Lemon Scones

Lemon scones are the perfect mix of sweet and tart. These scones are fairly rich, but adding tangy lemon zest to the batter and icing balances their sweetness.

Related Post: Scones Primer

Lemon Scones

Like all of my scone recipes, this one is an adaptation of these incredibly delicious orange cream scones from A Latte Food. Mine are still citrus, but tart lemon instead of sweet orange. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Cool & Icing Time20 minutes
Total Time47 minutes
Course: Snacks
Keyword: Baking, Breakfast, Lemon, Scones, Snacks
Servings: 8 scones


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice See Notes, below.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 tsbp butter, melted
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice See Notes, below.
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp 35% cream or milk to thin, if necessary
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (See Notes, below.)
  • Add all the dry ingredients, including lemon zest, to a large bowl and whisk together to incorporate.
  • Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is about pea-sized. The dough will have the texture of crumbs. (See Notes, below. Or see the Scones Primer for pictures.)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, cream, lemon juice, and extract.
  • Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture, then stir until just combined.
  • Gently knead the dough into a ball in the bowl, then turn out and begin patting into a circle until it’s about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. You may need to squeeze the outer edges a bit to incorporate crumbly bits into the dough. 
  • Cut the dough into 8 evenly sized wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with 35% cream if desired. (This gives a nice sheen to the finished scones.)
  • Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden.
  • Let scones cool for about 5 minutes on the pan, then move them to a wire rack. Place the parchment from the baking pan under the wire rack to catch drips when you ice the scones. 
  • After the scones have cooled for about 10-15 minutes, make the icing by whisking together all of the icing ingredients. Start with ¼ cup icing sugar; only add more icing sugar if the icing is too thin. (See Notes, below.) 
  • Drizzle or spread on warm scones then let the scones cool completely. 


  • The lemon juice may not be absolutely necessary in the batter, but it does intensify the lemon flavour. If you don’t want a strong lemon flavour, you can omit it.
  • Ovens can vary widely in temperature. For this recipe, I set my oven to 395F and bake for about 11 minutes. Watch your scones carefully the first time you make this recipe to ensure they don’t bake too long.
  • The cutting process can take a few minutes but you want to be able to see pieces of butter in the dough, so don’t go too long with this step. 
  • The icing is quite tart so you may want to start with a smaller amount of lemon juice and lemon zest if you want a more subtle flavour in your icing. You can always use more cream/milk to thin the icing if you’ve left out some of the lemon juice.
  • The thickness of the icing is a personal preference. You can drizzle thinner icings in a nice pattern across all the scones or spread thicker icings across the top. This icing is quite tart so go lighter with it, whether you drizzle or spread it.

Lemon Scones

Lemon picture by Microvone | Dreamstime

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