Lemon Blueberry Scones
on Apr 26, 2023
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These lemon blueberry scones go big on berries and citrus. The best part is that this is a simple drop scone recipe, so there is no fancy shaping required. They turn out with the perfect crumbly texture that you want from a batch of scones.
If you leave out the berries, you can also make Lemon Scones.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You can use fresh or frozen berries. My preference is frozen because they are easier to add into the dough, and it doesn’t matter if it’s berry season or not.
No shaping is necessary. These are drop scones. The more bumpy, cracked and imperfect they are, the better. There is no pressure to cut the dough into wedges or into rounds.
You can make the dough in advance, and it is freezable. There are multiple steps in this recipe where you can either refrigerate the dough and wait to bake it, or freeze it if you are saving them for another time. And you can freeze them unbaked or baked.
What is a Scone?
Scones are very similar to biscuits in terms of ingredients and the method of how you make them. Originally hailing from Scotland, scones are served for tea in Britain. (They’re good with a hot cup of coffee too). They have a nice crust on the outside and are fluffy in the middle. When you make them right, they turn out crumbly when you break one in half.
I wouldn’t exactly call scones sweet, but they are a touch sweeter than an American style biscuit that you could serve as a savory breakfast or dinner roll. Scones are best eaten like you would a breakfast pastry, and they are great for an afternoon snack too.
Best Blueberries for Scones
As mentioned, you can use fresh or frozen berries for these scones. My preference is to use frozen because they aren’t as soft when you are working them into the dough. If you can find them, I like wild blueberries because they are smaller than standard ones. Then they will be mixed very consistently throughout the scones.
This is what you need:
- Blueberries: As mentioned, you can use either fresh blueberries or frozen. Smaller wild blueberries will be more evenly distributed in the dough.
- Flour: You should use basic all-purpose flour. This will give your scones the a tender, layered.
- Butter: It is very important that your unsalted butter is chilled and firm. Unlike cookies where you cream the butter and sugar, with scones you cut or rub the butter in smaller pieces into the flour. This is why you need cold butter.
- Lemon zest: I zest 2 lemons for the dough, so the scones turn out very citrusy.
- Sugar: The scones are lightly sweetened with granulated sugar.
- Baking powder is the leavening agent that helps the scones rise.
- Salt: For sweet and savory recipes, salt brings out the overall flavor. You don’t need that much.
- Egg: You whisk one large egg with the rest of the wet ingredients before pouring them into the dry ingredients.
- Milk: You can use any type of milk from skim to reduced fat to even oat milk. Some scone recipes use heavy cream, but since I usually don’t have that in my fridge, I never do.
- Vanilla extract gives the scones a hint of vanilla flavor. It is subtle, but I like how it rounds out the lemon and blueberries.
- Coarse sugar is an easy way to finish the tops of the scones.
Optional Lemon Glaze
I prefer these scones simply decorated with coarse sugar (also known as sanding sugar), but you can use lemon juice to make a glaze that will add something sweet and lemony.
Just whisk 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. It should be a pourable consistency. You may need to add a little more juice or sugar to get it to the point that you can spoon on the glaze. The scones need to have fully cooled before you drizzle them with icing.
How To Make Lemon Blueberry Scones
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. That includes the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. You can use a fork or a pastry blender (also known as a pastry cutter) to push the cold cubed butter into the flour. What you want to end up with are pea-sized clumps or big coarse crumbs throughout the flour. Those pieces of butter mixed into the dough will release steam while they bake and give the scones their layered crumb.
3. Whisk together the wet ingredients, including the egg, milk and vanilla extract, in a separate bowl.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. You will end up with a very shaggy dough. Assuming your bowl is big enough, you don’t need to turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface to do this. It can all stay in the bowl.
5. Toss the blueberries in a little flour and add them into the dough. This will reduce the amount of staining from the berries on the dough.
6. Use your hands to press the dough together into a ball. You don’t want to overwork it or the scones will be tough, and the berries are more likely to stain the dough.
7. Scoop the dough onto the pans. I like using a cookie scoop to do this, but you can also with your hands. The balls should be a heaping 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup full of dough. Brush the scones with milk and sprinkle them with coarse sugar.
8. Bake the scones until they are light golden brown and cracked on the top. This will take about 18-20 minutes. Cool them on a wire rack.
You can eat the scones warm or at room temperature. Make sure to give them time to cool off or the berries will be very hot. Also, it will allow the outside to get a little crustier and have more texture.
Storage & Freezing
Scones are best eaten the day they are baked. That’s why I always freeze them unbaked. Portion out the dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper. Then freeze them. Once they are solid, you can put all the scone balls into the same container. This makes it so easy to bake them as you want to eat them. I have a scone every morning!
If you do go ahead and bake the entire batch, store them up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Bake them in a 300-degree F oven for a few minutes to get the outside crust back.
If you freeze baked scones. Thaw them in a 325-degree F oven for 12-14 minutes.
Recipe Tips for the Best Scones
The butter needs to be cold, or it will be impossible to properly incorporate it into the flour mixture. You should be able to see small clumps of flour-covered butter before you add the wet ingredients.
Don’t overwork the dough. That’s why I like to press together the dough pieces with my hands after I stir it and it’s looking shaggy. If you mix it too much, the scones won’t rise as high and they will be tough.
Frozen blueberries will be easier to mix into the dough. And they will still taste as good as if you used fresh berries.
You can make the dough up to 3 days in advance. Keep it all in the bowl and just cover it. Or portion out the dough and cover it in the fridge.
Take advantage of how you can freeze scone dough. Since freshly baked scones have the best flavor and texture, think how many you are going to eat at once before you bake all of them. I keep a bag of frozen portioned scone dough in my freezer at all times. Then I can have a baked scone even on the busiest morning.
Good scones should be crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. Overall they should be crumbly when you split them in half.
This helps the tops turn golden brown as they bake, and the coarse sugar will stick to them.
Position them on a rack in the middle of the oven for the most even baking.
More Scone Recipes
More Blueberry Recipes
Did you make these scones? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Lemon Blueberry Scones Recipe
- 3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 6 ounces 1-1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup milk plus more for brushing tops
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Coarse sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups all-purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and lemon zest.
- Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until it resembles pea-sized clumps. You can also rub the butter and flour together with your fingers.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Stir into the flour-butter mixture. The dough will turn into clumps.
- Before the dough is fully combined, toss the blueberries in 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl, and then add them to the dough, gently pressing it together.
- Drop the dough by 1/4 to 1/3-cup-full in mounds on the sheet pans spreading 3 inches apart. It is easy to do this with a cookie scoop.
- Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
- Cool the scones on a wire rack.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe originally published July 15, 2021. Updated: April 26, 2023.