Sour Lemon Scones

This recipe is from Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  Someone mentioned the cookbook on his/her blog and made a recipe from it.  Of course, I thought I bookmarked it, but didn’t, and now I don’t know whose blog it was.  Whatever recipe you made, it really got my attention!  WAS IT YOURS???

Nevertheless, this cookbook has lots of great treats in it!  There are some amazing recipes for cookies that I will be trying as well as the recipe for “Sweet and Salty Cake.”  It looks chocolaty delicious!  And a Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Cake also.

Most folks like the tangy taste of lemon and these scones definitely have it.  They are not sweet at all and that is what I like about them. 

Matt, my younger son, was sampling the scones when he commented, “They have a unique taste, but I’m not sure what it is.” I’m not sure either; if it is due to the ginger with the lemon, or the raw sugar on top, or the combination of all three. 

Here’s what Matt Lewis says about them:

“If you had to categorize our sour lemon scones, they would probably be filed under the heading ‘elegant.’  They are the kind of breakfast treat you would serve for a dressy brunch of special Sunday get-together.  The texture is light and the lemon flavor is strong and tangy without being overpowering.  For a special, serve these scones with a sweet-tart fig or berry jam.”

OK!  Now I have questions for you all:

  1. I sprinkled raw sugar on top of the scones before baking --- does it have a very distinct taste after baking?  It was hard to tell since it was embedded in the scones.

  1. Instead of grating lemons, I used McCormick’s lemon peel as I could not find a bottle of lemon zest in the market.  Is lemon peel stronger than lemon zest, are they interchangeable?  I should’ve used real lemons, right?

  1. Do lemon and ginger combine well?  I don’t recall ever having a problem with that duo.

These sour lemon scones were delicious, especially warm but the taste is so different; I just can’t figure out what it is…

Ready for baking

Sour Lemon Scones


4 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ginger
1½ (3 sticks) butter, cubed and cold
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk, divided
¼ cup grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons raw sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
Whisk until combined.

Add the butter.  Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the butter is pea-sized.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, ¾ cup of the buttermilk, and lemon zest.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then gently knead the dough with your hands until the dough starts to come together.
Move the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Use you hands to shape the dough into two discs (about 1½ inches in height.)  Do not overwork the dough.

Cut each disk into 6 wedges. 
Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet.
Brush each scone with the remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes (rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time) or until the scones are golden brown.

Transfer the scones to a cooling rack; they can be served slightly warm or completely cooled.

Store in airtight container.

It’s another great cookbook for treats!


  1. Those look delish! I am a lemon I am sure I would love these!

  2. The scones looks delightful! To your questions, no idea about the raw sugar, never used them before. I think the lemon peel is definitely stronger than the zest, and yes I think that using real lemons do make a difference. I think that lemon and ginger are a great pair. Thank you for sharing this nice recipe!

  3. These look wonderful! I love ginger and lemon together, that's why I make ginger lemonaide, yum! I would love one of your scones for beakfast!

  4. Nunca he probado los scones, pero tengo que arreglarlo, viendo lo ricos que están los tuyos.


  5. Pam...I LOVE scones and the combo of lemon and ginger is wonderful :)


  6. The scones look great. And yes, using real lemon zest is hugely different than using dried lemon peel.

  7. Great looking scones....I haven't had lemon ones before so it will be a new treat.Thanks for posting!

  8. You have gotten me really curious. I will have to try these soon. Ginger and lemon...hmmm...I think it'll work. It does sound really good.

  9. Hey Pam! I just noticed your cute little shelf. Very nice and homey :)

  10. Lemon and ginger--two of my most favorite flavors. I think fresh ginger has a bit of a lemony, flowery scent. I make arroz caldo and I use lots of ginger--then I add lemon pepper to my bowl--yummy. I can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Lemon and ginger are always an excellent combination, but I would recommend using fresh lemons for the flavor. Still, these sound delicious.

  12. mmm scones.... I could go for one right now!

