Cranberry Buttermilk Scones

by Maris Callahan on May 7, 2009

Okay, I know what you’re all thinking. “Between all of the scones and pasta…and more pasta….how does she roll herself through the doorways?”

Well,  the truth is that I’d be doing everyone who reads this blog a harsh disservice if I didn’t tempt you regularly with the baked goods I swear by (anyway, a girl can’t live forever on broccoli, right?)

The first time I’d ever had a scone was from a local bakery that my mother and I love. By love, I mean, we talk about going there three days before we actually do and will travel out of our way to go to the CVS next door just so we can pop in “since we’re right here.”

After discovering my love of chocolate chip scones I set out to make my own. In the past year, I’ve made a few different versions, like pumpkin, blueberry and now cranberry, from a recipe that I found on one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch My Salt.

Even though I still wouldn’t call these health food, they’re probably less indulgent than the kind you’d pick up at a high-quality bakery. I like to go out to eat as much as the next person but there is something to be said for cooking at home and knowing exactly what is going in your food – or in this case, how much butter.

Buttermilk Cranberry Scones

What You Need:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped fine
finely grated zest from one small lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
heavy cream (optional, for brushing tops of scones)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest; place bowl in fridge.

4. Get organized: measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat; set aside. Lightly dust a counter top with flour. Pour a little bit of heavy cream in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.

5. Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.

6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together. Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything. Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer. Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream (optional).

7. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to cooling rack.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

kat May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

I’m still looking for a scone as good as the ones I had in London this one looks pretty darn good.


Allie May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

I can’t resist scones with cappuccino and a good book.


ksgoodeats May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

You have the best recipes! Every time I check your blog I get hungry. Those look fabulous :)


leslie May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

yep..eatting healthy stinks..I usually fall of the wagon by day 4 when I get the urge to bake.


Erin May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

I’ve never even ate a scone, much less made them! Yours look really good!


Pearl May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

what is a texture of a scone?


Cate O'Malley May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

Looks like a delicious way to start the day! And hey, cranberries are an antioxidant, so it’s almost *good* for you!


lisa (dandysugar) May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love scones, especially with a rich strong cup of coffee. The buttermilk in these must make them amazing!


elra May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

Delicious scones, it’s almost week-end, and this post is perfect for it.


gastroanthropologist May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

cranberry is high in antioxidants – that’s healthy right? Now that winter is officially over I too am trying too eat a bit more healthy. I can’t resist cookies and chocolates though!


Lisa (dinner party) May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

“will travel out of our way to go to the CVS next door just so we can pop in “since we’re right here.”
And it’s true, cranberries are good for you!


Sophie May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

MMMMMM…maris! your fruity buttermilk scones look divine!! Sublime indeed!! MMMMMMM….


Debbie Davis May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

Your blog always makes me hungry! And you always have the best food photos! Delicious!


thatShortChick May 7, 2009 at 3:00 am

scones, muffins and doughnuts are MAJOR reasons why breakfast is my favorite.
granted, each of those items is loaded with carbs, sugars, etc but WHO CARES?!


Nicole May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

Those look great! Glad you liked the recipe :-)


Cora @ Cora Cooks May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

OK, so if I remove cheese and crackers from my weekly dinner line-up, can I sub these scones in their place. Cranberries = fruit, and I love cranberries!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

Here’s the catch. One scone is healthy (or healthier). But these look so good — can you really eat just one????


Jamie May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love fresh scones and my husband loves when I pull a pan of them hot out of the oven on a weekend afternoon. These do look fabulous!
I am also trying to diet for two weeks – salads, soups and fruit and NO BAKED GOODS! Yes, I can bake for the others without eating it myself!:-)


RebeccaC May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

Oh sure…the SCONES might be okay but the clotted cream I’ll be smearing all over them….


Melissa May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

I went through a period like that on my blog and wondered if everyone thought that about me too. Like “does she only eat pasta and fattening stuff??” Of course, no, just like you.
And, um, I’ve never had a scone. The whole not liking sweets thing. But I’m getting better, and these do look homemade delicious.


Katie May 9, 2009 at 3:00 am

ha ha, this was funny! I’m doing the same, trying to eat more healthy as of two days ago. I met with a Health Nutritionist at my gym the other day who was doing free first time consultations, and she specializes in helping people cut sugar out, which I really need to do!
I’m trying to succeed by eat more cheese and fruit, less pasta, muffins and of course cookies!
Let us know how it goes! and you’re right, not too much brocoli!


Kerstin May 9, 2009 at 3:00 am

I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately too, although my parents are visiting this weekend and it’s been tough because we’ve been eating out every meal!
Your scones look fantastic – I love the buttermilk and cranberries in them!


Hayley May 10, 2009 at 3:00 am

Scones are still on my long list of things to bake. I better get going. Thanks for the recipe!


Sara May 10, 2009 at 3:00 am

These look delicious! I’m always looking for more ways to use buttermilk, and I even have a carton of it in the fridge right now.


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

What a lovely touch to scones by adding cranberry and using buttermilk! It would make them so deliciously soft! :D


Fabjena May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

This one should taste wonderful! :) ))


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