Cornmeal-Cherry Scones

March 29, 2015
11 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 14 scones
Author Notes

Very lightly adapted from The Cheese Board: Collective Works. —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal (medium grind, but fine is fine too)
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup dried sweet cherries
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Heat the oven to 425° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the salt, sugar, and cornmeal and mix together.
  3. With a pastry cutter or a couple of butter knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of peas. Mix in the cherries, and then make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Mix briefly, just until the dough comes together; it should be stiff and still a little sticky. (Don't worry about getting every last bit of flour.) Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheets a couple of inches apart. Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 375° F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the scones are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ivy greene
    ivy greene
  • Eva
  • robinorig
  • pwegner
  • Katherine
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is nicholasday.net; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

19 Reviews

ivy G. July 23, 2023
My original comment comment was from 8 years ago! Have made many times since and also added things on occasion. Recently added in chopped up crystallized ginger and it gave the scones a fun kick . Have also added in chia seeds or pecans on occasion too!
Oaktown_baby! July 22, 2023
Just as good as the ones from Arizmendi — these are wonderful. The crunch is part of what makes these great, so I wouldn’t recommend using finer cornmeal unless it’s your only option. I didn’t bother to lower the oven temp on the first batch and liked the browning on those better than the batch where I lowered the temp to 375 per the recipe.
Eva June 4, 2022
A great drop scone! I made these today after eating one from Arizmendi on Valencia yesterday and remembering how fond I am of them. I was delighted to find the recipe so easily.

For anyone wondering, I used the food processor and would recommend it. Normally, I make scones by hand with no fuss and would happily do that here. But I was short on time and decided to try it. Doing it all in the food processor had the added benefit of chopping some of the cherries, which I think distributed them slightly more evenly in the dough.

I used a 2”-diameter scoop and got 18 scones (some of which I froze unbaked). These were a bit smaller than the ones from Arizmendi.
NXL July 18, 2021
I, too, missed the corn \ cherry trend from SF. I'm just glad that this recipe popped up when I searched for summer corn recipes. The crunch of the cornmeal is really pleasant while at the same time the scone is extremely tender. I love that it isn't overly sweet. I might refrigerate the dough balls for a few minutes next time to prevent spreading. Otherwise, wouldn't change a thing.
Suzanne W. June 29, 2019
I was excited to find this recipe after sharing one of these scones at the bakery in San Rafael with my 2 yr old granddaughter. They are easy to make and turned out perfectly. I did add a full cup of cherries, roughly chopping about half of them. I also sprinkled the tops with yellow sugar crystals. One batch made 35 scones using my cookie scoop, baked for 17.5 minutes.
robinorig April 30, 2019
These are my favorite scones! I've been getting these scones (and bringing back large bags of them in my suitcase!) every time I am in SF on business for years. I also get them at Arizmendi but have the Cheese Board cookbook so started baking them at home. I have a date with a friend in Berkeley to go to the Cheese Board when I'm there next August. Can't wait! I highly recommend those bakeries, they are employee owned co-ops. Everthing I've had is delicious but I especially also love Arizmendi's vegan chocolate mint cookies (would love that recipe!) and their salt sticks.
Laurie November 11, 2018
Terrific! Used coarse grind cornmeal and the texture was crunchy but that is what made them special and not at all cake-like. Rave reviews. Put extra "scone balls" in the freezer for a quick treat on holiday mornings.
pwegner August 6, 2018
Had been buying these for years at Arizmendi and was happy to find the recipe. Easy enough for my daughter to make on her own and they never fail to please. We use cranberries when no cherries on hand and sometimes a blend of medium and fine cornmeal. They always turn out fine.
Katherine March 30, 2016
I made these scones this morning. They were quick, easy and I already had every ingredient in the pantry (win!). Like a few other people I used fine cornmeal and plumped the cherries in lemon tea. The scones came out nicely, but I feel like they're missing something. I might throw in a healthy handful or two of pistachios next time.
Genny D. May 1, 2015
I made these exactly as written and they were great. I used plain old cornmeal that I had in my pantry (Quaker Yellow Cornmeal) and can't imagine that changing it would make much of a difference. These were sweet, subtle, with a lovely crunch. Mine spread out more than the ones pictured, probably because some of my butter was not as cold as it should have been (but I didn't want to wait). Very happy with the results!
Brenda P. April 28, 2015
Thank you! Can't wait to try them.
arcane54 April 27, 2015
One of my favorite scone recipes (and cookbooks)! Brenda, I've used half coarse/half fine and it's worked out perfectly for me. Like ivygreene, I soak the dried cherries too, using orange juice.
ivy G. April 27, 2015
I used the old fashioned "cheap" Albers brand that is also labeled in Spanish and they were still delicious. But I would definitely try the coarser Bob's Red Mill next time. I would also brush them with a little cream before baking to make them more crusty on the outside.
Brenda P. April 27, 2015
I want to make these as part of a scone platter to send to my husband's work place. A question for the commenters who have made it: Did you use medium grind corn meal? The corn meal in my pantry says neither fine nor coarse, just stone ground. I was thinking that if I can find medium I may use half medium and half fine or regular.
ivy G. April 17, 2015
I made these last night to serve this morning. I made about 35 mini scones from the recipe. I had about 1 1/4 cups of cherries and "plumped" them before adding to the dry ingredients by soaking them briefly in a bowl of lemon ginger tea. I also reheated the scones this morning and they tasted like they just came out of the oven. I was bombarded for recipe quests. Thank you.
kim April 16, 2015
Made these tonight and they turned out wonderfully! They didn't brown up as nicely as the ones in the photograph, but they tasted great. Next time I will use more cherries, maybe a full cup, and chop them up so they're a little more spread out.
Nicole O. April 13, 2015
I made these yesterday and they went completely flat! They taste great but I'm bummed.
kzmccaff April 12, 2015
Just made these and they were delicious! I used a cookie scoop to make the scones and they were about half the recommended size, so they cooked up in about 12 mins. Next time I might reduce the oven temp slightly b/c the bottom was not burned, but getting close to it when I took them out. I'll report back if I try that. LOVED the cornmeal in the scones--I bet this would be awesome with fresh or frozen blueberries, too.
Debra April 10, 2015
I am going to make these. I like cornbread very much.