You know those little mini scones they sell at Starbucks? Those vanilla scones were one of my favorite treats — and my daughter’s as well. I liked that they were smaller in size – rather than a big commitment, those mini scones were just a few bites of pure pleasure. In this cherry scones recipe, I’ve combined the smaller stature with chewy bits of dried cherries and vanilla bean paste for these cherry vanilla mini scones that EVERYONE LOVES.
Scones are essentially biscuits with a little sugar and flavorings — and one key to light flaky biscuits (and these mini vanilla scones) is using cold butter and cutting it finely into the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or two sharp knives (in a scissoring fashion) to cut the butter into fine bits about the size of a pea.
Ingredients for Cherry Vanilla Mini Scones
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Unsalted Butter
- Dried Cherries
- Vanilla Bean Paste (or vanilla extract)
- Milk (optional)
- Sparkling Sugar (optional)
Flavorings For Vanilla Scones
Vanilla is the main flavoring for these two bite wonders and instead of using plain vanilla extract, I used vanilla bean paste which is a thicker, slightly sweet, syrupy amalgam that’s loaded with real vanilla bean seed. I found this vanilla bean paste at the Fancy Foods Show earlier this summer and love it for two reasons.
#1 — Those Beans….When you’re making things like custards, ice cream or glazes (like the glaze on this cherry scones recipe), the beans are prominent. They give a visual indication that THIS IS VANILLA. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream — you could SEE the vanilla bean.
#2 — It’s Thicker and more viscous – which means that it doesn’t add a lot of extra moisture that can impact baking, frostings and glazes.
If you don’t have or can’t find vanilla bean paste, that’s ok, you can certainly use vanilla extract. However, if you can get your hands on some, use it in this cherry scones recipe.
Dried cherries make up the rest of the flavor profile in these Cherry Vanilla Mini Scones. These plump dried cherries are another Fancy Foods Show find, they are large, plump, moist, tender and slightly tart. You can use any dried cherries (or other fruit) just make sure to cut them into smaller bits (it’s easier to cut them with the biscuit cutter)
Adding Dried Fruit to Cherry Scones Recipe
- Chop the dried cherries into a small dice.
- Add them to the dry ingredients and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.
Combining Wet And Dry Ingredients
- Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- The dough should be thick and sticky.
- To avoid tough scones, don’t overwork the dough with your hands.
Cutting The Cherry Vanilla Mini Scones
- Flour a work surface and gently pat the dough into a round that’s about 3/4″ thick.
- Dip a small 1 1/2″ to 2″ biscuit cutter into some flour to prevent sticking.
- Place the biscuit cutter onto the dough and press firmly down WITHOUT TWISTING. The twisting motion can actually impact the rise of the dough and prevent them from achieving their natural height.
- Lift the biscuit cutter straight up and transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
Finishing Touch On Cherry Scones Recipe
- Brush the scones lightly with milk.
- Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
Note: This step is optional, but this is what they accomplish:
- The milk will help the scones get a beautiful golden brown.
- The sparkling sugar adds crunch and shimmer.
Vanilla Glaze For Mini Scones
These cherry scones, are perfect as is, however, my crowd liked the vanilla glaze on top. I used the vanilla bean paste (see photo above where I’ve enlarged the detail so you can see the specks of vanilla) again in the glaze for a sweet, warm topping that amplifies the vanilla flavor and really sets off the cherry vanilla mini scones.
No one can resist flaky, buttery, lightly sweet baked goods and these Cherry Vanilla Mini Scones are perfectly sized little treats to satisfy a sweet craving without overdoing it. Serve them at your next brunch and watch them disappear.
You Might Also Like These Vanilla Bean Recipes:
Also Try These Cherry Treats:
- Cherry Amaretto Peach Crisp
- Glazed Cherry Almond Coffee Cake
- Summer Cherry Berry Pie
- Cherry Amaretto Crunch Ice Cream
2-Bite Cherry Vanilla Scones
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (one stick) at room temperature, cut into small cubes.
- 3/4 cup dried cherries finely chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons Neilsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons sparkling sugar optional
For Vanilla Bean Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon Neilsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it the butter bits are about the size of peas and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Stir in the chopped cherries and toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg and vanilla bean paste and whisk together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Use a rubber spatula to mix the flour and buttermilk combination until it just comes together and there are no more dry spots in the mix. Do not overmix.
- Dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Knead two to three times and gently pat into a large circle that's 3/4" thick.
- Use a 1 1/2" to 2" round cutter to cut individual scones from the circle of dough. Do not twist the cutter in the dough as it will inhibit rising -- just press straight down.
- Transfer the scones to the prepared pan. Brush the scones with milk and sprinkle with sparkling sugar (if using).
- Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan 180° in the oven. Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned. Remove from the oven to cool.
Make Vanilla Bean Glaze
- While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla bean paste and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle the glaze over the top of each scone, or conversely, dip the tops of the scones into the glaze, letting the glaze run off a bit before flipping them over to dry. Sprinkle with additional sparkling sugar if desired.