I love the kind of recipes where you can throw everything into one bowl and end up with something delicious. That’s why I just love these easy to make savoury scones with cheese. This cheese scone recipe is fully adaptable too, you can make all different types of cheese scones with a few simple adjustments.
What are Scones?
Scones are a dough based, type of cake or quick bread, that is baked in the oven. Traditional scones originate from the UK and can be sweet or savoury.
The texture of a well baked scone should be buttery and crumbly, but not to the point that it falls apart in your hands. Scones should be light and not dense like bread.
If you’re from the USA you may be thinking “Isn’t a scone just a biscuit?” And yes, they are, in part. Traditional savoury scones are very similar to an American biscuit in preparation, ingredients and texture, but there are slight differences.
The leavening (rising agent) used for scones is usually baking powder or bicarbonate of soda and there is no need for a rise time before baking, unlike yeast bread.
- Wholemeal and Plain White Flour – I use a 50/50 ratio for the flour but you can use all White Flour if you want. I’d advise against using 100% wholemeal flour as the scones will be too dense.
- Baking Powder – used as a leavening agent to help the scones rise.
- Milk – I use whole milk to bring the dough together, you can also use semi-skimmed milk too.
- Dijon Mustard
- Cheese – I use a mixture of mature cheddar and Red Leicester cheeses. You can use all cheddar as a substitute if you’d prefer.
How to Make Cheese Scones
- Step 1 – Sift the flours together.
- Step 2 – Add the baking powder and salt and mix them in.
- Step 3 – Add the butter and rub it into the flour by hand.
- Step 4 – Continue to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Step 5 – Add the cheeses and mix them in.
- Step 6 – Add the milk and Dijon mustard. Mix thoroughly to make a dough.
- Step 7 – Flatten the dough on a clean surface. Using a cutter, cut out the scones. You can gather up the excess dough and repeat this process until all dough is used up.
- Step 8 – Brush each scone with milk.
- Step 9 – Sprinkle each scone with some grated cheese.
- Place the scones in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
What Goes Well with Cheese Scones?
Savoury cheese scones are delicious eaten warm or cold with just butter. But if you’re looking for some to make them extra special, you could try:
- Pickle or Chutney, like this Autumn Chutney with Tomatoes.
- Slices of Cheese and Apple.
- Smoky Bacon with Green Salad Leaves and Mayo.
- Deli Meats or Ham.
- Marmite and Orange Marmalade, I know this seems like a strange combination, but trust me, it’s good! Serve your scone warm.
- Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese
- As a side to Soup. Try this leek and potato soup or this roasted parsnip soup.
Tips and Guidance
If you want your scones with cheese to be light, fluffy with a crumbly texture, follow these steps:
- Use cold ingredients. Unlike many of my recipes that insist you use room temperature ingredients, like this lemon and blueberry drizzle cake for example, you want to make sure the milk, cheese and butter are all chilled before use. Chilling these ingredients first, ensures you have the flakiest, fluffiest and most delicious scones you can make.
- Preheat your oven. Make sure your oven has reached the correct temperature before baking your scones. You want the scones to rise up quickly and they cannot do this if your oven is cold.
- Don’t overmix the dough. Overmixing the dough will build the gluten in the flour, which will make the scones take on a heavy, bread consistency and they will no longer be light and crumbly. Kneading scone dough isn’t necessary. Just mix it until it comes together and then stop.
- Adding the butter. When it comes to adding the butter, you should cube it into little chunks and add it to the flour. Rub the butter and flour between your fingers until you get a breadcrumb like texture. Adding the butter in this way, acts as a type of barrier which helps to halt the formation of gluten in your scone dough. Rubbing in the butter is an important step and should be carried out before any other ingredients are added to the dough.
- Use fresh baking powder. Baking powder is the ingredient which helps your cheese scones to rise. Over time, baking powder will diminish in its effectiveness. Ideally, you should use baking powder within 6 months of opening and not past its expiry date. Keep your baking powder in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Do not store it in the fridge.
- You dough should feel a little sticky and wet. If your dough it too dry, the cheese scones will break apart too much. Add a little more milk if your scone dough won’t hold together upon mixing.
How to Liven up a Simple Cheese Scone Recipe
While cheese scones are perfectly fine and delicious, just as they are. You can jazz them up using a variety of ingredients to enhance the flavour.
- Cheese and Chive Scones. Simply add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh chives to your dough mixture at the same time as the cheese. You can also try different herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and
- Cheese and Marmite Scones. It’s super easy to make these cheese scones into cheese and marmite scones. Simply, mix 1 tablespoon of marmite into the milk before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Spicy Chilli Cheese Scones. Add half a teaspoon of cayenne chill powder into the flour for a spicy kick. You could also swap out some of the cheese for a Mexican spicy cheese instead or throw in some chopped jalapenos when you add the cheese. I recommend omitting the dijon mustard if you choose to make chilli scones.
- Try a completely different flavour. Like these stuffed pesto scones with parmesan.
It’s best to freeze your scones before you bake them, just leave off the cheese topping and place on a flat tray, with space in-between each one, freeze until solid and then place in a freezer bag and seal shut. When you are ready to bake, cook straight from frozen, topping with a brush of milk and the grated cheese and baking in the oven for a few minutes longer. You can also freeze cooked ones if you desire, but you won’t have the best result this way. Reheat them in the oven after defrosting.
Cooked cheese scones will last up to 4 days in an airtight container, kept in a cool place.
Yes, this is best done in the oven. However, you don’t want to overbake the topping. Wrap the scones in foil and place in the oven for about 5-10 minutes is the best method.
The Best Savoury Cheese Scones
- 150 g Plain White Flour
- 150 g Plain Wholemeal Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 70 g Butter chilled
- 175 ml Milk chilled
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 30 g Red Leicester Cheese grated
- 30 g Mature Cheddar grated
- Extra Cheese for topping grated
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Mix your flours together with the baking powder in a bowl.
- Chop your cold butter into cubes and add to the flour, rub them together with your fingers, until you get breadcrumb like texture.
- Stir the mustard into the milk and add it gradually. Mix it gently, until you form a slightly sticky dough.
- Add the 2 grated cheeses together and mix through the dough.
- Take your dough out of the bowl and shape into a flat circle. Cut your dough into 9 circles.
- Place each scone on a lined baking tray with some space between them.
- Brush each scone on top with a little milk and sprinkle on some extra cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to sit on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Watch The Tutorial
Recipe Notes and Guidance
- Make sure the milk, butter and cheese are chilled and cold before use.
- Don’t overmix the dough. Stop when everything has come together.
- Make sure your baking powder is fresh, not expired and hasn’t been opened for longer than 6 months before use.
- Cheese and Chive Scones – Add 1 tbsp fresh, chopped chives along with the cheese.
- Cheese and Marmite Scones – Add 1 tbsp of marmite to the milk along with the mustard.
- Chilli Cheese Scones – Omit the mustard. Add 0.5 tsp cayenne chilli powder with the flour, or replace some of the cheese with a Mexican chilli cheese, or add some chopped jalapenos along with the cheddar.