Sweet Cornmeal Scones5

Smoked paprika. Onion powder. Worcestershire sauce.  Hoisin sauce. Onion soup mix.

This seems like a random list, I know. But in my private little world of cooking and baking, it totally makes sense.

There are certain ingredients that I have a slight obsession with. If you’re a cook, you’ll know what I mean. No matter what, you always have to have them in your house/kitchen. You search for excuses to put them to use. You’ll swap them in recipes that don’t necessarily call for them, because YOU know from experience that they serve their own unique purpose. I’ve certainly found that to be the case for me with the above mentioned ingredients.

I used to think paprika was pointless. It gave dishes a reddish hue but I never could distinguish a prominent flavor in regular paprika. I still can’t. But the day I discovered smoked paprika? Whooooo. I was hooked. The earthy smokiness is a flavor that will work with just about ANY savory dish, especially Latin and Middle Eastern ones. I freely admit to dumping entire tablespoonfuls of smoked paprika in braises and spice rubs. The tastebuds of the people I’m feeding always thank me later–and if you start using it generously in your food I promise that the tastebuds of the people you feed will thank you as well.

I’m gonna keep it 100 with you guys: I depend on onion powder in seasoning my food even more than I do salt and pepper. Yes. It’s that serious. I’m really sitting here trying to think if there is ANY savory dish that I make where I don’t use onion powder…….yeah, no. There’s not, and that’s because onion powder makes everything taste better. Worcestershire sauce and Hoisin sauce kinda go hand in hand. If you’re making a beef or pork dish and you want to add a deeper, richer layer of flavor to your sauce, then I highly recommend you keep them handy. A tablespoon of hoisin  and few shakes of Worcestershire sauce in a beef stew will REALLY give it that extra boost: trust me on this. lastly, If you think you’re really bad at making gravy–or you’re not bad at it, but you need to make some fast in a pinch, then using dry onion soup mix combined with beef broth is a quick & easy way to get good results.

I left one ingredient off that list on purpose, because it’s largely centered on today’s recipe.  Here’s the thing, guys: I have a slight obsession with cornmeal. I love it. I search for ways to put the stuff in everything, in both sweet and savory applications. I’ve shared two cornbread recipes on the blog already (my grandma’s recipe included which is made of more cornmeal than flour). The fried chicken recipe I shared a few weeks ago was posted alongside a recipe for biscuits that had cornmeal in them. I’ve made several yeast breads that have cornmeal in the dough–heck, I just made one yesterday that I’ll be sharing soon. There’s even a cookie recipe I tried with cornmeal that I really liked. I even sometimes put a sprinkle of cornmeal in my stews, chilis or braises to both thicken the liquid, and give it a subtle corny flavor.

And now, just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be yet another cornmeal recipe I could throw at y’all, here I am… throwing another cornmeal recipe at you.

You only have to take a brief glance at the Recipe Index to figure out that I’m kinda fond of scones.Every so often I get a crazy craving for one that I just have to appease, whether it means finding a coffee shop with a good selection or just making them myself. This time, I went with the latter and decided to see what would happen if I made my favored breakfast pastry with one of my favored ingredients.

This is what happened, and I gotta say: I like it. Cornmeal does admittedly add a coarser, grittier texture to ANY dough you make so if you’re searching for a light and fluffy scone, this may not be the one for you. However, these still do have layers and a flakiness to them that I think the cornmeal adds an interesting and different texture to. They’re somehow flaky and bready at the same time. Flavor-wise, you taste the sweetness from the light brown sugar then the subtle sweetness of the corn-y flavor and somehow, the two just really work together. Oh, and did I mention these were made even better smeared with butter and jam? Cause they were.

Sharing at Fiesta Friday #184, co-hosted this week by Petra @ Food Eat Love and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.


Sweet Cornmeal Scones

Recipe Adapted from Food.com


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional



Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal salt, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar with a fork.

Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and stir a few times to combine. Make a well in the center of the bowl.

Pour the buttermilk into the well and use a large rubber spatula to stir the mixture together. If it seems a little dry you may add additional buttermilk until it forms a shaggy dough.

Sprinkle a pastry mat, wooden cutting board or wax paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and pat a few times with your hands until it loosely holds together. (Don’t knead it too much or the warmth in your palms will melt the butter and cause the scones to be tough.)

Pat and roll the dough into a rectangle. Take the two opposite ends and fold them together like a business letter into thirds. Flip it upside down and pat & roll it into another rectangle, sprinkling the surface with flour if it gets too sticky. Repeat the folding process two to three more times before patting it into one final rectangle.

Use a bench scraper or very sharp knife to divide the rectangle in half, then divide the halves into thirds or fourths squares (depending on what size scones you want).

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the cut scones on it. Freeze them for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, fill a shallow pan with water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven.

Brush the scones with melted butter and the turbinado sugar, then bake in the oven on the middle rack for about 15-20 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Serve warm, spread with butter or jam.


31 thoughts on “Sweet Cornmeal Scones

    1. You’re absolutely right! I left out the most important ingredient, silly me lol It’s corrected now, thank you so much for bringing that to my attention ;-

      1. I live scones and was excited to see your recipe.. I had some scones once that were cornmeal and had tomato, green onion and cheese in them, too and have wanted to figure out how to make them.

  1. Yum!! I have a random list, too, I call my Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients, lol! Have you tried making your own Dry Onion Soup Mix? I’ve got a recipe on my blog and I just love it. And for years I’ve heard chefs dis onion& garlic powder, but I think they have their own flavor that can add just a bit of intensity to something in a way the fresh doesn’t – and sometimes I use both fresh and dried.

    These scones look to die for! Look at how gorgeous they are! I think they’d be very good with a bowl of chili – heck they’d steal the show – and I’m with you on the cornmeal – I’ve been using it in pie crusts for savory tarts and just made an upside down blueberry polenta cake…but I use cornmeal instead of polenta. 🙂

    1. I’ve never tried making my own dry onion soup mix before, but I’m sure going to be heading over to your blog to see your recipe–I’m sure it’s awesome!

      And yes! I think the scones would be perfect with chili too; a different alternative to cornbread that tastes just as good. And I’m defs gonna have to try that trick of putting cornmeal in pie crusts; that sounds terrific. Thank you 😉

  2. Your list of ingredients sounds mouthwatering! I wish I was there to taste one! happy Fiesta Friday! 🙂

  3. Hiya – this looks like an amazing recipe. Just wondering a few things about the cornmeal…. coarse? Fine? Do you think I could use grits? Thanks!

    1. Apologies for the late reply Yasmine; I would go with fine ground cornmeal, unless you didn’t mind the finished product tasting a little bit more grittier in texture. You could use grits, but it would definitely affect the taste and the flavor.

  4. I feel kind of etherial right now. I’ve stayed up all night watching movies (Under the Tuscan Sun) and eating these lovely scones with marmalade. This recipe is going in my print and save file to be made often. Thank you for it.

  5. i’m gonna try these for sure! i love cornmeal also . . . in fact, i insist on cornmeal only (no flour at all and no sugar) in my cornbread whether baked or fried or for hot water cornbread….stoneground yellow is my preferred cornmeal. since i love scones, i am looking forward to making these at some point over the next couple of days!

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