Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch

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This is a small batch recipe for Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch.  The scones are soft, tender, and filled with fresh cherries.  A homemade Cornflake Caramel Crunch topping complements the texture and flavor of the cornmeal in the scones.  An easy breakfast treat full of flavor and sweet texture! 

Small Batch Cherry Scones

It’s cherry season and it’s only fitting there is another cherry recipe on the blog.  And while I’ve dedicated a lot of the cherry recipes to desserts, adding a breakfast treat to the mix never hurt!  Especially when it is a breakfast recipe that is easy to make, and full of flavor.  So, what makes these Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch so special?

  • Small Batch – I think I say it a few times in the blog post and recipe – but scones are best enjoyed the day they are baked.  And making a small batch fits this requirement to a tee.  This recipe yields 4 scones.  However, you can cut the scones into any shape and/or quantity you like.
  • Easy – Scones are considered a quick bread.  Meaning we use chemical leaveners (i.e. baking powder and soda), to make the bread rise.  As opposed to breads leavened with yeast.  No-yeast required in this recipe!
  • Fast – You can enjoy freshly baked scones in an hour.
  • Flavorful – There are a few ingredients that give these scones flavor:  fresh cherries, pure maple syrup, BUTTER!, and a sweet and crunchy cornflake topping.
  • Tons of Texture – Scones themselves are soft and tender.
    • Cornmeal – The cornmeal is a pleasant juxtaposition in the soft scone.  Cornmeal is sweet with a a little bite and it is a tasty surprise in the scones.
    • Cornflake Caramel Crunch – Think of your childhood sweetened cornflake cereal.  But only better because it is homemade.  A sweet and crunchy bite on top of the soft scones!  
  • Adaptable – Because the scones are a pretty straightforward quick bread, they can take on a lot of flavor combinations.  Sweet and savory.  Different fruit, spices, sweeteners, mix-in’s (anybody say chocolate chips?!) – just about anything as long as it doesn’t alter the consistency of the batter too much (too dry or too wet).

What Do The Cherry Cornmeal Scones Taste Like

These Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunchave layers of flavor and texture that remind me of a cross between a biscuit and a muffin.

  • Soft and Buttery – Butter is a key component to the scones and hints of butter shine through the scones.
  • Bright Fruit Flavor – Cherries naturally have a pronounced flavor which makes them great for these scones.  Their bright, sweet flavor is prominent in the scones.
  • Lightly Sweet – There is a little added sweetener in the scones, but not so much that it’s like eating a cookie.  We rely on the sweetness of the cherries and cornmeal to come through.
  • Pleasant Bite – Yes, again, the scones are soft.  But the cornmeal sneaks through with a soft little ‘bite’.
  • Sweet Crunch – Three words – Cornflake Caramel Crunch.  It is worth it to make your own homemade batch.  If for nothing else, to have a homemade snack readily available!
Stacked cherry cornmeal scones topped with cornflake crunch

What You Need To Make Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch

Ingredients

  • Fresh Cherries – I recommend fresh cherries in season.  Otherwise, frozen, thawed cherries will work.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Egg Yolk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Pure Maple Syrup – Or any sweetener of choice.
  • Cornflakes – Or store-bought sweetened cornflakes.
  • Ground Cinnamon

Baking Equipment

  • Baking Sheet(s) – If you choose to make homemade Cornflake Caramel Crunch, you will need two baking sheets for this recipe.
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing Bowls

Tips For Making Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch

  • Try the recipe at least once with the Cornflake Caramel Crunch – Making the homemade Cornflake Caramel Crunch is one (or two more steps), but it is worth it.  The maple sweetened cornflakes provide texture, and are a delicious complement to the maple and cornmeal in the scones.  
  • Use cold liquid ingredients – Scones are similar to Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits.  They get a lot of their tender texture and fluff from cold butter and liquid.  The cold butter creates steam when heated while baking, which in turn creates a fluffy texture.
  • Grate the butter – I like to grate cold butter to create the small butter pieces.  The small pieces are then easier to distribute in the flour.
  • Fresh cherries are always best – I understand cherries are not always in season, but I recommend using fresh during summer.  Fresh fruit imparts a bright and bolder fruit flavor.
  • Use any sweetener you prefer – I like pure maple syrup in this recipe because the maple syrup adds a buttery and rich flavor to the scones.  And it ties the sweetener in the cornflake crunch and scones together.  However, you can substitute any sweetener you prefer.
  • Don’t over-work the dough – We don’t want to end up with chewy scones.  Over-working the dough will cause more gluten to form, which gives a chewier texture.
  • Enjoy the scones the day they are baked – Just like any homemade baked bread, it is best enjoyed the day it is baked.  Otherwise, the scones can be stored covered at room temperature for a couple of days before they start to dry out.
Small batch of cherry scones on a wire cooling rack

Small Batch Cherry Scones FAQ’s

Can the cherry scone recipe be doubled?

