These Fresh Cherry Scones are golden brown, buttery, flaky and irresistible. These delicious and decadent scones are perfect for breakfast or brunch for a sweet start tot the day or they make for a tasty snack or dessert especially with the dark chocolate addition to the buttery batter. Cherries and chocolate are always and indulgent combination - perfect for any occasion especially during cherry season when fresh cherries are at their best. They are simple to make and always a treat!
Ingredients For these Cherry Scones
- Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
- Sugar: I stick with around ¼ cup of granulated sugar for this scone dough. Usually I do ½ cup but I decreased it a bit in this recipe because of the sweet cherries and also chocolate in them. Feel free to slightly increase to half cup if you want your scones sweeter, but keep in mind that the scone flavor and texture will slightly change. Brown sugar works too.
- Baking Powder: Adds lift.
- Salt: Adds flavor.
- Butter: Besides flour, butter is the main ingredient in scones. It’s responsible for flakiness, flavor, crisp edges, and rise. I use unsalted butter - and its critical to keep it chilled or frozen.
- Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream or buttermilk. I usually use heavy cream, but if you want a slightly tangy flavor, use buttermilk. Thinner liquids change the flavor and appearance - dry, bland, and flat scones.
- Vanilla extract: adds necessary flavor to sweet scones, and these scones go really well with a little almond extract too - I usually add ⅛ or ¼ teaspoon of almond extract along with the vanilla extract
- Cherries: Fresh cherries is what I used in this recipe
- Chocolate: dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate - optional but recommended
- Lemon or Orange Zest: adds a delciosu hint of flavour to these scones - either works well - some other recipes add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients too but that is up to you.
What Kind of Cherries to use in This Cherry Scone Recipe?
I used Fresh Sweet Cherries for the recipe but a blend of sweet cherries and sour cherries would work really nice too. Can I use frozen cherries in this recipe? Frozen cherries will work in a pinch, but they’re a little harder to work into the dough, and can cause some red streaking. you can toss them in a little flour before adding to the batter. Dried cherries could also work in this recipe but they won’t translate the same way as fresh juicy ones.
How to Make These Cherry Scones
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. Use a big mixing bowl because you want lots of room for the mixing process. You can also use a food processor and pulse the dry ingredients together until combined.
- Cut in the cubed chilled butter. You can use a pastry cutter or 2 forks, or your hands. A food processor works too. To avoid overly dense scones, work the dough as little as possible. Messy and crumbly is a good thing! If using food processor empty out the flour mixture into a large bowl
- Add cherries and chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to flour butter mixture and toss to combine
- Whisk the wet ingredients together. In this case the cream and the vanilla - there are no eggs in this recipe
- Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Mix together gently with a fork, then pour out onto lightly floured counter.
- Form into a disc and cut into wedges. Wedges are easiest, but you can make 10-12 drop scones too
- Brush with heavy cream or buttermilk. For a golden brown, extra crisp and crumbly exterior, brush with liquid before baking. And for extra crunch, a sprinkle of turbinado or coarse sugar and sliced almonds.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Keep scone dough as cold as possible. To avoid over-spreading, I recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. In fact, you can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning! I usually chill them while I’m preheating the oven - it’s optional but I strongly recommend it.
- Bake until golden brown. Scones bake in a relatively hot oven for only 18-25 minutes.
Tips for the Perfect Cherry Scones
- Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: Avoid thinner milks which yield a flatter, less flavorful scone. Canned coconut milk makes a wonderful nondairy option!
- Refrigerate Before Baking: Remember, cold dough is a successful dough. To avoid over-spreading, I recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.
- Use COLD butter! If you’re making these in a very warm climate, I suggest popping your butter in the freezer
- Do not overwork the dough - knead it a few times for it t come together but a shaggy messy dough is best for buttery layered flaky scones with a good rise - instead of dense dry over worked scones
How to Freeze Scones
There are several ways to go about freezing scones. You can even shape this scone dough into wedges and refrigerate overnight before baking. Here are two ways I freeze my scones:
- Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time in the recipe below. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
- Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.
Here Are Some More Cherry and Scone Recipes you Will Love:
- ¾ cup Heavy whipping cream plus 1-2 tablespoons for brushing (half and half and buttermilk works too)
- 2 cups All-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cubed
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Lemon or Orange zest
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Fresh Cherries, pitted and halved or rough chopped
- ½ cup Chopped Dark or semi sweet chocolate (or Chocolate Chips)
- ½ cup sliced Almonds
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- In a large bowl or bowl of food processor whisk or pulse together the flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest baking powder and salt to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse or using a pastry blender or cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal or coarse crumbs with a few small pieces of butter remaining. If using a food processor empty mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the cherries and chopped chocolate to bowl and toss with the flour mixture to combine.
- Stir vanilla into the cream and pour cream mixture into the batter and mix with a fork until just combined. Do not overwork the dough; it should be crumbly and shaggy.
- Transfer the dough to clean and lightly-floured work surface and knead 1-2 times to shape and collect most of the loose flour.
- Pat the dough into roughly a six inch wide disk. Cut dough into six wedges with dough cutter or sharp knife and transfer to a parchment paper -lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining heavy cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and the sliced almonds.
- Chill scones in the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Bake for roughly 18-20 minutes or until tops of the scones are golden, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking time. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool on wire rack. Serve warm. Scones keep 1-2 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.