Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones

With Buttermilk

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8161I wonder what the weather is like for you wherever you are. Ours here, is snowy. Yesterday we shovelled twice. I love shovelling because my arms get a workout and I get some twenty minutes of outdoor cardio. The soup season is here now. There’s nothing like a nice hot soup on a cold winter’s day, yet I get bored of serving my soup with the same accompaniments. I am always looking for something different, something new and exciting. If you have any suggestions or recipes for soup accompaniments, please swing them my way!

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8146bI first made scones with potatoes six months ago but it was a huge flop. The scones were heavy, flat and tasteless. Since then I’ve been thinking of ways to make them better until I finally had a breakthrough with these sweet potato scones. You can substitute the sweet potatoes with anything mashed: like butternut squash, Irish potatoes, baked mashed carrots, mashed cauliflower, mashed turnips or pumpkin puree. You can also substitute the cheddar with your favourite cheese. These scones have since become a family favourite and I hope they’ll be a favourite of yours too. I leave you with an Irish saying: “Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony.”


  • Ingredients 
  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup green olives, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 60g butter cubed
  • ½ cup boiled or steamed and mashed sweet potatoes,
  • 150ml (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 tablespoons buttermilk, extra
  • 2-4 teaspoons chopped chives (optional)
  • extra, egg for glazing

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8084Please always remember to assemble ingredients before you start

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8086Preheat oven to 430°F (220° C). Line an oven tray with parchment (greaseproof paper). Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne into a bowl.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8091Rub in butter, using your fingertips.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8093Add olives and cheese and stir until combined.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8096 Make a well in the centre of the mixture.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8088In another bowl combine the mashed potato, buttermilk

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8100and egg and whisk to combine.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8105Pour the mashed potato mixture into the well

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8107and mix gently with a flat bladed knife to a very soft, almost sticky dough, adding the extra buttermilk only if necessary. Do not over-mix

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8111Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (use self-raising flour). Knead it very briefly and lightly for about 20 seconds. It should just lose its stickiness then press the dough to an 8inch (20cm) circle (handle lightly do not use too much pressure) and cut into 8 slices.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8113Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and brush with extra egg.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8115bBake 15-20 minutes until golden. I baked at 430°F (220°C) for 17 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_8120bTransfer onto a wire rack to cool

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_0289Serve scones hot with butter. These scones are great with soup.

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones myfavouritepastime.com_0307I served mine with soup. It was delicious

Sweet Potato Cheese and Olive Scones

Ingredients

  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup green olives, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 60g (¼ cups, ½ stick) butter cubed
  • ½ cup boiled or steamed and mashed sweet potatoes,
  • 150ml (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 tablespoons buttermilk, extra
  • 2-4 teaspoons chopped chives (optional)
  • extra, egg for glazing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 430°F (220°C). Line an oven tray with parchment (greaseproof paper). Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne into a bowl.
  2. Rub in butter, using your fingertips.  Add olives and cheese and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.
  3. In another bowl combine the mashed potato, buttermilk and egg and whisk to combine. Pour the mashed potato mixture into the well and mix gently with a flat bladed knife to a very soft, almost sticky dough, adding the extra buttermilk only if necessary. Do not over-mix.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (use self-raising flour). Knead it very briefly and lightly for about 20 seconds. It should just lose its stickiness.
  5. Press the dough to an 8inch (20cm) circle (handle lightly do not use too much pressure) and cut into 8 slices.
  6. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and brush with extra egg. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden. Serve scones hot with butter. These scones are great with soup.
  7. **I weigh the flour and butter. I do not use cup measures. The weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation, publication and size of cup used (from 125g to 130g to 155g per cup)
  8. Cup measures based on assumption, 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 240 ml, not the Australian Cup. The Australian cup = 155g flour so that would change cup measures.

