These Strawberry Buttermilk Scones prove that you don’t need cream to create tender, moist scones! The results were absolutely incredible!

Using cold butter and buttermilk make this Easy Scones Recipe an irresistible breakfast, brunch, or snack treat!

Strawberry Buttermilk Scones on a white plate with fresh strawberries.

Why You Must Make

  • The base recipe for these scones is from Marion Cunningham, a baker extraordinaire and cookbook author.
  • Buttermilk makes the scones extra moist and tender.
  • Adding strawberries makes them perfect for a summer breakfast or brunch.

While Bill was hospitalized last month, I wanted to take some goodies to his stellar nursing staff. I got the bright idea to combine my Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for buttermilk scones with my Twelve Loaves theme of strawberries. So I whipped up a batch of these divine Strawberry Buttermilk Scones. They were out of this world!

Overhead view of 2 Strawberry Buttermilk Scones on a small white plate with fresh strawberries.

How to Make

  • Dice fresh strawberries and set them on some paper towels to absorb the excess juices.
  • A tablespoon of finely grated orange zest adds another hit to the flavor profile.
  • Using cold butter makes for flaky scones as the small butter pieces produce steam as they melt in the oven, therefore making tiny air pockets in the dough.
  • The buttermilk provides the same tenderness and moisture as the cream in my usual recipe.
  • Do not want to overwork the dough once the liquid is added. Just knead enough so the dough comes together, then cut and bake!

Our oldest, Tom, was over to check on his dad and I offered him one of these strawberry scones. There was no arm twisting involved as he shoveled one in before dinner. He hemmed and hawed that he was having his wellness labs drawn at work the next day, so he wouldn’t take any home with him that night. But, what do you know? There was an inquiry about freezing these, then the rest were absconded with. These buttery gems now rival my cream scones as my favorites.

The recipe can be found in Baking with Julia (affiliate link). Note that I added 1/4 cup of diced, then dried (using paper toweling) strawberries to my scones before kneading. I will add even more the next time!

2 scones on a round white plate with fresh strawberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Secret to Making Good Scones?

First, like with puff pastry, the dough must be cold and the oven must be hot. The little bits of butter will release steam as they bake and help the scones rise along with the baking powder and baking soda.
Plus, baking powder does not have a long shelf life like baking soda. So it will most likely expire before you can even use half the can! So check the expiration date or add some to boiling water to see if it bubbles furiously. If it’s old or doesn’t react strongly, replace it before you start baking.

Scones are best on the day they are baked, so bake on the day you plan to serve them. You can measure out the dry ingredients, etc. the day before, but don’t mix and bake until you’re ready to share them.

How Do Get My Scones to Be Light and Fluffy?

As mentioned above, keep the dough cold. You can even refrigerate the cut scones on the baking sheet before baking if the dough gets warm.

Using pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour will make them more tender as the former has less gluten. Next, do not overmix so you have little bits of butter throughout the dough. Finally, make sure the oven is preheated to the temperature in your recipe before baking.

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2 scones on a round white plate with fresh strawberries

Strawberry Buttermilk Scones Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 12 scones

These Strawberry Buttermilk Scones prove that you don't need cream to create tender, moist scones!


For the Scones:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder*
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest
  • 6 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 + tablespoons diced strawberries, dried with paper towels

For the Topping:

  • 2 ounces butter, melted, for brushing
  • ¼ cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest together with a fork.
  2. Add butter pieces and work them into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of buttermilk and the zest, and mix until the ingredients are just moistened. If the dough seems dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. Mix in diced strawberries.
  4. Gather dough into a ball, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead briefly. Cut dough in half.
  5. To Make Triangular-Shaped Scones, roll one piece of dough into a ½-inch-thick circle that is 7 inches across.
  6. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles.
  7. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  8. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake the scones for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.


*Make sure to check the expiration date on your baking powder. It usually expires before you use it all. To check, you can put a spoonful in a cup of hot water. If fresh, it will bubble vigorously. If it doesn't, purchase a new can before starting this recipe.

Add more strawberries if desired.

Adapted from Marion Cunningham.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 scone

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 417mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g


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