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Homemade Buttermilk Scones

Light & tender Homemade Buttermilk Scones made from scratch in just 20 minutes ! Afternoon tea wouldn't be complete without a batch of warm scones fresh from the oven.
An easy, foolproof recipe for light and fluffy buttermilk scones with step by step instructions to make perfect scones every time.
4.88 from 75 votes
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Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 standard size
Calories: 218kcal
Author: Sarah James
standard size


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Pastry / Cookie Cutter
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking sheet


Scone Dough

    • 450 grams self raising flour or plain flour / all purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
    • A pinch salt
    • 175 grams butter diced and at room temperature
    • 4 tbsp caster sugar
    • 150 ml buttermilk - plus a little extra when mixing can be substituted with half milk and half yoghurt
    • 1 large egg beaten
    • milk or egg wash
    • 100 grams sultanas Optional


    • Preheat your oven to 425°F / 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7
    • Sift the flour, bicarb and salt into a large mixing bowl.
    • Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
    • Add sugar and stir with a spatula.
    • Add sultanas if using and stir again.
    • Form a well in the centre of the mix with your spatula.
    • In a small bowl beat the egg and buttermilk (or yoghurt and milk) and pour into the centre of your scone mixture.
    • Quickly pull the mix together - I tend to start mixing with the spatula and then go in with my hands to form the mixture into a ball.
    • The scone dough should be slightly sticky and soft. Add a little extra buttermilk if you find the dough a little dry.
    • Keep mixing to the absolute minimum.
    • Turn your dough onto a floured board.
    • Pat out your dough gently, maintaining a thick dough of 3 cm (1 ⅓ inch)
    • Cut out your scones using a circular pastry/cookie cutter. Push down your cutter quickly using the palm of your hand and don't twist the cutter.
    • For large scones use a 70 mm (2 ¾ ins) cutter or 58 mm (2 ¼ ins) for smaller scones.
    • Bring the trimmings back together and cut the rest of your scones. Don't over work or you will end up with tough scones.
    • Place your scones onto a greased baking tray.
    • Brush the tops of your scones with milk or egg wash.
    • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (large) or 12 minutes (standard) until golden brown.
    • Cool on a wire rack.
    • Serve with jam and cream or butter.



    • The recipe is for 9 large or 12 standard size scones.
    • For the perfect soft scone, keep mixing to the minimum.
    • To substitute buttermilk, simply use the same quantity of regular milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar. This gives it an acidity similar to that of buttermilk which is essential for working with the bicarbonate of soda to give you light and fluffy scones.
    • Alternatively, you can use a 50 / 50 mixture of yoghurt and milk as a buttermilk substitute. You may need to use a little extra milk if you use 50/50 yoghurt and milk.
    • Scones are best eaten as fresh as possible but you can keep them for a couple of days in an airtight container. Refresh for a few minutes in a hot oven before serving.
    • Buttermilk scones freeze well. Pop your scones into a freezer bag and they will keep for up to three months. Refresh in a hot oven before serving.
    Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
    Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg