Apple and White Cheddar Scones

These apple and white Cheddar scones are a less time-consuming riff on apple pie with Cheddar. Easy as muffins. Flaky as biscuits. And lovely as anything we've tasted.

Apple and White Cheddar Cheese Scones Recipe

These simple apple and white Cheddar cheese scones are a rather unconventional yet not unwelcome take on the sweet and savory contrast of apple pie and Cheddar cheese. The tangy and irresistibly crumbly scones contain apple wedges that are prebaked slightly before being stirred into the dough so they’re soft enough to blend easily without becoming mushy. Trust us when we say it’s worth the time. This recipe has been updated. Originally published October 15, 2010.Bill Yosses

Apple and White Cheddar Cheese Scones Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 6 (2 1/2 inch) scones

Ingredients

  • 2 firm, tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Macoun, or Pippin (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup (2.2 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for egg wash
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (about 2.25 ounces) sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

  • 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F (176°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2. Peel, core, and slice each apple lengthwise into sixteenths. Place the slices in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the apples until they feel dry to the touch and take on a slight hint of color, about 20 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool. Leave the oven on.
  • 3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  • 4. Place the butter in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the apples, Cheddar cheese, cream, and 1 of the eggs. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix with a spoon or on low speed just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  • 5. Generously flour the work surface, place the scone dough on it, and sift a light layer of flour over the top. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a 1 1/4 inch thick, 6-inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 wedges (each wedge should be about 2 1/2 inches wide at its outer edge) and transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each scone.
  • 6. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the apple scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake on the center rack until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift the scones onto a wire rack to cool for maybe 10 minutes. The wedges are irresistibly fragrant and best when they’re a little warm; eat them shortly after baking.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Tracey G.

Dec 04, 2016

This is one of the best recipes I’ve tested from the site. The apple and white Cheddar scones are slightly mysterious—are they savory? Are they sweet? In attempting to find an answer, I easily ate half of them in one sitting. Without a doubt, double this recipe. You won’t be disappointed. And although the technique used is not one I’ve encountered before, it’s a great way to ensure that the dough isn’t overmixed. I’m going to try a ham sandwich using a sliced scone as the bread.

Chiyo Ueyama

Dec 04, 2016

The apple and white Cheddar scones are delicious, whether warm or at room temperature. I really enjoyed the tart apple slices and the hint of salt from the Cheddar, especially the cheesy crusty bits on the outer edges. The texture of the scones was very nice, too. I’d make these again. You can use the same parchment for the apples and the scones. The long apple slices look too big to be folded into the dough, but not to worry, everything comes together nicely before you know it. Lastly, don’t bother with measuring the sugar for sprinkling, as the very act of “sprinkling” foregoes accuracy. Just scoop some sugar with a spoon or even your hand, and well, you know what to do.

Karen Depp

Dec 04, 2016

These apple and white Cheddare scones were delicious—light, flaky, sweet, tart, cheesy (that is a good thing here), and almost foolproof. However, it does depend on who the fool is…and once again, it was me! Those apples? I peeled them, cored them, and then WHAT? Cut them into sixteenths? Well. Mothers of the World, when you cut an apple for those kids of yours, how do you cut it? Right! From top to bottom. So I cut 16 slices out of each apple. Then I got to wondering, maybe I should have “chopped the suckers into 16 bullets.” Well, too late for that now! Those apples are sliced and sitting on that pan waiting to dry out. Twenty minutes later? Still sitting there, looking juicy. So after 35 minutes, I just yanked them out of the oven and proceeded. I mixed it all together, put it on the counter, rolled it into a 6-inch circle cut it into 6′s and plopped them gently on the old parchment lined sheet. I egg-washed them (tops? sides, all over? I really didn’t care much by then, I was hungry), and dusted them with the sugar before putting them into the oven. Whew—can I tell you how much hard work it is being a tester?

Kim Venglar

Dec 04, 2016

These apple and white Cheddar scones have a very nice balance of flavors. You get a slight hint of sweetness from the sugar along with the tart taste of the apples, and a touch of savory sharpness from the cheese to bring it all together. Be careful about which type of sharp white Cheddar you purchase. There are two ways this cheese is processed: One creates a crumbly cheese, and the other is a smooth, blending cheese that grates well and is better suited for this recipe. I love how easily this recipe mixes up using my KitchenAid mixer with the scraper attachment. I did use the rolling pin like the directions instructed, but I’ve never used one to make scones before. I always pat the dough into shape and cut. To me, the rolling pin method is the untraditional way.

Elie Nassar

Dec 04, 2016

These apple and white Cheddar scones are wonderful. They're tender, cheesy, rich, and sweet (maybe a touch too sweet). I'm already getting requestes from my wife to make them again. Just a couple of notes to ensure success: cutting the apple into sixteenths means cut it into sixteen wedges and using a Kitchenaid mixer helps incorporate and break the apple wedges down a bit, so use it if you have it.

Judy O.

Dec 04, 2016

These scones were so easy to make and were so tasty and buttery. I had all of the ingredients measured ahead of time so they came together in a snap. The recipe made 6 large scones, which I had absolutely no problem with, but the recipe easily can yield 8. It seems like dried apples could also be used to further simplify the recipe. They were yummy.

Jodi C.

