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Lemon Rosemary Scones Recipe

These Lemon Rosemary Scones are the perfect breakfast/tea treat—or dessert, for that matter. The scones are just barely sweet, perfectly tangy with lemon, and then there’s that hint of piney freshness offered by the rosemary.

If Rosemary were a real person, they would probably have taken out a restraining order on me already. I’d be that gal holding up the poster that reads, “Rosemary, you make my life complete!” with a whole bunch of ❤❤❤❤s smattered all over the sign.

I’d know exactly where Rosemary lives and would be the president of the ‘We Rosemary’ fan club. My crush on Rosemary is right up there with my past crushes on Bobby Sherman and Barry Gibb. 

I use rosemary in my salads, on my meats, in my appetizers, and in my cookies.

What readers are saying…

“I made these last night, and my husband loves them. He’s a fan of the lemon bars, so he enjoys desserts with lemon in them. I almost prefer them without the glaze.”

Lynne

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A easy and reliable recipe for light, tender and crumbly Lemon Rosemary Scones with a lemon glaze; perfect for breakfast, tea, snack or dessert.

So yeah, I have a thing for Rosemary. One of its wonderful qualities is that it really plays well with others—like, oh, say, lemon! Talk about a combination that is just all about ‘freshness,’ which is what I was after with these scones.

While scones are similar to biscuits, they should not be flakey like a biscuit but rather more crumbly. Their ‘on the dry-ish’ side texture makes them the perfect accompaniment with tea or coffee and a dollop of jam or cream.

In my book, these Lemon Rosemary Scones are perfect as they are light but crumbly and just slightly sweet…but not too sweet, which can be dangerous. I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat too many really sweet things before I start feeling ‘blah’…but the subtle sweetness of these makes eating too many an easy thing.

Tips for The Best Lemon Rosemary Scones

  • Choose the Right Flour: The type of flour you use matters. If you want lighter and softer scones, pastry flour is what you need.
  • Use Scoop and Level of Measuring Flour: described in detail below.
  • Cold Ingredients: This isn’t just about the butter. Your egg, cream, even your mixing bowl—keeping them all cold helps you get that divine texture.
  • Frozen & Grated Butter: As we chatted before, this is the secret weapon. Grate it, and then freeze it for maximum flaky, crumbly goodness.
  • Be Gentle: Overmixing is the enemy of tenderness. You want to handle the dough as little as possible.
  • Preheat the Oven: A hot oven sets the structure of the scones quickly, ensuring they rise well. Preheat and give it time to get to the right temp.
  • Don’t Grease the Sheet: A greased surface could encourage your scones to spread more than you’d like, messing with that ideal, slightly risen shape. Further, greasing can sometimes prevent the bottoms from getting that perfect, slight crunch and golden brown color.
  • Space Out: Give your scone dough wedges plenty of room on the baking sheet. They need space to spread and rise.
  • Brush the Tops: A little cream or egg wash on top will give your scones that appealing golden-brown finish.
  • Watch the Clock: Every oven has its own personality, so keep an eye on the baking time. Those crucial final minutes can be the difference between “just right” and “a touch too dry.”
  • A Cooling Rack is a Must: Once the scones are out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack. This prevents them from getting soggy, and nobody wants a soggy-bottomed scone.
  • Fresh is Best: Scones are best enjoyed immediately after baking. If you must store them, airtight containers are your friend.
A easy and reliable recipe for light, tender and crumbly Lemon Rosemary Scones with a lemon glaze; perfect for breakfast, tea, snack or dessert.

Scoop and Level Method of Measuring Flour

The “scoop and level” method is a common way to measure flour accurately when baking, which is essential for achieving the best results. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Scoop: Use a spoon to fluff up the flour within the container. Then, use a scooping tool, like a spoon or a scoop, to overfill your measuring cup.
  2. Level: Once you’ve filled your measuring cup, take the back of a knife (or any straight-edged utensil) and level off the flour. This means you’ll sweep across the top of the measuring cup to remove the excess flour so the flour is even with the top edges of the measuring cup.

Resist packing the flour into the cup or tapping the sides of the cup, as this will lead to more flour than your recipe intends, potentially making your baked goods too dry or heavy. The “scoop and level” method aims for a light filling of the measuring cup for a more accurate measurement. By using the “scoop and level” method, you can ensure that you’re using the correct amount of flour for your recipes, improving the outcome of your baked goods.

A easy and reliable recipe for light, tender and crumbly Lemon Rosemary Scones with a lemon glaze; perfect for breakfast, tea, snack or dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent my scones from spreading too much during baking?

Make sure the dough is properly chilled before baking, and handle the butter minimally so it remains cold. Avoid overmixing the dough to maintain its structure.

What should the dough consistency feel like before baking?

The dough should feel slightly sticky but not wet. If it’s too dry, the scones may become crumbly, and if it’s too wet, they may spread excessively during baking.

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Technically, yes, but whole wheat flour will yield denser scones and will likely overpower the light lemon taste. If you must, substitute only 50% and increase the liquid if needed.

Why did my scones turn out tough?

Overmixing the dough can lead to tough scones. Mix only until the ingredients are combined. Too much flour can also make them dense, so measure carefully. Using the Scoop and Level method will help.

