Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

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!

Strawberry lemon poppy seed scones

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.

Strawberry lemon poppy seed scones

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 scone recipe. 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

Strawberry lemon poppy seed scones

Ingredients in Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Start your grocery list!

  1. Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
  2. 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.
  3. Baking Powder: Adds lift.
  4. Poppy Seeds: For fun. Duh.
  5. Salt, Lemon Zest, & Vanilla Extract: Add flavor.
  6. Cold Butter: Besides flour, cold butter is the main ingredient in these strawberry scones. It adds flavor, flakiness, crisp edges, and rise.
  7. Heavy CreamFor 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!
  8. Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
  9. Strawberries: Use chopped fresh or frozen strawberries. If using frozen, do not thaw.

Frozen butter shreds

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.

Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Video Tutorial

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.

Strawberry scones on baking sheet

Strawberry scones with lemon icing

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.

Strawberry scones

I’m confident you’ll be a scone enthusiast after this one.

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Strawberry lemon poppy seed scones

Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 large scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated 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 (1 stick; 115g) 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

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  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. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  8. 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.
  9. Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. Drizzle over warm scones.
  10. Leftover iced or un-iced scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush, Citrus Zester
  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. When ready to serve, top with lemon icing.
  4. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate 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.

Keywords: scones, strawberry scones

If you're looking for the perfect scone, this is it! We LOVE this recipe for Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones!

190 Comments

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  1. Hi Sally,
    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!

    1. 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.

  2. Diana Nguyen says:

    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.

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