Buttermilk Lavender Scones

Using my favorite scones recipe, you can make bakery-style lavender scones right at home. Dried culinary lavender adds a lovely aromatic flavor without tasting overpowering. I love adding buttermilk and fresh lemon zest for extra flavor, too. The scones are crumbly, yet moist and perfect for spring brunches, tea parties, bridal showers, & Mother’s Day. 

lavender scones

Let’s make Buttermilk Lavender Scones! But first, a briefing.

I never enjoyed floral flavors in baked goods– I mean, everything ends up tasting like hand soap or a candle. Am I alone here?!

Those were my thoughts until last year when, by the inspiration of Tessa who wrote Icing on the Cake, I tried Blackberry Lavender Cake. That day I ate my words and a fat piece of the most incredible cake to ever grace my tastebuds. Lavender, when used correctly, is DEEEEEELICIOUS.

Today I’m sharing a scone variation. Using my perfected scones recipe, I added fresh lemon zest and cooking lavender, swapped heavy cream for tangy buttermilk, and topped the scones with lemon lavender icing. These better-than-the-bakery scones are flaky and moist in the centers with crisp crumbly edges. The fresh spring flavors are completely divine and, thankfully, there’s not a trace of hand soapy flavor detected. 😉

buttermilk lavender scones

These Buttermilk Lavender Scones Are:

  • Filled with bright lemon zest
  • Lightly flavored with lavender
  • Moist & soft inside
  • Crumbly on the edges
  • Buttery & flaky
  • Not dry like most scones you’re used to

Use My Popular Scone Recipe

I have several scone recipes that begin with the same basic recipe. Have you ever tried my blueberry scones or chocolate chip scones? Those are two reader favorites. You only need 10 ingredients for today’s lavender scones.

  1. Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands as you shape the scones.
  2. Sugar: Use 1/2 cup of sugar for this scone dough.
  3. Baking Powder: Adds lift.
  4. Salt: Adds flavor.
  5. Lemon Zest: Adds more flavor.
  6. Dried Culinary Lavender: Make sure you’re using the correct dried culinary lavender. (More on this crucial ingredient below.) You won’t bite into coarse pieces of dried lavender, though– they’re broken down when you cut the butter into the dough.
  7. Butter: Besides flour, butter is the main ingredient in scones. It’s responsible for flakiness, flavor, crisp edges, and rise.
  8. Buttermilk: For the best tasting scones, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream or buttermilk. I usually use heavy cream, but I craved a slightly tangy flavor with the lavender, so I reached for buttermilk.
  9. Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
  10. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor.

lavender scones

Scones Video Tutorial

Here’s a 5 minute video demonstrating the process. I’m making blueberry scones in this video, but the process is the same. For these lavender scones, you’ll add lemon zest and lavender to the dry ingredients and swap heavy cream for buttermilk.

Frozen Grated Butter – The Secret in These Lavender Scones

Did you know that keeping scone dough as cold as possible prevents over-spreading? (Same thing with cookie dough!) When scones over-spread in the oven, they lose the flaky, moist, and deliciously crumbly texture. The easiest way to avoid disaster is to use cold ingredients like cold buttermilk, egg, and butter. Don’t waste your time and money by overlooking this!

However, frozen + grated butter is the secret to real scone success. Like we do when making pie crust, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients to create crumbs. The butter/flour crumbs melt as the lavender scones bake, releasing steam and creating air pockets. These pockets create a flaky center while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. Refrigerated butter might melt in the dough as you work with it, but frozen butter will hold out until the oven. And the finer the pieces of cold butter, the less the scones spread and the quicker the butter mixes into the dry ingredients.

Frozen butter shreds

dry ingredients for scones

buttermilk lavender scone dough

Best Lavender to Use for Lavender Scones

There’s a fine line between eating a deliciously flavored lavender treat and eating potpourri. And up until recently, I was totally new to cooking with lavender. You might be too, so let me help you determine the best lavender to use here. This multi-use dried culinary lavender is perfectly edible and a wonderful addition to food, drinks, essential oils, and more. It’s exactly what I use when I make lavender scones.


Baker’s Tip: When transferring the sticky shaped scones from your work surface to the lined baking sheet, use a thin spatula. This is where the scones can fall apart, but a thin spatula helps seamlessly transfer the dough around.

shaped scone dough

shaped buttermilk lavender scones dough

lemon and lavender scones

Lavender Scones Icing

Since the lavender flavor is so light in the scones themselves, using lavender again in the icing makes sense. The best way to make lavender icing is to infuse the liquid ingredient (milk) with plenty of lavender flavor. Bring milk to a simmer, then let it steep with 1 teaspoon of dried cooking lavender. Strain the lavender through a fine mesh strainer, then whisk the infused milk with a little lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. The icing is way easier than it sounds!

If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer (affiliate link to my favorite set), pick one up. You’ll use it a lot in your baking, especially when a recipe calls for a sifted ingredient.

buttermilk lavender scones

I know you’ll love these!

