Bake

Lemoniest Lemon Scones

July  3, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.
Author Notes

There are lemon scones, and then there are these, the lemoniest. Because instead of using the juice or the zest or even the juice and the zest—we’re using the whole lemon. You might recognize this nifty trick from Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart or the Whole-Lemon Tart from Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets. By blitzing the entire lemon, you get its entire personality—equal parts sour and sunny. And don’t worry, we’re using even more lemon in the glaze, too. Now about the other ingredients: White whole-wheat flour isn’t a blend of white and whole wheat. It’s a whole-grain flour all its own, with a nutty flavor and fluffy lightness, perfect for breakfasty baked goods. (Intrigued? You can learn more about it from Maria Speck here.) Confectioners’ sugar isn’t the most common sweetener for a scone dough, but it adds just enough pep, and then can be reused as the foundation for the lemony glaze. Make sure you add the grated lemon zest and flaky salt immediately after you glaze; this way the toppings can grab hold before the glaze dries. Like all scones, these are best the day they’re baked.
Emma Laperruque

Watch This Recipe
Lemoniest Lemon Scones
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes 8 scones
Ingredients
  • Scones
  • 2 cups (240 grams) white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large organic lemon (about 142 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups (284 grams) cold heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup (114 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large organic lemon (about 142 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 pinch flaky salt (optional)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. (If you have a baking stone, great—add that to the middle rack of the oven where you’ll bake your scones. If not, no worries.) Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Thickly slice the lemon, then discard any seeds. Add the slices to a blender or food processor and blend until mushy, like applesauce. Add this lemon mush to the measuring cup with the cream and stir to combine.
  4. Add most of the lemon cream to the flour mixture and stir. Add the rest and stir again. You’re aiming for a lumpy dough that easily holds together when squeezed, with no visible dry patches. Add a little more cream if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Plop the scone dough onto a lightly flour surface and use your hands to shape into a 7-inch circle (about 1¼ inches thick). Cut into 8 triangles. Brush the tops generously with cream. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply golden brown and the tops are bouncy to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until barely warm while you work on the glaze.
  7. Preferably with a Microplane, finely grate the lemon zest into a tiny bowl or ramekin. Now halve and juice the lemon into a glass (removing any seeds if needed). Combine the confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and the heavy cream in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth. Stir in half of the lemon zest.
  8. When the scones are barely warm to the touch, drizzle with the glaze, then top with the remaining lemon zest and a pinch of flaky salt, if you’d like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • rbrock1225
    rbrock1225
  • Patty Eilers
    Patty Eilers
  • stephlooys
    stephlooys
  • MiniLaura
    MiniLaura
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

6 Reviews

rbrock1225 July 11, 2021
A quick way to prep the lemons is something I learned while making marmalade. Take your whole lemon, quarter it stem-to-blossom. At this point, you can take a sharp knife and cut off the very center which is where all the seeds are. Much easier than slicing and picking through to find the seeds.

(If you were making marmalade, you'd save these to add to marmalade pot, just separate from the sugar/fruit mixture, to get the added pectin.)
 
MiniLaura June 27, 2021
Not great but not horrible either. The glaze was lemony, but the scones were not. I won’t be making these again.
 
Patty E. June 26, 2021
Meh...I made these and they ended up tasting salty and bitter, maybe they would be better with less/no salt and more sugar. But then if you're watching your sugar intake that wouldn't be a good solution. Not sure what went wrong here but it was worth a try.
 
Joanne T. June 24, 2021
I was excited to try this recipe because I love lemon and usually triple the lemon zest of other recipes using zest. But using the whole lemon made these SO bitter. Not much sugar in the scones so basically you are just tasting flour and bitter rind and baking powder. Even with the glaze these were not pleasant. The bitter after taste ruined it for me. It might be better if you used Meyer lemons.
 
Carol S. June 21, 2021
Just finished a batch, shared one with husband. WOW! There is not one thing I would change in this recipe. And the touch of salt to finish is definitely a must. Thank you for this lovely, I'm certain my frequent house guests will be asking for this recipe!
 
stephlooys June 16, 2021
Just made these! Saw your video came up on my feed and I knew I had to try it out stat! Thanks for the recipe, Emma and the scones came out tender and moist like you mentioned. However, I think I might add a teaspoon or pure vanilla bean paste the next time I make it and add another tablespoon of sugar into the mix to balance out the bitterness that came through from blending the whole lemon.

Some changes I made to this batch is that I swapped out confectioners sugar for Lakanto sweetener in the dough but used confectioners sugar for the glaze - just wanted to reduce some calories ;)

I also added a 2 teaspoons blended earl grey tea leaves and 1/4 teaspoon lavender in into the batter and a cup of dried figs too!

It truly tasted good overall! Thanks again for the recipe, Emma!