These light and fluffy cheese scones made from basic ingredients and are on the table in under 30 minutes. With crispy edges and melty cheese, they are so delicious when enjoyed warm from the oven split open and spread with a little butter. Enjoy for brunch, lunch or afternoon tea!
I personally think savoury scones are the most useful of recipes to have to hand. Cheese scones are the original favourite (I’ve been baking these for over 30 years!), but these cheese and onion scones and cheese and chive scones are both popular variations, and these cauliflower cheese scones are handy for using up leftover cooked cauliflower.
A simple cheese scone recipe like this one is a saviour for many meals! I often bake a batch of scones as a last minute side to casseroles or chicken stew instead of pasta or potatoes, or as an easy bread alternative to soups. In addition to this they are a quick and easy after school snack.
Of course, scones aren’t just savoury, they can be sweet, like these fluffy Caramilk scones, which are another tasty scone for hungry kids after a day at school!
Why we love this recipe
- Savoury scones are a quick and easy recipe that makes a great healthy kids snack, and are delicious in school lunch boxes. Made in one bowl, they take just 10 minutes to prepare.
- Budget friendly recipe – scones, in their basic form, use simple ingredients that you are pretty much guaranteed to have in your pantry and fridge.
- These are egg free scones – great for those with allergies, or if you want to save your eggs for making meals like Spanish tortilla.
- Scones freeze well, both baked and unbaked. So you can make a batch and freeze half uncooked, or freeze any leftover scones. For a detailed how-to on freezing cheese scones please scroll down to ‘how to freeze cheese scones.’
- Kid friendly recipe – not only do kids love eating cheese scones, but they are an easy recipe that is great to make with them. My 5 year old son will often ask hopefully if we can make some cheese scones for lunch.
- Homemade scones are so much tastier – and cheaper! – than store bought!
Ingredients notes and substitutions
Please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient quantities.
- Plain flour – or all purpose flour.
- Butter – unsalted butter. Use cold butter to ensure your scones are light and fluffy as the cold butter melts in the oven leaving little gaps – this adds to the light texture.
- Baking powder – this leavener creates that rise in fluffy scones.
- Cheese – I often use a cheaper cheddar cheese or tasty cheese, but a vintage cheddar would be delicious too. Or make these scones to use up odds and ends of cheese – some chopped brie or camembert, or crumble in some blue cheese.
- Milk – I like to use full fat milk or full cream milk. When mixed with water you lower the fat content, and you need a bit of creamy fat for flavour and texture – this is what makes the best cheese scones!
- Water – water mixed with milk helps create lighter scones, and water is cheaper than milk too!
How to make cheese scones
Please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for the full recipe.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder.
- Add the cold butter. TIP: I find it easier to add the butter cut in to cubes or roughly chopped in to pieces to help rub it in to the flour easier without working the dough too much.
- Lightly rub the butter in to the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. TIP: don’t be heavy handed or use the whole of your hand – the lighter the touch the lighter the scone.
- Lightly stir through the grated cheese.
- In a small bowl mix the milk, water and mustard together.
- Pour the wet ingredients in to the flour mixture
- Stir until the scone dough just comes together. TIP: don’t over mix as this can result in tough scones.
- Place the scone dough on a lightly floured surface
- Roll out the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to 3cm (1.2 inch) thick. TIP: don’t add too much flour wen dusting your board or rolling pin as this can prevent the scones from rising.
- Cut out round scones using a 58mm (2 ¼ inch) scone cutter or cookie cutter, and place on the lined baking tray, almost touching. Sprinkle over a little extra grated cheese (this is optional but looks pretty, and extra cheese is always a good thing in my opinion!), then place in a preheated oven and bake until golden.
You can eat cheese scones plain, with a little butter, or top with savoury toppings from more cheese to smoked salmon, cream cheese, roast veggies or even leftover cooked chicken!
Yes! You can freeze cheese scones both cooked and uncooked, both ways freeze very well.
Yes! You can make cheese scones with self raising flour, use the same amount of flour and reduce the baking powder to a teaspoon.
First check your baking powder isn’t too old – try to use baking powder within 6 months. If you overwork the scone dough this can prevent them from rising as well, and if you roll the raw scone dough out too thinly then you won’t get well-risen scones.
My recipe tips to making light scones
- Use cold ingredients for the best scones – so cold butter straight from the fridge, cold milk and cold water. Like pastry, scones are best.
- Don’t roll the dough out too thinly – you want it to be a thickness of 3 cm / 1.2 inch – if you start off by making the scones too thin, you won’t be able to get a good rise on them.