Points to note:

  • Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked at 430°F (220°C) for 17 minutes.
  • I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop.
  • The secret to light fluffy scones is ‘very light handling of the dough.’ Over handling will result in tough scones.
  • You can cut the scones into squares or any other shape you desire.
  • Scones are best eaten while they are still warm and fresh, but can be frozen up to three months.

myfavouritepastime.com 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

123 thoughts

    1. Hi Malu
      Happy New Year!
      Thank you for adding them to the bake list. They were very delicious, whilst they lasted. Wish you a fantastic 2014!
      Liz

    1. Hi Pavla,
      Thanks for the new year wishes. I hope you enjoyed your holidays. I also promise to blog more often…hope it will work this time. Have a wonderful weekend and the best of 2014
      Liz

    1. Hi,
      Happy New Year
      Sorry I took a long break, but now am back. The mashed potatoes blended so well into the scones. You can substitute with anything mashed. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the year 2014.
      Liz

  1. Hi, Liz. Hope everything is well with you. It’s been a while. I hope I am not late to greet you a happy 2014 and hope you have a blessed one. These scones look delicious, by the way! Have a wonderful week. xx

    1. Hi Jhuis
      Happy New Year!
      The scones are delicious. One of my favourites. Thanks for wishing me a happy new year. I wish you the same. Have a lovely weekend. Best wishes
      Liz

  2. Hi Liz – hope you have had a wonderful festive season. These look fantastic, will definitely be trying them. I think they would make a lovely accompaniment to a lentil soup, I actually have some of my lentil and ham soup in the fridge and may rustle up a batch of these to go with it. Happy New year to you and I very much look forward to reading more of your recipes in 2014.

    1. Hi Chef,
      I did have a wonderful festive season with friends and relatives. it was awesome. I hope you tried the scones with lentil soup. Lentil soup is a favourite of mine. So easy to make and healthy too. Happy New Year to you too and wish you the best of 2014.
      Liz

    1. HI Papajiji,
      Thanks so much for making the scones. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Have a wonderful weekend. Sorry for taking long to respond!
      Liz

    1. Hi there Rose,
      I am so glad you came across my blog. I love visitors, because they motivate me to continue blogging. Thanks for liking the scones. Happy trying and hope to see you more often. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous 2014.
      Liz

    1. I make them all the time and I love them. Sweet potato is one of my favourite ingredients, too. They tasted awesome. I hope you give them a try. Wish you a fabulous week!
      Liz

  3. Oh how gorgeous! I would have never thought of combining sweet potato and olives but it sounds like just the thing to give it a nice savoury edge! I will definitely try these 🙂

    1. Hi,
      I am terribly sorry I took so long to respond. Please forgive my bad manners. It’s been so busy in school this week. The kids finally have a Christmas Break. The scones were very nice. I really enjoyed eating them. I hope you do too, if you ever try them. I wish you Merry Christmas and a Fabulous 2014. Best wishes!
      Liz

  4. I just love the look of these tasty savoury scones, Liz! They look just stunning & they incluse many of my favourite ingredients too! I must make these tomorrow! 🙂 Yummmm! Divine!

  5. Hi Liz! MMMh .. so yummy!We really don’t have something like this here, but we have some kind of salted cakes with potatoes, zucchini, olives and carrots .. or many other vegetables! I really like it!

      1. Hello, Liz, how are you? Sure, I’ll send you the recipe by mail if you wish (but i think i’ll post it also on my blog, i love salted cakes with vegetables!)
        Happy Thursday!Hugs!Cris

  6. This sounds nice. Most of the time I’ve had scones, they have been sweet rather than savoury, and served with tea or coffee instead of soup. This would make for a nice savoury change. Do these have a light or dense texture?

    1. Hi LIgnum,
      These scones are extra, extra light and fluffy and really great for soups. I see you’re closing shop until 2014. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous 2014. Best regards to your family. Best wishes!
      Liz

      1. Thank you. I’m just not actively posting for a few weeks to catch up on preparations and the like, and enjoy a bit of time off. But I will be sure to visit you when I can, so I’m still here! My best wishes to you.

  7. I can tell those have turned out beautifully. I’m in the process of using white fleshed sweet potato for another quick bread, this time without egg. Unfortunately, the bread isn’t rising quite enough and levelling out as it cools. Hmm, all I really want it for is breadcrumbs to make a stuffing. Doubt anyone will notice 🙂

    1. Hi there Johnny,
      Forgive my terrible manners. I took so long to respond…If you’re are using that bread for breadcrumbs, then no need to worry about it levelling as it cools. The taste will matter more. I shall have a peek at your blog in a few minutes. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed 2014.
      Liz

