Lemon & Sugar Scones

Saturday 10 October 2020

Lemon & Sugar Scones


Lemon & Sugar Scones. These delicious scones comr from a recipe I adapted from one I found in an old issue of Delicious magazine.  From the moment I saw it, I knew it was something I wanted to bake. 

What you have here is a fairly ordinary buttermilk scone recipe. The difference is they have lemon soaked sugar cubes pushed into their middles, like a sweet belly button. This creates a delicious lemon flavoured gooey centre!

Lemon & Sugar Scones


I have shared this recipe in the past.  My photos were so appalling I thought I would like to redo them and redo the photos. Especially now when I have such cute dishes to use.

I got these from Scandanavian Pantry. And no, I was not given them. I fell in love with them and have been collecting them one or two at a time! I only have one or two of each. It would be a dream come true to have a full collection, but Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will my collection be!

Lemon & Sugar Scones


What you have here is a fairly simple scone recipe.  Scones are quite different than biscuits. We have had that discussion before. They use butter and North American Biscuits usually use shortening, lard or a combination of those and butter. 

In scones the fat is rubbed into the dough with your fingertips as opposed to being cut in with a pastry blender. You can also use a food processor to do this if you wish. The fat should be distributed through the flour in such a way as you have a fine sand texture as opposed to pebbles.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


The number one mistake that people make when they are making scones (or biscuits for that matter) is by handling the dough too much.  A light touch is the key to perfect results! 

Also people have a tendancy to twist cutters when they are cutting out scones/biscuits. You must never do that.  A sharp tap, straight up and down is what you need to do.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


When you twist a cutter, you seal the edges of the dough. This prevents them from rising as tall as they would have done had you not twisted.  Top tip here! 

So if you always measure precisely, always use a light hand, and cut without twisting you will always have beautiful results.  Also I try to get as many cuts as I can from the first patting/rolling out.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


Every time you have to gather in the scraps and repat, you increase the possibility of a tough scone. Also their appearance will not be as attractive as the first cuts.

They will still taste good however, so no worries on that score.  Just pat them out and then cut your rounds as closely together as possible. If you do that you should not have many repat and cuts to do.  Today I only had two.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


These scones have plenty of lemon flavour.  Part of that comes from the use of freshly grated lemon zest in the scone dough itself. 

I always use unwaxed lemons. I don't want to be eating wax and unwaxed lemons are readily available these days. If you don't have them you can use regular lemons. Just rinse them well under cold running water and dry them with a clean cloth.

Lemon & Sugar Scones

The wax is only  very thin coating and will come off easily.  Citrus fruits produce their own wax naturally, but after picking and washing this usually disappears.  A thin coating of wax is usually applied to help keep them fresh and presentable.

I always wash my lemons anyways. You will often see tiny black specks all over them.  This is bug dirt.   I don't want to be eating that either!

Lemon & Sugar Scones


When you go to soak and push the sugar cube into the centre of these do not soak the cubes for very long.  Only a few seconds will do. Just a quick in and then out.  They will dissolve completely if you leave them in the lemon juice too long! 

These scones are delicious all on their own. I am not going to kid you. I could eat them happily just as is, but if you split them and then fill them with some cream and some jam, you tip them over the top into the area of being totally gorgeously, addictively moreish!

Lemon & Sugar Scones 

There is much debate in this country about what you put on a scone first.  The cream or the jam. It can be a somewhat regional thing.  I would not be surprised to find out that there had been fueds about this very matter of discussion in the past.

I am from the jam first group.  My reasoning is simple. It is much easier to dollop some cream on top of jam than it is to spread jam on top of cream.

Lemon & Sugar Scones

For me it is as simple a decision as that and it makes perfect sense. You can do it however you wish.


I like strawberry jam. Some people think it must be raspberry. Just use whatever jam is your favourite to use. Lemon or orange curd would also be very nice here.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


Ideally clotted cream would be my preference, but I did not have any of that today.  Clotted Cream is a vry British thing and it is said that the best clotted cream comes from Cornwall and Devon because of their cows and pastureland.  It is very hard to replicate at home.

It is created by heating full-fat unprocessed milk indirectly by using a steam or water-bath and then leaving it to cool in shallow pans slowly.  The cream rises to the top and forms "clots" or "clouts." Conditions, temperatures, milk etc. have to be just right.

Lemon & Sugar Scones


Today I made do with softly whipped double cream, and Bonne Maman Strawberry preserves. It was deliciously perfect.

I think you might agree. Or at least I hope you will. I am sure if you bake these you will love them as much as we do!

Lemon & Sugar Scones

Lemon & Sugar Scones

Yield: Makes 15
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 15 Mintotal time: 25 Min
These are delicious! For soft sided scones place them closer together on the baking sheet. For crisp sided ones place them on the baking sheet with some space in between each.


  • 3 1/2 cups (400g) self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (60g) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/3 cups (310ml) buttermilk
  • the finely grated zest of two unwaxed lemons
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 15 sugar cubes
  • buttermilk to glaze
To serve:
  • Whipped or clotted cream
  • fruit jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 230*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Measure the flour into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Drop in the butter. Rub the butter in with your fingertip until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest. Add most of the buttermilk, stirring it in with a round bladed knife. Only add the remaining buttermilk to give you a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead gently 2 or 3 times. Pat or roll out to 1 inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds using a sharp round cutter and using a sharp tapping up and down motion. Do not twist the cutter and flour the cutter in between cuts. Place the scones onto the baking sheet as desired. Gather the trimmings and re-pat and cut until you have used up all the dough, and placing them on the baking sheet.
  3. Place the lemon juice into a bowl. Working with one sugar cube at a time dip them into the lemon juice, turning to coat, and then push them down into the centre of each scone. Once you have finished this, brush the scones with a bit more buttermilk.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are risen and golden brown. Serve warm or cold, on the day, with some cream and jam. Delicious!


Make Your Own Self Raising Flour: You can make your own self raising flour by adding 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt to every cup of plain flour.
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Lemon & Sugar Scones

These are incredibly moreish and so simple to make. Every time I make them I find myself wondering why I don't make them more often and then I remember . . . its because I can't eat just one! I am so, so, so naughty!

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  1. Boy, you are knocking it out of the park with recipes I like this week. Lemon scones sound just so tasty! The lemon sugar trick is interesting -- never would have thought of that and it has to be so good. I enjoy making scones and will have to add this to the list!

    1. Thanks Jeanie. These are truly amazing. Even the day after, cold and for breakfast. Just saying, lol xoxo

  2. Hi Marie, I rarely have buttermilk in the house. Can you freeze the leftover buttermilk? Using milk mixed with vinegar or lemon juice to sour it just doesn't work as well. I've just taken my pumpkin pie out of the oven. Even though I covered the edges with a silicon
    pie guard, the edges got a little dark. Never mind, it will still taste good. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine! I am like you. I don't think buttermilk substitutions work the same! I am sure your pie will be delicious even with gilded edges! You can absolutely freeze buttermilk! In an airtight container with headspace for expansion you can keep it frozen for about 3 months! Hope this helps! Love you. xoxo

  3. They look amazing like everything you make!

    1. Aww thanks Monique. That is incredibly kind of you to say. xo

  4. I made these for today's afternoon tea and they are delicious! I don't have buttermilk here but I used kefir which is similar and I've found works well as a substitute. I've become the Queen of substitutes since living here :)

    I loved the lemony tang, which made them a little more interesting than a normal scone. I also took your advice and served them with jam and whipped cream. I used blueberry jam, which went well with the lemon. And I'm very much in the school of jam first, topped with cream. Another English Kitchen success!

    1. Aren't they amazing Marie! I never thought of using kefir! My sister makes Kefit I think. Thanks for the suggestion! I will try it definitely. These are wonderful scones. Love the idea of the blueberry jam with the lemon flavour of the scones! Excellent! xoxo


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