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Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Lemon Poppy Seed Sones

This versatile scone recipe leaves lots of room for imagination! In Northern California where Meyer lemon, orange and grapefruit trees abound, we can substitute in any kind of citrus zest and juice that we may have growing outside. For other ways to liven up this pastry, try adding a pinch of spice, or a bit of fresh grated ginger to the dry mixture. For a bit less sweetness, just omit the last step - it’s perfect even without the glaze.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (save the lemon to juice, below)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, separated

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small dice and chilled

  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a food processor, pulse the measured flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt and 2 teaspoons of the poppy seeds. If you’d like to get even more creative with your scones, add 1/2 tsp of a ground aromatic spice like cardamom or anise seed in this step. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Add the 1 cup of heavy cream and pulse until evenly moistened.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, gather any crumbs and knead a couple of times until the dough just comes together. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle. Using a large knife, cut the dough into 8 scones. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet and brush with heavy cream. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about
25 minutes, until firm and lightly golden. Let the scones cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds. Brush the scones with the glaze and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Serve warm or save for later (if you can wait that long!), the scones can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


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