Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
Looking for that perfect crumbly and fruity scone recipe? This is it!
What did you do this weekend? I did a little birthday shopping and spent all Saturday morning in the kitchen. I had two scone recipe fails and instantly felt the need to add a little vodka to my orange juice. Frustrated and losing patience, I felt like a failure! But it’s only through our mistakes that we can learn.
I attempted the scones for the 3rd time and the stars aligned. I bit into a perfect crumbly, sweet, slightly crisp exterior with a smile beaming ear to ear. These scones, my friends, are absolute perfection!
I’ve never been a fan of scones until I tried a few at the Panera Bread test kitchen event last month. I’ve always found them to be a little too dry and, well, a little boring. Are you the same way? Boy was I proven wrong! If done right, scones can melt in your mouth. Tender interiors, crisp edges, flaky, buttery, and tender.
Call me a scone enthusiast now. Excuse me while I go bite into my third scone of the weekend.
Out of all the scones I made this weekend, this is my personal favorite out of the bunch; lemon is my weakness. They’re like a lemon poppy seed muffin with TONS more texture. Filled with juicy strawberries in every single bite. Before you begin, there are a couple scone MUSTS I have to share.
First, in my mess of a kitchen Saturday morning, I learned that I much prefer a scone made with frozen butter compared to just cold butter. Why? It’s imperative to use cold butter in this scone recipe because when the little crumbs of butter melt as the scone bakes, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the scones a little airy on the inside while remaining flaky and crisp on the outside. Cold butter isn’t good enough, it must be frozen. Simply place a stick of butter in the freezer for 30 minutes ahead of time.
You can shred the frozen butter with a grater or process a couple times in your food processor. I use 8 Tablespoons (1 stick; 115 grams) in my scone recipe. No more, no less.
Another important step to note? Don’t over mix the dough! After you the flour/butter mixture resembles coarse crumbs, it’s time to add your wet ingredients: egg, heavy cream, vanilla, strawberries. The cream adds all he moisture and lots of flavor. Don’t think about substituting it! Gently add these ingredients in and mix very gently together. When you overmix a dough it will over develop the gluten making it tough.
So the trick to a plate of light-textured scones? Avoid over-working the dough.
The sweet lemon glaze is optional, but highly recommended – especially if you’re a lemon lover like I am. It’s a simple combination of lemon juice, confectioners’ sugar, and cream. I went light on the glaze because I didn’t want the flavorful scone to get lost under it. Instead of the glaze, try a simple dollop of whipped cream.
These tender, fruity scones are best when they are still a bit warm from the oven. You know, when the strawberries are still firm and that sugary topping is still crunchy. When warm, the glaze melts into every crevice and seeps into the interior.
Look how tasty!
A cross between a buttery scone, a soft poppy seed muffin, and a refreshing glass of strawberry lemonade. Does it truly get any better?
Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 6 Tablespoons (80g) granulated sugar
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream plus an extra 2 Tablespoons for brushing
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (150g) chopped fresh or frozen strawberries (do not thaw if using frozen)
- optional: coarse sugar (I used Sugar In The Raw)
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest together. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater to grate it; a food processor also works for grating - here is the one I own and love). Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, egg, and vanilla extract together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Mix in the strawberries as best you can. The dough may turn a little pink; that's ok. Avoid overworking it too much.
- With floured hands, work the dough into a ball and transfer to a floured surface. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into 8 equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with remaining heavy cream, then sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Adds some nice crunch!)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before icing.
- Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and drizzle over scones before serving.
Make ahead tip: Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 1-2 extra days. Scones without icing freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
Did you make a recipe?
Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.