These easy, light and fluffy cheddar cheese and chives scones come together in a matter of minutes. Flavoured with cheddar, chives and a hint of black pepper, enjoy these scones hot out the oven with a smattering of butter.
Savoury Scones have a special place in my heart. What we call savoury scones in many of the Commonwealth Countries such as South Africa, New Zealand and Australia are similar to what our friends in North America refer to as biscuits.
If you like the sound of this scone why not try out my other savoury scone recipe- spicy cheddar cheese scones. Or if you like something a bit more traditional have a look at my Classic Scones recipes.
What You Need for this Recipe
This recipe requires a mixing bowl, bench scraper (optional but very handy tool in the kitchen), cookie cutters or a sharp knife and a baking sheet with some baking paper.
Flour - plain flour, standard grade, or all-purpose flour is used to make these cheese scones.
Baking Powder to give the scones a bit of lift during the bake.
Butter (salted) adds flavour and gives a flakey tenderness to the scones. As the scones bake, the steam released from the butter raises the scone (in conjunction with the baking powder) and leads to a flakey, soft, and fluffy scone.
Cheddar - preferably mature or vintage cheddar, but tasty cheese (regular cheddar) will do just fine, particularly when paired with parmesan. If in New Zealand I recommend Tasty cheese!
Chives add a nice mild oniony flavour to these scones. For something a bit different - swap out the chives with spring or green onions or scallions.
Milk adds moisture to the scones. Whole or lower-fat options can be used.
Black pepper adds a nice depth of flavour and a bit of spiciness to the scones.
Note - there is no added salt in this recipe because cheese can be rather salty, I opted for salted butter, and the baking powder also contains salt. However, if using unsalted butter add in ¼ - ½ teaspoon of table salt.
Substituting Plain/All-Purpose/Standard Grade Flour with Self-Raising/Self-Rising Flour: If a recipe calls for ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup/150 grams of plain flour, simply use self-raising flour and leave out the baking powder. For recipes that need more than 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup (150 grams) - simply add in the additional baking per cup (150 grams).
For this particular recipe, I would add an additional 2 teaspoons of baking powder with the self-raising flour.
Substitute out 60 grams of the cheddar with some parmesan, for a bit more depth to the cheese flavour.
Making Cheddar Cheese and Chives Scones
Note - all ingredients must be cold for this recipe. Grated butter and cheese can be stored in the fridge while other ingredients are measured and prepared.
1 - Preheat the oven to 220°C/425F/Gas Mark7.
2 - Grate the cheddar cheese, keeping aside approximately 40 grams to place on top of the scones before baking.
3 - Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Grate the butter or cut it into small blocks. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and chives into the flour, and mix through with your fingers until well distributed.
4 - Pour the milk into the flour mixture, using a fork, stir to make a rough dough.
5 - Lightly flour a dough board or kitchen counter. Place the dough in the middle of the floured surface and bring the dough together into a rectangle. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into thirds and fold the outer edges on the middle section. Press down using your hands or a rolling pin until the dough is about 3cm thick. Repeat the process twice more. This laminates the dough.
6 - Either using a cookie cutter or knife, cut 6 to 8 large scones. If using a round cookie cutter, bring together the left-over dough, by kneading the dough together and forming a disk or square to cut out additional scones. Try to work with the dough as little as possible.
NOTE - for mini cheese and chives scones, simply divide the dough into 12-16 smaller pieces. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
7 - Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle the leftover cheddar over the tops of the scones.
8 - Bake for approximately 15 minutes. The scones would have risen, and be golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool down slightly before serving warm with butter.
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Pro Tips for this Recipe.
Weighing ingredients is more accurate than measuring cups overall, and this is my recommendation for my recipes as they are all developed and tested using grams only. However, I have activated the US customary conversions on the recipe card, these are based on generally accepted conversions. Cups are equal to 236mL/ 8 fluid ounces, tablespoons are 15mL and teaspoons are 5mL.
Measuring cups and spoons are an essential addition to every kitchen! Especially if you don't use a kitchen scale. Invest in a set to ensure you add the correct ingredients for accurate measuring. When in doubt - always use a level spoon or cup measure.
Bakeware: Metal bakeware is superior when it comes to baking biscuits, cookies, brownies, muffins and quick bread, scones, cakes. These heat up and cool down faster than glassware. Glassware is heavier, heats up and cools down slower than metal and are more suited for bread puddings, pies, crisps, crumbles and cobblers.
Fan-forced or fan-assisted oven temperature must be decreased by 20°C/25F. Use an oven thermometer to determine the accuracy of your oven dial.
Handle scone dough as little as possible for light and fluffy cheese scones! Keep the handling of the dough to an absolute minimum.
When gathering scraps of dough, laminate them together as before, and try to not knead them at all.
Scone dough lamination is a trick I picked up watching American biscuits being made on YouTube. I applied this to my scones, and it works really well. It creates nice layers of butter (and cheese) which result in delicious flakiness.
Scones can be baked from frozen scone dough. Simply add another 5 minutes to the baking time to account for defrosting in the oven.
All my recipes are currently tested at sea level.
Cold is a must for great scones!
- Keep all the ingredients in the fridge until you are ready to make the scones. Grate the cheese and butter ahead of baking and store them in the fridge while you prepare everything else.
- If it is particularly warm, you may even want to chill your bowl. And once you have shaped your scones, place them on a baking sheet and pop them into the fridge while the oven is heating up. This is will result in extra light and fluffy scones.
- If you have warm or hot hands, handle the dough using a bench scraper.
Storage and Freezing
Scones can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days. Frozen scones (baked or unbaked) can be stored for up to 3 months.
Cheese and Chives Scones FAQ
Yes. Allow the scones to cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap and in an airtight container. Scones can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Scones can also be baked directly from frozen, add 5 minutes to the baking time.
Strong tasting cheeses like mature or vintage cheddar, tasty cheese in New Zealand does very well.
Microwave day-old scones for 10-20 seconds next to a small bowl of water. Or place in a 150°C/ 300F/Gas Mark 2 oven for 5 minutes with a bowl of water to add some moisture back into the scones.
The scone dough has been overworked. Scones come out best when the dough is handled as little as possible.
Yes. Make the dough, cut out the scones and place in the fridge overnight (in an airtight container). Bake the scones directly from the fridge.
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Cheddar Cheese and Chives Scones
- 300 grams plain flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 60 grams butter salted
- 160 grams cheddar
- 200 mL milk
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ⅓ cup finely sliced chives
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon of table salt if using unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/430F.
- Grate the cheddar cheese, keeping aside approximately 40 grams to place on top of the scones before baking.160 grams cheddar
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.300 grams plain flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper, ¼ - ½ teaspoon of table salt
- Grate the butter or cut it into small blocks. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.60 grams butter
- Add the cheese and chives into the flour, and mix through with your fingers until well distributed.160 grams cheddar, ⅓ cup finely sliced chives
- Pour the milk into the flour mixture, using a fork, stir to make a rough dough.200 mL milk
- Lightly flour a dough board or kitchen counter. Place the dough in the middle of the floured surface and bring the dough together into a rectangle. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into thirds and fold the outer edges on the middle section. Press down using your hands or a rolling pin until the dough is about 3cm thick. Repeat the process twice more. This laminates the dough.
- Either using a cookie cutter or knife cut 6 to 8 large scones. If using a round cookie cutter, bring together the left-over dough, by laminating the dough together and forming a disk or square to cut out additional scones. Try to work with the dough as little as possible.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle the leftover cheddar over the tops of the scones.3 tablespoons milk
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes. The scones would have risen, and be golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool down slightly before serving warm with butter.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly.