Cheese & Caramelised Onions Pinwheel Scones


Where would we be without cheese? Savoury baking would definitely not be anywhere near as delicious, that’s for sure. All my favourite savoury treats seem to be packed with that cheesy goodness, adding delicious creamy flavour to everything from scrolls and scones to tarts and pies.

But in a world filled with delicious savoury options, I’ve found my new favourite savoury baked treat – cheese and caramelised onion pinwheel scones.

Imagine a soft scone dough loaded with flavoursome cheese and just a hint of cayenne pepper (trust me, it’s magic!), filled with a combination of freshly prepared caramelised red onions and grated cheese, rolled and cut, then finished with a final sprinkling of (you guessed it) cheese.

There’s no denying it – there’s a lot of cheese in these wonderful little scones. But that doesn’t have to mean they’re something you should feel bad about eating – you just need to use the right cheese.


That’s where Mainland Noble comes in – it tastes just like Tasty, but has a massive 30% less fat (that’s even less than Edam!). It took seven years of hard work, testing and tweaking before Mainland Noble was ready to release to hungry Kiwis and it was definitely worth the effort – not only is it award winning, but it ticks all the boxes for taste at home in the kitchen too. Seriously, less fat doesn’t mean less flavour when it comes to Mainland Noble!

The beautiful flavours of the cheese work perfectly with the beautifully rich caramelised onions – together they skyrocket these simple pinwheel scones into another world. But the real trick to bringing out all the beautiful flavour of this savoury treat is cayenne pepper – just a tiny amount will enhance the punch you get from the Mainland Noble and caramelised onions, leaving you with the slightest tingle around the edge of your tongue after each bite. Delish!

Considering just how much cheese is packed into these scones it’s unsurprising these are best served warm – eat fresh from the oven or simply pop one in the microwave for 20 seconds to loosen up the dough and soften the cheese. Enjoy!


Makes 12 pinwheels


Caramelised onions

  • 3 large red onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Pinwheel scones

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 40g butter, slightly softened and cubed
  • 1 ½ cups Mainland Noble, grated + extra for topping
  • ¾ cup + 1 Tbsp cream


Caramelised onions

  1. Place olive oil and sliced onions into a frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and cook slowly until clear and soft, stirring often so the onions do not catch.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle with brown sugar and add balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook until slightly sticky and not wet vinegar remains on the base of the pan.
  3. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Pinwheel scones

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and cayenne pepper until well combined.
  3. Add butter and rub through flour mixture until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add ¾ cup of grated Mainland Noble and stir through.
  4. Add cream a little at a time, stirring well between additions, until you achieve a soft dough – it should not feel wet or sticky to the touch.
  5. Scoop dough from bowl and place on lightly floured bench. Press into a ball, then roll out into a large rectangle (approx 25cm x 40cm). Scoop prepared caramelised onions onto rolled dough and spread to evenly cover surface of dough. Sprinkle with ¾ grated Mainland Noble.
  6. Roll dough lengthwise into a tight roll. Pinch seam of roll together to ensure scones do not pop open when baked. Cut into 12 slices (approx 2cm thick) and place on prepared baking trays. Sprinkle with grated Mainland Noble.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool slightly before serving.

This post was made possible with thanks to Mainland.

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  • Lizzy

    These look heavenly as per usual. Anything involving cheese and onion and I am all in!

  • Frances Vincent (gillepie)

    OH ARR These seem delicious will try love thee flavour

  • Samantha

    These look awesome!
    My mom used to make these with marmite and cheese and they were delicious. She would pop them in a muffin pan so that they cooked crispy on the edge and didn’t pop open.
    I like the idea of the caramelised onion very much! I love onion and balsamic as a combo.

    • Kirsten

      Thanks Samantha. I love your Mum’s idea of using muffin pans – how clever! I’ll have to give it a go :)