How to make the most light and fluffy cheese scones, plus tricks how to make your scones rise and what to serve them with. Easy recipe using plain flour – and also on video.

high rise cheesy scones piled on top of each other, surrounded by rosemary and spring onions

Whatever time of day it is, there’s something incredibly comforting about serving warm, light and fluffy cheese scones with melted butter and a pot of tea.

Fluffy Cheese Scones

Homemade Cheesy Scones

My teenage girls are both French and British. When they were little, we’d jump on our cheap shuttle flights from Beauvais to Prestwick, and on arrival, it was so exciting to see Granny and Grandpa waiting for us. This was always followed with our family tradition: we’d head straight to the nearest garden centre for a pot of tea and the most delicious cheesy scones served with lashings of butter. They were so good, it wasn’t for elevenses (in France, this doesn’t exist!) but at 11am we’d instead call it lunch.

The girls would always associate their trips to Scotland with cheese scones and so they’d ask to have them occasionally at home for a special treats (in between the macarons, tuiles, éclairs and tarts, les pauvres!). However, living in France, cheese scones are not one of the treats you’ll find in Parisian bakeries.

As a result, I make cheese scones at home, as they are – surprisingly – so quick and easy to make.


How to Make Your Cheese Scones Rise

My idea of a good cheese scone is that 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. I also prefer using plain flour for the recipe, so I can control how much baking powder goes in. This scone recipe also includes an egg.

There are THREE TRICKS to high rise fluffy scones:

  • Don’t be shy on the baking powder. Even if using self-raising flour, add a teaspoon;
  • Scone dough should be wet. It’s messy but I assure you, it works. Too dry makes them crumbly; and
  • 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.

What Do You Eat Cheese Scones With?

How do you eat your cheese scones?  We just split our cheese scones in half while warm and spread on a little butter, watching it melt.  They’re perfect with a cup of tea for teatime or French goûter – or for lunch with a comforting bowl of soup (see soup ideas below, ideal with cheese scones).

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!

Personally, 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), thus making them a bit of a Scottish-French Auld Alliance.

Fluffy Cheese Scones – The Perfect Glazed Look

For a shiny royal scone look, the best way is to brush the tops of the scones with a milk and egg yolk glaze.

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!).

Topping Ideas

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 and split open warm, they’re soft, light and fluffy inside – ready to spread with quickly melting butter!

What’s more, we love making mini cheese scones for teatime. Just cut out smaller rounds and bake for a couple of minutes less.

fluffy cheese scones soup

When Should you Eat Them?

Cheese scones are delicious as part of a British style afternoon tea with finger sandwiches – ideally served before the sweet individual cakes. See more French teatime recipes.

They are also a real treat served for a light lunch with comforting bowls of soup in winter.
Here are some ideas for homemade soup, using little from the pantry:

Check out many more recipes from the index!
If you love these savoury scones, try our favourite French salted butter biscuits from Brittany called Palets Bretons.

How to Make Light & Fluffy Cheese Scones

high rise cheesy scones piled on top of each other, surrounded by rosemary and spring onions
4.86 from 21 votes

Fluffy Cheese Scones

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course : Breakfast, Snack, teatime, Light Lunch, Brunch
Cuisine : British
Keyword : cheese scones, savoury scones
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 293kcal


An easy recipe using plain flour - with tips on how to make the fluffiest, high-rise light cheese scones for teatime


  • 250 g (9oz) Plain (all-purpose) flour T55
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder (use only 1 tsp if using self-raising flour)
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 50 g (2oz) Butter, unsalted (at room temperature)
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Cheese, finely grated (Cheddar, French Comté, Mimolette)*
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped (or fresh thyme, chives, dried Herbes de Provence)
  • 1 egg (@60g)
  • 100 ml (3.5fl oz) Milk (whole or semi-skimmed)

Scone Glaze

  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp 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 a mixture of egg yolk and a little milk to glaze (yolk is optional but recommended for a shiny glaze).
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.


YIELD: Makes 10-12 scones.
CALORIES: One portion of 2 scones is 293 calories.
CHEESES: mature, strong cheeses are best such as cheddar, mimolette, parmesan, comté & gruyère.
BUTTERMILK SCONES: If you replace the milk with buttermilk, omit 1 tsp of baking powder, but personally I prefer cheese scones made with milk, as find they rise better.
See how to make scones from scratch on video.
WALNUTS: Why not replace the rosemary with crushed walnuts? Delicious with the cheese! (see the Walnut Market Produce page!) or a couple of finely chopped sundried tomatoes

Have you made this recipe?

I’d love to know how it turned out. Please let me know by leaving a rated review below. It means so much to have your support.
On Instagram? Share a photo and tag @JillColonna and hashtag it #madaboutmacarons. À bientôt!

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Comments (32)

5 stars
Dad made these this morning. We had no Rosemary in the garden but added chives instead. They are delicious. Looking forward to enjoying them with soup. Dad is making soup, soup and more soup. I am truly spoiled.

So excited to hear you made them together, Mum – or at least you got to taste! So happy you made something from le blog: makes me feel as if we’re at least together in the kitchen virtually x

5 stars
Since I made your original version, I have to give this a 5 star rating because they are absolutely marvelous! In fact, I’d give them 6 stars if I could! They were wonderful with that turmeric tomato soup (thank you for linking to my soup recipes!) I need to make these again soon! Thanks for sharing!!

Best compliment ever! Thanks, Christina. I’ve just had someone on IG say they love them with jam so I should have perhaps added a list of our jams too…

5 stars
Best ever 🙂 I made your scones before and honestly, they are really super so thanks for sharing and for the printable recipe. Your tips are really useful. Love these scones with a pot of tea for breakfast.

So happy to hear! I realised that my previous recipe post didn’t have a user-friendly printable recipe and so thrilled it’s more useful. I need to try them for breakfast but each time I make them they all disappear around here!