I'm obsessed with scones. I make them any chance that I get. I'm always looking for new flavor ideas, testing a new combination of ingredients and making all of my friends taste test my scone recipes. This lemon scone recipe was tested three times in our kitchen with both dark and white chocolate chips. The white chips were a clear favorite and our lemon white chocolate chip scone recipe was born.
In this lemon scone recipe, you'll find light and fluffy layers, perfectly crisp edges, tons of lemon flavor (in the scones and in the glaze on the top) and mini white chocolate chips that caramelize a little bit along the bottoms and edges of the scone. This lemon scone recipe is easy to make, delicious and perfect for your next Sunday morning get together in the backyard with friends.
How Do You Make Lemon Scones From Scratch?
What Is the Secret to Making Good Scones?
Scones can be tricky and it took me a long time to get them right. I used to undermine the dough. I was afraid of over mixing. I used to bake scones right away - and they often turned into flat puddles. I used to measure ingredients but not use a scale and ended up with varied results and inconsistency in my recipes. So here are my best tips and tricks for perfect scones every time you bake.
- Use Cold Ingredients: I can't emphasize this enough! You need cold butter, cold cream, cold eggs and cold vanilla. I even sometimes throw my flour combination into the freezer for a few minutes just to make sure everything is super cold. All of my scone recipes start with a stick of frozen butter that I grate into the dry ingredients.
- Don't Be Afraid to Mix the Dough: I've had good luck when I turn the dough onto a floured board when it has just about come together. Then I like to fold it over itself 4-5 times until all of the extra flour has been incorporated into the dough and the dough has an even consistency flecked with butter.
- Refrigerate or Freeze Your Dough Before Baking: Give your dough triangles a rest in the refrigerator or freezer for 20-30 minutes before baking.
Scones are made with some of the simplest ingredients in your kitchen. For this recipe you will use:
- Flour: I prefer to use cake flour for my scones as I find this creates a super tender and fluffy scone. If you don't have cake flour, no worries. All-purpose works great too!
- Sugar: For this recipe I use a basic granulated sugar
- Baking Powder: Makes the scones rise nicely
- Salt: Balances the flavors in the scone
- Lemon: This recipe uses both the zest and juice of one lemon. The zest and ½ of the juice go into the scones. The other ½ of the juice is the base for that tangy lemon glaze on top.
- Butter: This recipe uses ½ cup of butter and it has to be COLD. I like to freeze the butter for 30 minutes and then use my cheese grater to add the frozen butter to the dry ingredients.
- Heavy Cream: Milk works too but I find the heavy cream add a depth and richness to the scones that I really love.
- Egg: Pulls the scone together and helps to create that that perfect scone shape and structure.
- Vanilla Extract: Creates depth in the flavors of the scone. A perfect balance with the lemon and white chocolate chips.
- Mini White Chocolate Chips: These mini chips add tiny bits of sweetness throughout the scone. I love the Mini White Chocolate Chips from Barry Callebaut. If you can't find the mini chips, regular white chocolate chips or chunks will work just fine.
How to Make Scones
- Combine dry ingredients and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
- Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients.
3. Drizzle combined liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Add the while chocolate chips and mix gently to combine.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured boards and fold the dough over itself 3-4 times until the dough has a uniform texture with flecks of butter throughout.
5. Use a bench scraper to cut the circle into 8 wedges. Move dough to a quarter sheet pan and chill for 20-30 minutes in the freezer or refrigerator. Remember, cold dough = fluffy scones with crispy edges that keep their shape.
6. Place desired number of chilled scones onto a half sheet pan. Brush with heavy cream and bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
7. Finish baked scones by drizzling with the lemon glaze and then the melted white chocolate.
Storing and Freezing Scones
I find that scones are best when they are freshly baked. You get those dreamy crisp edges and tender middles. In may opinion, scones don't keep well so it's best to bake scones fresh on the day that you plan to enjoy them. Because of this, I prefer to keep unbaked dough in the freezer and bake scones when I want them.
To do this, you'll want to freeze the cut scones until they are completely solid and then transfer the frozen dough to a storage bag or container. When you are ready to bake the scones, you transfer the number of scones that you want to your baking sheet, brush with heavy cream and bake 400°. Be sure to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if the dough is frozen solid.
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Scones
For the Scones
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large lemon, zested
- ½ cup butter, frozen for 30 minutes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup mini white chocolate chips
For the Glaze
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups confectioner's sugar
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips, melted
For the Scones
- While the butter is freezing, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. You’ll zest the lemon right into the dry ingredients.
- In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together egg, heavy cream and vanilla. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
- Remove frozen butter from the freezer and use your cheese grater to grate the frozen butter directly into the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or fork to work the butter into the flour mixture. Pour the heavy cream and eggs over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add the mini white chocolate chips to the dough. Gently fold the chips into the dough. It's okay if they are not well combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold the dough over itself and then flatten it to incorporate the chips. Do this 4-5 times to be sure that the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough. You want the dough to come together and look uniform with flecks of butter throughout. Form the dough into a 8-10 inch circle and use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 triangles.
- Arrange on a quarter sheet pan and place scones into the freezer for 15-20 minutes before preheating the oven to 400°. After the 20 minutes, arrange the chilled scones on a parchment lined, half sheet pan. Brush the scones with heavy cream and bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the scones are baking, make the lemon glaze.
For the Lemon Glaze and White Chocolate Drizzle
- Juice the lemon that you originally zested. Combine this juice with the confectioner’s sugar and whisk well to combine. Glaze can be used right away or frozen and used when you bake the scones.
- Place mini white chocolate chips in a small microwave bowl. Heat the chips for 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is a good consistency for drizzling.
- Once the scones are finished baking, drizzle with the lemon glaze and then a drizzle of white chocolate.