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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:

  • To create a Sourdough Scone from a basic scone recipe just replace 1 cup of the buttermilk with a cup of unfed sourdough starter, aka, sourdough discard.
  • Use fresh buttermilk. The tangy flavor and tenderizing acidity works perfectly with the sourdough discard to make these the best scones ever.
  • I like to mix scones by hand. Mixing by hand ensures that you won’t over mix the dough and form too much gluten.
  • Pat the dough out by hand instead of using a rolling pin. This also ensures that the dough won’t be over worked.
  • As soon as  you add the buttermilk/discard to the dry ingredients, the baking powder is activated.
  • 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.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Sourdough Scones:

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

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.

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

a sourdough scone on a plate

Sourdough Scones

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

This classic buttermilk scone is given a little flavor boost with sourdough discard.


  • 4 1/2 cups (22.5oz, 630g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6oz, 168g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) sourdough discard (100% hydration)
  • 2 eggs
  • Demerara Sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and. Toss in butter chunks. Mix in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea.
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk, sourdough discard and 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.
  4. 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 3/4" thick. Use a 2.5"-3" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake on the middle racks of the oven, flipping the trays after 10 minutes (see note).
  7. The scones are ready when they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.


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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


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

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.

Ed Poore

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Can you add berries to this recipe? Delicious scones!

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Yes, but depending on the type of berry they might leak juice and soften the dough. You might want to hold back a little of the buttermilk to make the dough a little drier if adding something like raspberries.

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