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ham and cheddar cheese scones with chives and sea salt garnish on top sitting on brown parchment paper.

Savory Ham & Cheese Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 large scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These savory ham & cheese scones are packed with flavor and have a delightfully flaky, soft interior. You can freeze the scones before or after baking. You can also skip the ham or replace with cooked bacon or sausage. Review recipe Notes before beginning.


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup (about 100g or 3.5 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, frozen (see note)
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) cold buttermilk, plus 1 Tablespoon for brushing
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 3/4 cup (about 110g or 3 oz) finely chopped ham
  • optional for topping: flaky sea salt


  1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the chives and shredded cheese.
  2. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  3. Whisk 2/3 cup buttermilk and the egg yolk together. (Save egg white for step 5.) Pour over the flour/cheese mixture, add the ham, and then mix until the dough clumps together.
  4. To make triangle scones: Pour dough onto a lightly floured work surface and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1–2 more Tablespoons cold buttermilk. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges. See recipe Note for smaller scones. To make 10–12 drop scones: Keep mixing dough in the bowl until it comes together. Drop dough, about 1/4 cup of dough per scone, 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Whisk 1 Tablespoon buttermilk with reserved egg white. Brush lightly onto scones and, if desired, sprinkle with flaky sea salt. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
  6. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your refrigerator has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  8. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini or drop scones, use 2 baking sheets. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2–3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  9. Bake for 22–25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before serving.
  10. Leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Scones become softer by day 2.


  1. Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time. Or thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then bake as directed.
  2. Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  4. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Box Grater | Pastry Cutter | Bench Scraper | Pastry Brush | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper 
  5. Butter: Use frozen butter if you have a box grater. If you don’t have a box grater (highly recommended for this recipe), cut very cold butter into very fine cubes and use that in step 2 instead.
  6. Can I leave out or substitute the chives? Yes. Replace with the same amount of another fresh herb such as parsley or use chopped scallion/green onion.
  7. Can I use another type of cheese? Yes. Feel free to use another favorite cheese such as feta, gouda, or pepper jack.
  8. Can I leave out the ham? Yes. Skip the ham for cheese scones or replace with the same amount of cooked, chopped bacon or sausage.
  9. Over-spreading: Start with very cold ingredients and very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into shape with a rubber spatula.
  10. Mini/Petite Cheese Scones: To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. Make sure the ham is cut very small. Bake scones for 18–20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Keywords: ham & cheese scones