Buttermilk Honey Scones With Lilac
These buttermilk honey scones are buttery, tender on the inside and have a wonderful crust on the outside along with that slight hint of tang from the buttermilk that you look for in a buttermilk scone. Not overly sweet, a perfect compliment for a nice spread or just a light smear of butter and honey or jam. They are simple to make and this scone recipe is one of my favorites and one of the best ones I have made that is adaptable and lends itself to be customized with any additions you like. I chose lilac because what’s better for spring than something infused with lilac. Below is a list of many other flavours and add ins to experiment with. This recipe will quickly become one of your go-to recipes for a solid and simple base buttermilk scone recipe that can easily be sweet or savoury.
I partnered up this month with Bob’s Red Mill to share a great brunch idea. Warm buttery scones are always a win for brunch served with butter and all sorts of preserves and honey - even more so when they can be whipped up in a flash. I am featuring one of my favourite Bob’s products that is always stocked in my pantry and it’s their Organic Unbleached White All Purpose Flour. It’s a premium baking flour freshly milled from certified organic, hard red wheat. Bob’s offers the largest line of organic whole grains - you can find Bob’s Red Mill products online or in store at Whole Foods and more.
These melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk scones are perfect the way they are, but are also super easy to spruce up with mix-ins and any flavour you like. I made these scones with an infused lilac honey and I actually added lilac blooms in them too. This is completely optional but it’s a lovely way to flavour scones especially in the spring time when that beautiful scent of lilac fills the air.
What is in buttermilk honey scones?
Well you already know 2 of the ingredients in the scones - buttermilk and honey but the rest are simple pantry ingredients that are found in pretty much any basic scone recipe. Let me break it down:
- Buttermilk - Buttermilk has some acidity and generally makes dough more tender. They have a better crumb and acid to balance the amount of butter and also add some tanginess. For Homemade buttermilk: for every 1 cup of milk add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.Allow to sit a few minutes to thicken before using. OR a good substitute is also sour cream diluted with a bit of half and half which makes it sweeter and not so thick.
- Honey - i used a beautiful lilac infused honey for mine but any honey will do the trick. Recipe below for the lilac honey which is easy to make and can be made with lavender too. If you want to use maple syrup or sugar instead just replace the honey for it - same amount. I only did ¼ cup of honey because i don’t like my scones overly sweet. Feel free to add more if you like yours sweet. I like to drizzle honey on mine after they are baked.
- Flour - a good all purpose flour like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All Purpose Flour is essential but can also be replaced with a good all purpose 1-1 gluten free flour as well.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- The rest of the ingredients include pantry items like baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt.
How to make the scones
These basic Buttermilk Scones are made with lots of buttermilk of course, and some very cold butter for that delicious buttery taste and tender texture. This recipe is beyond easy to make! It comes together quickly and bakes up in a few short minutes. The Dough - The dough uses the biscuit method for mixing. This calls for mixing the dry ingredients together first. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients. Shape the dough knot a disc and then slice into scones. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. I always like to chill my scones before baking while the oven preheats and then bake and enjoy as is or with a simple drizzle of honey or glaze
TIPS on making the best buttermilk scones:
- The number one tip for scones in general is keeping the dough cool. Cold butter and cold buttermilk are essential. You want to make sure the butter pieces are still visible within the dough. When the scones are baked at high temperature, the butter will melt leaving behind pockets, creating that flaky texture.
- Use only as much extra flour for dusting as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Adding too much extra flour can dry out the scones. A slightly wet dough will yield softer more tender scones once baked.
- Refrigerating or freezing the dough before baking could help curb the spreading of scones in the oven and allow them to rise higher.
- This recipe makes 8 fairly large scones, cut them smaller if you wish to make a batch of 12 mini scones. Bake the mini scones for about 15 minutes.
