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Sourdough Scones (with Discard)

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Sourdough scones are tender and flaky with that distinct tang of sourdough! These scones are the ultimate way to use your sourdough discard, and this simple sourdough scones recipe is easy to customize by mixing in your favorite add-ins! Chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit can be added to make tasty scone variations- we’re including them in this post to give you a good mix of options to choose from!

Three sourdough scones with chocolate chips and raisins.

Scones are the perfect anytime-of-day snack, if you ask us! They make a wonderful breakfast with butter and jam but they’re also an ideal snack that’s great if you’re on the go.

We can’t ever say “no” to a homemade scone (have you tried our Lemon Buttermilk Scones?) and these flaky, buttery, tangy sourdough scones are no exception.

They’re the perfect base for different flavor variations, so you can modify the recipe with sweet dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries, or even frozen fruit. 

Why This Recipe Works

If you have an active starter, these tasty scones are a great way to use your sourdough discard (along with these sourdough pancakes and this delicious sourdough banana bread)!

The result is super tender scones with an incredible flavor and amazing texture. We use a special mixing method that always results in a tall, tender and fluffy scone. 

Here’s why you’ll love this sourdough scone recipe:

  • it calls for basic ingredients, and you can customize the scones with your favorite add-ins
  • the distinct flavor of sourdough is noticeable and delicious in every bite
  • the scones are soft and tender
  • this is a basic scone recipe and a great way to make use of discard sourdough starter.

The Ingredients

Basic ingredients come together for this easy sourdough scone recipe!

The flavor of sourdough lends well to sweet scones, and we’re including mix-in options like dried blueberries, chocolate chips or nuts along with a finishing dust of turbinado sugar.

However, if you prefer a savory scone, you can customize this recipe as you like and mix in your favorite savory add-ins like (check out our sour cream and onion biscuits for ideas)!

Here’s what you will need:

  • Flour. We are using all-purpose flour. Save a bit to dust the counter when you shape the scones.
  • Sugar. We use regular white granulated sugar, but you omit the sugar if you want a savory scone. We also used turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones.
  • Baking powder and baking soda. Used to give lift to the scones.
  • Salt.
  • Lemon zest. Lemon zest goes well with chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, or fruit but feel free to omit the zest if you want.
  • Butter. Make sure the butter is cold.
  • Mixins. Some favorites that we like are dried blueberries, dried cherries, chocolate chips, or nuts
  • Sourdough starter 
  • Buttermilk or kefir. If you don’t have either of these, you can use heavy cream.

There are no eggs in this scone recipe, and the sourdough discard acts as a binding agent.

Flour, sourdough starter, baking powder, baking soda, butter, buttermilk, lemon sugar, chocolate chips, and raisins.

How to Make Sourdough Discard Scones

The most common issue with baking homemade scones is that the dough can quickly become over-worked which results in a tough, rock-hard scone. Our mixing method is a fool-proof way to get tender, flaky scones that are sturdy but not crumbly. 

Here’s a quick look at how to make them, but be sure to refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the details.

First, preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper so your scones don’t stick to the pan. 

Using a pastry blender to cut butter into the flour mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Add the cold butter and use a pastry blender or your hands to crumble the mixture until it is the consistency of damp sand with pea-sized lumps. 

Adding chocolate chips and raisins to the scone mixture then adding the sourdough discard.

Add in the mix-ins. In a separate bowl, combine the sourdough discard with the buttermilk and mix the wet ingredients well. Pour it into the flour mixture. 

Mixing the sourdough discard into the scone batter.

Gently mix until the scone dough comes together. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Using a bench scraper to fold and mix the scone dough on the counter then cut the batter into two portions.

Push the dough together to form a disk. Use a bench scraper or your hands to fold the dough in half three or four times. 

Cutting the dough into individual scones.

Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a disk. Cut scones from the disk, slicing it into 8 wedges. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. 

Adding the sliced scones to a baking sheet and topping them with cream and coarse sugar.

Brush the top of the scones with cream or butter and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar. Bake until golden brown, then cool for a few minutes before serving. 

Several freshly baked scones on a white counter.

Tips for Success

  • By folding the dough instead of mixing it, you are creating layers which result in a flakier scone. It also helps prevent over-mixing which is what typically makes the scones tough. 
  • Chilling the unbaked scones helps them keep their shape as they bake. It also results in taller and flakier sourdough scones.
  • You can use this recipe as a master recipe for just about any flavor of scone. If you add soft fruit like blueberries or raspberries, they tend to get smashed as you fold the dough, so frozen berries are a better option than fresh berries with this recipe.

    We have a recipe for sourdough blueberry scones that works well for fresh berries because you don’t have to fold the dough.
  • Store any leftover scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. 

Flavor Variations

​Our sourdough scones are pictured with chocolate chips, but when it comes to scone recipes, this one can turn into nearly any variation you like! Below are a few ingredient combinations for different sourdough scone flavors. 

  • 1 cup diced apples with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips with ½ cup dried blueberries
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips with ½ cup toffee chunks
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds with 1 teaspoon lemon oil
  • ½ cup raisins or currants with ½ cup chopped candied pecans or brown sugar candied walnuts.