I have not tested a larger batch, but you could try it. I can’t say for certain how they would turn out.

My only recommendation would be to use 2 eggs yolks (vs. a whole egg), because the egg yolk adds richness and needed fat to make the scones soft and tender.

Do I have to use fresh cherries?

You do not have to use fresh cherries. However, I do recommend them when they are in season. Otherwise, frozen cherries that have been thawed will work.

Can I use a different fruit in the scones?

Yes, different fruit(s) would work great in this recipe.

Why do you grate the butter for the scone dough?

There are a couple benefits to grating butter for dough recipes:.

1. You don’t have to handle the butter as much when you grate it. Which means the butter won’t melt as you make the dough.
2. The smaller grated pieces distribute into the dough easily.

What does the cornmeal do in this cherry scone recipe?

The cornmeal adds another layer of sweetness and texture to the scones. There is not enough in the recipe to make the scones tasted like cornbread, but it is a noticeable addition.

What’s the deal with the Cornflake Caramel Crunch? Do I have to make it, or can I use store-bought sweetened cornflakes?

Anytime I can make something homemade, I will. I got the idea for the cornflake crunch from the sweet Joanna Gaines, and an episode of Magnolia Table.

I like the idea of a homemade sweetened cornflake to add texture and sweetness as a topping for these scones. Plus, any extra makes a great snack!

Can I use a different sweetener in lieu of the maple syrup?

Yes. I like to use maple syrup for the buttery flavor, and it is not as processed as white sugar. However, feel free to use any sweetener of choice in a 1:1 swap. This is true for the scones and the Cornflake Caramel Crunch.

With the exception of artificial sweeteners or some powder sugar substitutes (i.e. Stevia). I don’t work with those sweeteners and can’t say what their substitution ratio is.

How long do the scones last?

The scones are best enjoyed the day they are baked. Any leftovers can be stored in a covered container for up to 2, maybe 3, days. Beyond that, the scones will probably start to dry out.

Four cherry scones on a table with fresh cherries

More Small Batch Breakfast Recipes

Two cherry cornmeal scones stacked on a small plate
Two cherry cornmeal scones stacked on a small plate
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Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Caramel Crunch

Yield: 4 Scones
This is a small batch recipe for Cherry Cornmeal Scones with Cornflake Crunch.  The scones are soft, tender, and filled with fresh cherries.  A homemade Cornflake Caramel Crunch topping complements the texture and flavor of the cornmeal in the scones.  An easy breakfast treat full of flavor and sweet texture! 
Prep45 mins
Cook15 mins
Total1 hr

Ingredients

Cornflake Caramel Crunch

  • 1/2 cup cornflakes
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Scones

  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold - I recommend grating the cold butter on a box grater
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream - plus more to brush the tops of the scones
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

Cornflake Caramel Crunch

  • Make the cornflake crunch first – This part of the recipe is optional. Store-bought sweetened cornflakes can be substituted and sprinkled on top of the scones – in lieu of the caramel cornflakes.
  • Sprinkle the cornflakes in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently crush them into smaller pieces with your hands.
  • In a small saucepan, add the maple syrup. Heat over medium heat for 5 – 8 minutes to allow the maple syrup to boil and caramelize. You know it will be ready when you start to smell nutty caramel.
  • Remove the maple caramel from the heat. Add the cream and cinnamon. Stir until fully mixed. Let the caramel cool in the saucepan for at least 5 minutes
  • Drizzle the maple caramel over the cornflakes. Stir the cornflakes on the pan with a spatula to coat with the caramel. Allow the caramel cornflakes to cool to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. The cornflakes will be caramel sticky, but will crisp while baking.

Scones

  • Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Pit the fresh cherries, and cut them into quarters.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, add the cream, egg yolk, and maple syrup. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the grated butter to the dry ingredients and stir to coat the butter pieces. Then pour the liquid ingredients over the top. Stir until just mixed. Add the cut cherries and mix until they are just incorporated. Do not over-work the dough – it should be rough and shaggy.
  • Turn the dough out onto the center of the prepared baking sheet. Gently pat the dough together into 5-inch ball, and flatten ever so slightly. Cut the disc into 4 equal size wedges.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with a little heavy cream. Then sprinkle the tops with the Cornflake Carmel Crunch.
  • Bake for 13 – 15 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Transfer the baked scones to a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 -15 minutes. The scones are best enjoyed freshly baked. Enjoy!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss
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