Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives

Savory buttermilk scones made with goat cheese and chives.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Ever wonder what the difference is between scones and biscuits?

The light, sweet scones enjoyed in England are nothing like the heavy, somewhat dry scones we usually have here in the states. They are more like our biscuits, but sweet.

Of course “biscuit” in England means what we here would call a cookie. So confusing.

I set out to make a light, savory scone, and in the process learned that, at least here in America, what I was making would more normally be called a biscuit. (According to some, scones have eggs, biscuits don’t.)

Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives

But also here in America, if the baked good in question is round, it’s called a biscuit, and if it is triangular, it’s called a scone.

So, call these what you will. Here’s a recipe for delicious buttermilk scones/biscuits, made with goat cheese and chives, and shaped into wedges. You can shape them any which way you like.

Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 scones


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of freshly chopped chives (can also use chopped green onions)
  • 1 5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2 Make the dough: Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms.

Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms (bits of cheese will be visible in dough).

3 Knead the dough and form into rounds, cut into wedges: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead!

Form into a round, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges.

4 Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges.

5 Bake: Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an un-greased large baking sheet and bake at 400°F in the middle of the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool on a rack.

Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.

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Showing 4 of 25 Comments

  • Susan from Food "Blogga"

    What a great post! Having lived in New England, the South, and now California, I’ve noticed that scones and biscuits vary by region even here is the U.S. Now that I think of it, I sure have eaten a lot of scones and biscuits in all three regions.

  • Rhonda

    These biscuits are moist and yummy! They are easy and perfect for a weeknight meal. Thanks for the step-by-step photos.

  • Jess

    Elise I spent 10 minutes googling biscuit recipes before I found yours and I knew I could trust it. I used Abbeydale cheese with chives instead of goat cheeese and chives and it turned out well.

    One trick I figured out is if you don’t have a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour mixture, freeze the butter and shred it up with your microplane. Works like a charm!

  • Danabee

    Made ’em without chives and black pepper due to persnickety family preferences. Fabulous. This is a keeper. After a thousand batches yielding varying degrees of brickness in my lifetime I finally followed Alton Brown’s advice and turned the dough out onto the board when it was hardly mixed at all and did most of the blending of wet/dry ingredients in the 6-8 kneads. Perfect biscuits at last!

  • Summer

    Do you think that it would be a feasible idea to make the dough the evening prior to an event, and bake the biscuits in the morning? My concern would be that the texture would become less airy if the dough was to rest over night in the fridge.
    Thanks for your help.

    The dough should be made right before cooking, not the evening before. Otherwise the acid in the buttermilk will react with the baking soda and you will lose a good portion of your leavening. ~Elise

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Buttermilk Scones with Goat Cheese and ChivesSavory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives