Easy Homemade Irish Scones Recipe: Step-by-Step

Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe

Traditional Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe

My Irish buttermilk scones recipe is straightforward; you will be glad you tried it.

Irish buttermilk scones are a great treat in many family homes across Ireland.  Numerous homes and families have their own buttermilk scone recipes they pass down from generation to generation. 

Often in Ireland, families would serve warm, freshly baked buttermilk scones slathered with butter and strawberry jam (jelly for our American cousins) and topped with fresh cream.  No Irish buttermilk scone would be complete without a nice cup of tea to wash it all down.

If you enjoy baking then make sure to give my recipe on Traditional Irish Apple Tart a read.

It is often hard to find a delicious Irish buttermilk scone recipe that is nice, light, full of flavour and doesn’t leave a bad taste from using too much soda. 

My Irish buttermilk scone recipe has been tried and tested to ensure you always get the best scone.  With a few tips and a bit of practice, you too can make Irish Buttermilk scones like many Grandmothers across the country used to make.

Irish Scone recipe
Irish Buttermilk Scones

How to Make Perfect Irish Buttermilk Scones

Step 1: Rub The Butter In

Add butter to your flour and press the butter through with your fingers. This takes a bit of work, but it’s really enjoyable.

Step 2: Add your Buttermilk

When all the butter is worked in, and you have a crumble-like texture, it’s time to add the buttermilk. Make a well in the centre and add half the buttermilk in. Work the buttermilk using your hand in a claw shape. If the mix is dry add the remaining buttermilk. (It’s always a good practice not to add all your liquid at one go because you may not require it all).

Step 3: Bring Together

Combine your dough onto a floured work surface into one dough ball. Don’t knead it or you will make a tough scone.

Step 4: Roll Out

With a floured rolling pin roll out your dough into a uniform thickness of roughly 1 inch.

Step 5: Cut and Shape

Use a round cookie cutter or knife to cut into shapes and place onto a baking sheet that has been lightly floured.

Step 6: Glaze and Bake

Brush the tops of the Buttermilk scones with egg wash (egg mixed with milk) and place into a preheated oven to bake.

Irish Buttermilk Scone Tips

The best tip to make the best Irish Buttermilk scones is to use your hands.  Yes, forget the machine, get a big bowl, add your dry ingredients, and then work that butter into the flour before mixing in the liquid with your hands.  Just make sure to wash them beforehand.

By using your hands, you first enjoy the mixture’s feel, smell and texture.  Second, using your hands, you learn if you have enough butter, rubbed the butter in enough, and had enough liquid in the dough. 

After a bit of practice making this Irish Buttermilk scones recipe, you will learn by feeling and touching if the Buttermilk scones are right.

The secret to getting Irish Buttermilk scones that turn out nice and light is not to overwork the mixture.

When rubbing in the flour with your hands, pinch some of the flour and butter,  then lifting your hands above the bowl, rub the flour and butter together between your thumb and fingers.

Keeping your hands above the bowl ensures you keep air in the flour, and it does not clump up. Even after rubbing, I like to grab the flour a few times, lift it into the air, and let it fall back into the bowl.

Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe
Irish Buttermilk Scones

Next secret: don’t over-knead the dough.  The dough should not be too wet or sticky but should be slightly moist to the touch.  When you empty your bowl out onto a work surface, work the dough enough to bring all the flour together.  

We are not aiming for a smooth dough like making bread. We want the dough to hold together before we shape it or cut it.

Follow these steps, and you will always make the best-tasting Irish buttermilk scones.

If you enjoyed this Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe, why not try my Grandmothers Apple Tart Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe
Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Traditional Irish Buttermilk Scones Recipe that is great heaped with Irish Butter, jam and fresh whipped cream.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: buttermilk scones recipe, fresh scones, how to make irish buttermilk scone, how to make irish scone, how to make scone, Irish buttermilk scone recipe, irish scones, irish scones recipe, scones with cream, scones with jam, scones with jam and cream
Servings: 12 Scones
Calories: 458 kcal
Author: J.J. Sheridan
  • 900 g Self Raising Flour 32 ounces
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 225 g Unsalted Butter Room temp diced 8 ounces
  • 130 g Caster Sugar 4.5 ounces
  • 450 ml Buttermilk 16 ounces
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Egg Wash or Extra Buttermilk to glaise
  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C 375°F Gas Mark 5

  2. In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and butter

  3. Rub the butter into the flour ensuring you lift the flour above the bowl when rubbing to keep the air in the flour.  If the butter was not at room temp then grate the butter into the flour before rubbing in.

  4. Keep rubbing until the flour looks like breadcrumbs ( I always enjoy the smell of the butter and flour during this stage)

  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add two thirds of the buttermilk. Use your hand or if you like a fork to bring all the mixture together.  Add the remaining buttermilk if needed. 

  6. If you use your hands you will will learn if the mixture needs more liquid or less.  Depending on times of the year and moisture in the air you may often need more or less liquid.  The mixture should not be sticky but just damp to touch.

  7. Turn out the mixture onto a flour work surface and bring it together. Do not knead the mixture just work it about so it all comes together.

  8. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it’s 1 inch thickness.  I normally just flatten it out with my hands keeping it a uniform height.

  9. Use a 3 inch floured pastry cutter or a sharp knife and cut into desired shapes. Place onto a lightly flour baking tray and brush the tops with egg wash or extra buttermilk. This recipe should give you between 10 and 12 large scones

  10. Bake for approx 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown then remove and let rest for a few minutes on a cooling rack.

  11. Enjoy these scones with some Irish butter, strawberry jam and fresh cream.  Don’t forget a cup of tea. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Allergins: Gluten, Milk


If you like fruit scones you can add 75g of raisins and 75 grams of sultanas after rubbing the butter in.


This recipe make 10 to 12 large scone.  If you like you can half the recipe or just freeze some for another day.

If you are interested in visiting my home in Cork, read my article on the Best Restaurants in Cork City.

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Irish Scones Recipe

About the author
J.J. Sheridan
My Name is JJ Sheridan, born in Cork Ireland but spent most of my childhood in County Tipperary. I've been a Chef for a large number of years and have worked in a number of award winning restaurants. I love using local ingredients whenever possible in my food so that I can showcase the best of Irish. My passion is to share with you the best restaurants across Ireland from a Chefs perspective. For many years restaurants have been at the hands of the "food critic". Most of the time these critics will visit the same old restaurants and heap praise on them. Often forgetting about the smaller restaurants who are paving the way for Irish Cuisine. My Goal is to higlight all restaurants, especially the ones the so called food experts never visit and give you a complete list of the best Irish Restaurants to visit.

5 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Irish Scones Recipe: Step-by-Step”

  1. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a really good Irish Scone recipe for ages and finally found this. They tasted excellent. Thank you very much.

  2. After 25 minutes the scones looked anemic and under baked at 375 degrees. Scones generally need a really hot oven to get a good rise and color. Next time I will try them at 425.


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