Orange and Oat Scones Recipe

Rustic orange-scented oat scones peppered with currants inspired by a recipe in Romney Steele's new Big Sur-based My Nepenthe cookbook.

Orange and Oat Scones

I spent most of the week under my favorite blanket on the couch - sniff, cough, cough, sniff, sneeze, repeat. The good news is I'm on the mend, and after a short walk today something tells me I wasn't alone in my misery. It seems as if half the city is coughing into their elbows. So yeah, last week was all about the small victories for me - going downstairs to get the mail, finishing a load of laundry (as in one), writing letters, and eventually, as I was starting to feel better, making a batch of orange and oat scones from the My Nepenthe cookbook. If only you could have been there when they came out of the oven, yum.

Orange and Oat Scone Recipe

They were good later too though. I nibbled at a golden corner of one of the scones a couple hours after they came out of the oven, then four hours later, then six - they seemed to be improving with age.

In fact I wish I had one right now. In hindsight, I should have frozen some of the dough, then baked them off a few at a time.

Orange and Oat Scone Recipe

I'm so looking forward to trying more from Romney's new book, she includes an eclectic mix of recipes including the full range of mains, soups, side salads. But it's the sweets and breakfast recipes that I suspect will make an appearance in my kitchen in the near future - the wheat germ buttermilk hotcakes, persimmon pudding cake, and the triple berry pie.

Orange and Oat Scone Recipe

If you haven't seen the book yet, look around for it. I think it's just starting to show up in stores. It's just the sort of cookbook that takes you to another place and time - beautifully designed and photographed, and the story she tells of her life and legacy at Nepenthe in Big Sur is very special. For those of you who love the Tessa Kiros cookbooks, aesthetically this book is similar in spirit.

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Orange and Oat Scone Recipe

I made a few tweaks to Romney's original recipe, and they are reflected below. I use whole wheat pastry flour here, but you can use unbleached all-purpose flour, or a blend of both if you like. This version of the recipe makes 8-10 huge scones. The next time I make these I'll likely pat the dough into two 4-inch rounds and cut each of those into 6-8 smaller scones before baking.

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups rolled oats
zest of 1 orange
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coarse turbinado or Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
2/3 cup dried currants

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse 15-20 times or until it looks like sandy pearls. (If you are working by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter.) Transfer the dough to a bowl and stir in the oats and zest. Stir in the buttermilk and currants until just moistened.

Bring the dough together with your hands. If the dough is still too crumbly, stir in more buttermilk a tiny splash at a time, but try to avoid over mixing. After bringing the dough together, gently pat it into an 8-inch round. Cut into triangle shapes (see photo) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet with some room between each scone. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minute or until the bottoms are deeply golden.

Makes 8 extra-large scones, or 12 to 16 larger ones.

This recipe was adapted from My Nepenthe by Romney Steele. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, November 2009.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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these sound phenomenal. and I was just looking for a scone recipe - perfect timing!

These sound fantastic with the oats, orange, and currants, and I have a scone problem anyway. I have to bake pretty much every scone recipe I see. I've been hearing a lot of great things about that book. Can't wait to see it.

I love oat scones...these look delicious...and yes, I wish I was there when they came out of the oven!

When i first saw the picture I thought yum! orange and mini chocolate chips; then read recipe, I still think I′ll go with the chocolate chips

Betty Potter

This looks like the perfect scone for this time of year! It's hearty enough to act like a muffin, I'd say (often plain scones are like cake to me, even the more traditional British recipes). I'll try baking these this week. Usually I use 1/2 cup of butter for every 2 cups of flour/grain ... I wonder if they butter here can be reduced? Do you think it would still turn out?

These look like total comfort food - can't wait to try them!

What a great idea to make this scone ahead of and freeze. I like how hearty this scone recipe is, and your substitution of whole wheat pastry flour makes it even better! I hope you continue to feel better!

It's nice to have a recipe for scones with some redeeming nutritional value - i.e. whole wheat flour and less-processed sugar. And one that doesn't use egg in the batter (we've had a little problem making successful scones in the past).

Your maple syrup scones are a favorite of ours. I'll be trying these later this week. The kids will be so happy!


it was ultimate i am really yhriling


o.O - can't wait to try these! but... being norwegian, without sticks of butter... how much does a stick of butter weigh? the weight in imperial mesures will do fine - I'll do the conversion :-D


You're great! This recipe is fantastic, i want to try it!

this recipe looks great! However, I only have yogurt in my fridge, can I substitute it for the buttermilk? It's hard to have buttermilk on hand, cause whenever I buy it much gets wasted.


Cravings used to sell orange scones and I missed them when they stopped. Now I can can try making them myself. Thanks! Love the scone photos too!

I've been dying for orange season to come around, and putting orange zest in everything these days. I make a similar scone from Nick Malgieri, and they've made me popular several times :)

These look super good. I have never had currents before, but my family loves orange cranberry muffins I make sometimes. I think I might try cranberries if I can't find currents. looks awesome, love the photos.

Whoops-didn't see that I posted anonymously. The above comment is from me, Romney, author of the book you wrote about. Thank you again Heidi.

I'm just posting here quickly to say a big thank you Heidi for reading my book and posting a recipe from it; I'm really honored. Also fascinated to read all the comments, always enlightening and interesting. Love the idea of using whole wheat pastry flour too-sure to be delicious that way. Sometimes we made these with the addition of fresh berries, so in answer to the above query I'd say either could work. As for vegan buttermilk-that's a hard one. What are you using for butter, I wonder. Oil, of course could work, though it would be lacking the buttery tenderness; I was going to suggest yogurt for the buttermilk, but of course that wouldn't work either, and I often make them with heavy cream instead but that's out so soy milk, or something similar, is probably the obvious choice. I'll tell you something-these scones split and toasted the next day, or re-warmed in an "oven" not a microwave are fantastic. But day old, they are also really tasty dipped in your morning coffee or afternoon tea. For a variation, you can coarsely cut the oats, or by steel cut and use them instead of whole oats. Best, Romney HS: Sounds great Romney, congrats on a beautiful book!


Bummer for you being sick - I had H1N1 recently after caring for one of my kids who was sick with it and it stinks. If I had those scones I'm pretty sure I would have recovered more quickly!

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