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lavender scones

Lavender Buttermilk Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 large or 16 small scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Using my favorite scones recipe, you can make bakery-style lavender scones right at home. They’re buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges and soft flaky centers. Read through the recipe before beginning. You can skip the chilling for 15 minutes prior to baking, but I highly recommend it to prevent the scones from over-spreading.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, plus 2 Tablespoons (30ml) for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for topping

Lemon Lavender Icing

  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, lavender, lemon zest, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. See video and photo above for a closer look at the texture. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup buttermilk, the egg, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
  3. To make triangle scones: Pour onto the counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1 more Tablespoon buttermilk. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges. For smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 wedges. To make 10-12 drop scones: Keep mixing dough in the bowl until it comes together. Drop scones, about 1/4 cup of dough each, 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush scones with remaining buttermilk and for extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
  5. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini or drop scones, use 2 baking sheets. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  8. Bake for 18-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Larger scones take closer to 25 minutes. (Tip: I like to start the icing while the scones cook so the milk has a chance to steep.) Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before icing.
  9. Make the icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and immediately add the lavender. Set aside to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, then discard the lavender. Cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Feel free to add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken, if desired. Drizzle over warm scones. Icing can be made 1-2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
  10. Leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush
  2. Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
  3. Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate shaped scones overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  5. Over-spreading: Start with very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula.
  6. Lemon: 1 medium lemon is plenty for the zest and juice you need for this recipe (zest for the dough and juice for the icing).
  7. Buttermilk: You can substitute heavy cream for buttermilk if desired. Acidic buttermilk isn’t needed in order for the scones to rise since we’re using baking powder. However if you’d like the tangy flavor you can make your own sour milk substitute. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. For the extra 2 Tablespoons needed for brushing on top of the scones, you can use regular milk or heavy cream. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. (The scones will spread more if using lower fat or nondairy milks.)

Keywords: scones, breakfast, lavender scones, lemon

87 Comments

  1. I used milk to make the icing and adding the lemon caused it to curdle. Perhaps I added it too early.

  2. SOOOO yummy – my family is IN LOVE with everything about these scones… I was even told that they are “better than a chocolate chip cookie” (which is a very big deal in my household!)

  3. My friends suggested I make lavender white chocolate scones! I was wondering how many chocolate chips you recommend I use and if there is anything else about the recipe I would have to adjust? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alaina, You can add up to 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) of white chocolate chips without making any other changes.

  4. Made fresh oat milk for the icing since I was out of milk and it turned out fantastic. Adding lemon juice really brings out the purple and completes the flavor.
    I don’t have central air in my home, so I had to keep putting the entire mixing bowl, grater and dish with butter to be grated in the freezer periodically as I was making the dough… but it was worth it! I’m a beginner baker, and it was such a fun challenge to make these.
    Made two times in one week

  5. OMG — heaven in my mouth, folks. We were out of buttermilk (I usually keep some for chicken brine), so I used a half cup of heavy cream instead. For the icing — and now we were out of heavy cream! — I used oat milk. Can I tell you that the icing was still incredible? I love the delicate lavender-lemon taste. And the scones were ridiculously good. I’ve never made such good scones. Truly a great recipe. Thank you, Sally!

  6. Hi! Can I use lemon extract if I don’t have lemon on hand? If so, how much? Thank you.

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely! I recommend anywhere between 1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon extract. (It’s pretty potent!)

      1. Hi thanks but is this amount for the icing or the dough? Thanks!

      2. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        1/2-1 teaspoon of lemon extract is for the dough. I recommend much less for the icing- start with 1/8-1/4 teaspoon, taste the icing, and adjust to your preferences!

  7. I can’t wait to try to recipe! 2 things I love most scones and lavender combined! O my!!! I have to ask, do you plan on making more recipes with lavendar included like lavender cookies or truffles? I’ve had some before and have been wondering how to make those deserts.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pauline, we don’t have many other recipes with lavender at this time, but you might enjoy our Blackberry Lavender Cake as well. We’d love to know if you give either a try!

  8. Jennifer Cimperman says:

    Will make these tomorrow but wanted to let you know that in Portland, Oregon we have lavender farms that grow culinary lavender and offer upick for $6 a bunch! My favorite farm is Mountainside Lavender: https://www.mountainsidelavender.com/

    1. Jennifer Cimperman says:

      The whole family loved these! I used “Melissa” and “royal velvet” varieties of culinary lavender and added a bit extra since they were from the 2019 harvest (they were closed to upick last year due to the pandemic). I left out the lemon zest but added the lemon juice to the frosting. Grating the frozen butter was a bit off a pain but it was SO worth it! They were so soft and fluffy on the inside! I was worried they would be overwhelming when the lavender smell came out of the oven but they were perfect! I only added 2 T of milk to the frosting recipe and I had the perfect amount of frosting at the perfect consistency. I will definitely make these again!!!

      1. Jennifer Cimperman says:

        I also used my hamburger press to shape them… it worked great!

