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Quick & Easy Lemon Buttermilk Scones

These lemon buttermilk scones are light, flaky, delicious and ready in 15 minutes! You don’t even need an electric mixer.

Lemon Buttermilk Scones

I’m a huge fan of scones.

My recipe for Classic Buttermilk Scones was one of the very first recipes I shared here and it’s become one of the most popular. And for good reason – it’s so easy to make, it’s absolutely delightful and it’s ready in no time at all.

One day though, as is usual in the TUB household, I had extra lemons lying around.

So I experimented with my time-tested recipe and made a lemon version. And it turned out quite lovely too!

Change #1: lemon sugar

I didn’t change the recipe drastically (why fix what’s not broken, right?).  I just added lemon sugar by rubbing lemon zest and sugar together using my fingertips until our whole house smelled like lemon heaven.

Try it even if you don’t really need lemon sugar (though I’m sure we’ll find a use for it). It’s amazing.

Change #2: lemon glaze

Lemon Buttermilk Scones

Then I added a lemon glaze to make it even more lemony. I like my lemon buttermilk scones plain but if you’re looking for a touch of lemony sweetness, the glaze is for you.

Change #3: frozen grated butter

Instead of using cold and cubed butter, I froze my butter, grated it, then put it back in the freezer while I prepped everything else. It was a tip I saw on The Kitchn.

It’s genius (albeit a bit of work)! It results to flakier scones and it’s how I make even my classic scones now.

Change #4: rounds instead of triangles

Lemon Buttermilk Scones

I bought this cookie cutter from the baking supplies store which I have not used ever and for which Red constantly gives me the side-eye for (what can I say, it was cute and less than $5!). So I finally used it and made round scones.

You can shape your scones any which way you like, no side-eyes from me. Just keep them all the same shape so they bake evenly.

Result: lemon buttermilk scones nirvana

All these little changes resulted to a scone as lovely as the original.

It’s not overtly lemony and like my original scones recipe, not excessively sweet.

I love it freshly baked, slathered with butter (or clotted cream if I can get my hands on a jar), perfect for brunch.

Great for Easter!

Speaking of brunch. If Easter brunch is your thing, these lemon buttermilk scones would be perfect. Make them just before guests arrive.

Or you can make them the night before – just freeze in Ziploc bags, then reheat when you’re ready to serve. They won’t be as flaky but they will still be delicious.

Lemon Buttermilk Scones

Quick & Easy Lemon Buttermilk Scones

Author: Jolina
Elevate your brunch game with these light and flaky lemon buttermilk scones! Enjoy them freshly baked, slathered with butter or clotted cream.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine North American
Servings 16 scones
Calories 217 kcal


For the Scones:

For the Optional Lemon Glaze:


For the Scones:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, using your fingertips, rub lemon zest and sugar together until fully combined and fragrant.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, all of your lemon sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add the grated butter and cut with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture looks coarse (you should still see pieces of butter/flour "balls" about the size of chickpeas).
  • Make a well in the middle and add buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and lightly knead into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (see notes). Cut out using a 2 to 3-inch cookie cutter and place on your prepared baking pans. Space them out evenly, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. In the meantime, prepare your glaze.

For the Optional Lemon Glaze:

  • Whisk confectioner's sugar and lemon juice until your mixture becomes pasty. Add more sugar or juice to achieve desired consistency.
  • Drizzle on warm scones and serve.


  1. To make grating butter easier, put the butter in the freezer at least an hour before you plan to grate it. I use a cheese grater. Once you’ve grated all the butter, put it back in the freezer until ready to use. Of course, you can also opt to just use chilled and cubed butter.
  2. You also have the option to divide your dough into two 3/4 inch thick, 6-diameter rounds. Cut each round into 8 wedges.


Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 125mgPotassium: 114mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 291IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Afternoon Tea, Easy, No-Fail Recipe
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make lemon buttermilk scones? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Looking for more breakfast and brunch inspiration? Here are other breakfast and brunch ideas and bread and biscuit recipes

We also recently did a fabulous round-up of the Ultimate List of Breakfast Ideas. Check it out!

Rate the Recipe


Wednesday 28th of April 2021

I made these scones and they turned out really well. Nice and high with a bit of a crunchy base. For me it was easier to grate refrigerated butter and then place in the freezer. One thing about scone dough, it should be in the fridge or the oven, not spending time at room temp more than absolutely necessary. I’ve also heard recently about a moister texture if buttermilk is replaced with 35% cream. I might try that next time or maybe a 50/50 mix.


Thursday 29th of April 2021

Hi Karen, I've had cream scones and they're delicious. Thanks for the tips!


Monday 10th of June 2019

I am excited to make these for my friends’s upcoming baby shower. About how many sconces does this recipe yield?? Thanks!


Monday 10th of June 2019

Hi Katie! If you use a cookie cutter, it depends on how big your cookie cutter is but if you cut them into wedges, you should have 16 scones. Enjoy!


Wednesday 15th of May 2019

I made these and they were a hit with the fam! Can't believe how easy their to do. Will make again and again. Thanks for the recipe and all the tips.


Thursday 30th of May 2019

Awesome!! You're welcome Casey! It's one of my favourite things to bake too. I usually make a batch and store the extra in the freezer for scones anytime :)


Sunday 27th of January 2019

The best and easiest scones I've ever made. Grating the frozen butter is one of the secrets to light and flakey scones. Just the way I love them. I've made them at least 5 times now and always to rave reviews. Thank you!


Tuesday 29th of January 2019

You're most welcome Linda! So happy you like them :) The grated butter is awesome right??


Monday 1st of October 2018

These are delicious!

However, these are biscuits. Real scones are more dry, meant to hold up to a dollop of cream or jam with your tea. These are buttery and soft, just the way a tender biscuit should be. The lemon is perfect; personally, I’d wait to glaze until they’re cooled off, that way you retain that buttery, crunchy top.. Also, these need to bake for at least 20 minutes (at least here in southeastern PA) they looked anemic at the 12 minute mark.


Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Hi Annie! Thanks for the tips!