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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

My mom loves bread and all things that are bread-like. This includes scones, which is why I originally tested out this recipe from Pinch My Salt a little over a year ago. Plus, they’re made with buttermilk, which I’ve learned over the years makes almost any recipe delicious.

Not too sweet, not too dry, and heartily filled with whatever yummy ingredients you have lying around, these scones make a wonderful breakfast, especially fresh out of the oven.

The trick, as with any biscuit-like dough, is to work quickly to make sure the little chunks of butter inside don’t melt while you’re working the dough.

I’ve super-loaded the original recipe with almost twice the volume of add-ins written on the ingredient list. I think the nuts add a really nice bit of crunch and give the scone some substance. And even though I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count because my mom loves it so much, I have yet to try substituting the lemon zest for almond extract, which I think would taste amazing.

Buttermilk Cranberry Scones

adapted from Pinch My Salt


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, roughly chopped into smaller chunks
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped into the same size as the chocolate chips & cranberries
  • finely grated zest from one small lemon (about 2 teaspoons) or almond extract?
  • heavy cream (optional, for brushing tops of scones)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.  Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest; place bowl in fridge.
  4. Get organized:  measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat; set aside. Lightly dust a counter top with flour.  Pour a little bit of heavy cream in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.
  5. Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge.  Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together. Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything.  Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer.  Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream (optional).
  7. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to cooling rack.

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