★★★★★

Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

No trip to a fancy bakery needed to enjoy these Lemon Poppy Seed Scones. Simple ingredients, a little love, and you’ll have a batch of these easy freezer friendly scones ready in no time!

Love Starbucks scones? You’ll swoon over these copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones and these Orange Scones.

Lemon Sonces with poppy seeds and lemon glaze on wire cooling rack.

Why this recipe is best

Have you ever made a scone recipe only to have them come out tasting like dense biscuits? The kind you have to slather with tons of butter to make them taste good?

These lemon scones are the complete opposite.

  • Full of fresh lemon peel and poppy seeds, these scones have plenty of flavor all on their own.
  • Soft crumb texture.
  • Sweet lemon glaze.
  • No special “scone” baking dish needed, just a flat baking sheet!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make lemon scones with poppy seeds.

Unsalted butter. Make sure your butter is COLD before adding them to the scones. I suggest putting it in the freezer for a few minutes to guarantee maximum coldness. If using salted butter, skip the kosher salt in the ingredients.

Fresh lemons. You’ll use both the grated peel of the lemon and the freshly squeezed juice in this recipe.

Lemon extract. Use real PURE lemon extract for best results (not imitation flavoring).

Heavy cream. Be sure to choose heavy whipping cream as you’ll want the high fat content for these scones.

Poppy seeds. These get mixed into the scone dough before baking. Totally optional!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make lemon scone dough.

STEP 1. Make the dough

Combine the dry ingredients for the scones in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut cold butter into the flour mixture.

Stir in the lemon juice, extract and peel, along with heavy cream and an egg.

STEP 2. Knead and shape

Knead the dough on a floured surface until it comes together, about 1 minute. It will be sticky.

Put it down into a disc shape about an inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 triangles (like a pizza).

Step by step photos showing how to knead and shape dough for lemon scones.

STEP 3. Bake

Bake scones until the bottoms are lightly browned (about 18 minutes). Let cool for 20 minutes.

STEP 4. Glaze

While the scones are cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the cooled scones.

Tips and Tricks

  • How to store. These scones keep well in an airtight container for about 4 days. However, they are also a wonderful pastry to freeze! 
  • How to freeze scones. To freeze lemon scones, allow them to cool completely before placing them in a freezer safe bag or container to freeze. I recommending putting sheets of parchment or wax paper between the scones to keep them from freezing together.
  • Lightly grease your baking sheet. Remember this dough is sticky! You don’t want to have to scrape your delicious homemade lemon scones off the pan with a knife.
  • Serve. Add a plate of these scones to your holiday brunch table with our delicious waffle recipe and a pot of coffee with homemade french vanilla coffee creamer.
Lemon glaze being spooned over cooled lemon poppy seed scones.

Recipe FAQs

Why does butter have to be cold for this scone recipe?

Cold butter stays between the layers of flour in little pockets instead of getting fully incorporated, creating fluffy layers. Softened butter will blend with the other ingredients in the dough resulting in a denser and less appetizing finished product.

I don’t have lemon extract. Can I just use more lemon juice instead?

No, you can’t use lemon juice as a substitute for lemon extract. Extract is highly concentrated so it adds a ton of flavor without much liquid. It’s the key to incredible lemon taste in many of my lemon recipes!

How many lemons will I need?

Two average sized lemons will give you the right amount of juice and peel to make this recipe.

What can I use instead of heavy cream?

Buttermilk works beautifully in this recipe as a substitute for the cream.

Help! My dough is too sticky to knead. What can I do?

If your dough ends up too sticky to work with, don’t panic! This is normal. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it forms a workable (but not completely smooth) dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers in clumps.

Lemon scone showing soft, moist texture.

More Easy Breakfast Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 6 minutes

No trip to a fancy bakery needed to enjoy these Lemon Poppy Seed Scones. Simple ingredients, a little love, and you'll have a batch of these easy freezer friendly scones ready in no time!

Ingredients

FOR THE SCONES:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl.
    3. Cut butter into chunks and use a pastry cutter to combine with flour mixture until butter chunks are pea-sized.
    4. Add heavy whipping cream, egg, lemon juice, lemon extract and lemon peel. Mix until just combined.
    5. Turn onto a hard, floured surface and knead until dough forms, about 1 minute. Dough will be a little sticky. Form into a ball and pat down into a circle about 1 inch thick.
    6. Cut circle into eight triangles and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
    7. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until bottoms of scones are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.
    8. Let scones cool for 20 minutes. While they are cooling, prepare the glaze. Combine water, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl. Add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, mix thoroughly before adding more.
    9. Once cool, spoon glaze onto scones.

