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Lemon poppy sedd scones on a wooden board.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

These easy lemon poppy seed scones are flavored with lemon zest and poppy seeds, and topped with a sweet lemon glaze
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Servings8 scones


  • 1 Baking Tray
  • 1 Bench Scraper


Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (*Note 1: 1 tablespoon = zest of 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups plain flour (*Note 2: all-purpose, standard grade)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter (*Note 3: cold, cut into cubes)
  • tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ cup heavy cream (*Note 4: or milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (brush the tops of scones)

Sweet Lemon Glaze

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (*Note 5: fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (*Note 4: or milk)


  • Line a large baking sheet, baking tray, or plate with parchment paper or baking paper. 
  • Zest the lemon into the sugar in a medium bowl. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Set aside.
    ½ cup white granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • In a large mixing bowl. Whisk togetehr the flour, baking powders and salt.
    2 cups plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Toss the cold cubed butter into the flour. Rub the butter into the flour until there are only small pea-sized pieces left. You can use a pastry cutter for this step.
    5 tablespoons butter
  • Add the lemon-sugar mix, and poppy seeds to the flour. Stir through with a fork.
    1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Add the vanilla to the cream, pour over the flour and stir though with a fork until it seems that most of the flour is moist.
    ½ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turn the scone dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Bring the dough together to form a rectangle or disc. The dough will look a bit dry. Using a bench scraper fold the edges of the dough over into the middle. Continue until it is mostly cohesive. Then cut the dough in half, place one half on the other, and press down. Repeat one more time if needed. 
  • Press the dough into a circle about 7 inches across and 1 inch tall. Scoot the edges of the disc in if needed after pressing the dough down. Cut the dough into 8 wedges with the bench scraper or a sharp knife. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • While the scones are resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 200°/400°F. 
  • Brush the tops of the cold scones with 3-4 tablespoons of cream. Bake the scones for 25 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden brown. 
    3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • While the scones are cooling, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice, and cream to form a lemon glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the scones either while still slightly warm or wait until they have cooled completely before drizzling with the glaze. 
    ½ cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Alternatively, the glaze can be left off the scones, and they can be served with whipped cream and lemon curd. 

All temperatures stated are for conventional ovens. Decrease the temperature by 20°C/25°F or gas mark 1 for "fan" or air-fryers.



  1. One medium to large lemon will produce about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. 
  2. Plain flour can be substituted with self-raising or self-rising flour. Just skip the additional baking powder. 
  3. Butter must be cold for tender flaky scones. Cut the measured butter into cubes and pop back into the fridge during other preparations. 
  4. I have made these scones with milk, but I do think they taste better when made with heavy cream. If you want a softer, muffin x scone, increase the cream to 160g (⅔ cup). The dough will be very sticky and require quite a bit of flour on the surface when forming the disc. And won't really laminate. But are also super delicious. 
  5. I like to use the freshly squeezed juice from the lemon I zested. For max juice roll the lemon on the kitchen counter or board before cutting open. 

Storage and Freezing

Store the cool lemon poppy seed scones in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. They can be freshened up by popping them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before serving. 
Scones dough can be frozen (for up to 2 months) and baked from frozen but may need a couple more minutes to completely bake through. Or thaw in the fridge overnight and follow the baking instructions on the recipe card. 
Scones can also be frozen after being baked before topping with any glaze. Place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to defrost before warming up in the microwave (20-30 seconds) before serving. 


Serving: 1scone | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 315mg