Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

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Lemon Poppy Seed Scones | @naturallyella

Since the beginning of my focus on healthy eating (which is going on a decade-wow!), I've had a major shift in my views on the my definition of healthy (and I say 'my' because everyone's view is different, and that's okay). When I first started, I sought everything that was low-fat and no-fat, I counted calories like my life depended on it (you can read all about that here), and I found that when I wanted to bake, I was trying to make these treats as 'healthy' as a I could.

I eventually gave up on most of that because I learned that my body did better on the whole-fats in moderation and if I was going to eat a treat, it was going to be a treat (and not something I had healthified to the extent it tasted like crap and in the end, wasn't worth it). I was trying to justify keeping these treats in my life on a more regular basis when really it should have been about quality and not quantity. I would take one amazing croissant filled with all the butter every once in a while over croissants all the time that taste rather 'meh'.

This scone recipe is straight from my new cookbook that comes out in about a week (hooray!) While the book is a good chunk of traditional meal inspiration, I wanted to make sure to include items that were more of a treat (reason being there's an entire chapter on desserts- I don't mess around, I love my desserts). I stick by the everything in moderation. I worked on this scone recipe for so long because kind of like the croissant, if I'm going to eat a scone, it should be a darn good scone. The outside of these scones are crisp while the inside is still a bit moist (I hate soggy scones). This lemon version is still a bit tart but I find it's the perfect balance to a hot cup of coffee!


Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 8 scones 1x


  • 21⁄4 cups (270 g) whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1⁄2 cup (112 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
  • Icing
  • 1⁄2 cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ̊F (220 ̊C, or gas mark 7). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is in small, pea-size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, squeeze the dough a rectangle, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and 3" wide. Using a knife or bench scoop, cut into 8 squares or triangles.
  5. Place the scones 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream. Bake the scones until firm to the touch and golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  6. To make the icing: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl. Once the scones have cooled slightly, spread roughly 1 teaspoon of icing on each one.


Lemon Poppy Seed Scones- The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen | @naturallyella

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29 comments on “Lemon Poppy Seed Scones”

  1. So excited to see your new book Erin! I'm sure the entire thing looks as beautiful as these scones. I echo your thoughts on healthy eating, and how we nourish our body with real food, instead of focusing on the numbers. Hope you are doing well and the little one with you is calm 🙂

  2. I love your mindset. "Healthy" is such a loaded and complicated word. This scone recipe looks sounds incredible. I'm excited about your cookbook! I know it will be amazing!

  3. Yay, scones! These sound like the best treat to eat with a big mug of black tea -- or for breakfast. Or for breakfast with some black tea, actually. 🙂 Congrats on your imminent book release -- so exciting!

  4. I so agree with your approach to treats and moderation - the "healthy" treats are so often just not worth it. These scones look absolutely perfect and I'm so excited for your new book!

  5. The scones look amazing. I can't wait to try them. I agree. It's better to have one delicious treat than a quantity of treats that just don't taste good. These other treats don't satisfy you and you are still craving a "good" treat. Congrats on your new cookbook. I can't wait to buy it.

  6. PREACH! I'm all about moderation as well. It's so hard to count these calories, eat this, not that, and then feel the guilt when you find out that latte you ordered was 2% instead of non-fat milk. It's life! Enjoy it! I found that I lost weight when I was eating what I wanted, just in moderation. But I also think different things work for different people. I think this is a wonderful recipe - I too feel that soggy scones are a sin! This looks like a great recipe, I can't wait to try it! This is my first time at your blog, I'm happy I stopped by!

  7. I love lemon poppy seed muffins, but never thought to make lemon poppy seed scones. Brilliant!

  8. Also, congratulations on the new cookbook! So exciting!!!
    I believe in moderation as well. My blog post this morning mentioned my 90/10 philosophy (which sometimes ends up being 80/20). Eat well most of the time; splurge occasionally. These look like a healthy type of splurge -- my favorite kind! I'm thinking they may end up on my Mother's Day brunch menu!

    1. After reading the comments, I decided to try this recipe out (even though scones aren't usually my thing. One word: delish! thanks for sharing this one (my wife sends her thanks, too;)

  9. Your scones are going to be the rave review of board meeting this week!! Your philosophy is a perfect 'fit' to my way of baking!!Thanks!!

  10. These look delicious! I've tried a lemon poppy seed muffin recipe and used chia seeds instead. It worked perfect. I bet it would work with these as well.

  11. OMG...Looks so tasty and yummy....would give a try on weekend. Can't we add salted butter in this? Because I like Salted butter more than unsalted butter.


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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