The Daily Dish

Sour Cherry & Walnut Scones

By The Daily Dish

(photo: Scott Phillips)
Get your day off to a great start with these fresh-baked cherry and walnut scones. They will put a smile on your face from the very first bite. 

The scones have a fine, tender crumb because of the cake flour and lack of kneading. The dusting of cinnamon sugar complements the tartness of the cherries.
I like to make these scones with a mix of cake and all-purpose flour. To begin, mix the flours with baking powder, grated orange zest, and baking soda. Cut in small pieces of cold unsalted butter, using a pastry blender or two table knives, until the mixture looks like cornmeal with a few butter lumps no larger than peas. Stir in dried tart cherries and chopped walnuts, then stir in buttermilk until no dry flour is visible. When making baking goods like scones or muffins, it’s important not to overmix the batter or they end-products will be tough and chewy.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat it into a round. Cut the dough into wedges and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and then bake until they’re lightly golden brown. Enjoy them warm or at room temperature. 


1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. granulated sugar 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour 
4 oz. (1 cup) cake flour 
2 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. finely grated orange  zest 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/4 lb. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
4-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) dried tart cherries 
2 oz. (1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped 
2/3 cup buttermilk 

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, mix 3  Tbs. of the sugar with the cinnamon.
In a large bowl, whisk the two flours, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, orange zest, and baking soda until well blended. Cut the butter cubes into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (or two table knives) until the mixture looks like cornmeal with a few butter lumps no larger than peas. Stir in the cherries and walnuts. Add the buttermilk and stir just until no dry flour is visible; the dough will be wet and sticky.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board and pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into eight wedges. With a spatula, transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, spacing them about 2  inches apart. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the scones. Bake until the tops of the scones are firm to the touch and the edges and bottoms are lightly golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields 8 scones.


Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue

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