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Stack of cheese and onion scones.

Cheese and Onion Scones

The easy, homemade light and fluffy cheese and onions scones come together in a matter of minutes from pantry ingredients. Flavoured with sautéed onions and cheddar cheese, the perfect savoury scone for the brunch table.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack, Tea
Cuisine South African
Keyword scones
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 scones
Calories 288kcal
Author Mary-Lou Watkins


  • 300 grams plain flour (all-purpose/standard grade)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 60 grams butter (salted)
  • 160 grams cheddar (grated)
  • 200 mL milk
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium onion finely diced and sautéed
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon table salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/425F/Gas Mark7. Finely dice and saute the onions until soft, translucent with a bit of browning in about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Allow the onions to cool.
  • 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. Grate the butter or cut it into small blocks. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and onions into the flour, and mix through with your fingers until well distributed.
    300 grams plain flour, ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper, ¼ - ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 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.


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.
For mini cheese and onion scones, simply divide the batter into 12-16 smaller pieces. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Handle the scone dough as little as possible.
For fan-forced or fan-assisted ovens decrease the temperature by 20°C/25F.


Serving: 1scone | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 438mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g