Cherry Vanilla Scones
These cherry vanilla scones are the perfect breakfast treat. Lightly sweetened, deliciously buttery, fall-apart-in-your-hands tender, and full of dried cherries and vanilla bean.
In my opinion, there’s honestly no better breakfast treat than a scone. Some may opt for a sweeter, richer breakfast pastry like a danish, cinnamon roll or muffin, but for me, there’s nothing better than a buttery, crumbly, not-too-sweet scone to go with my morning coffee.
If made correctly, scones are super buttery and tender, like a biscuit. They are also super versatile. Once you have a great base scone recipe, it can be modified using pretty much any ingredients or flavors you have on hand.
For this recipe, I chose the classic combination of cherry and vanilla. I was thrilled to find unsweetened dried cherries at Trader Joe’s last week. Most dried fruits you find in average grocery stores are sweetened beyond belief – which I generally find unnecessary. I instantly scooped them up and decided to pair their flavor with a hell of a lot of vanilla. Which is just my style.
Let’s talk method. Scones are very easy to make, only requiring one bowl, a wooden spoon, a bench scraper, and your hands.
How to Make Cherry Vanilla Scones
- Cut butter into small cubes. Then put it in a bowl in the freezer! More on that below.
- Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
- Add the frozen butter to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, blend the two together by pinching the pieces of butter with the flour. Work quickly and do this until the butter pieces are the size of tiny pebbles. It will be a crumbly mixture.
- Add the cold heavy cream and vanilla and stir until just combined. then add the dried cherries and lightly fold in.
- Once the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated, dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Then form the dough into an 8″ disc, and cut it into 8 equal pieces.
- Put the scones a couple inches apart on a lined baking pan and pop it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Finally, bake for 18-20 minutes, then enjoy the best scone of your life!
While scones are very easy to make, there is a running theme throughout this recipe that cannot be ignored…
Keep Those Ingredients Cold!
It’s imperative to keep all ingredients cold during the mixing and shaping of the dough. This is to prevent the butter from melting. Cold butter = flaky, crumbly texture. To achieve this, I always freeze the butter for about 10 minutes after cutting it into cubes. Additionally, I use very cold heavy cream. This is very similar to making a pie crust. You are aiming to keep the butter cold, which creates layers and tenderness in your crust (or scones).
You have the option of using a pastry blender to incorporate the frozen butter into the flour. But I personally prefer to use my hands and pinch the butter into the dough until I get tiny pebble-sized bits of flour-covered butter. If using this method, work quickly and efficiently to prevent melting. If you sense the dough is getting too soft, pop the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes, then continue!
Cherry Vanilla Scones
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Turbinado sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Then put the butter into a bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Remove the butter from the freezer and add it into the dry ingredients. Combine them by using your fingertips to pinch the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes a course crumbly mixture. The butter will be the size of small pebbles. Alternatively, you can use a pastry blender. If you feel the butter becoming soft during the mixing, put the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes, then continue.
- Stir in the dried cherries.
- Add the cold heavy cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla paste. Use a wooden spoon to stir and combine the mixture. Be careful not to over-mix. Stop just when the flour is fully incorporated.
- Lightly dust your counter with flour and pour the dough onto the counter. It may still feel a bit loose and crumbly at this point. Gently knead it a few times until it forms a more cohesive mass.
- Shape the dough into an 8-inch circular disc. Then use a bench scraper or knife to cut it into 8 equal pieces.
- Carefully transfer the scones to your lined baking sheet, then refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown.