Thursday, January 26

Recipe: Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones with Cream Cheese and Feta

These simple yet impressive scones are perfect for breakfast, brunch, and beyond.

May 2012 update: You'll find the chive and sharp cheddar version of this recipe here.

Did I ever mention how much I love scones? No? Huh. Well, I do. Absolutely adore them. Could probably eat them every day for a month and never tire of them. I even have a whole stack of delectable sounding scone recipes to try someday. In the meantime, I make my tried and true favorites. I already shared one of them with you last month, Cranberry Christmas Scones, which are tasty any time of year.

Another recipe I've been loving and making for years is for Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones. These were created back in 1993 during a severe scone craving when there was no butter in the house. They mix up quickly and are nicely versatile.

Half & half will give you richer scones with a slightly nicer texture, but whole milk works fine, is lower in fat and calories, and is usually always in the fridge. Either way, these are very moist and are healthier for you than traditional scones made with butter and heavy cream.

You can also substitute Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese, but I don't recommend using fat-free cream cheese. Fresh baking powder is essential.

And as always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients whenever you can. These days they're often easy to find and, in my opinion, really do taste better—not to mention how much better they are for farm workers and the environment.

Serve these scones warm from the oven with dinner instead of rolls or bread—plain, buttered, or with cream cheese. Or split and toast them in the toaster, spread with cream cheese and thinly sliced ham or turkey for a satisfying breakfast on the run, light lunch, or terrific after-school snack.

They also freeze beautifully if you happen to have any left over (hint: the recipe can easily be doubled). Defrost them at room temperature and heat at 375° for about 5 to 8 minutes. If you're in a hurry, you can defrost them gently in the microwave and then put them in the oven or toaster oven.

The optional egg glaze gives these scones a beautiful shine and dark golden color. Look for farm fresh eggs at your farmers' market or natural foods store, or search for a local farmer on Local Harvest. You won't believe the difference compared to commercial eggs laid by unhappy hens living in horrible battery cages. The yolks are sometimes so dark they're a gorgeous deep orange, and the eggs actually taste like eggs! And of course, you're also supporting small farmers.

Not a feta fan? Try cheddar and chive instead, with or without a sprinkling of dill. You'll find more about growing your own chives (it's easy!), along with a recipe for homemade herbed yogurt cheese here.

Farmgirl Susan's Savory Cheese & Scallion Scones
Makes 8 large scones or 12 small ones

**Click here to print this recipe**

I highly recommend investing in a couple of heavy duty commercial rimmed baking sheets. Treat them well—I usually line mine with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff—and they'll last for ages. I've been using the heck out of some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking cookies to roasting Brussels sprouts.

2½ to 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it's fresh!)
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese, softened in the microwave 15-30 seconds (you want it very soft)
4 scallions (green onions), green & white parts, chopped

1 cup organic whole milk or half and half
1 large egg

Optional Egg glaze:
Beat 1 egg and 2 Tablespoons of organic milk (or half and half) well with a fork

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine 2½ cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. Add the cheeses & toss gently with a fork until combined.

4. Add the scallions & toss gently with a fork until combined.

5. Beat the milk (or half and half) with the egg and gently it fold into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly until a soft dough forms. Add up to 1/2 cup additional flour if the dough is too sticky.

6. On a floured surface, gently pat the dough into a circle approximately 1-inch thick (or into two smaller circles for 12 scones). The key to tender scones is to handle the dough as little as possible and with a light touch.

With a sharp knife (I use a large serrated knife dipped in flour), cut the circle(s) into 8 or 12 wedges and place them on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper.

7. Brush the tops and sides of the scones with the egg glaze if desired, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or cool completely and refrigerate or freeze in a heavy zipper bag or airtight container.

More Farmgirl Fare muffin, scone, and quick bread recipes:
Meyer Lemon (or Regular Lemon) Scones
Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year!)
Beyond Easy Beer Bread (one of my most popular recipes)
Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Heavenly Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
100% Whole Grain Ginger and Pear Bran Muffins
My Best 100% Whole Grain Blueberry Bran Muffins (plus other flavors)

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, the sconehead foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and you can always find a scone or two in the freezer.


  1. Yum! Great pictures of the scones. I will add these to my list of recipes I have to try.

  2. Are they still hot? I'm comin' over! I'll follow the aroma all the way to the farm! PS Put the coffee on, okay?

  3. I so love the look of these scones, but I can't do scones! I simply end up with a sticky unruly mess of dough up to my elbows and in my hair..sniff. Would you like to come over and visit and show me the trick? (I have some peasoup in the freezer...)

  4. After having read only the title of this post, I am in heaven. Scones - love 'em.
    Cheese and scallions together - love'em, love 'em.

