A bright start to any morning— buttery scones scented with lemon zest and filled with poppy seeds, all topped with a lemon icing.
Being a baker on a diet is hard. Every night I crave chocolate chip cookies. Every morning I want waffles. I’ve been doing pretty good, though, despite the fact that this week I tested and perfected these lemon poppy seed scones.
Three batches of scones in four days meant extra laps in the pool every morning, but it’s all been worth it.
The third time really is the charm because this last batch was near perfection. These scones are rich and buttery, flaky, and have a hint of lemon and subtle crunch of poppy seeds. The lemon icing ties it all together and I’ve never been fonder of the lemon-poppy seed combination.
I may have to start jogging or lifting weights, or something, because I see a lot more of these scones in my future.
baking tip:Why biscuit and scone ingredients need to stay cold
A key factor in the rise of biscuits and scones, and an even bigger part of their texture, is the little bits of cold butter that melt and make steam. If the butter is too warm it will incorporate into the dry ingredients and those little pockets of butter and steam will be gone.
Make sure you start with cold butter and milk, and work the dough quickly so the butter doesn’t have a chance to warm up.
Lemon Poppyseed Scones
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) poppyseeds
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) heavy cream, cold
- 1 large egg
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (227 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or fork.
- Whisk together the heavy cream and egg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the cream mixture. Stir with a spoon until mixture mostly together into a ball. There may be some dry crumbs.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough to be about 1 inch tall and shape into a rectangle. Cut into triangles. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan and brush with additional heavy cream. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
- Bake until edges turn golden brown, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool completely.
- To make the icing, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled scones and let set 10 minutes before serving.