blackberry scones with sumac icing

blackberry scones topped with magenta icing and fresh blueberries

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for the blackberry sumac icing:

  • 35g blackberries (5 blackberries)
  • 125g icing sugar (1 cup)
  • 6g sumac* (2 teaspoons)

for the blackberry cream cheese scones:

  • 260g all purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 50g sugar (¼ cup) + more for sprinkling
  • 12g baking powder (1 tablespoon)
  • 6g salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 55g cold unsalted butter (3 tablespoons)
  • 115g cold cream cheese (½ of an 8oz brick)
  • 2 large eggs (100g)
  • 165g blackberries (1½ cups)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Decoration: blackberry sumac icing (above), extra sumac, and extra blackberries


  1. For the icing: Place the blackberries, icing sugar, and sumac in a food processor. Blend until completely smooth, then move to a small bowl and set aside for an hour or two until you’re ready to use. It should be very thick and should slowly run off of a spoon.**
  2. Give the food processor a quick wipe or rinse to use again for the scones. No need to wash it fully, but just get rid of any big icing blobs or thick streaks, and dry it out if you rinsed it.***
  3. For the scones: Preheat the oven to 400°F [205°C].
  4. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to blend. Cut the butter and cream cheese into approximately 1 tablespoon blobs as you add them to the food processor. Pulse about 10 times until only small lumps remain. Add the eggs and pulse about 6 more times, just until the eggs blend in and the dough starts forming little clumps.
  5. Dump the clumpy crumbs out onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Don’t compress the dough yet and spread it out into a loosely even layer. Sprinkle on the blackberries evenly. Very gently shape the dough into a loose mound, taking care to keep the blackberries evenly distributed in the dough as you work, and being careful not to squish them. Some of the blackberries will peek out and some will be hidden inside the dough.
  6. Once the dough looks like a shaggy mound, start to gently compress it into an approximately 7 inch [18cm] diameter circle (the blackberries will squish slightly, but once they’re in the mound of dough, it’s less likely you’re going to totally smash one, because the pressure on them is now very even).
  7. Cut the circle into 8 wedges, and space the wedges out evenly. Brush each wedge generously with egg wash, and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Let them cool either on the sheet pan or a cooling rack, and then drizzle with icing. Decorate with extra blackberries and a little more sumac before the icing hardens.


* If you don’t have sumac on hand, see the note above the recipe for instructions to sub.

** If you’re not weighing your ingredients precisely, you’ll probably have to adjust a bit. If your icing turns out too thick (like a spreadable paste that doesn’t run at all), blend in one additional small blackberry at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it turns out too thin, blend in a tablespoon more of powdered sugar at a time until it’s very thick but still pourable.

*** If you make this recipe scones-first/icing-second, then you should wash the food processor fully in between because of the raw egg and flour.