Lemon Rosemary Scones

lynn
A lightly sweet, deliciously tangy scone with a hint of rosemary.
4.43 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Refrigerated Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Baking Recipes + Tips
Cuisine American
Servings 12 scones
Calories 321 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 1/2 cups pastry flour can substitute all-purpose Chilled is always good! Measure by scoop and level method. (Note 1)
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen butter grated (keep grated butter in freezer until ready to use)
  • 1 cup cream chilled
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from the zested lemon

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 TB lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and salt to bowl of food processor and combine
  • Add pieces of butter and pulse lightly until mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few larger pieces. I pulse on and off about 20 times.
  • Transfer dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and add zest and rosemary.
  • Make a small well in the middle of the mixture.
  • Add lemon juice and toss lightly with a fork and then add the cream, tossing lightly with a fork until just combined. Do not overmix. If it is too dry and won't hold together, add a wee bit more cream…one tablespoon at a time.
  • Transfer mixture to a flour-covered surface and, using your hands, flatten into a one-inch thick rectangle approximately 5 inches by 8 inches. Cut into triangles and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. These can also be frozen and kept in an airtight container until ready to bake at a later date.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (191℃)
  • Bake for 15 minutes, rotate and then another 15 -20 minutes until lightly browned
  • Allow to cool.
  • Prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients. If glaze is too stiff, add additional cream one tablespoon at a time until it is a consistency that can be drizzled.
  • Once scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over the scones. 

Notes

Note 1 Scoop and Level Method of Measuring Flour:
 
The “scoop and level” method is a common way to measure flour accurately when baking, which is essential for achieving the best results. Here’s how to do it:
 
  1. Scoop: Use a spoon to fluff up the flour within the container. Then, use a scooping tool, like a spoon or a scoop, to overfill your measuring cup.
  2. Level: Once you’ve filled your measuring cup, take the back of a knife (or any straight-edged utensil) and level off the flour. This means you’ll sweep across the top of the measuring cup to remove the excess flour so the flour is even with the top edges of the measuring cup.
Resist packing the flour into the cup or tapping the sides of the cup, as this will lead to more flour than your recipe intends, potentially making your baked goods too dry or heavy. The “scoop and level” method aims for a light filling of the measuring cup for a more accurate measurement. By using the “scoop and level” method, you can ensure that you’re using the correct amount of flour for your recipes, improving the outcome of your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 320mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13g
Keyword baking, lemon, recipe, rosemary, scones
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23 Comments

  1. This is my first time visiting your blog and so enjoyed this post. I love lemon and grew up eating rosemary in just about everything, the perks of having an Italian Grandmother. This recipe looks wonderful and would be perfect with te as I gave up coffee awhile back. So you had a crush on Barry Gibb well I pretty much decided at 12 I would marry him one day… LOL Enjoyed the way you shared this recipe you have a neat blog.

    1. Thanks for swinging by with your kind comments! And unfortunately, these scones are just about perfect with tea…I should know as I’ve just about polished off that batch! Rosemary and Lemon are just a flat out perfect pairing, like milk and cookies or apple and pie!

      Have a fantastic day.

      Hugs,

      Lynn

  2. Just saw your recipe for the Lemon Rosemary Scones…definitely make me think of spring, especially since we got up to several inches of heavy wet snow. Thanks…looking forward to making them/

    1. Ugh…SNOW!That’s not fun in May…I’m feeling a little sorry for you. BUT, your mouth will think it’s spring when you bite into these yummies! Enjoy.

      And hoping Mother Nature gets with the program!

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. I love scones! I feel they are a treat that isn’t too sweet. My favorite so far is orange cranberry, but I am definitely trying these. They look so good I can almost smell them! Mmmm…can’t wait, thank you!

    1. Hi Sherry, I do hope you enjoy these…they are definitely a ‘bright’ taste and oh so good with a cup of tea. Thanks so much for swinging by with your kind words and wishing you a lovely day!

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Hi Lynn, scones are my favorite to bake and this recipe looks amazing! Love your pics and presentation too! It made me have a serious craving lol. Pinned and printed!

  5. This flavor combination sounds amazing, I love lemon and rosemary separately but I don’t think I have ever had them together in a treat. Going to have to try this one, thanks for the recipe!

  6. Your scones look delicious I love the idea of the lemon. In England are scones are always round and we slice them in half so you have 2 rounds which you then pile high with jam and clotted cream all washed down with a cup of tea.

  7. I made these last night, and my husband loves them. He’s a fan of the lemon bars, so he enjoys desserts with lemon in them. I almost prefer them without the glaze.

    1. Good Morning Lynne,

      I am so happy to hear that! We really do like them, too. The little bit of lemon is refreshing after a meal. And I agree with you, they really don’t ‘need’ the glaze at all. I guess it just makes them a bit prettier.

      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. We thrive on comments like this.

      Hugs, Lynn

  8. Can you use heavy cream? I have leftover from another recipe and don’t want to waste it. Also I don’t have a food processor. Any suggestions on mixing that won’t take forever and give me bursitis? 🙂 Final question: I have a scone cast iron skillet can I “rest” the batter in that before cooking?

    1. HI Janice,

      You sure can use heavy cream!

      As far as making without a food processor, this is what I would do:

      In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt until well combined.
      Add zest and rosemary.
      Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or a fork, quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. The key is to do this step quickly to prevent the butter from melting.
      Add lemon juice and toss lightly with a fork and then add the cream, tossing lightly with a fork until just combined. Do not overmix. If it is too dry and won’t hold together, add a wee bit more cream…1 TB at a time.
      Then pick up the rest of the recipe.

      And I don’t see why you couldn’t use your cast iron scone skillet!

      Enjoy!

  9. Before I try this recipe, I need to clarify the amount of cream in the glaze. Do you use one-half cup of cream to one cup powdered sugar as stated for the glaze? That would seem to be much too thin.

    1. Hi Liz,

      It is a thin glaze, but it should be 1/4 cup of cream. Thanks for catching that and I’ve corrected the recipe.

      Enjoy!

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