  8. Hi, Liz,
    OH my. A savory scone with cheese and olives? SUCH a great idea. And, one can mix up the cheeses and olives, too – a malleable recipe. Of course, I will not alter from the sweet potato, since you have clearly perfected the texture to this recipe, and the moist/flaky characteristics, as well.
    I really like that you used a nice, sweet yam and salty, savory cheese, butter and olives – what a lovely balance of flavors and quite out of the box… I bet that you could even bake these up in biscuit or cookie shapes. How divine. I will certainly try these – some of my favorite flavors. Do you think that a nice, soft goat cheese would work? I sometimes enjoy a chevré paired with sweet potatoes and olives on a salad or bruschetta.
    I am glad to hear that you are trying to stay warm – and on the side, even getting in a bit of cardio and muscle work despite of (or because of!) the inclimate weather.
    My best to you, Liz – and thank you for sharing. Oh, and I loved the photos.
    Warm (really, it’s cold out!) regards,
    Shanna

    1. HI Dear Shanna,
      I apologize profusely for taking so long. Please excuse my manners. I remember the first time I tried a potato scone recipe from a cookbook. It was so flat and tasteless and disappointing. But it lingered at the back of my mind for months. This one was fabulous, soft, light and fluffy. I enjoyed eating it. They can be baked in any shape you fathom. I’ve never baked with soft goat cheese. Can it withstand high temperatures? I have just googled and this is what I found: “All goat cheeses are heat sensitive and can becomes grainy and separate when overheated. When using in recipes, heat until just melted i.e in pizzas, sauces etc.” So am afraid, not a good substitute for this recipe. A good old cheddar or anything close to it would do. I love cheddar because it gives the scones the yellow colour.
      We had lots of snow, then came the freezing rain and now everything is so mushy and icy and dangerous….I hate looking out the window. My cardio days will start again, in a few days. It’s strange but I do enjoy shovelling snow with a huge shovel. It leaves you breathless but you know you’re having a good workout. Thanks for loving the photos. Xoxo to SM and LG. I’ll have a peek at your blog in a moment. Boy I’ve missed seeing your lovely posts. Take care, Best…Liz

      1. Hi, Liz,
        Cardio… I have lived in a climate very similar to yours, back when my hubby was in medical school. BRRR. Shoveling snow is great cardio! I strongly recommend investing in some sort of exercise bike, elliptical or treadmill. Also, there are even walking DVD’s that are great. Gotta stay somewhat active when it’s cold… to make room for the fabulous treats of the season. 🙂 I took the kids for a walk in the double stroller today. BRRRRRRRR!
        Posts – I am posting less now. I think I will post one time next week, though. A friend’s gift inspired me! Also, did you receive my email?
        Goat cheese; thank you for research. It sounds like a very bad idea for me to substitute. 😉
        Best,
        Shanna

        1. HI Shanna,
          If wishes were horses, I would wish the snow and cold away…sigh. This winter has been really cold. I hope the kids enjoyed the walk. Kids never seem to feel so cold like us. I hope to visit your blog soon. I see you’ve been posting and yes I did get your email. Have the best of times.
          Best…Liz

  9. They look delicious.

    I often serve suet free dumplings with a home made soup (won’t waste them on shop bought 😉 ). I usually make my soup in a large stock pot which can be used either on the hob or in the oven. I cook the soup on the hob to start with and then move it into the hot oven once I’ve added the dumplings. I tend to sprinkle a generous amount of grated mature cheddar over the dumplings, half way through the cooking process. Adds a little bit extra flavour and some texture 🙂

    1. Hi there,
      Now that you’ve wetted my appetite with all these lovely descriptions could you please direct me to this recipe of yours, if available? I would love to try it. Cold soup days are here…and I make soup at least three times a week right now. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New and Fabulous 2014. Best wishes!
      Liz

      1. It’s simple Liz I.simply swap the suet for the same weight of butter/margerine and there you have it 😉 Towards the end of cooking the dumplings.( if done in oven and not on hob), I.often sprinkle.a.generous.amount of grated cheese over the dumplings and then back into the oven until until golden 🙂 Also with oven baked.dumplings.I keep.the lid off throughout the cooking.

  10. Love the flavor combination! I have made cookies with sweet potatoes and loved them, must give scones a try too. I guess I have no right to complain about our weather since the days still warm to the 50s Fahrenheit, nights are the 30s though. I so plain nonetheless!! I moved away from that cold stuff and don’t miss it.

