These Tipsy Cherry Scones are studded with Kirschwasser-soaked dried cherries, and drizzled with pink cherry glaze. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast, Mother’s Day brunch, baby and bridal showers, and any day in between.
(This recipe was originally published in May 2011, but was updated with new photos and content in 2020).
I love scones. They are easily one of my favorite baked goods for starting the day, or indulging on with afternoon tea. While a simple traditional scone made well is perfection, I do have fun spicing things up and being creative in this department.
In thinking outside the proverbial scone box, I present to you these Tipsy Cherry Scones. They’re not quite drunk. Just a little tipsy.
If you have trouble finding Kirschwasser ask your local liquor store if they will do a special order for you. I have found this to be the case locally. Not every liquor store may carry it.
Not only would you use kirsch in these scones, but it is a necessary ingredient if you ever want to make Black Forest Torte. Some liquor stores may be willing to order a bottle for you if you ask 🙂
How to make Tipsy Cherry Scones
STEP 1) First you’ll add dried cherries and Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy, to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the cherries plump up, and soak most of the liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
STEP 2) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add small cubes of cold, unsalted butter. STEP 3) Working quickly, use your fingers to squish the butter into the flour mixture, breaking it up into small coin or pea-sized pieces. STEP 4) Add the cooled cherries along with their syrup. Toss the mixture together to combine.
STEP 5) Measure out the buttermilk or heavy cream. To the measuring cup, add a couple tablespoons more of Kirschwasser, and a cracked egg. Beat together until smooth. Then pour the mixture into the center of the bowl.
STEP 6) Use a fork to swirl the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined. Go in with your hands at this point to press the dough together. Don’t over work the dough.
Smooth the dough into a ball and cut it in half on a work surface. Then shape each half into a flat disc, about 1 inch thick. Cut the disc like you would a pizza, into 6 to 8 slices.
Arrange these wedges onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with buttermilk or heavy cream, and then bake until golden brown.
Glazing your scones
What really takes these cherry scones over the top is the perfect pink glaze. It’s the easiest part of the whole recipe!
Simply mix together powdered sugar, Kirschwasser, a bit of milk, and a drop of red food coloring. When the scones are cool, drizzle the pink glaze over the tops. Let the glaze dry/harden a bit before serving.
I have never been so in love with a scone before. Everyone who has tried these have said they were the best scones they’ve ever had (they disappear in minutes).
The key is in the texture. These scones are flaky and crumbly without being too sweet. If you’d like to scale back the sweetness even more, you can leave out the glaze and serve them plain.
Other scone recipes to try
- Chocolate Chip Scones with Espresso Glaze
- Cranberry-Apple-Cinnamon Scones
- Almond Joy Scones
- Pumpkin-Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze
- Fresh Blueberry Scones
- Fresh Cherry-Almond Scones
Some years back I made a cooking video for this recipe. It’s a bit outdated, but still helpful when making this recipe. Enjoy!
What is your favorite kind of scone? Do you prefer fruity scones or chocolate-filled ones? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to rate this recipe. Thanks!
Tipsy Cherry Scones (Scones with Dried Cherries and Kirschwasser)
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch kosher salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Red food coloring optional
- Add dried cherries and 1/3 cup Kirschwasser to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until the cherries are plump and all but a teaspoon or two of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
If mixing by hand:
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and work the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the mixture or the butter will soften too much and the resulting scones will not be flaky. Add the cherries and residual liquid and toss well. Then add the egg, 2 tablespoons Kirschwasser, and the buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix until just combined, kneading lightly (but don’t overwork it), just until the dry bits are absorbed into the dough.
If using an electric mixer:
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until just mixed. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and turn on mixer to medium for a few minutes until mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Add cherries and residual liquid and turn on mixer again on very low just until the cherries lightly combine into the flour/butter mixture. Add the egg, 2 tablespoons Kirschwasser, and buttermilk to the flour mixture on low until just combined or mix in by hand, kneading lightly (but don’t overwork it), just until the dry bits are absorbed into the dough.
- Divide the dough in half and pat each portion into a 3/4-to-1-inch thick circle. Don’t overwork the dough, as you want the butter inside to stay as cold as possible until the scones head into the oven.
- Use a bench/dough scraper or knife to cut 6 or 8 wedges (like a pizza) from each round. Flip each cut scone over and place upside down on the parchment lined baking sheet (the bottoms are flatter and will look prettier as the tops of the scones), spacing a couple inches apart. At this point, the scones can be refrigerated or even frozen and baked later. Frozen scones can be baked from a frozen state; just add a little extra baking time, as needed.
- Lightly brush on top of the scones (but not the sides) with a little buttermilk, milk or cream (whatever you have). Bake scones for 18 to 22 minutes until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow the scones to cool on the pan while you prepare the glaze.
- Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, Kirschwasser, and milk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add a sprinkle more confectioners’ sugar. Too thick, add a drizzle of Kirschwasser or milk. If desired, add a drop of red food coloring to achieve a nice pink color. When scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over the tops. Allow the glaze to set briefly and then serve the scones at room temperature.
Notes & Nutrition
- I like to measure the buttermilk or heavy cream in a measuring cup, then top it with the 2 tablespoons of Kirschwasser and the egg right in the measuring cup. Then I whisk it together in the measuring cup with a fork or small whisk. This way it’s all combined smoothly, and you can easily pour it over the dry mixture ensuring it will mix evenly.
- If you have trouble finding Kirschwasser ask your local liquor store if they will do a special order for you. I have found this to be the case locally. Not every liquor store may carry it, but not only would you use kirsch in these scones, it is a necessary ingredient if you want to make Black Forest Torte. Some liquor stores may be willing to order a bottle for you if you ask 🙂
- You can also make your own Kirschwasser from Cherry brandy essence (20 ml). Pour the contents of the bottle along with 280 g of granulated sugar into an empty one liter bottle. Add 770 ml of neutral vodka. Then shake very well until the sugar has completely dissolved.
|Servings 12.0 * calories 160 * Total Fat 2 g * Saturated Fat 1 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 18 mg * Sodium 143 mg * Potassium 6 mg * Total Carbohydrate 33 g * Dietary Fiber 1 g * Sugars 16 g * Protein 3 g|