      2. A tip for grating the frozen butter….I put the box grater into the freezer at the same time I put the butter in to freeze. That way the butter wasn’t warmed as I grated and it only became a “pain” at the very end as the butter was warmed from the heat of my hand. Keeping everything cold was as important as Sally said and well worth the delay and effort. LOVE these scones!!

  9. josephine duncan says:

    Can I use same receipe for blueberries etc instead of Lavendar.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Josephine, You can look at all of our scones recipes or see our Master Scone Recipe which makes most flavors. Happy baking!

  10. Hi Sally! Sadly, I am allergic to lavender. Would it be okay to just leave out the icing or could I substitute an ingredient in place of the lavender that’s in the icing? Thanks! Recipe looks great

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah! You can leave the lavender out or just use this Master Scones Recipe instead – lots of fun flavors to try listed in the blog post.

  11. can lavender paste be used in the icing?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested it but don’t see why not!

  12. Maggie Medjuck says:

    I HAVE never liked floral flavours, ever. However, the delicate, but definite, hint of lavender blending with the tartness of lemon in the icing was a joy to taste. Lemon and lavender! A new flavour favourite.
    I did, and will, make a few tweeks for my personal preferences. My oven runs hot, so will reduce the bake time to 16-17 minutes. I will reduce the sugar by half, for husband’s sake. The lavender infused heavy cream was so wonderful, that next time I will increase the cream- it reduced quite a lot. Lastly, I’ll be reducing the powdered sugar for the icing to 1 cup, as I ended up with way too much for my 8 delicious scones. I cannot wait to make these again- my husband was crazy about them!

  13. Yes, these worked out well for a first attempt! The lavender flavor is so lovely and delicate. A few notes based on my experience: 1)I blended up regular sugar with lavender to sprinkle on top, and in the icing. 2) I think the icing makes more than needed. I used only 1 cup icing sugar, and added extra lemon juice, and still had leftover. 3) I made 16 small scones on parchment lined sheets. Baked 18 minutes and they got quite dark on the bottom. I will try silicone mats and shorter baking time next time.
    Awesome spring recipe 🙂

  14. D'Orsay Hockenbury says:

    I made Blueberry Lemon Gluten Free Scones with Lemon Glaze and this is the first recipe that actually turned out incredible !!! My whole family loved them !!

  15. I made these for my daughter when she came for a visit. She LOVED them.

    Question regarding salt. Your recipes do not specify the type of Salt. Does this mean we are to use regular table salt.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Paul! Yes, we use table salt in our recipes unless otherwise noted.

  16. Your master scone recipe is ALWAYS my go-to recipe whenever I’m making scones! This is one I have not tried yet, as I have been waiting for mother’s day. My question is…can I use lavendar paste in place of the dried?
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  17. These scones melt in your mouth. The recipe is simple and easily adaptable.
    I recently also made this recipe with old cheddar and rosemary and they came out perfect!

  18. Hi! How far in advance can you make the scone dough? If we needed to prepare them several days earlier, would it be best to mix only the dry ingredients beforehand or could you just refrigerate the finished dough? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mira! You can make the scone dough one day ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge overnight. To make them several days in advance, we would freeze the scone dough. You can find instructions in the recipe notes. Enjoy!

  19. What spices of lavender is this culinary lavender? I want to grow my own.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kathy! We link to the exact lavender we used in the recipe ingredients. The description says this particular lavender is Lavandula angustifolia.

  20. These are amazing! I made a different lavender and lemon scone recipe a few months ago from another website, and everything about it seemed off – texture, flavor, appearance. Your recipe here was so easy and came out perfect on the first try. I can’t wait to try other variations. Thank you for sharing this!

  21. These were delicious! Great recipe. Made these with my granddaughter.

  22. Aloha,

    Can a Lavender Extract be substituted for the dry lavender? And if so, how much should be used?

    Mahalo,
    Kyle

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kyle, We haven’t tested this recipe with lavender extract so I can’t say for sure exactly how much to use. Let us know if you give it a try!

  23. Can I turn Oatmilk into Oat Buttermilk and use for the recipe, since I do not drink dairy milk?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sophie! Yes, that should work in a pinch. The scones may be slightly less fluffy.

      1. Thank you! They turned out amazing and were still fluffy 🙂

  24. Nikia Richmond says:

    I am about to make these for the 3rd time and am completely addicted! I LOVE all things lavender and I have just added these! The flavor is perfect! Not overwhelming and the glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness!

  25. These turned out great! (And I have tried a ton of scone recipes ). I added a cup of fresh blueberries dusted in cornstarch and it added a rustic touch that I loved. This will finally be my go to scone recipe.

  26. Do you think this would work with lavender from my garden? If so, would you recommend drying it out first?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Beth, We recommend culinary lavender instead of fresh to ensure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals. But if you know your own garden is chemical free you could certainly try drying yours. If you’re interested in drying your own – look up a quick tutorial for drying lavender at home– it’s easy!

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