Dec 04, 2016

I love scones. I even love bad scones. And there are plenty of bad scones to be had out there. Some people actually think that the bad scones are what scones are supposed to be like. I’d like to personally give each and every one those poor souls a copy of this recipe for apple and white Cheddar scones. I was concerned that the large slices of apple would stick out of the scones and be rubbery and unpleasant. With that in mind, I chose to beat the butter, apples, cheese, and eggs pretty vigorously, thereby breaking the apple wedges up a bit and distributing the apple goodness throughout each scone.

Joan Osborne

Dec 04, 2016

I love to make scones and am always on the lookout for new recipes to try. I wasn’t sure I’d like the flavor of these since I’ve never enjoyed Cheddar on my apple pie. I loved them, though, and will definitely be making these again. I’ve never made scones with a mixer but wanted to try this method, so I borrowed my daughter’s KitchenAid for the task. It did help the ingredients come together nicely and quickly, but I think next time I’ll just make them with my fingers as I normally do. I cut my apples into 16 chunks instead of slices since chunks seemed like they’d distribute better in the ingredients. I used a Silpat on the pan for baking the apples, as well as the scones themselves. I don’t think you need to sift the sugar with the flour; so just add it to the flour and other ingredients on the waxed paper. Instead of a rolling pin, I used the author’s suggestion to pat the dough into a circle before cutting, which is the typical way I make scones.

TeAntae Turner

Dec 04, 2016

Delicious results. The recipe requires a bit of kitchen space and utensils to prepare, but the apple and white Cheddar scones that result can easily be frozen, defrosted, and reheated with no problems. I did need an additional 15 minutes of baking, but that may be because my batter seemed a bit wet. Also, if time is an issue, consider using dried apples from the store.

Cindi Kruth

Dec 04, 2016

These apple and white Cheddar scones are tender and savory and just sweet enough to accent the apple. A very lovely combination. I don’t know that the apples benefited from baking first. It was easy enough, but sort of a bother. Ultimately, I felt the apple slices were too big. When I bit into a slice, it pulled out of the scone. So one mouthful was mostly apple and the next two bites were apple-free. But I loved the taste. I highly recommend them.

Carol Anne Grady

Dec 04, 2016

The flavor and texture of these apple and white Cheddar scones are great— flaky with crisp edges and a soft inside studded with pieces of apple paired with the tangy but not overpowering flavor of Cheddar. The recipe strikes a great balance between these tastes, and I’m keen to make the scones again. One thing I’m curious about is the egg wash at the end. It seems like such a waste of a whole egg, that I wonder if a milk wash, as traditionally used on British scones, would do the trick instead. I don’t own a stand mixer and so, as always, used my hand-held mixer. I think the only difference the mixer made was to break the apple up a bit further than a paddle attachment might have.

Comments

  1. I just went apple picking, so will definitely have to try these out. I love that you listed “Macoun” as one of the suggested apples to use. Being from Upstate NY, these are my favorite apples, perfect for eating and baking!

  2. Deb from Smitten Kitchen just had these on her site and I made them right away. They are unbelievably awesome!! Make some today :)

  3. I made these for Sunday supper to serve with beef stew and a romaine and endive salad. My picky husband raved about these to the point of coming home last night with a basket of apples from the nearby cider mill, asking if I would make another batch. Apparently they’re addictive!

    Your recipe needs no improvement. If one follows the directions and cuts the apples into the 16ths described and bakes them until the pieces get dry and start to brown, everything works perfectly. The apple pieces are broken up in the mixing—no need to cut them up aforehand.

    They look gorgeous as well thanks to the generous egg wash and gentle blast of sugar crystals on top. Use all of the egg wash and you’ll get a perfectly crusted, golden triangle of deliciousness.

    1. So pleased to hear these scones are a new household favorite! And many thanks for the detailed testing notes, which are always very much appreciated. We test all of our recipes before sharing them with readers to ensure they’re worth your time and ingredients, but of course we love to hear about different cooks’ experience with our recipes, too.

  4. Just finished eating the scones. They are Delicious! They were exactly how everybody said it would be–warm, crumbly, soft inside. I was a little unsure about the combination of cheese and apples initially, but I am glad I decided to try it. Even my toddlers who are not big fan of apple pies, loved these.

    Only problem I had was that my mix was a little wet so I put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to make it a little firm to make it workable. It did. Everything else worked smoothly.

    1. Congrats, Ketki, on your cool thinking. Literally. Glad you and your wee ones enjoyed the scones. My only suggestion: Next time add all but a few tablespoons of the water. Add the rest if you need it.

  5. My Spanish neighbor came by just as these were being pulled from the oven. I don’t know if it was because my 16 smaller-cut scones resembled misshapen blobs but he was intrigued in a road accident sort of way. Until his first bite. He lives, now enlightened, in a state of awe.

    As was suggested by reviewer Judy O. a handful of Thompson raisins got thrown in, maybe 1/4 cup. I can’t imagine these scones without them – the accent they provide the dried apple and aged cheddar flavours is superb! Used milk for wash with Turbinado sugar sprinkled on top. Heaven!

    Apple and Cheddar Cheese Scones Recipe

  6. Been reading about these scones in various places and am intrigued enough to try them. However (me being me) I’m going to diced the apples and crumble an aged white Cheddar so that both ingredients remain distinct bits of flavor and texture. For me, that will be the perfect result. ;)

    Thanks to your testers for their good work and writeups.

    1. And that’s what counts, ruthie, that the recipe be perfect for you! Love when something just calls out to you to make it your own.

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