How to make the most light and fluffy cheese scones, the tricks in making your scones rise and how to serve them. Easy recipe using plain flour with suggested best cheeses.
Best scones ever! I’ve always made dry or crumbly scones boooo so a very huge THANK YOU for sharing your awesome recipe, and the tips were so helpful.Emma
Quick and Easy Cheese Scone Recipe
There's something incredibly comforting about serving warm, light and fluffy cheese scones with melted butter and a pot of tea. It's Oh-so-British!
My teenage girls are both French and British. As we have always lived in France, the British part of the girls has them often crave cheese scones. They're associated with their nostalgic family trips to Scotland - their Madeleine de Proust, so to speak. However, in France, they are not made in Parisian bakeries. What? Quoi?
So we make them at home - especially as they're so quick and easy to rustle up.
What makes a good cheese scone? It's light, high and fluffy. I started off many years ago using the classic recipe in the Be-Ro Flour Cookbook. Now, over the years I have used this slightly adapted recipe which ensures they have a lovely height.
Best Flour to Use for Scones
It's best to use plain flour for this recipe, so you can control how much baking powder goes in. This scone recipe also includes an egg.
How to Make Cheese Scones Rise & Fluff
These are my top 3 tricks to making the best, high rise fluffy scones:
- Don't be shy on the baking powder. I use a sachet of French levure chimique (11g which is no more than a level tablespoon). If using self-raising flour, use just a teaspoon;
- Scone dough should be wet. It's messy but I assure you, it works. Too dry makes them crumbly;
- Don't work the dough too much - including not rolling it out too flat. Keep it quite thick, cutting them with a scone or cookie cutter.
Best Cheese to Use for Savoury Scones
Ideally use a good, strong, mature cheddar (orange will give it a lovely colour but it's not necessary) as the flavour should shine through. Using half of grated aged parmesan or a mature hard orange vieille mimolette adds extra punch too. The stronger the better!
As we don't have the easiest access to the best mature cheddar in France, I use a half and half mix of what orange cheddar I can find with best quality French Comté cheese (preference 12-18 months mature). I guess that gives them a Scottish-French Auld Alliance!
It's easy to customise your own cheese scones. While this recipe contains fresh herbs, it's easy to replace them with (or add) a tablespoon of any of the following:
Fluffy Cheese Scones - Egg Wash with Milk
For a royal scone look, brush the tops of the scones with a milk and egg yolk wash. A wash is simply to give them a glazed, shiny appearance once baked.
If you don't have any extra eggs to hand, however, you can brush the tops of the scones with milk only (alas, for the pictures here, we ran out of eggs as they were rationing them at the market at the start of the pandemic).
Before they go in the oven, top the scones with more grated cheese and/or poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
The result? The cheese scones have a lovely, finished shine that gives that slight crunch to the outside. Split open warm, they're soft, light and fluffy inside - ready to spread with quickly melting butter!
Can I Freeze Scones?
The bonus is that they freeze very well. When cool, store in a ziplock bag or sealed container and freeze for up to 6 weeks to conserve their best cheesy flavour.
Either defrost thoroughly or remove 15 minutes before heating in a warm oven for about 15 minutes.
What To Serve With Cheese Scones
Cheese scones are best split in half while warm. Just spread on a little salted butter and watch it melt. So what do you eat with them? They're delicious as part of a classic British style teatime served with finger sandwiches - ideally eaten before the sweet cakes.
- French pea soup (potage Saint-Germain) - either with fresh, frozen or split peas;
- Fresh Vegetable Soup - no stock needed, just the freshest seasonal veggies;
- Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup;
- Pastina Italian Soup
- Crème du Barry Cauliflower Velouté (can be made without the yolks and replace cauliflower with any fresh or frozen vegetable you have at hand. I make it also with broccoli - it's so rich & creamy);
- Smoked Garlic and Rocket (arugula)
- Sweetcorn and Red Pepper Chowder
- Leek and Potato Soup (Potage Bonne Femme)
Just one of the latest reviews:
"Having never gotten on with buttermilk scone recipes, I tried this recipe and it is AMAZING, scones come out perfect every single time. I’ve made them about 5 times in a fortnight.Leanne
Can’t recommend enough 12/10 thank you!"
Fluffy Cheese Scones
- 250 g (9oz/ 2 cups) Plain (all-purpose) flour T55
- 11 g (1 tablespoon scant) Baking powder (use only 1 teaspoon if using self-raising flour)
- 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt & pepper
- 50 g (2oz/ ¼ cup) Butter, unsalted (at room temperature)
- 100 g (3.5oz/ 1 cup) Cheese, finely grated (Cheddar, French Comté, Mimolette)*
- 1 tablespoon Rosemary, finely chopped (or fresh thyme, chives, dried Herbes de Provence)
- 1 egg (@60g)
- 100 ml (3.5fl oz/ ½ cup) Milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
Scone Glaze or Wash
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
- Heat oven to 220°C/425°F/200°C fan/Gas 7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder/soda, salt, pepper, and rosemary (or other herbs) in a large bowl. Either rub in the butter using your fingers but if you have a mixer, this is even better. Mix just until the butter looks like breadcrumbs in the flour then add the cheese. Add the egg and milk and mix until fully combined. The result should be a sticky, wet dough. If you find it's too dry, add a little bit more milk.
- Roll out on a floured surface to about 2 cm thick (nearly an inch) and using a scone/cookie cutter (6cm/2.5"), cut out medium-sized rounds. Alternatively, to save time or if you don't have cutters, roll into a circle (use a plate as a guide) and cut into triangles with a sharp knife.
- Place on the baking tray and brush with the egg wash - mixture of egg yolk and a little milk to glaze (yolk is optional but recommended for an extra shiny glaze).
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.