Learn how to make light, buttery, buttermilk scones. These flaky, glazed cherry scones are topped with salty pistachio nuts.
Now you know how I love my scones. Not dry and crumbly, but moist, buttery and lightly sweet. The butter infused dough for these cherry scones has two tablespoons of sugar but the glaze on top adds a touch of sweetness. The crushed, salty pistachios and you’ve got a lovely little sweet and salty treat perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon snack.
Glazed Cherry Scones
If you’re new to making scones, there’s a just two things you can do to help your first time making them go smoothly.
- Read the instructions. In fact, read through all of the instructions before you begin a recipe, so you know what to expect and aren’t caught off guard in the middle of a recipe. That is especially important with these scones because the ingredients need to stay cold. It’s best if you work quickly.
- Don’t give up! You can do this. I believe in you!
How to Make Flaky Scones
Here are our hints for ensuring your scones turn out buttery and tender.
- Cold Ingredients. The first and most important thing in scone making is to keep all of your ingredients cold. Nearly ice cold. Even the bowl. Your first step is to refrigerate or freeze the metal bowl for at least five minutes before you begin.
- Grate the Butter. I also like to freeze the stick of butter and then grate it with a box grater. This makes mixing with a pastry cutter super easy. I do this first, then pop it back into the fridge or freezer until you are ready to add it to the dough. Our scones have an amazing butter flavor and when that butter that is mixed into the dough goes into the oven cold, you’ll end up with soft, flaky scones.
- Cut in the Butter. Add all of your dry ingredients to the cold metal bowl. Then use the handy pastry cutter to cut the butter in with the flour.
- Buttermilk. Next comes adding the wet ingredients. Use a good, high-fat buttermilk, or make your own with 1 cup of whole milk and a teaspoon of vinegar. Why use high fat milk? So your scones are nice and rich.
- Mix. Add the milk to the flour mixture, then add the beaten egg. It’s important that you beat the egg with a whisk ahead of time so that it mixes in quickly and easily with the dry ingredients. Mix the dough just until it is barely combined, then fold in the chopped maraschino cherries.
- Shape. Plop the dough onto a floured surface (I love my pastry mat!) and then sprinkle a little more flour on top of the sticky dough. Gently shape a disk that is about 8″ in diameter and about 1 1/4″ thick. This will literally take about 3 or four pats of the hand. The dough is so soft!
- Cut. Cut the disk into 8 triangles with a sharp knife, flouring the knife if needed.
- Transfer. Then use a pie server to gently transfer these scones to a baking sheet, leaving space between the scones.
Bake the scones at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Mix up the glaze and spread it on top after they’ve been out of the oven for about 10 minutes. The glaze will sink into the scones every so slightly. Mmmmm….:)
Cherry Glaze for Scones
We highly recommend making a powdered sugar glaze with the maraschino cherry juice for the top of the scones. It really adds a pop of flavor.
After glazing, top the scones with crushed pistachios if you’d like and you have a quick, breakfast or brunch pastry in under 30 minutes.
Glazed Cherry Buttermilk Scones
- 16 ounces maraschino cherries drained, with juice reserved
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
- 2 rounded teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold salted butter
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup reserved cherry juice
- 1/3 cup chopped pistachio nuts
- Refrigerate/freeze a metal bowl for 5 minutes to get it cold.
- Chop the drained maraschino cherries into small pieces using a food processor or knife. Place the cherries in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In the refrigerated bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sugar and salt.
- Place the bowl with flour mixture back into the refrigerator.
- Grate the cold butter with a box grater. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter in with the flour mixture until the butter is mostly mixed in. It is okay if there are small pieces of butter.
- Make a well in the flour, in the center of the bowl. Add the beaten egg and buttermilk to the well. Using a wooden spoon, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the cherries and mix just until blended, being careful not to overmix.
- Put about 1/4 cup of flour on the cupboard. Turn the dough out onto the floured counter. Flour the top of the dough. Gently form an 8″ disk that is about 11/4 inches thick.
- Use a floured knife to cut the disk into 8 triangles as if you were cutting a pie. Place the scones on a greased cookie sheet, or a nonstick baking mat.
- Bake immediately for 12-14 minutes. Allow the scones to cool for 10 minutes and prepare the glaze.
- In a bowl, melt the butter. Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add the cherry juice, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until you can easily spoon the glaze over the scones.
- Immediately after glazing the scones, sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
A side note about maraschino cherries…
I went through a lot of maraschino cherries during recipe testing. The first two jars were from a grocery store chain, just normal ol’ maraschino cherries. They were bright red, leaving bits of red all throughout the scones.
For the last batch, I used cherries from Aldi. I didn’t notice ahead of time, but they now make their maraschino cherries without artificial color. Which is fantastic, don’t get me wrong. But when the cherries baked into the scones, they lost their color and ended up blending into the dough. As you can see in the pictures, you can’t see the bits of cherries, but they’re there! And without all of the artificial color, which makes me smile. 🙂