Lemon Drop Scones

Lemon Drop Scones

The best part of baking is sharing.

Whether diving into a pan of brownies at home with friends or bringing a cake to the office, I never assume I’m going to devour an entire batch on my own.

Twice a year there is a parent breakfast for my son’s class at school. 

Back in the fall we baked these lemon drop scones and our plan was to bring them to the spring breakfast in March.

Lemon Drop Scones

But with all of us staying at home these days, the breakfast was cancelled like so many other events both big and small.

We still went ahead with baking scones even though we weren’t able to share them. I stashed the extras in the freezer.

And ever since we’ve been baking lemon drop scones on a weekly basis.

Lemon Drop Scones

I am a big fan of scones. Usually I make the dough, pat it into a cake pan and throw it in the fridge to let it chill and firm up before cutting triangles.

With drop scones, it’s a less formal process. There’s no waiting and cutting into shapes. 

The results are lumpy charming scones that all look a bit different.

How To Make Lemon Drop Scones

To make the dough for the scones, I start by stirring together all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

I stir in the zest of 2 lemons, but you use any citrus you want like lime, orange or even grapefruit.

With a fork, I cut cubes of butter into the dry ingredients until they resemble pea-sized lumps. You can also rub the butter and flour together with your fingers.

In a small bowl, I whisk together an egg with a 1/2 cup heavy cream and fold it into the flour-butter mixture.

At this point the dough really starts to get clumpy, which is good.

I drop the scones by the 1/4-cup-full onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and bake them in the oven.

Lemon Drop Scones

The lemon drop scones turn golden brown, and some even crack on their tops. 

They have just the crumble you want from a scone. 


Lemon Drop Scones

Lemon Drop Scones
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 scones 1x


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 large egg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.

Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until it resembles pea-sized lumps. You can also rub the butter and flour together with your fingers.

In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and egg. Stir into the flour-butter mixture. The dough will turn into clumps.

Drop the dough by the 1/4-cup-full in mounds on the sheet pans spreading 3 inches apart.

Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

Scones can be served warm or at room temperature.


Instead of lemon zest, you can use another kind of citrus including lime, orange or grapefruit.

Adapted from Bon Appetit October 2004

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