Buttermilk Scones

Time for buttermilk scones by Marion Cunningham! Sounds like a high-tea snack, does it not? If you are wondering what are the tender secrets shared between British scones and Southern biscuits, you might enjoy reading this article in the New York Times.

Buttermilk Scone with Caramelized Onion and Parsley

Call it a coincidence, but I just finished reading Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone. Ruth shares the story how she had met Marion Cunningham for a first time at a party honoring James Beard. She describes her as a tall blonde with turquoise eyes, silvery blonde hair pulled in a low ponytail and goes on to exclaim that Marion is “the most beautiful old person” she had ever seen. If you would like to see Marion in action preparing the buttermilk scones, please visit PBS.

Buttermilk Scone with Caramelized Onion and Parsley

I reduced the sugar in half from the original recipe and I added some spices, fresh herbs, and caramelized onions. We enjoyed scone sandwiches for lunch on the weekend with avo, turbo stinky goat cheese, walnuts, and red peppers. The recipe is super easy and forgiving and you could add whatever extra ingredients (nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, herbs, cheese) you are in the mood for.

Buttermilk Scone with Caramelizef Onion and Parsley

 Happy Birthday, Mom!

 Buttermilk Scones with Caramelized Onion and Parsley

Adapted from Baking with Julia


3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
2 ½ tsp non-aluminum double acting baking powder ( I use Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder.)
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
1 ½ sticks (6 oz) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup + 2Tbs buttermilk
1 tbs lemon zest
½ cup caramelized onions
½ cup parsley, finely chopped


  1. Position the oven rack in the middle and heat the oven to 425 F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper and mustard powder.
  3. Add the cold butter pieces and using your fingers work the butter into the dry ingredients until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
  4. Add the buttermilk, lemon zest, caramelized onions, and parsley. Mix with a fork until the ingredients are just moistened and the dough holds together into a ball.
  5. Knead the dough very briefly on a floured surface and cut the dough in half.
  6. Shape one piece of dough into a 7-inch circle, ½ inch think. Cut the circle into six triangles and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Caramelized Onions – Slow Cooker Method

*This is the best method! I put the slow cooker on the patio and all the onion smell is eliminated.

 Cut onions thinly in half moons. Toss gently with 2 tbs of grapeseed oil/olive oil and cook on high for 10-12 hours. Stir the onions a couple of times during cooking.


16 thoughts on “Buttermilk Scones

  1. I love this savory version! I will definitely give it a go in the future- thanks for the inspiration.

  2. saucygander says:

    That looks fantastic! Really nice photos. I like how you changed the mix-ins. I mixed in dried fruit and chocolate, but that’s nowhere as exciting as caramelised onion and mustard.

  3. Sunita says:

    Your scones look great. Inspired thinking adding the spices and caramelised onions! The sandwich looks yum.

  4. Wonderful!!!!! I love your post!!!
    Your scones are fantastics, and inpire me!!! I love savory scones, it sounds great for lunch!!
    Thanks for the links, very interesting!!!

  5. Your savory version looks divine! So perfect for my favorite sandwich fillings 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    Happy birthday Oven Chaos mom! Love that you changed this up and put your own twist on it! Looks delicious!

  7. Erin says:

    I love the savory scone sandwiches. I always make fruity or sweet scones. I’m excited to try some savory scones now.

  8. Dawn says:

    Love your savory version—-I’d never thought to make a scone sandwich! Ahhh, brilliant!

  9. Oh, a savory scone–good stuff! I read a lot of stuff about Marion Cunningham after she died…sounds like she was a pretty cool lady.

  10. A savory scone! That is brilliant. I think caramelized onions make everything wonderful, so I am certain your scones were tops. I have never made caramelized onions in the slow cooker… I will have to try! I am reading Tender to the Bone right now – just started the other night! What a funny coincidence.

  11. I love your scone sandwich!

  12. SandraM says:

    OMG! Love the look of your savoury scones. Simply amazing! I so want to try this version…like now!!

  13. You always amaze me on your creative take on the recipes! You got me on this one…never thought of using a scone for a sandwich!! Yours looks delicious 🙂

  14. Teresa says:

    Your savoury version sounds delicious. And thanks for the link to the NYT article – interesting to compare the two.

  15. Cathleen says:

    Wow! You really changed these up! Sounds fabulous. I adore(d) Marion Cunningham. She is by far the most elegant woman. Have you read Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl? A good read about her time as a food critic.

  16. Ckay says:

    OMG!!!! Your filled scones is absolutely heavenly!
    I love the idea to make it savoury. Well done!

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