- When cutting out the scones – Don’t twist the cutter in the dough – just press down and bring up. The twisting motion can prevent the scones from rising as well.
- Place the scones in a hot oven – this will help them rise, creating tall scones that are light in texture.
Scones are best eaten on the day they are made, and especially moreish when eaten still warm from the oven. However if you do have some leftover scones, they can easily be reheated under the grill (I love toasting them under the grill until crisp!), or in a microwave for a second or two – although be careful, any longer and they can become tough.
How to freeze cheese scones
Both cooked cheese scones and raw dough can be frozen. So I often make a batch, but only cook half and then I have another half to put straight from the freezer to the oven on days when I haven’t the time or energy to cook. To freeze cheese scones:
- Unbaked scones
- Roll out the dough and cut as per the recipe.
- Place the uncooked scones on a baking tin or freezer proof plate lined with baking paper, making sure the scones aren’t touching.
- Freeze until solid.
- Wrap the scones individually in greaseproof paper or cling film / cling wrap then place in a sealable bag or container with lid.
- Freeze for up to 1 month.
- To cook frozen scones: Cook from frozen at the same oven temperature – they will take an extra 5 mins or so.
- Baked scones
- Cool the scones completely.
- Wrap individually in greaseproof paper or cling film / cling wrap and place the scones in a sealable bag or container. Wrapping well will help prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze for up to 1 month.
- To defrost: Unwrap the scones and place on a cooling rack to thaw. If you thaw them in the wrapping they risk becoming soggy with condensation.
- To warm the scones: Place in a preheated oven at 150˚C / 300˚F for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
As well as a delicious addition to afternoon tea alongside a plate of chocolate Bourbon biscuits and a slice of lemon drizzle cake or chocolate orange cake, cheese scones are, in my opinion, a saviour for many meals!
- Lunch – serve sliced topped with cream cheese, slices of cheddar and chutney, or alongside a bowl of comforting pumpkin soup. If you are using up some blue cheese or stilton, they would be especially delicious with this mushroom walnut soup.
- Dinner – these savoury scones are a delicious side to sausage stew, or top with a couple of spoonfuls of savoury mince.
How to use leftover cheese scones
Make them into croutons: cut or crumble into cubes then place in a preheated oven if it’s on, around 180˚C / 356˚F and cook for 5 – 10 minutes until golden and crunchy. You can stir through some melted butter before placing in the oven to help them go crispier.
Mini scone pizzas – top with homemade pizza sauce (it freezes so well, I always keep a spoonful or two in the freezer for emergency pizza situations) or a little tomato puree, sprinkle with cheese and add chopped ham or salami, chopped bell peppers / capsicum and place under a medium-hot grill until the cheese has melted.
- Spice – a pinch of smoked paprika for smokiness, or hot paprika or cayenne pepper for a touch of heat. Mix this in with the flour before adding the liquid.
- Black pepper – I love to add a generous pinch of freshly crushed black peppercorns – my son is not as keen! Mix the black pepper in with the flour before adding the liquid.
- Worcestershire Sauce – this is my kitchen staple and I do love adding it to cheese dishes like cauliflower macaroni cheese. Mix in to the milk and water before adding to the dry ingredients.
Why not try…
If you want to see more budget savoury baking ideas, you may also like:
- 225g (1½ c) plain flour ($0.27 / £0.14)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder ($0.10 / £0.04)
- 50 g cold butter, cubed ($0.65 / £0.35)
- 100g (3½ oz) cheddar cheese, grated ($1.16 / £0.80)
- 60 ml (¼ c) cold milk ($0.10 / £0.04)
- 60 ml (¼ c) cold water ($0 / £0)
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ($0.04 / £0.01)
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan / 220˚C / 392˚F convection / 430˚F
- Line a baking tray with baking paper / baking parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder.
- Add the butter, then lightly rub it in to the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir through the grated cheese.
- Mix the milk, water and mustard together in a small bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients in to the flour mixture and stir lightly until the mixture just comes together. You don't want to over mix the dough as this will result in heavy scones.
- Place the scone dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to 3cm (1.2 inch) thick.
- Cut out rounds using a 58mm (2 ¼ inch) scone cutter or cookie cutter, and place on the lined baking tray, almost touching. Don't twist the cutter in the dough – just press down and bring up. The twisting motion can prevent the scones from rising as well.
- Sprinkle over a little extra grated cheese (this is optional but recommended!), then place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the scones have risen and are lightly golden.
- Cool on a wire rack.