We address the issue of black hole scalarization and its compatibility with cosmic inflation and big bang cosmology from an effective field theory (EFT) point of view. In practice, using a well-defined and healthy toy model which (in part) has been broadly considered in the literature, we consider how higher-order theories of gravity, up to cubic operators in Riemann curvature, fit within this context. Interestingly enough, we find that already at this minimal level, there is a nontrivial interplay between the Wilson coefficients which are otherwise completely independent, constraining the parameter space where scalarization may actually occur. Conclusively, we claim that the EFT does exhibit black hole scalarization, remaining compatible with the inflationary paradigm, and admitting general relativity as a cosmological attractor.