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Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones with Scallions

Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones are savory buttermilk scones brimming with pockets of melty Irish cheddar cheese and fragrant fresh scallions. They’re cheesey, they’re oniony, what more could you want?

A closeup shot of a warm cheese scone opened up with melting cheese and steam against a dark background.

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I was inspired to make a bread with deliciously tangy Irish Cheddar Cheese.

If you’ve ever been to Ireland you probably know that the Irish have fantastic dairy products. I guess all those rolling green hills make for some very happy Irish cows.

I knew which cheese I wanted to use so the next question was, how to use it? I didn’t really have to think very long since, to me, a buttermilk scone is the natural vehicle to show off Irish cheddar.

Because scones are generally made with white flour, they’re soft and mild tasting. This makes scones the perfect background for almost any flavor combination you can think of.

Starting with my Raisin Scone recipe, I reduced the sugar a bit so these scones would be more savory than sweet. To amp up the savoriness I added chopped scallions. The green flecks are pretty, and the onion flavor perfectly compliments the little pockets of melty cheese.

Scroll through the step by step process photos to see how to make Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones:

Ingredients for Irish Cheddar & Scallion Scones
Assemble all the ingredients for the scones, this is called “mise en place” (everything in place).
a bowl of irish cheddar scone ingredients
Combine the dry ingredients, work in the butter, then toss in the cubed cheddar and scallions.
unkneaded scone dough on a floured surface
Dump the partially mixed dough out onto a floured surface. Just a few kneads will bring the dough together. Avoid over mixing as that can toughen the dough.
Irish Cheddar & Scallion scones being brush with buttermilk before baking.
Brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with flaked salt before baking

Tips for making perfect scones:

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Dispersing the salt and leavening helps the scones rise evenly.
  • Work the cold butter in with your fingers until the bits are no bigger than a pea. Those little bits of butter will give the scones a slightly flakey texture.
  • If you don’t have fresh buttermilk, buttermilk powder is the best substitute. Mix the buttermilk powder according to the directions before adding to the scones.
  • Once the wet ingredients are added, mix just until the flour is incorporated. I like to make scones by hand to avoid over-mixing the dough.
  • You can use a rolling pin, but I prefer to pat the dough by hand to avoid overworking the dough.
  • When cutting the scones, press straight down on the cutter and don’t twist it. Twisting the cutter may cause the scones to rise unevenly in the oven.
  • Since the baking powder is activated as soon as the wet and dry ingredients come together, it’s best to bake the scones soon after the dough is mixed.
  • To work ahead, mix all the dry ingredients and work in the butter. Combine the wet ingredients and refrigerate the prepared ingredients until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
  • Scones are best eaten they day they are baked. Irish Cheddar & Scallion Scones are best served slightly warm while the cheese is still melty.
  • Baked scones should never be refrigerated.
  • Baked scones can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the scones at room temperature, then warm in the oven to revive the texture.
A tray of freshly baked Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones against a dark background.
A closeup shot of a split cheese scone. You can see melting cheese and rising steam against the dark background.

We enjoyed the warm cheese scones with a bowl of soup for dinner. We didn’t even add any butter since they’re so moist and cheesey.

I also think they’d be great with a little ham or turkey for lunch, or topped with scrambled eggs for breakfast or brunch.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

A hand holding one Irish Cheddar & Scallion scones against a dark background.

Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones with Scallions

Yield: 18-24 scones
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Irish Cheddar Cheese Scones are savory and brimming with pockets of melty Irish Cheddar cheese and fragrant fresh scallions. They're cheesey, they're oniony, what more could you want?

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 oz, 420 ml) buttermilk
  • 5 cups (22.5 oz, 630g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) granulated sugar
  • 1.5 sticks (6 oz, 168g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks
  • 8 oz (224g) Irish Cheddar Cheese, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped to 1/4" pieces
  • Large flakey sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two 1/2 sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and set aside. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Toss in butter chunks. Use your fingers to work in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea. Toss in the cheddar cubes and the scallions.
  3. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once and mix until just barely combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  4. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and finish kneading by hand until all the loose flour is absorbed.
  5. Use your hands to pat the dough on a floured surface until it is 3/4"-1" thick (you can also use a rolling pin if you prefer). Use a 2.5" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  6. Line the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1" space between. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with flakey sea salt.
  7. Bake until the scones are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Turn the trays halfway through baking for even browning. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.

Notes

The scones are best the day they are baked, preferably slightly warm so the cheese is still melty. Leftover scones freeze very well and can be reheated or toasted to serve.

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