    Now, I can't wait to read it! ;+)

  5. oh these scones look yummy! I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Yummy! They looks delicious!
    Thanks for the recipes!

  7. Lest any of you doubt that these scones are not simply the best scones ever, I will testify under oath that they are indeed the Best scones you will ever taste!

    An old friend who has eaten his weight in these scones.

    PS Had one tonight with creme fraiche...yum

  8. I just made these scones last night and they're very yummy. I'm having one toasted as breakfast this morning. Thank you for the recipe.

    Also, Susan, I love you website, I visit it every day to look at the daily pictures. I am very jealous of your farm life:).

  9. Hi Biscuit Girl,
    I hope your stack of recipes to try isn't about two feet high like mine is (really). Maybe you should sneak this one to the top of the list! : )

    Hi Kat,
    Yes, savory scones are very nice. : )

    Hi Alanna,
    Sorry. All gone. : )

    Hi Amy,
    I have a variation with chives and no feta. It's still made with cream cheese, but you can't really taste it. Or at least, I can't. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

    Hi Baking Soda,
    I can't believe it. You, the Dutch Queen of Baking cannot make scones? Surely you jest. Scone dough in your hair does indeed sound like you are doing something wrong, though.

    As soon as David L. arranges that house swap where I move to Paris, I'll take a long weekend and come over and bake scones with you.

    In the meantime, try these. They are super simple. And they'd go great with that pea soup.

    Hi B'Gina,
    Commenting after just reading the title. Now that's enthusiasm. : )

    Hi Trish,
    You're welcome. And welcome to the farm! : )

    Hi Sonia,
    Let's just say I ate two while they were still warm.

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you!

    Hi Jory,
    Welcome to the farm! I'm so glad you are enjoying the scones. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to write. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  10. Oh, yum. I'd add some jalapeƱos to those puppies, too, but I'm a bit on the masochistic side.

    : D

    Glad to see you cooking again, dear.

  11. Since yesterday I know: they don't only look tasty, they are delicicious!

    It took me just a little time after lunch for preparation and baking, before we headed off for a two hour walk in bright sunny (though cold) weather. When we came back they were just perfect!

    Thanks for this nice recipe, it will get the honour of being copied to my kitchen notebook!

  12. Hi Tana,
    When all else fails (or at least when all else seems like just way too much effort). . .Kitchen Therapy! : )

    Hi Dorit,
    I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the scones so much--and I'm flattered that my recipe has made it into your kitchen notebook. Sounds like they were the perfect treat after a long walk. Thanks so much for the feedback. : )

  13. Oooh, yes please. I can just smell these. They look great!

  14. I just made these last night and they are soooo good. I couldn't stop eating them last night and then I had one for breakfast this morning. Yum!

  15. Hi Vanessa,
    You'll have to try baking some. So easy!

    Hi Lilachica,
    Welcome to the farm! I'm so glad you're enjoying the scones. And don't feel bad--I couldn't believe I ate two whole warm ones just during this photo shoot. (It's difficult to blame anybody else for eating something when you know you're the only one in the house. : )

    Thanks for taking the time to write. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  16. I tried these scones this weekend and they were a huge hit at a luncheon I had for some girlfriends.

    I was surprised how easy they were to throw together. Keep the great recipes coming...

    I'm goning to feature your recipe on my blog...Home Cooking is What I Like.


  17. Hi Good Ole Cook,
    Welcome to the farm! I'm so glad you all enjoyed the scones. And I'm flattered that you're going to feature them on your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write. : )

  18. Hi Lane,
    I didn't realize that Good Ole Cook was you. You're not a new visitor. : ) Great to hear from you, and congratulations on your new blog!

  19. I tried out scones for the first time using your recipe. They were DELICIOUS! I even used skim milk and they were still great. Ive linked ur recipe from my blog. I cant wait to try out more varieties. Your recipes and instructions are foolproof. I also really enjoy your links to organic products. And of course the photos!


  20. Just had to post a comment in response to baking soda! I learned (the hard way) some "scone secrets". Don't use bread or cake flour! Too much or too little gluten are both bad! Use a general purpose flour. Keep the dry ingredients, the butter, any cheese and the bowl in the freezer until you mix it. The colder it is, the less the butter melts onto the flour. Handle the dough as little as possible, just enough to mix. I can't tell you how many flour bricks I made! Don't give up.

  21. The (very similar) recipe that I have for fruit/spice scones has me freeze them at least two hours before baking. I make the scones for my coffeeshop for the week on Monday, so I'm wondering if these will work if frozen and then cooked?

    You have a wonderful site here and I'm glad you linked to I'd never heard of it, but at the shop we are trying to be ever more local and organic, so it will be greatly helpful. Thanks!

  22. Hi Russ,
    How interesting that your scone recipe calls for freezing them for two hours before baking. Do you have any idea what the chilling is supposed to do? I'm thinking they don't freeze solid in that time.

