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Sourdough Scones

Sourdough Scones have a special flavor and the perfect scone texture. A proper scone should neither be too biscuit-y nor too muffiny, but should fall somewhere between the two. A little sourdough discard is all you need to make the best scones ever.

a tray of sourdough scones

As I mentioned in my post for English Scones, my basic scone recipe is adapted from a recipe given to me by a British mum.  I used that recipe for 7 years when I worked in a British tea shop.

I made adjustments to the original recipe so it could work in a US kitchen with US ingredients and measurements. I can tell you I get great feedback from everyone who tastes these scones.

Now, I’ve made these scones even better by adding a little sourdough discard to the recipe.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter.

How to make Sourdough Scones

pouring sourdough starter into buttermilk to make sourdough scones
  1. Mix the sourdough discard into the buttermilk.
buttermilk and sourdough discard being poured into a bowl of flour
  1. Pour the buttermilk & discard into the flour base.
  2. Toss until almost combined
a shaggy mass of sourdough scone dough
  1. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  2. Knead a couple of times to bring the dough together.
a tray of unbaked sourdough scones
  1. Brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
  2. Bake until the scones are golden brown.

Pastry Chef Tips for making Sourdough Scones

  • Use real buttermilk if you can. The tangy flavor and tenderizing acidity works perfectly with the sourdough discard to make these the best scones ever. Buttermilk substitutes will work, but the real thing gives the best flavor.
  • Mix the dough by hand. Mixing by hand ensures that you won’t over mix the dough and form too much gluten.
  • Pat the dough by hand instead of using a rolling pin. This also ensures that the dough won’t be over worked.
  • To work ahead, mix the recipe until the point where you add the buttermilk. Later you can mix the dough, roll, cut and bake.


Scones are best the day they are baked. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost and then warm in the oven to get the best texture. Do not refrigerate scones.

a sourdough scone on a plate

Since you’ve got your starter fed, peruse the entire list of My Best Sourdough Recipes. Have fun!

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

a sourdough scone with butter

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

a sourdough scone on a plate
Print Recipe
4.52 from 286 reviews

Sourdough Scone Recipe

This classic buttermilk scone is given a little flavor boost with sourdough discard.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
18 scones


  • 22 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour ( 4 ½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1″ chunks)
  • 8 oz buttermilk (1 cup)
  • 8 oz sourdough discard (1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • Demerara Sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line two ½ sheet pans with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 22 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 4 oz granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss in 6 oz unsalted butter chunks. Mix in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea.
  • Whisk together 8 oz buttermilk, 8 oz sourdough discard and 2 eggs. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just barely combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  • Dump the dough onto a floured surface and finish kneading by hand just until all the loose flour is absorbed. Use your hands to pat the dough until it is ¾" thick. Use a 2½"-3" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  • Line the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1" space between. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with Demerara or granulated sugar.
  • Bake on the middle racks of the oven, flipping the trays after 10 minutes (see note). The scones are ready when they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.


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Kitchen Scale
Half Sheet Pans
Parchment Sheets
Biscuit Cutters

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If the bottoms of the scones are browning very fast you can slide another sheet pan under the pan half way through baking.
To make ahead you can bake and freeze the scones. Defrost and warm in the oven to serve.


Serving: 1scone | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 30th of April 2023

I have tried these and they are wonderful! I have done drop biscuits for decades because I don't want to take the time to get everything just right and cut out. I'm more than willing to do the work for these beauties! Love the balance of not too sweet, light, flaky and tender. Yum!


Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

I have made this recipe many times over the last few years. It always comes out perfectly. I often add chocolate chips. I have made these vegan by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to hemp milk and using coconut oil instead of butter. They are equally delicious.

Eileen Gray

Thursday 24th of November 2022

Thanks for the tip about making them vegan.

Susan Comeaux

Friday 28th of October 2022

I made this recipe using coconut milk (with white vinegar), dried cherries, fresh satsuma zest and chopped, toasted almonds. They turned out beautifully!


Saturday 30th of July 2022

I tried this recipe with my sourdough discard and made my own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice. Forgot to add the granulated sugar but still turned out superb, better than my traditional scone recipe! Thanks!


Monday 4th of July 2022

I read that u mentioned for sourdough scone buttermilk can be replaced by discard but i still see recipe requires the use of buttermilk. I am quite confused as I normally do not have buttermilk at home


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

@Eileen Gray, I know it's been awhile since these comments, but I wanted to say that I understood Angela's confusion after I read the How to Make section. Maybe a rewording of that first point would make it clearer that this recipe already reflects the buttermilk/discard change-up. At first read, the point does seem like one still needs to replace the buttermilk with discard (b/c like me, others may not even know that a normal scone recipe calls for two cups of buttermilk and not one. ;) Thanks!

I'll be making these today as I have a lot of discard to use up. I'm thinking of adding cinnamon and or chocolate chips. Looking forward to it!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

What I say in the post is that I replace 1 cup of buttermilk with discard. I use 1 cup of discard in all my discard recipes since that's how much I discard when I feed my starter. The original scone recipe has 2 cups of buttermilk so this recipe has 1 cup of discard and 1 cup of buttermilk. I'm not sure where the confusion comes in. But as a replacement for buttermilk you can use a cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice added.