well as tasting great). Thanks for sharing!

  • I made these scones and thought I followed the recipe carefully. They tasted ok did not rise up very much. Any ideas on what could have gone wrong?

    • Sorry Linda that your scones did not turn out well. Making scones requires a very light touch after the buttermilk is added. The batter needs to be mixed quickly and not too thoroughly. It should then be patted out or rolled quickly and gently, shaped, and put into the oven right away. You may have over worked the dough so that the leavening agents were spent. Hope you have better luck next time!

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