Create An Amazon Wedding Registry!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wholesome Buttermilk Scones with Whole Wheat (Fruit Optional)

When I was young, a very large pear tree grew outside our kitchen window.  From that tree, my mother made pear preserves which I'll never forget.  When she made biscuits, I'd pile those crisp, thick slices of pear preserves on top of my biscuit halves.  I was in pure, pear-pleasure heaven!  Now, my brother has pear trees and recently very generously shared a large jar of his preserved pears, reminiscent of Mother's.

We agreed that the best way to enjoy these coveted preserves was on top of biscuits.  In pursuit of a more healthy version, I set out to make whole-wheat biscuits.  After a couple of attempts, I decided the biscuits made with all whole-wheat flour were too much of a good thing and that scones made partially with bleached, all-purpose flour would be a better alternative.

I am particularly delighted to share with you my wholesome, light and tender, whole-wheat scone creation.  My favorite way to eat these scones is split and toasted, which brings out the nutty flavor of the whole wheat.  Of course, I have to spread them with a little butter and pear preserves!

                                       Big, Bold and Beautiful...

                                    This Scone Is No Wimp!

8 Large Scones


  • 1 1/3 c. bleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TB light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. + 2 TB cold butter
  • 1 slightly beaten whole egg
  • 1 c. buttermilk*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 c. bleached, all-purpose flour for kneading
  • butter-flavored cooking spray 
  • 1 slightly beaten egg white
  • 3 TB turbinado sugar (Sugar In The Raw)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450º.
  2. Sift the first 5 ingredients together in a medium-large mixing bowl.  Blend in the light brown sugar with a fork or whisk.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or fork until you have very coarse crumbs or the butter is pea size. (Don't over's better to have larger, rather than too small, pieces of butter!)
  4. Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add the slightly beaten whole egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix just until moist.
  5. Kneading Process:  Flour your hands and a medium-large cutting board.  Turn the dough out onto the will be very sticky.  Sprinkle a little of the all-purpose flour on top of the dough.  Using a floured pastry scraper, scrape the edges of the dough toward the center to incorporate the flour. Then start lightly kneading with your hands.  To achieve moist scones, add as little flour as possible as you knead, utilizing the pastry scraper as necessary.  Knead about 8 times.
  6. Pat the dough into about a 3/4" thick, 6 1/2" to 7"circle. Using your floured pastry scraper or a very sharp knife, and without sawing, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges.  (If you cut straight down without a sawing motion, the scones will rise better.)
  7. Spray a baking sheet with the butter-flavored cooking spray.  Place the wedges in opposite directions about 1" apart on the sheet.  If necessary, reshape the wedges a little with your fingers.
  8. Brush each wedge with some of the slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle liberally with the turbinado sugar. Very lightly press the sugar into the scones with the back of a plastic spoon.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes or until the scone tops are light golden brown and the bottoms are golden brown when slightly lifted.


These would be good with one of the following options stirred in just before adding the wet ingredients:
                     1 tsp. orange zest and/or 1/2 c. dried cranberries
                     1/2 c. golden raisins
                     1/2 c. blueberries
                     1/2 c. chopped, dried apricots
                     1/2 c. peeled, chopped apple

*See my Morning Muffins with Bran and Raspberries where I explained the powdered blend for buttermilk, which I often use in lieu of regular buttermilk, because the blend has a better shelf life.

This recipe is the basis for a good scone.  For a more traditional American scone, just use 2 c. bleached, all-purpose flour and omit the whole-wheat four.

For a festive-holiday look, try sprinkling the scones with colored sugar in lieu of the raw sugar just before baking.

If toasting, make sure you place the top of the scone with the sugar coating facing up, so it will not stick to the toaster rack!

                                           My Favorite Way...

                                    Toasted, With Pear Preserves!

This healthy and nutty-flavored scone is sure to help Santa and Chanukah Harry power through the holidays!  Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Printable Recipe


  1. Bonnie these look wonderful! And I love all the different flavor options you suggested too! I haven't tried making scones with whole wheat before--I will have to give this recipe a try next time I make some!

  2. This looks delicious! The bigger the better.

  3. Healthy and wonderful! I'd love mine with a wee bit of diced apple~ Happy holiday wishes to you, Bonnie!

  4. @Jill/Dulce Dough - I love the nutty flavor and texture of the whole wheat & I'm glad you agree with the fruit options listed! Thanks so much for the +1!

    @Curt - They really are delicious, and I like a really big one for breakfast!

    @Lizzy - Yes, you can enjoy these without the guilt because they're so good for you! I think they'd be fantastic with the chopped apple!

    Thanks guys for stopping by during this busy time of year...I hope you and yours have a fabulous, festive time!

  5. I LOVE scones, they're one of my absolute favorite baked goods. Love the addition of the whole wheat flour! :)

  6. Looks like a very good way to enjoy a whole wheat scone, yum!