    1. Hey Mama D,
      I apologize profusely for taking an eternity to respond. Forgive my bad manners. Where is the recipe for the cookies with sweet potatoes? I would love to try that. I love your kind of weather and I wish I had the same here. I hope you’ve finished christmas preparations. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Fabulous 2014. Best wishes!
      Liz

      1. I haven’t posted that recipe. It was one from a catalog. I will have to find it and play around with it. It was a chocolate chip cookie with mashed sweet potatoes and quite tasty. Maybe after the holidays I will find some time I hope! Right now I’m busy baking Christmas cookies, wrapping presents, keeping the boys out of trouble, tending to the sick child…. Never ending! I hope you have time to relax and enjoy the holidays!

        1. No worries, I can wait until next year. Omg you’re so swamped with so many tasks. I wish you a happy baking, and send get well wishes to the sick child. Hope he gets well soon. I’m now trying to relax. I hope you enjoy the holidays too. Best wishes and thanks for visiting me!
          Liz

        2. Hi Mama D,
          Happy New Year! Oh yes I took a long and inspiring holiday and now I’m back. I hope you enjoyed the egg nog. I really admire your energy. Hope you enjoyed Christmas and started the new year on a positive note. I wish you the best of 2014. Best wishes!
          Liz

  11. Wow Liz, these look wonderful……I think you have hit on a winner with this recipe! Sweet potatoes, imagine! aren’t they versatile? Mind you, I would tend to omit the olives as I don’t like the taste. Still, I’m imagining these scrumptious looking scones with a big bowl of tomato vegetable soup of some kind. Definitely soup weather. Our temperature has warmed up from the minus zone and we are back to typical west coast grey dampness. At least our grass stays green year round unlike the prairies, which usually means mowing more often! Sigh!!! Have a super day Liz! You have the best recipes.

    1. Hi there Sandy.
      I bet by now you’ve left for your trip? the week has been extra busy for me so I even forgot I had a blog. I wonder why you don’t love olives, I love, love them. You can omit them though. You won’t even notice. You can add something else you love. I hope to post the bread very soon. Schools close on Friday for X-mas break then I shall have more time on my hands. All the best Sandy. Keep me posted of your trip!
      Liz

    1. Hi Gal,
      Where have you been? I still remember the lesson on cacao nibs or what were they called? Hope all is well with you. Thanks. Have a wonderful week ahead!
      Liz

      1. Been sick. One caught it, then the other, then I did. A cough is lingering on, but the worst is behind me. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things soon! Have a fabulous weekend 😀

        1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been sick but glad to hear the worst is behind and you’re feeling better. I wish you a happy blogging and the best of December. Enjoy your weekend.
          Liz

  12. Oh, interesting combination in scones! The weather in San Francisco has been chilly–freezing temperatures overnight and lots of frost on everything in the morning. It’s the coldest it’s ever been in my decade of living here. I don’t envy you the snow, but the workout from shoveling sounds positive! 🙂

    1. Hi Ngan
      When the temperatures are very low like now (-11C, 12F) then shovelling is fine because the snow is light and fluffy, you even wish you could lay on your back and just enjoy the moment. Kids do it all the time. I hope you are enjoying everything else despite the weather/ All the best and take care!
      Liz

  13. They look wonderful, I’m not very good at a scone.

    As a change with soup & for ease I split pitta bread and sprinkle a little parmesan on before grilling, still bread I know but not as heavy.

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for that easy tip. Good for lazy humans like me. Maybe I can put a dash of my favourite veggie in there before I grill it. Sounds great. I shall do that for my next soup. Thanks a great deal!
      Liz

  14. Oh, yes! I was hesitant about the green olives, but thinking about it – well, yes with a lunch or dinner. Or a snack – except for my “midnight snacker” who likes Seville marmalade on bready things before he goes to bed. Can you get Seville marmalade up there? We seem to have a dearth of it down here.

    1. Hi there Dorrie Anne,
      It’s a pleasure to see you. I love olives as a snack or ingredient in so many recipes. In my opinion, the best marmalades come from Europe. I can hardly get any good marmalade in my small town here (I find them too sweet). I always buy mine in Europe…whenever I can. Have a wonderful day!
      Liz

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