Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Scones

Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Scones

Inspired by Starbuck’s vanilla bean scones, this homemade recipe yields fluffy, creamy pastries with a touch of sweetness and make the perfect companion for a cup of coffee or tea

Recipe Inspiration 

This started out as a challenge from my sister. I won’t tell you that it ended in us devouring a half sheet tray of scones, but then I’d be lying. Our weekly Starbucks work sessions came to a screeching halt like everyone else’s in america. During our last outing, she commented on how she bet I could create a vanilla bean scone dupe. While adhering to the local stay-at-home order she was craving a bit a comfort (so was I), so I decided to whip up a batch. 

This scone recipe is an adaptation from joy the baker’s blackberry lavender scones. Her recipe is foolproof and has not failed me yet. I use her ratio of base ingredients (with a few modifications to the directions) to create many flavor combinations of scones. please refer to her original recipe here and try it for yourself. The blackberry lavender scones are superb! 

Recipe Tips 

My recipe is dairy-free, but you’re welcome to use whatever milk you have on hand. To create the “buttermilk” or sour milk for the recipe calls for, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes before adding your eggs and butter to the mix. 

Work quickly to keep your butter cold, even in your dough. The cold butter creates flaky pockets in the scone dough as its baking.  

Cooling down of the buttermilk/butter mixture is a “cheat” method for cutting cold butter into the flour mixture. This method is a bit tricky to master but it works well when you have it down. Be sure to allow your melted butter to firm up in the container with the milk (it will rise to the top) before stirring into the milk mixture. I like to do this in the freezer instead of the refrigerator because it cuts down on room for error.If you don’t think your butter is firm enough, pop it back in the freezer for 1-2 minutes and stir again. You should have butter “flakes” floating in your egg-milk mixture. And you’re ready to go. 

Once your dough comes together, gently work it together and fold like an envelope. The more gentle you are with your dough, the more tender your scones come out. 

After baking be sure to allow them to cool before icing. The glaze is quick and can be easily done while you’re baking your scones. Simply put everything together in the bowl, whisk and adjust with more milk as needed. If you’re not a fan of glaze on scones, skip it altogether and serve with jam. Either way, these scones are a hit, and the perfect companion for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Scones

Prep Time20 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Keyword: baking, breakfast/brunch, dairy free, recipe mix, scones, vanilla, vanilla bean
Yield: 23 people


Vanilla Bean Scones

  • 3 cups ap flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cashew, almond or oat milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 egg + water for egg wash

Vanilla Bean Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1-1 1/2 tbsp milk of choice


Vanilla Bean Scones

  • Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. in a small freezer-safe mixing bowl, combine milk and lemon juice and scraped vanilla bean (or vanilla bean paste) and whisk until vanilla beans have dispersed. allow to sit for 5 minutes then add egg and whisk to combine. Last, add melted butter to the mixture. Do not mix or stir. Place butter/sour milk mix mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until butter has begun to firm.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. When the butter has begun to firm, remove from the freezer and gently stir to break disperse butter into the milk mixture. Butter should have the size and texture of oat flakes in the milk.
  • Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together until a dough forms. Turn out onto a clean surface and gently fold the dough onto itself 3-4 times, rotating the dough as you fold. roll or pat the dough into 1-inch thickness and shape into a rectangle. Using a floured knife or bench scraper, cut the rectangle in half width-wise, so you end up with two long bars of dough. Cut each bar on an angle, alternating sides of each slice to create 6 triangle shapes, or cut into 6 squares. Repeat with the second bar of dough. place each scone onto a parchment-lined tray and brush with egg wash.
  • Place in the oven and bake until risen, slightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Prepare vanilla bean icing while scones are baking. Remove baked scones from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling wrack. Allow scones to cool for 5-10 minutes before glazing.

Vanilla Bean Icing

  • To make glaze, combine
  • Glaze with vanilla bean icing. spoon prepared icing atop semi-cooled scones. Allow scones to completely cool before serving. Place leftover scones in an airtight container lined with parchment paper for up to

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