Lemon Scones

Scones are always a good idea.

I have never made lemon scones before so I thought that I should do something about that.  I started by using my trusty base scone recipe, which I shared with you guys last year.  It’s become my go-to scone recipe because it’s delicious and easy to alter for almost any flavor that you want.

There is NO lemon extract going on here.  It’s actually a forbidden ingredient in our home because quite frankly we find it tastes gross, smells gross, and really mostly reminds us of bathroom cleaner.  The key to having a great lemon flavor is to use lemon zest and lemon juice.  I swear by it.

If you don’t already have a scone pan then I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me.  It makes baking scones SO much easier.  I’ve included a link to my pan in the directions below.

Do you prefer frosting on your scones?  I’m going to go with “heck yes”!  I say top these bad boys with as much lemon frosting as is possible to balance on them.  Maybe even add some more with each bite because more lemony sugary goodness is better.

My dedicated readers probably know that this is not how my husband wants his.  He is a member of the tribe that prefers his scones naked.  There is plenty of lemon flavor in these scones so if you agree with my husband then fear not, these scones will still rock your world.

Lemon Scones Recipe
(makes 8 scones)

Ingredients for Scones:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (equivalent to 8.4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (equivalent to 1 stick), cut into chunks
  • 1 egg
  • the zest of 1 lemon (I got about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.)
  • (optional) lemon glaze (see below)

Ingredients for the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons milk or water  (I used water today, which works, but I prefer to use milk if I have it.)
  • the zest of 1/2 a lemon (I got about 3/4 teaspoon.)

Directions for Scones:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 scone pan and set it aside.  (If you don’t own one, you probably should.  You can also make them rustic style without a pan as long as you end up with 8 of them you should be okay.  *See note below.)
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, vanilla extract, and baking soda.  Set the wet ingredients aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt.  (This is the dry ingredients.)
  5. Add the cold butter chunks to the dry ingredients and mash the mixture with a pastry blender or a with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
  6. Mix in the wet ingredients and the egg.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest and make sure it’s combined throughout the entire batter.
  8. Scoop the dough into an 8 section scone pan.  (*See note below.)
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.  (It took 27 minutes in my oven.)
  10. Let the scones rest in the pan until they have cooled before taking them out or they will fall apart.
  11. (Optional)  Once the scones have cooled, spread the lemon glaze on top of each scone.

Directions for the Glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, milk (or water), and lemon zest.
  2. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more milk (or water) at a time and stir.  The goal here is to get a thick glaze so it doesn’t run away when you pick up a scone.

* Note: If you do not have a scone pan, do not worry. All Recipes gives step by step instructions for this scone recipe using a baking sheet.

This base scone mix is adapted from All Recipes.




  1. Marie says:

    You don’t add any lemon juice to the scone batter? I just see the zest.

    1. Tina says:

      Marie, just lemon zest in the scone batter. But I used lemon juice & zest in the glaze. Sorry if that was confusing.

  2. Karly says:

    Holy moly do these look divine! I am such a sucker for a good scone, and I love this lemon flavor and glaze for summer. Definitely putting them on the to do list!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much, Karly! 🙂 I’d love to know how you make out.

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