  13. Yammy!
    Lemon and ginger is a fantastic mix Pam!

  14. Great recipe and great questions. They look really good, so I think you did it all perfectly well.

  15. Pam,
    Great looking scones. Ginger and lemon a absolutely a marriage of flavors. I would try it with fresh lemon and see if there is a difference in the taste. I have never used raw sugar so I can't help with that but I might try sanding sugar like the bakeries use.


  16. Clements Family, thanks! I bet you would!

    kitchen flavours, thanks! I agree with using real lemons for the flavor and will do that the next time.

    Lyndsey, I will have to try making more things with those flavors. Your lemonade sounds good!

    jose manuel, me sorprende. Espero que hacen los scones, son buenos.

    Gail @ Faithfulness Farm, great! Love all those flavors.

    Pam, thanks! I thought so and want to find the zest. It must have a milder, less bitter taste.

    Lynda, these definitely have lemon in them, good!

    Biren @ Roti n Rice, great! Let me know if you do try them! Thanks about the shelf, I couldn't resist it.

    Sheila, oh, interesting with the ginger. I don't use a lot of ginger and just wasn't sure. I bet your dish is really good!

    Lisa, thanks. I realized that after the fact and will try again.

    Kris, mmm mmm good!

    Zia Elle, thanks and have a good evening!

    Rita, thanks! They tasted good!

  17. Carol at Serendipity, thanks. Since everyone likes the ginger lemon combo, it must be the raw sugar that is so different when baked. I will be trying it again one of these days. Have a good evening!

  18. I am such a scone fan can't beleive I never thought of these since lemon is a fav thanks your a genius1

  19. WOW, these sure look good to me..I love anything that is lemon! :D

  20. These sound very interesting. I would like to try them just to see if I can figure out what it is about that makes them taste so unique. I think lemon juice probably adds a little better flavor but not much. I have lemon extract when I did not have lemons and thought the result was basically the same. I don't know about the lemon and ginger. They seem like a good pair.

  21. I love lemon and ginger combo! I also sprinkle raw sugar on my baked goods, no difference in taste but definitely texture. Would love to try this recipe, Pam. Great post.

  22. I think lemon scones sound pretty good! I've never tried them. They look awesome!

  23. First of all the scones look yummy!

    Maybe you can sprinkle bigger sugar crystals, not sure what is available there... and yes, real lemon juice is better but lemon zest is what really goes a long way in baking (after all the essential oils are in the skin! Some people use lemon essence for a stronger taste.

    Lemon and ginger? I use them to make teas and drinks, never mixed them in scones... did you use dried ginger powder or fresh grated ginger?


  24. Delicious recipe as always and you caught me! I am so glad that you made a comment b/c I hit post instead of save draft. We are leaving for Disney and I will be without internet so I am glad that I was able to get that off of my main page...thanks! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, I will be dining on scones with the disney princess and my little princess!

  25. I'm no expert on scones...I'm still lost on LEMON scones! I love lemon everything! I am familiar cooking with the zest of lemon - not so much the peel! These look and sound great nonetheless!

  26. I seldom make scones, sorry I can't give you some advise. Nevertheless your scones look so good.

  27. I love lemon...these at least look really good! I don't know all the answers to your questions, (someone may have answered this already too) but I do know that lemon peel is just dehydrated lemon zest and should be interchangeable, but i could be wrong. Also, I have never noticed that raw sugar on the outside of baked goods ever gave it an odd was more like an added sweet texture.

  28. I actually prefer my scones on the less sweet side, so I bet I would love these! And I'm sure the lemon adds some great brightness. I can imagine that these would be delightful for an afternoon tea. Thank you for sharing!

  29. I would think that lemon and ginger would be great! I want to try these now so I can taste one!

  30. My grandmother would go nuts for these. I'm always looking for new ways to delight her with lemons...her absolute favorite thing! =)p Thanks for a new recipe I'm sure she'll love.


Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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