    I've never frozen unbaked scones, but I've been told that after forming basically any scones, you can freeze them until solid on a baking sheet, and then transfer them to a container or zipper freezer bag for longer storage. Put frozen scones directly in a hot oven at whatever temperature you normally bake them at, but increase the baking time. I don't see why it wouldn't work with this recipe, although they are a bit different from traditional scones in that the cream cheese replaces the butter.

    I do know that fully baked scones freeze and defrost beautifully, as do most baked goods--everything from cookies to breads.

    I was thrilled to hear that I'm responsible for introducing you to Thanks for caring and making a concerned effort to go local and organic! : )

  23. At our local coffee shop he adds poppy seeds to a similar recipe and then tops them with a fresh tomato slice and goat cheese before baking. lunch ever!

  24. These scones are fantastic! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    Would it be okay to use cream cheese to replace butter in other scone recipes as well?

  25. kat.......
    Oooooooo, those look good! Nice to have some savoury recipes for scones..thanks!

  26. Gourmet this month has a recipe for "homemade baking powder" to go in their biscuit recipe. Any idea what makes it better than store bought?
    Here's the recipe:
    1/4 cup cream of tartar
    2 tablespoons baking soda

    sift together 3 times

  27. Good Morning Farmgirl -

    The scones do look delicious, and I promise to try them with dinner one night, however what I've really been looking for is a "good" blueberry (fresh blueberry) scone recipe. I sure hope I'm doing this correctly, as this whole blog thingy is new to me! Anybody out there with a "to die for" blueberry scone recipe, feel free to drop me a line at! Thanks to all, forks up!!!!

  28. These look absolutely delicious. I knew looking through a farm themed food site would pay off. This is definitely a weekend cooking project.

    P.S: more donkey pictures!

  29. recipes look great! i was thinking of doing a wine jelly for christmas - any thoughts on a good scone to go with that?

  30. These scones are awesome! I made them for a bake sale at work and people loved them! However, I accidentally put in 1 tablespoon plus ONE teaspoon baking powder in the first batch (the batch for the bake sale). Last night I made a second batch and noticed the recipe actually calls for 1 tablespoon plus TWO teaspoons baking powder so I put that much in and they are a bit too salty. So I would recommend just 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon b.p. Absolutely delicious recipe, however!!!!!

  31. These are amazing! So easy to make, so few ingredients, but so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  32. Hi there! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I made these for a baking contest at work earlier this week and they disappeared!! I posted a photo of them on my blog -- -- thanks again for sharing! I love your blog, esp. the photos of all your cute animals!! So glad I found your site! Best, Candice

  33. I've looked at both recipes and they look great... will give them a try. We've always done our scones on a griddle and served them with butter and maple syrup. No... the recipe is a scone one not a griddle cake or pancake one!

  34. Oh my. I think I have all the ingredients for these in my fridge right this very minute! They may have to be made for dinner tonight.



  35. These were absolutely brilliant. I grew up on scones coming from a family with deep roots in the UK, but never cared for the sweet ones or rasins. This is the perfect recipe! Light and flaky and moist with amazing flavor. Next time I plan on upping the quality of the feta I buy (hope the local dairy has some at the farmer's market this week!). My 16 month old is inhaling these...I may not have any for tomorrow!

  36. I'm sorry for commenting on a years old post (guess I'm late to the party), but I am DYING to make these. Only thing is, I'm thrown by the 'no-butter' thing. Isn't butter integral to making flaky non-dense scones? Does the cream-cheese sub in here?

  37. Hi Mary,
    Comments on older posts are always welcome. Butter is definitely not required when making scones - in fact, many 'cream scone' recipes call for only heavy cream, with no butter and often no eggs either.

    This recipe gets its richness from the milk, cream cheese, and egg, and they aren't dense. I think you'll like them! :)

  38. I made these scones today and they turned out fantastic !! I used grated aged cheddar cheese instead of the feta cheese. I loved the texture of the scones and am wondering if the secret with this recipe is adding the cream cheese instead of butter?
    Thank you so much for this site & I have saved it as I will definitely be back to try some of your other recipes.

  39. Oh Goodness me. These look amazing. Simply delectable. I can't wait to make these.

  40. I made these last weekend--first scones ever & they came out great! Must be the awesome recipe!!!

  41. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. After reading some of the comments, I wanted to share a few points from my experience with it:
    1) sift all dry ingredients together to ensure even distribution.
    2) Since I was using typically salted commercial cream cheese (unfortunately), and salty goat
    cheese, I reduced the salt by half.
    3) After the cream cheese was very soft, I mixed in the egg and gradually mixed in the milk.
    4) I made a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients then added the liquid mixture.
    5) I gently blended only to ensure that all dry flour was mixed in to the dough. The dough was extremely lumpy and sticky- this is OK. Then I poured the dough into a pre-heated, oiled iron skillet. (I prefer to use a Romertopf clay baker, but did not have time to soak it.)
    6) I brushed the top with the egg glaze- This step is so worth it- gives a gorgeous color and keeps the top tender. When done, I cut the bread into "scone" wedges- PERFECT texture and flavor, but without all the kneading and none of the rough texture which can result from over working the dough and having to use too much flour. I hope this helps anyone making quick breads.

