Mary Berry’s tender, tangy buttermilk scones are a tea-time treat. This easy recipe uses simple ingredients like flour, baking powder, butter, and buttermilk to make flaky, lightly sweet scones perfect on their own or with jam and clotted cream.
Renowned baker, Mary Berry crafts simple, reliable recipes like these buttermilk scones flavored with sultanas. The buttermilk lends a tangy taste and light texture while the sultanas add chewy sweetness. Follow the step-by-step instructions below for flaky, fresh-baked scones.
For a taste of England, bake up a batch of Mary Berry’s famous buttermilk scones. With just a few pantry staples like flour, sugar, and butter, you can make these easy scones topped with sweet sultanas. Enjoy them warm from the oven plain or with jam and clotted cream for a sweet treat with your tea.
Let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones?
Mary Berry’s buttermilk scones are a beloved British tea-time treat. These tender baked goods are made with simple ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, eggs, and buttermilk. Traditionally, they are flavored with sultanas, a type of sweet dried grape that lends a chewy texture and fruity taste. The buttermilk gives the scones a signature tangy flavor and light, fluffy texture. After cutting the dough into rounds and baking until golden brown, the scones are best served split in half and topped with fruit jam and rich clotted cream. Their soft, flaky interior pairs perfectly with the sweet jam and silky cream. Enjoy these iconic scones just as the British would – with a hot cup of tea.
Why You Love this Recipe
This recipe is a treasure for its simplicity, speed, and delectable results, guaranteeing a love-at-first-bite experience. With everyday pantry staples, you’ll effortlessly create scones in under half an hour. Their delightful taste profile combines sweet, tangy buttermilk and sultanas with the luxuriousness of jam and clotted cream. Here’s why they’ll win your heart:
- Effortless Preparation: A straightforward process, ready in a blink.
- Minimal Ingredients: Uses basic ingredients likely on your shelf.
- Quick Baking: From start to finish in less than 30 minutes.
- Deliciously Moist: Enjoy a tender crumb with a satisfyingly crunchy crust.
- Rich Flavor: A perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
- Versatile Occasions: Ideal for teatime indulgence or celebratory gatherings.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones
To make 12 scones, you will need the following ingredients:
- 450g (1lb) self-raising flour
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
- 75g (3oz) butter, slightly softened, cut into pieces
- 75g (3oz) caster sugar
- 100g (4oz) sultanas (optional)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 × 284ml carton buttermilk
- To serve: cream and jam of your choice
You will need the following equipment to make the scones:
- A large mixing bowl
- A sieve
- A pastry blender or a fork
- A measuring jug
- A wooden spoon or a round-tipped knife
- A lightly floured work surface
- A rolling pin
- A 6cm (2½ in) round fluted scone cutter
- A baking sheet lined with baking parchment
- A pastry brush
- A wire rack
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones
Follow these steps to make the scones:
Prepare the Ingredients
- Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
Rub in the Butter
- Add the chilled butter cubes to the flour. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in the Wet Ingredients
- Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir just until a soft, sticky dough forms. Do not overmix.
Knead and Shape
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently knead 2-3 times until smooth.
- Pat into a 2.5cm thick rectangle.
Cut Out Scones
- Use a 6cm round cutter to stamp out scones. Press straight down without twisting.
- Place scones on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush with Buttermilk and Bake
- Lightly brush the tops with the remaining buttermilk.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Cool and Serve
- Transfer scones to a wire rack. Serve warm with jam and clotted cream.
Enjoy your fresh, homemade scones!
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones?
You can serve Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones with a variety of accompaniments, depending on your preference and mood.
Here are some suggestions:
- Jam and clotted cream: This is the classic and traditional way to serve scones, and it is hard to beat. You can use any jam you like, such as strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or apricot, but make sure it is good quality and not too sweet. Clotted cream is a thick and rich cream that is made by heating and cooling cream until it forms clots. It is a specialty of the southwest of England, especially Cornwall and Devon. You can buy it in some supermarkets or online, or you can make your own. To serve, split the scones in half and spread some jam on one half and some clotted cream on the other. You can also sandwich them together, or eat them separately.
- Butter and honey: This is a simple and delicious way to serve scones, especially if they are still warm from the oven. You can also use other spreads, such as peanut butter, Nutella, or marmalade.
- Cheese and ham: This is a savory way to serve scones, especially if they are cheese scones. You can also use other meats, such as bacon, salami, or turkey. You can also add some salad leaves, tomatoes, or pickles for some extra crunch and flavor.
- Fresh fruits and whipped cream: This is a refreshing and light way to serve scones, especially in the summer. You can use any fruits you like, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or peaches, but make sure they are ripe and sweet. You can also whip some cream with a little sugar and vanilla, and dollop it on top of the scones and fruits.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones
Here are some pro tips to make perfect Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones every time:
- Chilled Ingredients: Use cold butter and buttermilk for flakiness. Optionally, refrigerate the dough before rolling.