The best way to store scones is to place them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag and keep them at room temperature.

To freeze, store them in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen scones at room temperature or reheat in the oven.

What to Serve with Scones

Depending on the flavor you go with, one of the best things about homemade sourdough scones is the toppings! Make up a fresh batch of fresh Strawberry Jam or Fig Jam to serve with the pastries. Here are some more ideas.

More Sourdough Recipes

There are so many wonderful things to do with sourdough discard! Every time you refresh your starter, instead of throwing away the leftover unfed starter, you can put it to use in all kinds of delicious sourdough recipes.

Several flaky scones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my scones spread?

The scones need to be cold, or they will spread too much when you bake them. Other things that make scones spread include: oven temperature being too low, too much fat being added to the dough, too much liquid added to the dough, or not enough leavening.

Why are my scones hard?

If you mix the dough too much, the gluten will overdevelop and cause tough, hard scones. The technique we use in this recipe helps safeguard you from overworking the dough. Other things that can cause hard scones are insufficient moisture or overbaking the scones.

Helpful Tools

Some of the following are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you click on these links and purchase something. You don’t pay any extra, but it will help us keep the lights on. 

More Recipes You Will Love:

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins are packed with juicy red strawberries and tart chunks of rhubarb. They are tender and flavorful, and you’ll especially love the rhubarb jam filling and crunchy streusel topping.

Buttermilk Barley Biscuits are tender, flaky, rustic biscuits with a deliciously course and hearty texture. Barley flour gives these biscuits a subtle nutty flavor and an impressive nutritional profile. Smear a warm biscuit with butter and a drizzle of honey for a delicious snack or breakfast side.

Our Blackberry Strawberry Banana Smoothie is a sweet way to start the day! Fruity, thick and delicious, fresh fruit and a little bit of yogurt creates a creamy smoothie with an amazing flavor.

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Three sourdough scones on a white plate.

Sourdough Scones

Sourdough scones are the ultimate way to use your sourdough discard. They will turn out tender and extra flaky with the special mixing method. This is an easy recipe, and you can add your favorite mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit to customize it.
They make for a delicious breakfast treat or an afternoon snack! You can even freeze the scones and enjoy them whenever you'd like.
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 scones
Calories: 189kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


  • 2-½ cups all purpose flour 300 grams
  • cup granulated sugar 67 grams
  • 2-½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter cubed (142 grams)
  • 1 cup mix ins such as dried blueberries chocolate chips, or nuts
  • ¾ cup sourdough starter 180 grams
  • cup buttermilk or kefir 160 grams


  • 2 tablespoons cream or melted butter 30 grams
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar 30 grams

Optional Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter or your hands to crumble the mixture until it looks like damp sand with pea sized lumps. 
  • Stir in the mix ins, if using.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sourdough discard with the buttermilk or kefir. Whisk until well combined. 
  • Pour the sourdough discard mixture into the flour mixture. Gently fold the mixture until it just starts to come together. It will be dry and crumbly but it will come together in the next step.
  • Tip the dough out onto the counter and push it together to form a round disk. Use a bench scraper or your hands to fold the dough in half three or four times until it comes together and the crumbs get mixed in. Folding the dough will create layers and make the scones flakier. It will also prevent you from over mixing the dough which can make the scones tough. 
  • Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a 6 or 7 inch round disk. Slice each disk into 8 triangular wedges and transfer to a baking sheet spacing them 1 to 2 inches apart. Place in the fridge and chill the scones for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Brush the tops with cream or butter and sprinkle them with Turbinado sugar. 
  • Bake for 15 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. 
  • If you want to drizzle the scones with a glaze, whisk the sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract. Gradually incorporate more milk until you achieve a silky, flowing consistency. The glaze should be smooth enough to easily fall off a spoon yet thick enough to leave a ribbon-like trail when drizzled back into the bowl. Drizzle over the scones and let it dry for 1 to 2 hours.


  • Chilling the unbaked scones will help them keep their shape as they bake and be taller and flakier. 
  • You can use this recipe as a master recipe for just about any flavor of scone. If you add soft fruit like blueberries or raspberries, they tend to get smashed as you fold the dough, so frozen berries work much better with this recipe than fresh berries. 

Here are some suggestions for scone flavors:

  • 1 cup diced apples with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips with ½ cup dried blueberries.
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips with ½ cup toffee chunks.
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds with 1 teaspoon lemon oil.
  • ½ cup raisins or currants with ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 239mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 11th of December 2023

These came together very easily, and I used organic whole milk Keifer, however they are just missing on flavor. For mix- ins I used a combo of craisins, pecan pieces and white chocolate chips equal to 1 cup. I loved that they rose beautifully, but I'm missing the flavor.

Dahn Boquist

Monday 11th of December 2023

Thank you for sharing your experience and feedback! I'm glad that they came together easily. The craisins, pecans, and white chocolate sounds wonderful. Regarding the flavor, a great way to enhance the sourdough's tangy depth is to let the scone dough rest in the refrigerator for a day before baking. That will help the sourdough flavors develop more fully.

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