Cherry Lemon Buttermilk Scones

Waste not want not? What does that mean? All I know is I have a lot of buttermilk on hand and it must be used! As I was saying earlier from the baked egg recipe buttermilk is unique to our refrigerator, so I wanted to take advantage of this obscure ingredient. Scones came to mind as I've seen so many recipes using buttermilk, as well as biscuits, which I made earlier but will post later (I'm reluctant about the photos, I think they look contrived and ordinary but I'll leave the self-consciousness about biscuits until then).

I wanted to use a recipe from my new Brunch recipe book, but ingredient list and kitchen contents did not add up. So I found, yet again, a Tartine Bakery recipe. I didn't have blueberries so I added some dried cherries (and a few cranberries). They came out delicious. It's a really great recipe. After making biscuits and scones I'm really not sure if there is a difference, other than sugar content. I liked the dough texture in this recipe for scones (smoother and easier to handle than the biscuits) Do any of you know if there really is a difference between scones and biscuits? Are we talking pancakes vs. hotcakes difference? Just a regional name? In any case I think this is officially brunch week here at Pixels + Crumbs! I love brunch :) Recipe below. Enjoy and happy brunching!


Cherry lemon buttermilk scones
(adapted from Alexandra Cooks + Tartine Bakery)

  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups dried cherries


  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar

Makes 12 scones

Prep work:
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and refrigerate. Soak the dried cherries in warm water for 10 minutes or so. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400º and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Cut the butter in the flour mixture using a pastry blender or a fork cut until crumbly. 

Drain the cherries well and add to flour mixture, add the buttermilk and mix with wooden spoon until well combined and dough starts to hold together. Work with your hands to form dough.

Place ball of dough on lightly floured surface, pat down with palm of hand to 1" thickness. 

Use 2" round cookie cutter to cut scones and place on baking sheet. Take the excess dough and reform or just hand form from remaining (they look great too!)

Top each scone with melted butter and dust with sugar.

Bake until the tops of the scones are lightly browned, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before serving.