Buttermilk Scones

Lake Tahoe, CA

I went to Lake Tahoe with some friends this past weekend and found myself the breakfast cook. It was perfect because I love breakfast foods and I tend to wake up before everybody else.

I love Tahoe in the fall.  The summer is too crowded and the winter is lovely but a lot of work with all the snow.  Although white winters are so worth it; there’s something magical about sitting in front of a fire with a bottomless pot of tea while watching the snow fall…or working up a sweat snowshoeing and trailblazing on freshly fallen snow. The spring is great, too, but I like the fall weather and really appreciate the increasingly shorter days.

So we went to the store and bought groceries for all the meals to enjoy over the three days we would be there.  Although we were having eggs every morning for breakfast, for the second morning I got a request for my scones and on the evening of the second night, was told I had better make scones again.  I guess they liked them!

Buttermilk Scones


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (if you don’t have/don’t want to buy, just add half a tablespoon of vinegar—white wine, or distilled—or lemon juice to fresh milk, mix it up and there you have buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 c. currants (or any dried fruit)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and distribute over flour mixture.  With a pastry blender (or 2 knives) cut the butter into the flour until resembles coarse crumbs, think uniform.

In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture and mix well.  The dough should form a sticky ball. Add currants.

With lightly floured hands, pat dough into an 8-inch diameter circle on an ungreased baking sheet.  With a serrated knife, cut into 8 edges (4 cuts).

Sprinkle coarse sugar on top and bake for 18-20 mins.  Remove and cool for 5 mins.

The scones are best served with butter and jam of your preference.

**You can use any “filling” besides currants, the recipe is very versatile.  I have made it with apricots, almonds, and almond extract (instead of vanilla), or dark chocolate chunks instead of currants.

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