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Lemon Scones

These delicate scones are the perfect lightly sweet treat to serve with coffee or tea at any holiday get-together. It's a simple bread since, like biscuits, it doesn't require much kneading and there's no need to let the dough rise.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    12 scones


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Additional sugar


  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add buttermilk and lemon zest, stirring just until mixed.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into a ball. On a greased baking sheet, pat dough into a circle about 1/2 in thick and 8-1/2 in. in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges in the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 198 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 324mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Bugsli
    Mar 27, 2019

    Great-with revisions as stated by others; Zest of Medium lemon 1/2 t salt as I used unsalted butter Juice from half the lemon added w/buttermilk (don’t see how 1/2 c buttermilk would be enuf moisture for 2 C flour) Juice from other half lemon enough powdered sugar to make a lemon glaze ????

  • Lauren
    Jan 22, 2018

    I just made these for the first time and they are delicious. I made a few slight changes to the recipe as some others did... I used a 1/4 tsp salt plus a smidge more; I used heavy cream instead of milk; I used the juice from one whole small lemon plus heavy cream to equal 1/2 cup total. I added a little more heavy cream to the final mix as needed. Plus I used the zest from two small lemons - about 3-4 tsp of zest total. I also put lemon drizzle on top hot out of the oven. Yum.

  • Gillian
    Apr 16, 2017

    This was my first time making these scones and after reading the recipe and others whom have made it comments, I decided to make some changes according to my tastes. The only changes I made were to increase the salt from 1/4 tsp to a scant 1/2 tsp. I used the zest of a large lemon . For the buttermilk, I used the juice of half the zested lemon and half & half milk to equal half a cup. Lastly I used the other half of the zested lemon to make a lemon glaze which I used on the scones once they were cooled. They came out fabulous. The lemon flavor was perfect for my taste. Definitely will be making these again. Oh btw....I also sifted the ingredients. I think it gives them more of a lift and tenderness.

  • mrs._white
    Sep 10, 2016

    super easy to make and they are very light, but they need something. I added a few tbsp. of fresh lemon juice to the mix, but it still needs something. The lemon flavor is just too subtle. Maybe next time I will try a lemon glaze on top, or add some poppy seeds.

  • ConnieBob
    Jul 26, 2015

    I've made these three times now in the last month. I used 1/3 cup sugar, added 1/4 c of lemon juice to the buttermilk and they came out amazing. I too added a lemony glaze. Family can't get enough of them.

  • hillsr
    Feb 3, 2015

    Light and tasty lemon scones. I made them lactose free and a little more lemony by using 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup lactose free milk instead of the buttermilk. Mixing the two of them made a milky buttermilk-like mixture. I used lactose free margarine instead of the butter. I also mixed one tablespoon of sugar together with two teaspoons of lemon rind and pressed this into the top of the scones before I baked them. Yummy!

  • JLAsMama
    Jan 6, 2015

    I've never made scones before, but decided to try it today. My family loves anything lemon, and these were really good...and so easy! I added lemon glaze as someone else suggested.

  • LeslieH
    May 31, 2014

    An okay recipe. We love lemon and wished that these had more lemon flavour. Would be better served with lemon curd.

  • mikibunny31
    May 19, 2014

    Made this with 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract and it came out fluffy and lightly sweet. I made a lemon glaze to put on top and it tasted even better

  • MomB96ofMany
    May 3, 2014

    Made this for book club (we read a Jane Austen book) and they were very well-received! It was very easy to make and the prep/cook time was right on the money. I had to substitute orange extract for the lemon zest (it was last-minute), but they were delicious. I served them with red raspberry preserves. Yum!