These savoury cheddar cheese scones are a delicious treat! Made with spelt flour and fine-cut oats and flavoured cheddar, sautéed red onions and a little dried basil, they are quick and easy to make. And best yet, this scones recipe can easily be adapted to include your favourite savoury ingredients or made sweet!
A basic scone recipe — make it savoury or sweet
Once you perfect a basic scone recipe, you can easily adapt it to make any kind of scones, whether savoury or sweet. For this recipe, there is no sugar added, but instead a little dried herbs and grainy mustard along with cheese and onions. For a sweet version, I skip these ingredients and add mascabado cane sugar (35 g) along with my favourite fresh or frozen fruit (1 cup). Voila, transformed from savoury to sweet.
Tips for Making Scones
There are two things you must remember when making scones:
1. Keep everything cold.
2. Don’t overwork the dough.
Start with cold ingredients. In particular the butter. It’s important that the butter is cold, really cold as it keeps the fat crumbles intact. That fat melts when baked, creating a tender scone.
You may be tempted to really work the dough, but less is more when it comes to scone making. In particular this scones recipe, since it is also made with spelt flour which has a sensitive gluten structure. So, work the dough until it JUST comes together.
How to adapt this cheddar cheese scone recipe
These scones are perfect if you love savoury. The combination is fantastic. My favourite Schwabe was convinced that there was bacon in the recipe. Nope! They are vegetarian. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add a little bacon to this recipe. Or ham for that matter. Red onion could be switched out for chives which are also a classic with cheddar cheese. Not a fan of cheddar? Go with a Swiss cheese, Old Amsterdam or maybe Comte. Simply choose your favourite hard cheese. Scones are designed for mix-ins, making the possibilities endless.
Cheddar Cheese Scones
For the onions:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
For the scones batter:
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, Type 630 (180 g)
- 1 1/4 cups fine cut oats (125 g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 113 g unsalted butter, frozen and grated with a box grater (see notes)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1/3 cup milk of choice (I like to use unsweetened soy or almond milk)(80 ml)
- 1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 125 g grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick frying pan on medium to medium-high. Saute onion 3-4 minutes, until beginning to turn golden in places. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450°F /230°C degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt.
Mix the grated butter into the flour mixture until crumbs are formed (I use my hands to do this but a pastry cutter can also be used). Stir in the basil and 2/3 grated cheese.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the grainy mustard, milk and apple cider vinegar.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir, adding 1/2 of the sautéed onion, until JUST combined. Do not over mix. (the dough will be quite sticky).
Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. With floured hands, work the dough into a round disc that measures about 20 cm across. With a sharp knife, cut the disc into 8 equal wedges.
Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread remaining onion over top as well as the remaining cheese.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until scones are well risen and golden on the bottom.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold with butter, if desired.
- For best results, use frozen butter and grate it into the dry ingredients. If you don't have any already frozen, place the butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before grating. I like to grate on a box grater either right over the bowl of dry ingredients or over a sheet of parchment paper. If the butter is really cold and hard, this recipe also works well without freezing.
- For this cheese scone recipe, I kept things traditional and used cheddar cheese (natural cheddar with no colouring added from carrot juice), but you could also choose another type of cheese such as Old Amsterdam, French Comte or your favourite type of hard cheese.
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