Easy Classic British Cheese Scones

British cheese scones recipe

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 scones
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
313 Calories
15g Fat
33g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 313
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 827mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 356mg 27%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 119mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

British baking has a rich and delicious history, and scones are the backbone of British baking. Whether sweet or savory, they are commonly served with a traditional afternoon tea. Sweet ones are usually accompanied by jam and clotted cream. This recipe goes savory with cheese, which are the kings of the savory British scone and surprisingly quick and easy to make.

One key to light and fluffy scones that rise well is to use a delicate hand when combining the ingredients so the finished product doesn't become overly dense. A good scone will have a bit of a craggy-looking top and a crumbly but not dry texture; it definitely should resemble a cake, cookie, or a muffin.

Scones can be eaten hot but not straight from the oven. Let them cool slightly or serve cold. These cheese scones are also a lovely addition to a light lunch, perhaps with a green salad or a bowl of potato leek soup, and perfect to pop in the lunch box.

This recipe calls for self-rising flour, but if you can't find it or don't have it, you can easily make your own self-rising flour at home.

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Click Play to See These Classic British Cheese Scones Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (225 g) self-rising flour, more for the baking sheet

  • 1/4 cup (55 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, more for greasing the pan

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup (110 g) finely grated cheese, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) milk, plus 1 tablespoon for the egg wash

  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 400 F (205 C).

    Ingredients for British cheese scones
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  2. Generously grease a baking sheet with butter, then sprinkle with a little flour to prevent the scones from sticking.

    Greased and floured baking sheet
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  3. Sieve the self-rising flour into a large baking bowl. Add the butter, baking powder, and salt. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips, working as quickly as possible. The mixture is ready when it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

    Flour combined with butter in a bowl
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  4. Add 1/2 cup (55 g) of the finely grated cheese and the dry mustard to the mixture. Mix well.

    Cheese and mustard powdered added to scone ingredients
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture and, using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough. If you add too much, sprinkle with a little flour to prevent the dough from being too sticky.

    Milk poured into a well in the center
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  6. Turn the mixture out onto a floured board or work surface and knead very lightly just until smooth. Gently roll out to a 3/4-inch (2-cm) thickness.

    Dough rolled out in a circle with a rolling pin
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  7. Cut rounds with a 3-inch (7.5-cm) cutter or slice into triangles with a sharp knife.

    Dough cut into rounds using a cutter
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  8. Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake on an upper rack in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

    Topped with egg wash and sprinkled with cheese on a baking tray
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  9. Cool on a wire rack before eating.

    Baked scones cooling on a wire rack
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  10. Serve split across the middle and spread with butter. Enjoy.

    Cheese scones split with butter
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Recipe Variations

  • You can alter the flavor of cheese scones quite a bit depending on what kind of cheese you use. Gruyere or extra-sharp aged cheddar will add stronger flavor, while milder cheeses will make a milder scone. For lightly spicy scones, use finely shredded pepper jack cheese.
  • Add chopped fresh chives to the flour along with the baking powder and salt.
  • Add minced red onion to the flour mixture.
  • Add cooked, crumbled bacon to the scones.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Scones will keep well for a couple of days if stored in an airtight container. Just refresh them in a hot oven for a few minutes and they spring back to life. 
  • Scones freeze well. Use wax or parchment paper between scones to keep them from sticking, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag or container for up to three months.

How Do I Get My Cheese Scones to Rise?

Before making cheese scones, check the expiration date on your self-rising flour and baking powder. Out-of-date leavening agents can lead to flat scones. It's also important not to over-work the dough, since it can make the scones dense.

Why Aren't My Scones Fluffy?

If the dough is overworked or if too much flour is used, the scones will be hard and won't rise as much. Use a light hand and knead just enough to bring the dough together.

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