- Gentle Mixing: Avoid overmixing. Stir until just combined to keep the scones light.
- Proper Handling: Knead the dough lightly; it should be a bit sticky.
- Uniform Cutting: Aim for even scones with a sharp, floured cutter for uniform baking and aesthetic appeal.
- Egg Wash Excellence: Brush only the tops with an egg and buttermilk mixture for a golden finish.
- Optimal Oven Heat: Preheat to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 and bake on the top shelf for a lofty rise.
- Immediate Enjoyment: Scones taste best fresh; if needed, freeze and reheat for later savoring.
Follow these pointers, and you’ll master the art of scone-making, delighting in the perfect texture and taste every time.
Variations of Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones
You can customize your scones by adding different ingredients to the dough, such as:
Cheese and herbs: Omit the sugar and sultanas, and add 100g (4oz) of grated cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or thyme. You can also sprinkle some extra cheese on top of the scones before baking.
Lemon and poppy seed: Omit the sultanas, and add the grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds. You can also drizzle some lemon glaze over the scones after baking, made by mixing 100g (4oz) of icing sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Chocolate and orange: Omit the sultanas, and add 100g (4oz) of chopped dark chocolate and the grated zest of 1 orange.
How do I store and Freeze Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones?
- Store scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days to maintain freshness and moisture.
- For longer storage, wrap scones tightly in plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag, removing excess air.
- Freeze scones for up to 3 months. Label the container with the freeze date.
- Thaw frozen scones at room temperature for 1-2 hours or overnight in the fridge. The texture will return after thawing.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones?
You can reheat Mary Berry Buttermilk Scones in the oven or the microwave, but they will not be as good as fresh. To reheat them in the oven, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4, and place the scones on a baking sheet. Cover them loosely with foil, and bake them for 5-10 minutes, or until they are warm and soft. To reheat them in the microwave, place the scones on a microwave-safe plate, and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave them for 10-15 seconds, or until they are warm and soft. Do not overheat them, as they will become dry and hard. You can also toast them in a toaster or a grill, but be careful not to burn them.
What is the difference between buttermilk and regular milk?
Buttermilk is a type of fermented milk that has a slightly sour taste and a thick consistency. It is made by adding bacteria to milk and letting it ferment for a few hours or days. It helps to make the scones rise and become fluffy, as it reacts with the baking powder and creates carbon dioxide bubbles. Regular milk is not fermented and has a neutral or sweet taste and a thinner consistency. It does not have the same leavening effect as buttermilk, and it may make the scones heavier and denser.
How can I make my own buttermilk?
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding some lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk. For this recipe, you will need 284ml of buttermilk, so you can measure 284ml of milk and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Stir well and let it sit for 10 minutes until it curdles slightly. You can also use plain yogurt or sour cream instead of buttermilk, but you may need to thin them with some water or milk to get the right consistency.
- Related: Mary Berry Drop Scones
How can I make my scones more flavorful?
- Stir in dried fruits like cranberries, blueberries, raisins, or chopped apricots for a fruity flavor.
- Add toasted nuts like walnuts or pecans for a crunch and nutty taste.
- Fold in chocolate chips for a decadent chocolate version.
- Add grated cheddar or parmesan for savory cheesy notes.
- Stir in fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or chives for aromatic highlights.
- Add zest of 1 lemon or orange for a citrusy kick.
- Brush tops with melted butter or honey before baking for sweetness and sheen.
- Serve warm with homemade jam, lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread or berries, and whipped cream.
How can I prevent my scones from spreading or cracking?
You can prevent your scones from spreading or cracking by following these tips:
- Make sure your butter and buttermilk are cold, and chill the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling and cutting. This will help to keep the butter solid and prevent it from melting and leaking out of the dough during baking.
- Do not overmix or overwork the dough, as this will activate the gluten in the flour and make the scones tough and dense. Mix the dough just until it comes together, and knead and roll it gently and briefly. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but not too wet or dry.
- Cut the scones evenly and neatly, using a sharp and fluted scone cutter. Press the cutter straight down without twisting, and dip it in some flour between each cut. This will help to create clean edges and prevent the scones from leaning or collapsing.
- Do not brush the sides of the scones with egg and buttermilk, as this will seal them and prevent them from rising. Brush only the tops of the scones, and leave some space between them on the baking sheet.
- Bake the scones in a hot oven, and do not open the oven door during baking. This will help them to rise quickly and become fluffy and light.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to make Mary Berry’s buttermilk scones, and that you learned some useful tips and tricks to make them perfect. Scones are a delicious and easy treat that you can make at home with simple ingredients and enjoy with your family and friends. They are great for tea time, breakfast, or any occasion. Try this recipe and let me know how it turns out.