These scones are so light and tasty, and so very easy and quick to make. You will love them slightly warm with a cup of coffee or tea for brekkie, brunch or afternoon tea with butter and honey for drizzling. If you like this recipe be sure to check out these:
- Blackberry Lemon Scones With a Lavender Glaze
- Buttery Blueberry Scones With A Thyme Glaze
- Lilac Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake With a Lilac Glaze
- Creamy Lemon Possets Infused With Lilac
I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
For the scones
- 1 cup buttermilk + extra for brushing
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- ¼ cup honey (lilac honey recipe below)
- 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All Purpose Flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (¾ cup)
- 1 cup lilac blooms stems removed, rinsed and dried (optional)
- Coarse turbinado or white sugar for sprinkling
- 2 Tbsp. honey, to drizzle on baked scones or you could make the glaze below (both optional)
For the lilac infused GLAZE (optional)
- ¼-½ cup lilac blooms, stems removed, rinsed
- ⅓ cup boiling water
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
For the scones
- In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla and honey until well combined and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the grated or chopped and chilled butter and toss the butter with the flour until it’s evenly coated. Mix the butter throughout flour, pressing the butter into the flour using your fingers until the butter is pea sized and well distributed.
- Pour in the buttermilk mixture and the lilac blossoms if using. Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Empty out onto lightly floured surface and knead just a few times until it comes together. Pat or press dough into a disc that’s about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 slices. Start by cutting right down the middle then across, and then cutting each ¼ in half for a totally of 8 scones.
- Transfer them to the prepared sheet pan. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bake scones for 18-20 minutes, until light to medium golden brown. Remove and allow to cool. Enjoy as is or drizzled with some extra honey or with glaze if making (directions below)
For the glaze
- Place ⅓ cup boiling water in a heat safe cup or bowl and add the lilac blossoms, allow to steep for about 5 to 10 minutes. Feel free to muddle them a bit too. (Can make ahead and let steep overnight) Strain the blossoms and discard.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lilac water together. Whisk until smooth, thick and just pourable adding a little more infused water or powdered sugar as needed to achieve the texture you prefer.
- Pour the glaze over the scones and serve.
For the lilac honey
- lilac petals, whole or separated (avoid any hard stem bits for this recipe)
- pourable raw, honey
- Fill a clean sterilized glass jar ¾ of the way full of lilac petals.
- Pour the honey over the lilac petals, filling the jar almost to the top.
- Stir well to incorporate all the petals into the honey.
- Stir once in a while and allow to infuse for several days to a few weeks before using. The Lilac flowers will all eventually float to the top of the honey jar. (The longer than honey sits with the flowers in it the stronger the lilac flavour it will have)
- Strain if desired by heating the honey gently in a double boiler and then straining with a fine mesh strainer) or leave the petals in. They are edible so I usually don’t ever bother to strain.
- Storage: Store in an air-tight jar for a few months in your pantry, room temperature.
- Scone storage: Scones are usually best eaten the day they are baked. They are good in a sealed container at room temperature for 1-3 days and in the fridge up to 1 week.
- Can I make these scones ahead and freeze them? Yes you absolutely can. Make them as directed and form and cut the scones. Place them on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to flash freeze. Chill for 1 hour. And then place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container. Bake from frozen for an additional 1 or 2 minutes. They can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.
- What else can I use to flavour these scones? The options are endless - if you wanted to stay floral a good alternative would be to use lavender instead of the lilac. Or you could use tea - these would be wonderful infused with earl grey, chai or even chamomile. You could add lemon or orange zest - fresh fruit - (I would limit the fruit to about ½-¾ cups), chocolate chips or chunks, or switch up the spices too - apple cinnamon would be nice. I think because these are not very sweet at all you could actually make them savoury too by adding cheese or chives. As I mentioned above, it’s an excellent base buttermilk scone recipe that could be adapted and spruced up with loads of other flavours. Have fun experimenting.
- If using the lilac in the honey or scones, it is really important that you only use the lilac florets without the tiny green stems. They can make your syrup taste bitter.