Buttermilk Scones – Small Batch

OMG give me all the buttermilk scones… these are so amazing and the small-batch recipe makes 4 scones, and the buttermilk glaze is just perfect to drizzle over top.

Buttermilk Scones small batch createdbydiane.com


These buttermilk scones are so moist and taste amazing right out of the oven that you’ll have a hard time waiting for them to cool off a bit until you can start to devour one!

They are sure to become a breakfast staple or anytime snack as they are so easy to make and are quite irresistible.

There are so many reasons this recipe is so GREAT

  1. let’s start with that they taste great, a delicious flavor and I give you some options to change up the flavor below
  2. they have a fantastic texture, they are SO tender and soft, the buttermilk is the true winner here.
  3. did I mention this is a small batch recipe, which means you can make them in any amount you need, but if you’d only like a few and not have leftovers for days THIS will become your go-t0 recipe!

Known for its biscuit like texture, scones are such a simple food, yet they offer a trace of elegance to any breakfast, or afternoon coffee, or tea!

Believed to have originated in Scotland, Scones are related to the griddle-baked flatbread known as bannock. Originally made with oats and shaped into a large round and then scored into four to six triangles, it was cooked on a griddle either over an open fire or on top of the stove.

And these distant relatives I am showing you how to bake today have a light lemony flavor that cuts through any heaviness. With buttermilk added to the party, our scone stays moist and slightly tangy with a hint of sweetness. And this recipe serves as a great base to other scone ideas, like these Maple Bacon Buttermilk Scones

small batch of buttermilk scones createdbydiane.com

To begin, preheat your oven to 400°.

Grab a medium-sized bowl and whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until fully combined.

This next step is made easy by the use of a  cheese grater. Grab your cold butter and grate it into little shavings over your flour mix. Next, you’ll “cut in” your butter with a pastry cutter (also called pastry blender) until the flour mixture resembles small crumbles. It will look grainy and the crumbles should be pea-size. 

In a small bowl whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla together. Make a well in your flour and add the wet ingredients to your dry.

Next, you will mix – it’s important to note that you want to be gentle and do not over mix or your scones will be tough. Your finished dough will not look smooth, it will still feel crumbly, this is EXACTLY what you want!

Flour a working table or alternately lay down wax paper. You’re going to begin to fold the dough with floured hands so it doesn’t stick to you. You will fold 4-5 times, that’s it. Resist the urge to fold more as this will again, result in tough scones.

Gently pat into a rectangular shape.

Cut into 4 triangles – do this by cutting your rectangle in half, and then each half can be cut into 2 triangles.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet – or alternately a greased baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and place in the oven. 

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Once finished, allow scones to cool for 5-10 minutes.

In the mean-time, we’ll get the icing ready!

buttermilk scones small batch createdbydiane.com


This icing is so quick and it pairs well with the lemon and vanilla flavors this scone offers up.

Place the powdered sugar in a bowl, then mix in the buttermilk and lemon juice. This can be done with a whisk or even a fork.

 I add more buttermilk or powdered sugar depending on the consistency I want. For these, I prefer a thin icing to drizzle over the scones.

These can be served alone or with butter – or even a little Devonshire cream if you want to get real rich! Perfect with the glaze icing or even jam. Any way you serve them up, you’ll love the way these beauties turn out!

What would you like to know? Below we have a few common questions, but feel free to shoot me yours!


I don’t own a cheese grater, what are my options?

No worries! The cheese grater helps get the butter into small pieces quicker, but if needed you can cut the butter into smaller chunks and add to the flour that way. If you are lacking a pastry blender, you can use your hands – you’ll want to work quickly however as it’s ideal to keep the butter as cold as possible, and our hands warm it up quickly.

Keep the butter as cold as possible, cut it with a knife into small pieces, then place the butter in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it quickly, then add it in. The colder the butter the better.



buttermilk scones buttered or iced, sliced open and buttered scones, iced on top buttermilk scone, small batch 4 scone recipe createdbydiane.com


Buttermilk Scones

This small batch of 4 buttermilk biscuits are perfectly tender and delicious, serve with icing or butter for a simple breakfast or snack.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Diane Schmidt Created by Diane


  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter cold, grated
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk + 2 tablespoons for brushing on top
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttermilk Icing

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  • Grate cold butter with a cheese grater.
  • Add the butter to the flour mixture, use a pastry cutter to cut butter into the flour mixture, until small crumbs are formed, it'll look "grainy" and crumbly with no large pieces of butter left, just small pea-sized crumbles.
  • In a small bowl whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla together.
  • The next part you'll want to be GENTLE and do not over mix or you'll wind up with tough scones.
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture then stir it with a spatula folding in the dry mixture to the wet mixture just until it's combined, not fully mixed, blended, it won't be smooth, it won't be holding together, it'll be crumbly and that is what you want.
  • Place the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper or lightly floured work surface.
  • Fold the mixture with floured hands so it doesn't stick, you'll only fold it 4 or 5 times, try to keep it in a square to a rectangle shape.
  • Pat, it gently into a rectangle.
  • Cut it into 4 triangles by cutting the rectangle in half then each half into two triangles.
  • Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400° until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow scones to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Mix icing, place the powdered sugar in a bowl, then mix in the buttermilk and lemon juice, add more buttermilk or powdered sugar until it's the consistency you want, I used a thin icing to drizzle over the scones.
  • Serve scones with icing alone or slice and add butter.



  1. Good Sunday Morning! You mention that the buttermilk icing pairs well with the lemon & vanilla in the scone, however I don’t see any lemon in the recipe for the scones. Did I miss it?

    1. There is vanilla extract in the scone recipe and lemon juice in the icing recipe both are listed I double-checked, so maybe you missed it, if you’re unable to see the recipe correctly let me know and I can email you the printable version or maybe you were anticipating that both were being added to one recipe or the other from the wording. Let me know if you need help with anything else.

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