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How to Make Basic Buttermilk Scones

These Basic Buttermilk Scones are so simple to pull together in a short time. They bake up super tender and absolutely delicious. They are the perfect canvas for butter, jam and any other topping you want to serve for breakfast or tea.
A stack of two Buttermilk SconesI’ve been making all kind of scones for years, but I’ve never made simple Basic Buttermilk Scones without any mix-ins. I think it’s time to give you a basic recipe that you can expand on. Over the course of the next couple posts, I will show you how to make these melt-in-your-mouth plain buttermilk scones that are perfect the way they are, but can also be spruced up with any mix-ins your heart desires.

How to Make Basic Buttermilk Scones

How to make basic buttermilk sconesBasic Buttermilk Scones have lots of buttermilk of course, and some very cold butter. It starts with working the butter into the flour mixture with the tip of your fingers, similar to making any type of pastry dough. You want the butter pieces to be visible still within the flour mixture, pea and bean size.

How to make basic buttermilk sconesThen add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract mixture. Reserve between 1 to 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk mixture to use as egg wash later. Fold in the flour until a wet dough forms. Dump everything out on a floured counter and pat it out with your hands, fold it over itself a few times, this will create layers when baked up. Shape into a circle about 1” thick and slice into 8 pieces.

How to make basic buttermilk sconesWhile working this Basic Buttermilk Scones dough, use only as much extra flour as needed to keep everything from sticking. You don’t want to add too much flour to the point of drying out the scones. A slightly wet dough will yield softer scones once baked.

Buttermilk Scones on a tray with jamTransfer the scones onto a baking sheet, and brush with the reserved buttermilk/egg mixture – this acts as our egg wash to enhance browning while baking. Add turbinado sugar generously for shine and extra sweetness. I always use an insulated baking sheet for scones to keep the bottom of the scones from getting too brown. A regular baking sheet will work, but you may want to pull them out a minute before so their bottoms don’t brown too much and start to burn.

A stack of two Buttermilk SconesI love to serve these Basic Buttermilk Scones slightly warm with a cup of coffee for breakfast or with afternoon tea. If you must have something extra, a simple pat of butter and jam will do. Or maybe serve them with some homemade lemon curd and blueberry compote. Enjoy and stay tune for more scones next time!

Buttermilk Scones on a tray with jamIf you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

Buttermilk Scones on a tray with jam

Basic Buttermilk Scones

These Basic Buttermilk Scones are so simple to pull together in a short time. They bake up super tender and absolutely delicious. They are the perfect canvas for butter, jam and any other topping you want to serve for breakfast or tea.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, European
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 scones
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Trang


  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 oz unsalted butter - cubed & cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder to a medium mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  • Toss the cubed butter in the flour mixture and work it into the flour with the tip of your fingers until about large pea size.
  • In a measuring cup, add buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture, reserving about 1 1/2 tablespoons to use as egg wash.
  • Fold with a spatula or wooden spoon until a wet dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, fold it over itself a few times, and shape into a circle about 1” thick.
  • Cut into 8 scones.
  • Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, brush the top and sides with the reserved egg wash, and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 19 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.


Serving: 85g | Calories: 276kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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These Basic Buttermilk Scones are so simple to pull together in a short time. They bake up super tender and absolutely delicious. | wildwildwhisk.com #scones #buttermilk #buttermilkscones

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  1. September 15, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I had to get creative with this recipe this first time trying it, only because I was lacking several ingredients, but was really in the mood for scones! It turned out I only had 1 and half cups of white flour (and no whole wheat), so I filled out the second cup with oat fiber – wish I’d thought to use almond flour, which I keep in the fridge; maybe next time! Also, I only had 1/3 c. of buttermilk, so added some liquidy yogurt to top it off. My baking powder is nearly one year post expiration. Used coconut flour to dust the board. No turbinado sugar, but I do have a somewhat coarse raw sugar from TJ’s. And yet, with all those tweaks, my scones came out looking beautiful and puffy. Best of all, they’re delicious (typing this last bit with one hand cause the other is holding a scone 🙂

    • Trang
      September 15, 2019 /

      Excellent Julie! So glad they came out delicious with all your tweaks. Baking is all about experimenting so keep on doing what you’re doing, you got it!

  2. Charles
    August 21, 2019 /

    4 stars
    I cooked these separated on parchment paper so that they would brown on all sides. They looked and tased great, but, if anything., I should have made them thicker before putting them on the parchment. They spread more than I thought they would. This may not bother most people and it is NOT a big deal, but I like to slice my scones in half and toast them. These are too thin for me to slice. I will make again and see if I can make them thicker.

    • Trang
      August 21, 2019 /

      You can certainly cut them smaller and thicker next time.

      • CYNTHIA Bennett
        November 2, 2019 /

        I made this recipe but added 1cup of cranberries(dried).. It was great..

        • Trang
          November 4, 2019 /

          Great Cynthia, this recipe is perfect for mix-ins!

  3. Mary Beth
    August 20, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I have never made a lighter scone. My husband ate one and said “Wow these are the lightest scones I have ever eaten, some can be rock-like.” I only tried your recipe because I had the buttermilk, now it will be in my recipe file.

    • Trang
      August 20, 2019 /

      You made my day Mary Beth! I’m so glad you tried it 🙂

  4. Lanet
    July 20, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Delicious, fluffy, and so easy to put together

  5. Christine H
    June 20, 2019 /

    Just made these in Denver, CO while visiting a friend and they came out great even at altitude. I didn’t even think about any modifications until they were in the oven.

    • Trang
      June 20, 2019 /

      Glad to hear, thanks Christine!

  6. Ralph Craig
    May 5, 2019 /

    I had to use at least two tablespoons of of preserves to keep these sweet babies from floating off the plate. I will own up to letting the dough sit covered for 10 or 12 minutes to give the acid a headstart working with the powder/soda stuff before popping in the oven. This is now officially my goto scone recipe, thank you so much! BTW, I’ve been baking for 62 years, and still looking to improve…

    • Trang
      May 6, 2019 /

      Thanks so much Ralph! That’s amazing, 62 years of baking, it’s an honor to have you here. I’ve been using this basic recipe and branch off to many different flavor scones, and I’m glad you like it!

  7. Heather
    April 9, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I just made this today because I had exactly 2/3 c of buttermilk left over from making Irish soda bread. I substituted whole wheat pastry flour and egg substitute because that’s all I had in the house, and the scones came out delicious!!!! This will be my go-to scones recipe from now on!

    • Trang
      April 10, 2019 /

      Excellent Heather, this recipe is so versatile and forgiving and that’s why I love it. You could add whatever filling you’d like next time or check out some of the other scones in the archive for inspiration! 🙂

  8. October 13, 2018 /

    5 stars
    It’s really great to find a basic scone recipe without additions. These would be lovely with some jam and cream and a nice cuppa

  9. September 11, 2018 /

    5 stars
    Now I’ve craving a warm scone with some chia jam and a cup of tea! They look great Trang. Love the step by step photos too!

    • Trang
      September 11, 2018 /

      Thanks Leanne! Warm scone with chia jam sounds perfect!

  10. September 11, 2018 /

    A perfect recipe!

    • Trang
      September 11, 2018 /

      Thank you Mimi!

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