Notes

  • If the glaze is too runny, slowly add in more powdered sugar until desired consistency. If too thick, add in more water.
  • Be sure butter is cold to create fluffy pockets in the scones.
  • Fresh lemon juice works best, not the concentrate in bottles.
  • Buttermilk can be substituted for heavy cream.
  • If dough is too sticky, add one Tablespoon of flour at a time until it's not as wet. If too dry, add one tablespoon of heavy cream until moistens. Dough should hold together and be moist, but not stick in large clumps to your fingers.
  • 2 lemons will get you the amount of fresh lemon peel and juice for today's recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Once you taste these easy Lemon Poppy Seed Scones you’ll never want to go back to the store bought version!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 11, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Enjoyed these for breakfast this morning, and started my day off right! Not only were these easy to make, but were delicious and paired perfectly with my morning cup of coffee! Delish!

  2. These scones are so delicious and very yummy! My daughter and hubby loved these for breakfast the other day! So glad I can freeze these and enjoy them later on! I made a whole batch and froze some extras. I can’t wait to make these again!

  3. I make scones all the time. Had I read comments, I would have divided in half, formed two rounds and cut into 8 triangles. Would have placed on a well floured board. Very wet dough. Ended up in oven as a rectangle which I will cut once baked and cooled.

  4. I made these today. I too wish I had read all of the feedback. The dough was so wet, even after I added an additional half cup flour. I ended up making them drop scones!! They are in the oven now-we will see how they turn out!! I made 8 biscuit size scones from this recipe. I did add blueberries to the lemon recipe. I love lemon and blueberry together! Will update when they are tasted!!

  5. Going to try these they sound delicious and by the way I perfectly understand how you said to cut the dough I don’t understand why others didn’t get it.

  6. I wish I had read all the feedback before I made these. I’m surprised that you would keep the recipe posted unchanged with so much specific feedback. As to the confusing directions, here’s a simple explanation – divide the dough into eight equal pieces, flatten each piece into a rectangle, cut each rectangle from corner to corner to form sixteen triangles. Simple

  7. I just found your sight thru Pinterest and saw these Easy Lemon Scones. I read and reread how to cut them and I even asked mhy husband, and the instructions on cutting are just not clear. I agree with the other person who found the dough so sticky. I don’t understand why the recipe doesn’t just say add an additional half cup of flour. Then I believe the dough would be easier to handle. I also fund the temperature was fairly high, and turned it down to 325. Am sorry I didn’t start at 325. The dough is very good tasting and I used lemons from our tree, so that was great. I think I will attempt to try this again and see if they come out easier, but may look on YouTube for directions for cutting them. Mine were skimpy!! and did get a bit overly browned on the bottom. I will try this again, but I think the recipe should be tweaked. By the way, I’m an experienced baker of cakes and cookies, so this is hardly my first time baking, but it was my first attempt at scones!!!

  8. Made these today they are delicious. The dough was wet but I added more flour and they turned out amazing.

    1. I’ve made scones many many times, you need more flour and the butter needs to be really cold (not softened). I always freeze my dough after handling it and bake from frozen because the cold butter is what gives the beautiful lift to your scones. And when beating the butter into the flour, you don’t want the pieces to get too small or else the scone is crumbly.

  9. I love scones but could never find a recipe that didn’t call for everything but the kitchen sink and a day and a half to make lol this one looks easy and simple ingredients, but since I don’t have any and it’s not something I will buy I’m going to substitute sour cream for the yogurt since you said it’s main purpose is for the moisture content. Will make these this afternoon will update results later. Happy Baking!😍

  10. What can I use as a substitute for yogurt since I do not have any and don’t want to go out just for that.

    1. Was wondering the same thing but really don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Love those orange scones from Panera!

  11. I am a seasoned baker and have made many of your recipes with great success but these were a colossal failure.  This dough was really wet so clearly something went wrong.  I double checked my measurements which  were correct so I am hoping you might have some insight for me.  It seemed like I could have added another whole cup of flour or more.  Help!  I would like to try these again.

    1. It is a very sticky dough. So when you pop it onto your work surface, you add just enough flour to make it workable. Having made this numerous times, I’ve added anywhere from 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup depending on humidity in my house! Hope that helps!

  12. Ok, I absolutely HATE Greek yogurt.  Is the taste going to strong, and if so, can I sub regular vanilla yogurt?

    1. You don’t taste the yogurt…AT ALL. It’s just there to give the scones the right amount of moisture 🙂

  13. I can’t resist a good scone! I would love to have one of these in the morning with my coffee!

    1. Can I make these with blueberries instead of lemon?
      Thank you in advance,
      Catherine

      PS….Love your recipes 💕

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