These strawberry scones are bursting with juicy strawberries and fresh lemon flavor. They’re buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges, poppy seeds, and soft flaky centers. Crunchy coarse sugar and lemon icing are the perfect finishing touches!
Do you like scones? Until recently, I was never a fan. I went 30 years passing them off in favor of muffins, quick breads, and other more exciting pastries. Truth is, scones can taste pretty lackluster and boring. Why waste your calories?!?!
But my opinion took a total 180 when I attended a cooking event in the Panera Bread test kitchen. We made deliciously moist yet crisp scones filled with juicy strawberries. The flavor, texture, and total process were all totally on point. If you’re not a fan of scones, you may just be eating the wrong ones! When done right, scones are pure pastry perfection.
These strawberry lemon poppy seed scones will turn you into a scone enthusiast. Promise.
Since my scone breakthrough, I have mastered chocolate chip scones, cinnamon scones, and blueberry scones. I use the same master scone recipe for each flavor, a careful formula promising the BEST flavor and texture. By the way, I wrote an entire post devoted to my favorite basic recipe for scones. Today we’re making a strawberry lemon variety!
Everything to Love About These Scones:
- Sweet crumbly edges
- Crunchy golden brown exterior
- Soft, moist, lemon-y centers
- Juicy strawberries
- Lots of lemon icing
Ingredients in Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
Start your grocery list!
- Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
- Sugar: I stick with around 1/2 cup of sugar for this scone dough. Feel free to slightly decrease, but keep in mind that the scone flavor and texture will slightly change.
- Baking Powder: Adds lift.
- Poppy Seeds: For fun. Duh. You can use them in lemon poppy seed bread, too.
- Salt, Lemon Zest, & Vanilla Extract: Add flavor.
- Cold Butter: Besides flour, cold butter is the main ingredient in these strawberry scones. It adds flavor, flakiness, crisp edges, and rise.
- Heavy Cream: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream. For a nondairy option, try using full-fat canned coconut milk. Avoid thinner liquids such as milk or almond milk– you’ll be headed down a one way street to dry, bland, and flat scones. What a difference 1 ingredient makes!
- Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
- Strawberries: Use chopped fresh or frozen strawberries. If using frozen, do not thaw.
Frozen Grated Butter
Frozen grated butter is key to scone success. As with pie crust, work cold butter into the dry ingredients. The cold butter coats the flour, which creates tons of flour coated butter crumbs. When the butter/flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, they release steam which creates all the delicious flakiness we love. The exterior becomes crumbly, crunchy, and crisp.
Why FROZEN butter? 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. Remember, you don’t want to over-work scone dough.
I recommend grating the frozen butter with a box grater.
How to Make Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
These strawberry lemon poppy seed scones are surprisingly quick and easy. First, mix the dry ingredients together. You need flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and salt. Second, cut cold butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a pastry cutter, 2 forks, or your hands. A food processor works too, but it often overworks the scone dough. To avoid overly dense scones, work the dough as little as possible.
Next, whisk the wet ingredients together. You need heavy cream, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. These are my go-to wet ingredients in scones. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the strawberries, then gently mix together. Form the dough into a disc on the counter, then cut into 8 wedges. Before baking, brush the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. These extras add a bakery-style crunch and beautiful golden sheen. Delicious!!
One of my tricks: To obtain a flaky center and a crumbly exterior, keep scone dough as cold as possible. I highly recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes prior to baking. You can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning.
After that, bake the scones until golden brown.
If you’re interested, I have a 5 minute video demonstrating the scone recipe. I’m making blueberry scones in this video, but the base recipe and process is exactly the same.
Enjoy the scones warm right out of the oven, but to elevate them even more—drizzle with lemon icing. (One should never turn down an excuse for icing!!) You need fresh lemon juice, a splash of heavy cream, and confectioners’ sugar. The lemon icing seeps down into the cracks and crevices and will eventually “set” on the scones, so stacking and storing is a breeze. This bright lemon glaze would be a fantastic alternative to the vanilla icing we use on strawberry bread.
Serve these as part of your Mother’s Day recipes, or any day where a special homemade breakfast treat is craved. I’m confident you’ll be a scone enthusiast after this one!
More Scone RecipesPrint
Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 large scones
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These strawberry scones are bursting with juicy strawberries, delicious lemon zing, and poppy seeds. 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.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream (plus 2 Tbsp for brushing)
- 1 large egg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup (170g) fresh or frozen chopped strawberries (do not thaw)
- for topping: coarse sugar
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk
- Whisk flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, poppy seeds, 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 above for a closer look at the texture. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
- Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, the egg, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the strawberries, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
- 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 1-2 more Tablespoons heavy cream. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges.
- Brush scones with remaining heavy cream and for extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
- Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
- Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. Drizzle over warm scones.
