Start your day with hearty steel-cut oat scones

Steel cut scones

If chewy, nutty baked goods are your thing, you’ll love these scones. Made with steel-cut oats–whole oat kernels chopped into two or three pieces with a steel blade–flavored with cinnamon and filled with raisins or a fruit of your choice, they make a delightfully chewy and healthy breakfast.

Oats are one of the healthiest foods on earth due to their high content of phytochemicals, dietary fibers, and protein. The Mayo Clinic notes that oats contain a type of soluble fiber, called beta glucan, which lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels, thus reducing risk of heart disease and diabetes. Beta glucan also promotes healthy gut bacteria and intestinal health.

This recipe is adapted from The Irish Heritage Cookbook by Margaret Johnson. Each recipe yields 12 scones. Each scone provides 476 calories, 4 g of fiber and 4 g of protein.  Enjoy them warm out of the oven with butter and jam.

Irish steel-cut oat scones


  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 4 tablespoon cold butter

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Toast the oats: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread oats over the tray then toast in a 300° oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned, stirring once or twice. Cool. 
  2. Preheat the over to 350°F.  Generously grease a 9″ pie or cake tin. Line with parchment paper.  
  3. In a small bowl stir the oats with the buttermilk. Let it stand for 25 minutes. 
  4. While the oats soak, combine the flours in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and raisins.  Cut cold butter into 1 tablespoon cubes and add to the dry mixture. Cut the butter into the flour and, with a pastry blender or your fingers*, work in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the oats and buttermilk until just blended.  Don’t over-mix or the dough will become tough.
  5. Pat the dough into the prepared pan, molding it gently to fit. With a floured kitchen knife score the dough almost to the bottom, making 12 wedges. In a small bowl combine the cream and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. With a pastry brush coat the top of the the dough until evenly covered.
  6. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. (Timing will depend on your oven. At times I’ve baked them for 30 minutes.) Test to make sure then are done in the middle but do not overbake of the scones will be dry.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately cut through the wedges. Let cool slightly then serve with butter and jam.

Properly wrapped, the scones will keep for three days. They’ll keep for months in the freezer.

*When using your fingers make sure not to let the butter get too warm or the dough to become compact. When it has the texture of bread crumbs, stop.

** Adding the raisins to the flours before adding the liquids helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the dough.

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