These Blackberry Cream Cheese Scones were inspired by the Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones from Great Harvest Bread Company. If you’ve ever tried Great Harvest’s scones, you know they are soft, sweet and have flecks of cream cheese throughout. They also have a soft crust, and in some ways are more like muffins baked in the shape of scones than biscuit-y, flaky scones.
These cream cheese scones are are soft and moist and have a flaky crust, and my family likes them a little better than the Great Harvest scones. If you’re interested in trying the recipe and drawing your own conclusion, it makes a small batch so you’ve nothing to lose. You can use blueberries or blackberries (or any other fruit) and you can make them as triangles or rounds. I punched out these cream cheese scones with a round cutter.
Cream Cheese Scones Dough
The key with scone making is to add the milk gradually rather than all at once so that your dough is neither too moist nor too dry. The cream cheese bits and fresh berries are pressed into the dough after you roll it out, then you gently fold the dough over them. The dough is super easy and doesn’t require a food processor. It does help to have a grater, though! In my opinion, grating cold or frozen butter into scone (or pie) dough is the best way to incorporate it….and fun, too!
Frozen Grated Butter Tip
If you make scones or pie dough pretty regularly, here’s a tip. One day when you have some extra time, grate 2 to 4 sticks of very cold or frozen butter onto a couple of large plates lined with plastic wrap or wax paper. If you have a chest freezer with room for a baking sheet, you could grate it all onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze grated butter until solid, then put all your frozen grated butter in a freezer bag and store it until needed. When it’s time to make your scones or pie dough, just weigh out the frozen grated butter and scatter the bits throughout the dry mixture.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones
Here’s a picture of the blueberry variety. My daughter triple tested the recipe at an AirBB house, so it should work!
Small Batch Blueberry or Blackberry Cream Cheese Scones
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (70 grams)
- 1/4 cup milk cold (buttermilk okay) (56 grams)
- 1/4 cup sour cream cold (56 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface (140 grams)
- 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries amount is approximate
- 1 1/2 oz very cold cream cheese, cut into 1/4 inch chunks 40 grams
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Have ready a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together the sour cream and JUST HALF OF the milk.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture and toss to distribute it evenly. If using lemon zest, add that too.
- Add the sour cream/milk mixture to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla and stir until it just comes together. Add remaining milk, plus more if needed to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a pastry mat. If dough is very sticky, flour the mat. If it is dry, you won't need flour yet. Press into a rectangle, then fold the dough into thirds. Press down again and fold into thirds.
- Press down into a large rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Dot rectangle with berries and cubes of cream cheese, then carefully fold the dough over on itself, being careful not to squash the berries. Use flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut as many scones as you can. Gently shape the scraps into flat slab and cut remaining circles. You should get about 5,
- Arrange scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with some more sugar or coarse sugar if you have it.
- Bake the scones at 425 for about 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes or until scones are golden and cooked through. If you used unfrozen berries or a different fruit, the scones might be done sooner.
- Let the scones cool before serving. The texture actually improves as the scones cool.
Kristin, thanks for trying them and for sharing those tips. It makes sense that the heat would be lower since GHB scones don’t have much of a crust. I’ll try scooping them next time just for fun. Here’s the other version of the recipe that I never posted. I felt like these were a little more like GHB, though we liked the ones posted above a little better.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones
Soft and moist scones with flecks of cream cheese throughout
2 cups flour 280 grams, plus more if needed**
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter very cold or frozen (70 grams)
6 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 75 grams
1 cup evaporated milk or buttermilk
2 ½ oz. cream cheese cubed
1 t vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries
Egg Wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoons water)
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large and stir well.
Grate the cold butter over the flour mixture, tossing often to distribute the butter bits throughout the flour. Stir until evenly blended, then stir in the packed brown sugar.
Add 1/4 cup of the milk along with all of the vanilla and stir well, then continue adding milk about 2 tablespoons at a time until you have a dough that is fairly soft – maybe a little softer and wetter than chocolate chip cookie dough. Stir in the cream cheese bits and frozen blueberries.
Using a measuring cup or just a big spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet so that you have 8 equal size mounds. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes (or maybe 375 for slightly longer)
Let the scones cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. These are soft, dense scones.
I used 280 grams of flour which is 140 per cup, so a fairly heavy cup. For best results, weigh the flour. If you are measuring by volume, scoop the flour rather than spoon and sweep.
I finally had a chance to make these over the weekend. We made chocolate chip, cinnamon chip, and blackberry at my store, so I split the dough and made 3 chocolate chip and 3 blackberry. Both were excellent and really did taste like Great Harvest scones!
I did make a few changes to the method to more closely resemble how we would have made them at the bakery. I just used a stand mixer to make the dough, and baked them at 375 the whole time (about 20 minutes). I also remembered that we didn’t roll and cut the dough like traditional scones. We just used an ice cream scoop to scoop them onto the baking sheet like giant cookies, so that’s what I did. It worked really well and they looked exactly like the GH scones I had! Scooping gives them a rough surface that creates nice crunchy bits on the tops and edges, which I love. Thanks for the recipe!
Kristin, I’d love to hear what you think of them! I made another recipe (not posted) that’s more like the Great Harvest scones, but my family prefers the crustier ones. Also, I didn’t know GH had cinnamon chip scones. I think they change the flavors every day. I’ve tried the cranberry orange and the blueberry cream cheese.
I used to work at a Great Harvest Bread, so I’m excited to try this recipe! The cinnamon chip scones were my favorite.
These sound wonderful! Great tip about grating the butter too. i usually just do one batch at a time but your idea makes so much sense! Thanks!!