- Leftover iced or un-iced scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls | Box Grater | Pastry Cutter | Baking Sheet | Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper | Bench Scraper | Pastry Brush | Zester | Citrus Juicer
- 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.
- 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. When ready to serve, top with lemon icing.
- Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
- 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.
Keywords: scones, strawberry scones
Reader Comments & Reviews
First time I ever made scones, was worried because the dough seemed very wet after I mixed in the strawberries, but they only spread a little bit more then I thought they would. Everyone enjoyed them so we will be using your recipe for other flavors. Thank you Sally for such easy to follow and wonderful recipes.
Can I add oats?
And if so what are the measurements?
Hi April, we haven’t tried adding oats to this recipe. It will take a bit of tweaking the recipe since you’ll be adding a drying ingredient. If you decide to do any experimenting, let us know how it goes.
I want to apologize for seaming rude and wanting to alter your recipe. I just really love how easy your recipe is compared to others I have seen. The scone base recipe is a game changer! I have always like the wholesomeness and chew oats add to scones I’ve tried in the past. Your recipe worked out perfectly! I did decide to play around and try oats. I just substituted a half cup of the flour for quick rolled oats and gave them a quick blast through my processor, not sure why but felt right, lol. It all came together just like original recipe. Thanks again for inspiring me!
I decided to make lemon poppyseed scones and followed all with the exception of adding the strawberries and doubling the poppyseeds!
Delicious! Although I think my batch was a little bit too wet. They spread a little bit too much. But other than that, they were fabulous! Thanks for this great recipe.
Really good, even when made with all white whole wheat flour. I diced my strawberries in very small pieces. Next time I’ll make them larger, because the strawberry-ness was not as intense as I would have liked. I know this is going to make some awesome blueberry muffins too, and that will be next.
Excellent scone! Made them exactly per directions the first time minus icing and they were great. Next time did them as drop scones in a muffin tin and the recipe makes 12. Perfect and no counter clean up!
Very good recipe!
These scones were really good! I made them vegan by using a vegan butter stick, 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water for the egg, and full fat canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. I also reduced the amount of coconut milk by two tablespoons so the dough wouldn’t be too wet.
I love making scones, and Sally’s are delicious! When I make a scone recipe that spreads, or if I’m making scones for a brunch and regular sized scones are too big, I use this pan from King Arthur. Perfect little triangles with bumpy tops. You may have to experiment to determine how much dough to use in each compartment (it will depend on the recipe), but definitely worth it.
This recipe is way too wet. They spread all over the cookie sheet even with extra flour.
Hi Denise, it’s possible your strawberries are extra wet and the dough needs a bit more flour to soak the moisture up – if you ever give these another try, you can add an extra 2-4 Tbsp of flour.
I followed the recipe exactly – using the weight and volume measurements. The scones are delicious, but spread out on the baking sheet into one giant scone. Not sure what went wrong, but didn’t impact their flavour at least!
Hi Tess! Make sure all of your ingredients are very cold. You can even place your bowl of flour in the refrigerator if needed. 15 minutes is the minimum we recommend chilling the dough but you can chill it longer – up to overnight. 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. Thanks so much for giving these a try!
Could I leave out the strawberries to make them lemon-only poppy seed scones? Would you add any extra lemon juice or zest in that case? Thank you!
Hi Amanda! You can leave out the strawberries and make the recipe as-is for lemon scones. Enjoy!
Enjoyed making your recipe this am for a high tea I am having with friends I worked with 40 years ago. We each bring a baked item and it was my turn to host. This was my first time making scone. I did mini ones with just the lemon and poppy seed and was perfect. No extra flour used. Plan to serve warm iced scones with 4 different kinds of jam to choose from. Thank you for your well written recipe!
Susie from Sooke, BC.
Thank you for this kind review, Susan. We’re thrilled to hear the scones were a hit with you and your friends!
I need low to no sugar recipes as my body responds better but what about using honey? I -know- it changes baking temps and attitudes. 🙁 can you help?? Thank in advance. If you can’t reply individually understand.
Hi Lis, we haven’t tried using honey in this recipe, and unfortunately it’s not always an even swap because of the change in texture and added liquid. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for honey or other sugar substitutes. Let us know if you try anything you love!
thanks. you have the best scones recipes.
Question first: Are raspberries or blueberries good for these too?
Comment: For those with spreading scones, I recommend a metal scone pan. I use a bench knife to cut the scones and put them in the scone pan, then cover and freeze for an hour or so and put in a freezer safe baggie (double) and keep them in the freezer until I am ready to bake. I bake on a baking sheet frozen or defrost overnight, brushed with cream and sprinkled with sugar. It works great.
Hi Lee, blueberries or raspberries should work too. Just note that raspberries are very delicate and can let off quite a bit of liquid, so you may need to adjust the dry ingredients accordingly if you find the dough to be too wet. You might also enjoy these lemon blueberry scones, too.
