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Cheddar and Black Pepper Scones


An omnipresent coffee shop treat, scones usually come plain or dotted with fruit or nuts. Spread with butter and jam or preserves, they've become a sweet staple at breakfast and tea time.

Whether wedges, squares or circles of a buttery biscuit-type dough, scones needn't be thought of as simply a sweet treat. Offer a savory version in the bread basket at your main meal. Baked quickly at high heat until golden brown, they're very similar to baking powder biscuits, and are easily seasoned to go with whatever you're serving.

Recipe updated Feb.1, 2018; see "tips," below, for details.

At a glance

about 40 small scones
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:

  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper (See "tips," below.)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • milk (for glaze)


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Weigh your flour; you'll find its weight by toggling to "ounces" at the top of the ingredient section above. Or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Work in the butter and cheese. Stir in the black pepper.
  4. Gently stir in the buttermilk or yogurt.
  5. Gather the mixture into a ball with your hands, and on a well-floured surface roll or pat the dough into a 12" x 8" rectangle approximately 3/4" thick.
  6. Using a large spatula, or a couple of spatulas, transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  7. Refrigerate the dough for half an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  9. Use a dough scraper, baker's bench knife or a knife to cut dough into 1 1/2" squares.
  10. Separate the squares slightly on the baking sheet. Brush each square with a little milk.
  11. Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're very lightly browned.
  12. Store, wrapped, at room temperature for 2 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 scones, 42g
  • Servings Per Batch 20
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 132 cal
  • Calories from Fat
  • Total Fat 6.4g
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol 19mg
  • Sodium 302mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 14g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.