Make Ahead

Espresso-chocolate buckwheat scones with lemon butter

April 19, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I’ve developed a habit of wanting something sweet with my morning cup of coffee. The problem is that many breakfast pastries are overly sweet and just not worth the calories. It’s hard to beat buttery scones with coffee -- so I set out to create a version that would fulfill my sweet tooth and be worth the indulgence.

I turned to my mom’s raisin scones with lemon butter that she’s been making for years. To make the perfect accompaniment to my morning coffee, I wanted scones where espresso would take center stage. So I added a full tablespoon of espresso powder to my mom’s me, no supporting role for espresso here. And then for added flavor and complexity, I swapped out some of the all-purpose flour for buckwheat flour, and then threw in dark chocolate chunks for good measure.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the lemon butter: the bright acidity makes a good match for the rich roasted flavor of the scones.

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk + 1 tsp (reserved), preferably whole-milk buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (from lemon you've zested earlier)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water; set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands until butter is the size of peas and the mixture crumbly. Add dark chocolate, tossing lightly. Add buttermilk and dissolved espresso, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and shape the dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, leaving the wedges intact. Brush scones with buttermilk, and sprinkle sugar evenly across the tops.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer scones to wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. While scones are cooling, make lemon butter: beat softened butter with lemon juice and powdered sugar with mixer or by hand. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar until fluffy and spreadable.
  7. Serve scones with lemon butter.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BlueKaleRoad
  • Midge
  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

6 Reviews

BlueKaleRoad June 8, 2011
I love buckwheat flour and am always looking for more ways to use it. Espresso and chocolate sound like the perfect way!
EmilyC June 27, 2011
Thanks, BlueKaleRoad. Have your tried Kim Boyce's buckwheat pancakes with pears? It's that recipe that got me on the buckwheat kick!
BlueKaleRoad June 28, 2011
No, I haven't! I had Good Grains out of the library but had to return it before trying all I wanted to. I'll have to get it again and try the pancakes. Thanks for the tip!
Midge April 20, 2011
These look wonderful.
EmilyC April 20, 2011
Thanks Midge! I've been kind of obsessed with buckwheat flour since getting Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain...I like the flavor of it with the espresso and chocolate.
Midge April 20, 2011
I LOVE that book, but haven't managed to bake anything from the buckwheat flour chapter yet.