These are absolutely delicious and require a lot of will power to not eat 3 at once. I’m running into a problem with the icing though and would love some help. After my scones are baked, they have a good crusty exterior but when I add the icing, it completely absorbs into the scone leaving me with a significantly softer (albeit tasty) outside. My icing isn’t nearly as opaque as the icing in her photos either, mine is more translucent. Would love any insight into how to correct!
Hi Ellie! Sounds like your icing simply could use more confectioners sugar. I would add 1 Tbs at a time until the icing reaches a thicker consistency. Enjoy!
Can I use buttermilk in place of heavy cream?
Hi Caitlin, you can definitely swap in buttermilk for the heavy cream. We do that often with scone recipes!
Have made these twice now. Not quite as lovely as yours but still quite tasty. I will keep making and master this yet!
Not sure what happened, but the strawberries made the dough so wet it was not salvageable. I used fresh berries. I tried adding more flour to the dough but after a half a cup (possibly more), it still wasn’t anything more than a goopy mess. Too bad really; it looked like they would be tasty.
I had the same problem ☹️ I tried a second batch and froze the chopped strawberries, and it helped a bit but the dough was still too wet and working it was making it worse. So I just tried them in the oven anyway and they definitely spread more but look alright.
Pretty good! One criticism is that the dough was a little dry so I had to add more cream than called for. Also I would recommend adding less confectioner sugar as the glaze was very thick and overly sweet. 3/4 cup of confectioner sugar would’ve been enough! Aside from that, good flavors.
We were so excited for this recipe but the scones came out super burnt on the bottom, flat, and not as tasty as I’m sure yours were. We’re really curious what might have gone wrong. The dough was pretty sticky and we didn’t have enough heavy whipping cream so we substituted about a 1/4 cup of 2% milk, and added a touch of lemon juice, but other than that didn’t deviate much from the recipe. We also had to take them out of the oven 5-7 minutes early because we smelled something off and they had burned. Do you know why might have caused them to not rise and burn so easily? We love making scones and were so sad that they didn’t turn out as well as the recipe describes!
Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for trying this scone recipe and I’m sorry they were a disappointment. Don’t give up– they are worth it. I’m happy to help troubleshoot. Milk is thinner than heavy cream, so I’m not surprised your dough was overly sticky and the scones were relatively flat. (The dough is sticky even with heavy cream, but will be thinner/stickier with a thinner liquid.) I recommend using all and only heavy cream in this dough. Adding 2-3 Tablespoons of flour will help a very sticky dough, too.
For the burning, it’s the coating of cream (or milk if that’s what you used) burning on the bottom–- perhaps a lighter brush of heavy cream the next time you make them? Or try reducing the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and baking for longer. Make sure you’re using a light colored metal baking sheet, too. That’s always helpful to help achieve more even baking.
I found using an insulated cooking sheet reduced the browning on the bottom. I also use a silicone baking sheet. Good luck.
I loved everything about these scones! The consistency and flavor both were superb! Yet, when it came to the rolling out step, the dough was INSANELY sticky! I had to add heaps upon heaps of flour to make it manageable enough to work with! I doubled the recipe, so that might be the reason why it was stickier than usual because of all the moist/wet strawberries. But these scones were still absolutely delicious!
Hi – I have made these delicious scones a few times and love them, but even using frozen grated butter and freezing the dough for 15 minutes after gently mixing and shaping it, when I bake them, they spread. Is there a way to keep this from happening? They spread a lot….not sure what I am doing wrong? Thank you – the flavor is great, I just want them to end up looking like your photo, which is perfect!
Hi! I’m glad to help. You’re doing all the right things to help prevent excess spreading, so keep that up– I also recommend an extra 2-4 Tbsp of flour. It’s possible those strawberries are extra wet and the dough needs a bit more flour to soak the moisture up.
Hey, I think I did this too. Only, I used strawberries I had intended as a topping and had put sugar on them ahead of time. I didn’t think their state would make a difference but it does. I had to add a lot more flour. I hope they bake okay. I’ll let you know if they do or not. I should have used simply fresh cut strawberries. I’m so excited to try these. Thank you for the recipe. I’ll rate it when they’re done. Just thought this might help someone if they used pre-sugared strawberries as in for strawberry shortcake.
Okay, they are out of the oven, cooled and frosted.
Just amazing. Adding the flour I had to to make up for my own error in using the strawberry shortcake strawberries (overnight with sugar on them) worked out fine. Next time I’ll know to not do that. They didn’t spread in the oven and came out great. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will definitely be making these again.
I love her recipes too. They do turn out so well, flavor wise. My scones spread a lot too. I think they are so tender is partly due to the fact that there is less flour in this recipe compared to other recipes. I bought silicone baking trays and let them do the shaping.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I have tried them and it’s perfect! I have been looking around for a good recipe that my kids would love and for years, everytime I try other recipes for the previous years I has been tough and doesn’t fit to our taste and to what I was looking for.thank you!