Scones are a traditional breakfast or teatime treat that are a single-serve quick bread that uses baking powder as the leavening agent.

Even though we think of scones as a British staple, we in America have adopted them as our own, but with some differences. The British version has less fat and sugar added in the basic recipe however more butter and jelly or jam is served when the scones are eaten.

The American version is more buttery and flaky in texture. The liquid may be buttermilk, yogurt, or cream. Eggs may or not be added. As with all quick breads, do not over-mix, since over-mixing can cause the bread to become tough.

Scones are best served warm. There are many versions of scones — they may be sweet or savory and depending on the flavor variation, are the perfect addition to breakfast, to be served with soup or salad or to be eaten with coffee or tea. I invite you to try the following recipes to see if you might like to add them to your favorites.

Get your oatmeal to go with this fiber-boosted version of scones. Serve with raspberry jam for a special treat.

Raspberry Oat Scones

(Makes 8 scones)


1½ cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut up, very cold

6 oz. raspberries (1½ cup)

¼ cup candied ginger, finely chopped

2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

¾ cup low-fat buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. In food processor, pulse ¾ cup oats until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and pulse to combine. Add cold butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Stir in raspberries, ginger, lemon zest, and remaining ¾ cup oats. Stir in buttermilk. With floured hands, knead gently until dough just comes together, do not overwork (dough will be sticky). On floured surface pat dough into 12” by 4” loaf. Cut into 4 squares, and then cut each diagonally in half to form 8 triangles. With spatula, transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Garnish with oats. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack; let cool or serve warm. *If desired, dough can be dropped in mounds on the prepared baking sheet rather than cutting into triangles. Source: Good Housekeeping Magazine, June 2017.

This basic scone recipe is the first one I tried for scones and has continued to be a favorite go-to recipe for me. They raise high and are light in texture. I have used the recipe in several classes I have taught through the years, varying the fruit with the seasons.


(Makes 8 scones)


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup buttermilk

⅔ cup currants or other dried fruit


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter to flour mixture. Cut in using a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in currants and then buttermilk. When dough comes together, turn out onto lightly floured board. (Do not overmix.) Knead gently about 6-8 times. Pat into circle about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet. Leave about 2-inches between scones. Sprinkle tops lightly with granulated sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Try this lower-fat scone recipe that incorporates cornmeal in with the flour and makes use of frozen berries. It was a winning recipe from Better Homes & Gardens in 2008.

Cornmeal-Blueberry Scones

(Makes 12 scones)


1⅓ cups all-purpose flour

⅔ cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup cold butter, cut up

½ cup buttermilk

1 egg

1½ teaspoons finely shredded lime peel

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3 to 4 teaspoons lime juice

1 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center. Combine buttermilk, egg and lime peel; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir with a fork just until moistened. Toss frozen berries with cornstarch to coat; add to flour mixture. Stir gently 3 to 5 turns just until berries are incorporated (do not overmix). Using a large spoon, drop dough into 12 mounds on baking sheet, leaving 1-inch between mounds. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are golden. For icing, in a small bowl whisk enough lime juice into powdered sugar to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm scones. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve warm. Source: Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications “Best-Loved Reader Recipes, 125 Winners from 1930 to Today”, 2013.

Bernie Mason has written the Local Flavor column for the Billings Gazette for three years or so. She was Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.