Why you’ll love them

These cherry scones are so easy to make, buttery, soft and delicious and they’re wonderful as a breakfast treat or afternoon tea.

  • Easy to make: Everything is simply mixed together in one bowl and grating the butter first makes these scones lighter and beautifully flaky.
  • The flavour combo of cherries and a touch of almond extract is always a winner!
  • Practically any cherry will work: I use fresh here but you can use frozen (just make sure to pat them dry before adding to the dough). Maraschino cherries work too (again patted dry) and so will glace cherries but keep in mind they’ll add more sweetness.
  • They freeze well: You can freeze your scones before or after baking and they’ll still be perfect.

You’re sure to love this almond cherry coffee cake.

A stack of 3 scones.

Ingredients for cherry scones

These scones with cherries have relatively few ingredients and all very basic things.

Ingredients for cherry scones.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Butter: Stick to unsalted butter for this recipe. Grate it on a box grater and freeze until required.
  • Flour: Just plain flour (all purpose flour) is perfect here. If you use self raising flour or self rising flour, leave out all but 1 teaspoon of the baking powder.
  • Icing sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, icing sugar adds the light sweetness you need in these scones.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder helps give the scones their lift.
  • Almond extract: Almond and cherries always go beautifully together. Make sure to use an almond extract, not essence. Extract is a natural flavouring.
  • Milk: Use whole milk here for the best flavour. It adds richness and moisture.
  • Cream: I like to use thickened cream (heavy cream) to brush over the top of the scones before baking but a little milk or half n half will work fine here too.
  • Cherries: I created this recipe using fresh cherries and any variety will work. Try to use firm but ripe cherries. Black cherries, bing cherries, stella cherries or rainier cherries are all lovely but there are so many varieties. Steer away from the very tart cherries, like montmorency or morello for instance, unless you really love that sourness.
    • Frozen cherries will work but keep them frozen until you add them to the dough and pat them dry with paper towel to remove excess juice. They may add more colour to the dough.
    • Maraschino cherries will need to be patted dry before adding to the dough.
    • Glace cherries will work but they’ll add a fair amount of sweetness.
    • Dried cherries will work too with no other treatment.

How to make cherry scones

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

Showing how to make the scone dough.
  1. Dry ingredients: First, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and a little salt so that everything is well dispersed.
  2. The butter: Add the cold grated butter (photo 1) and use your fingertips or a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour just until there are only small pieces left about the size of a lentil or a grain of rice (photo 2).
  3. The rest: Add the milk and stir that in until the dough has mostly come together. Now, very carefully mix in the cherries trying not to crush any or to spread the juice through the dough (photo 3).
Showing how to shape the scones.
  1. Form a rectangle: Tip the cherry scone dough out of the bowl and onto a clean work surface and gently pull it together with your hands (photo 4). Try not to crush any of the cherries as the juice will stain the dough. Form it into a rough rectangle about 1 ½ inches high.
  2. Cut the scones: Slice the dough rectangle into 8 pieces (photo 5).
  3. Top and bake: Transfer the scones to a baking tray, brush the tops with cream or milk (photo 6) and bake until just turning golden. Transfer them to a cooling rack or serve them hot.

Tips and tricks

Weigh your ingredients: I can’t stress enough that the different ways of filling a cup with flour will result in different amounts of flour in the dough. Too much flour, even by a little bit, can make your scones turn out dry so weigh the flour and sugar with a kitchen scale.

Keep it cold: The most important things to keep in mind when making scones is to keep the dough and hence the butter as cold as possible. As they bake, that cold butter creates pockets of steam which is what gives them a light and flaky texture. I will grate the butter then freeze it until ready to use. Make sure the milk is cold and the cherries too. If using frozen cherries, keep them frozen right up to the point you add them to the dough. If it’s a hot day where you are, place the flour in the freeze for 20 minutes too. If you have warm hands, I recommend using a pastry cutter.

Don’t overwork the dough: Use light hands and try not to play with the dough more than you have to, or you may end up with dense scones.

Closeup of the side of a scone cracked open.

Recipe variations

There are loads of ways to change up these scones.

  • Nuts: Add to the almond flavour and add some almonds to the dough or even top the scones with some flaked almonds. Other nuts will work too, just choose your favourites.
  • Chocolate: Cherries go beautifully with chocolate so try adding some dark chocolate or white chocolate chips.
  • Flavouring: If you don’t like almond flavouring, just add some vanilla instead.
  • Add a glaze: For extra sweetness, you can make a simple glaze with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and lemon juice or orange juice. Just mix enough juice into ¾ cup of icing sugar until you have a thick but pourable consistency. You can also just use milk and add a little almond or vanilla extract instead of the citrus juices. Drizzle it over after they’ve cooled.
  • Traditional scone shape: Scones are traditionally made round so you can use a cookie cutter (dipped in flour before each cut) to cut circles out of the cherry scones dough. You can also form a disk with the dough and cut it into triangular wedges.
A scone broken open and topped with jam and cream.

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8 cherry scones on a sheet of baking paper.
5 from 1 rating
These cherry scones are perfect buttery, flaky scones filled with fresh cherries and a touch of almond. So easy and truly delicious.

Ingredients

  • 85 g cold unsalted butter, grated & frozen (3oz / ¾ stick)
  • 390 g plain flour (all purpose flour) (3 cups / 13.8oz)
  • ½ cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk, cold (180 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons thickened cream (heavy cream), or more milk
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • If you haven’t yet prepared the butter, do that first.
  • Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced) / 400F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, icing sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the cold grated butter to the flour mixture and using either your fingertips, a knife or pastry cutter, gently blend the butter into the flour until only lentil-sized pieces remain.
  • Mix the milk and the almond extract together and pour into the bowl. Use a knife to mix the dough together. The dough shouldn’t be too wet but if it’s not clumping together add just a dash of milk extra.
  • Stir in the cherries carefully so the juice doesn’t bleed into the dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and very gently press it out into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches high.
  • Use a sharp knife, dipped in flour, to cut the dough into 8 squares.
  • Transfer to the prepared baking tray and brush the cream over the tops. If it’s warm, you can chill the scones for 20 minutes before baking.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until they look dry and lightly golden on the edges.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Cherries: You can use frozen cherries. Keep them frozen right up until you add them into the scone dough and pat them dry with paper towel to remove excess juice. You can also use maraschino cherries but pat them dry before adding too.
  2. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens vary – test for doneness 2-3 minutes before the recipe suggests. It’s worth investing in an oven thermometer. They’re very cheap and it can live in your oven indefinitely.
  4. Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
MORE BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH RECIPES!
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Cherry Scones
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 153mg7%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 332IU7%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 128mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.