Lemon Scones

These scones are loaded with lemon zest and after baking their golden crusts are drizzled with a zingy lemon glaze.

Tray of Lemon Scones Drizzled with Lemon Glaze with Lemons and Bowl of Glaze in Background

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

I love lemon scones on sunny mornings, whether it’s summer and I want something to match the weather, or winter and I can pretend it’s as warm as where lemon trees grow. There's something classy but rustic about scones. They make me want to serve them with a fancy tea but then dunk them. 

These lemon scones have a crusty exterior and they're tender and flaky on the inside. They are rich and buttery but balanced by the bright and floral lemon. The dough is loaded with lemon zest and after baking, the golden crusts are drizzled with a zingy lemon glaze.

Tray of Lemon Scones with Drizzle of Lemon Glaze

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

You Only Need One Bowl for These Lemon Scones! 

Scones are generally quick and easy to make, and this recipe is no different. They mix up in just a few minutes by hand and use only one bowl. The only special equipment you need is a fine grater for zesting the lemons. 

If it's Sunday morning and you only just now realized that you’d like something special for brunch, these lemon scones might just save your morning.

Tips and Tricks for Flaky, Tender Scones

The best scones are buttery and flaky with a crisp exterior and tender crumb. To ensure your scones come out as flaky and tender as possible, try these tips:

  • You want to use very cold butter diced into 1/2-inch cubes. If you have time you should cut the butter and freeze it for at least 30 minutes before mixing the dough.
  • Avoid overmixing the dough. The dough should be pretty crumbly and it’s absolutely fine if there are a few floury or dry spots. If you overmix the dough, the scones can get tough and will lose some of their flakiness.
  • For the flakiest scones that won’t lose their shape as much during baking, chill the shaped scones in the freezer before baking for at least 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze Surrounded by Plates, Half Lemons, and Bowl

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Add Some Add-Ins

These lemon scones are bright and buttery on their own, but if you want to (step it up a notch), feel free to add some mix-ins.

  • Berries: such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen berries to the dough. Be gentle when folding in the fruit, as the berries can get squished, and dye your scones. For this reason, I prefer to use frozen berries in my scones. Don't thaw the frozen fruit.
  • Poppy seeds: For classic lemon poppy seed scones, add 3 tablespoons of poppy seeds along with the dry ingredients in method step 2. You can also sprinkle some poppy seeds into the lemon glaze before it sets.
  • Almonds: For a nutty crunch, sprinkle some toasted flaked almonds onto the glaze before it sets.

Serving Suggestions

There’s no better accompaniment to scones than your favorite warm beverage. Serve these scones for breakfast or brunch just as they are with a cup of tea or coffee. They would also pair well with a slathering of your favorite jam. Or go all out with some sweet and tangy lemon curd.

We Got Brunch Covered With These Scones!

Lemon Scones

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chill Time 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 8 servings
Yield 8 scones


For the lemon scones

  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons

  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar

  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 large egg, cold

  • 2/3 cup (120ml) buttermilk, plus extra for brushing the scones

For the lemon glaze

  • 1/2 cup (57g) powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside until ready to use.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients:

    In a large bowl, use your fingertips to rub the lemon zest into the sugar, infusing the sugar with the oils from the lemon zest. 

    Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and whisk to combine.

    Lemon Zest Rubbed into Sugar in a Bowl for Scones

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  3. Cut in the butter:

    Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture, tossing with your hands to distribute and coat the butter in flour. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture forms coarse crumbs and the butter is in pieces no larger than a pea.

    If you don’t have a pastry blender, use the tips of your fingers to squish the butter into the flour, pressing and breaking the butter into pea-sized pieces, but flat, not in chunks.

    Bowl of Flour and Butter for Lemon Scones Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Bread Butter into Flour in Bowl for Lemon Scones

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  4. Add the wet ingredients:

    Measure the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Gently fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula or plastic dough scraper until it forms a cohesive, but crumbly mass. Don't overmix. It's okay if the dough is slightly lumpy or a few dry bits remain.

    Measuring Cup of Buttermilk Poured into Bowl of Dry Ingredients for Scones with Lemon Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Dough for Lemon Scones in a Bowl with a Spatula

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  5. Shape and divide:

    Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently knead the dough a few times, then press the dough into an 8-inch diameter disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. Use a long knife or a bench scraper to cut the disk into 8 equal-sized wedges.

    Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1-inch apart. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones lightly with buttermilk.

    Lemon Scones Dough Shaped into a Large Disk

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Disk of Lemon Scones Dough Cut into Wedges Using a Bench Scraper

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Buttermilk Brushed onto Lemon Scones on Tray with Parchment

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  6. Chill:

    Place the baking tray in the freezer and chill for 15 minutes.

  7. Bake:

    Bake the scones in the center of the oven until golden on top and browned underneath, about 20 minutes. Allow the scones to cool completely on the pan before adding the lemon glaze.

    Baked Lemon Scones on Tray with Parchment

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  8. Make the lemon glaze:

    While the scones cool, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until the glaze is smooth.

    Lemon Glaze in Bowl with a Spoon for Scones Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  9. Glaze the scones:

    Use a spoon to drizzle the scones with the lemon glaze. Allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes, then serve.

    Lemon Glaze Drizzled onto Lemon Scones Using a Spoon

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  10. Storage:

    The scones will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to two days. For longer storage, the scones can be frozen for up to two months in a freezer bag. Let the scones defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before eating.

    Did you love this recipe? Give us some stars below!

    Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze on Parchment Paper

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
462 Calories
24g Fat
56g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 462
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 354mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 101mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.