  42. Hi there, was just wondering if you sifted your flour and baking powder in your savory cheese scone recipe?

    Thanks :D

  43. Anon,
    Nope, I don't sift anything in this recipe. :)

  44. I am so happy I stumbled upon your site... I just made these scones and they are absolutely delicious! Thank you for posting! :)

  45. Yay for cheese and scallions! I'm soooo making this one. Can't wait. Thanks for sharing.

  46. I made these scones today, and adapted the baking method to my preference. They were delicious! I've recommended the recipe on my blog. Thanks for sharing. :)

  47. These look really nice! I am in Missouri, too, nice to find your blog. ; )

  48. I made your scones last night, and they were absolutely delicious!

  49. Bet these scones taste just as amazing as they look.

  50. Great recipe; thank you. Has anyone tried any other variations on this savory recipe? I have fresh basil on hand that I need to get rid of before it molds. I'm substituting the basil for the scallion and 2 oz parmesan and 2 oz shredded mozzarella for the feta, plus a few grinds of fresh pepper. I'm a little worried about the moisture content of the moz...
    Should be interesting!

    1. Hi Morissey,
      A basil, parmesan, and mozzarella version of this scone recipe sounds great! I hope you'll let us know how it turns out. I've made cheddar and dill before, which is really tasty. Thanks for the inspiration to play around with other flavor variations. :)

  51. I just pulled these out of the oven. I altered the recipe
    for my taste, using garlic herbed goat cheese, carmalized onions instead of scallions and added rosemary. They are delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe - your version sounds great! And my three pots of rosemary on the kitchen windowsill that I brought in for the winter are (miraculously) thriving. I see some savory scones in my near future. :) Thanks for the mouthwatering inspiration.

  52. In your above reply of January 28, 2006, you mentioned that you have a similar recipe with cream cheese but without feta. I am looking for such a recipe where the cream cheese substitutes for the butter (or there is little butter) and no other cheese. Would you care to share your recipe or its source please?

    Thank you

    1. I make a cheddar and chive variation of this recipe (which I finally photographed last week and am actually hoping to post soon), where the finely shredded cheddar stands in for the feta, but this recipe will work fine without a second variety of cheese added in. Just follow the recipe above and simply leave out the feta.

      You can also add things like herbs or chopped olives for more flavor. The basic recipe is very adaptable. :)

  53. hi susan....
    all your recipes are really great and i've recently started baking and found your basic bread recipes really helpfull.. the only problem is that here in india we don't get authentic convection ovens which is why my breads tend to bake unevenly because they just don't reach the high temp required for baking.... could you please guide me in this regard...
    also i read in one of your earlier replies that most scone recipes dont even call for the use of eggs... coud you please do me a huge favor and add a few of your eggless variants of scones and other savory treats and desserts..
    thanks a ton.... eagerly waiting for your reply!

    1. Hi Aarati,
      I'm so glad you're enjoying my recipes. I'm not sure about your oven - a convection oven with forced air isn't necessary (I never use one), but you do want the inside of the oven evenly heated. Even if you can't get the oven as hot as some recipes call for (such as 400 degrees F), you can still successfully bake lots of things at a lower temperature. Many people swear by cooking quick breads, etc. at just 325F rather than 375 that many recipes call for.

      I'm afraid I always put eggs in my scones (our hens are laying over a dozen a day right now!), but a quick look on google or should give you many scone recipes that don't call for eggs.

      In the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index I do have some eggless baked goods, including beer bread, the yeast breads, pita bread, the blueberry breakfast bars and apple blueberry crumble bars, and the baby shortbread cookies with chocolate chips and toffee bits (which are still good if you can't find toffee bits).

      Happy baking! :)

  54. Hi, this recipe looks great! I have an excess of green onions at the moment and cant wait to try it out, but I was wondering do you think I could substitute whole grain flour or would it change the consistency of the scone and cause it to not bake right?

    1. Hi Paula,
      Whole wheat flour definitely makes scones denser and heavier, but they can also be very delicious! I would recommend using white whole wheat flour (which is 100% whole grain, just a different variety of wheat that bakes up lighter) and starting with a 50/50 mix of white/whole wheat flour. If you like the results, try using more whole wheat flour.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!