Sunday, January 30, 2022

Cream Tea Scones with Lemon Icing

Around here, snowy winter Sunday mornings are for baking. On these lazy days, it's inevitable that you'll find me whipping up one of a dozen recipes I make over and over again because they are so fast and easy to execute. I am a creature of habit, particularly where baking is concerned, and this is because I've just never felt I had the innate "touch" of a great baker, so familiarity comforts me. With that said, I sure do love tinkering with already excellent recipes to adapt them seasonally and more importantly, to my many cravings

King Arthur Baking's Perfect "Cream Tea Scones" 

Would anyone argue that a batch of scones, warm out of the oven, sliced open with a more than generous swipe of salted butter smeared inside, are one of life's great pleasures? The whole family loves them and because they require only one bowl to prep and ingredients you've already got in your pantry, they're an absolute no brainer. King Arthur Baking's Cream Tea Scones is a stellar recipe in the scone genre (there are also butter based scones as well). I've probably made these at least twice a year for 5 years now. They're simple, satisfying, special, and importantly, never dry. 

This morning, for whatever reason, something got into me and my persistent lemon cravings took over, causing me to want to put a little spin on our regular scones. With my favorite lemon brownies in mind, I went ahead and road-tested an ad libbed lemon iced version with half of the dough. The result I had hoped for, a sweet, tangy, slightly salty lemon icing on the same tender scones, only this time inflected with lemon zest, was as I'd hoped, and it definitely scratched my itch for a citrus. For the final flourish, I did not even consider leaving out the salted butter I usually spread inside upon serving - and in doing so, the perfect sweet, salty, zingy breakfast bite was born. Don't hesitate to try King Arthur Baking's fantastic original version, but I've jotted down my new Lemon Iced rendition below. I hope you enjoy it if you try.

Cream Tea Scones with Lemon Icing

Adapted from King Arthur Baking

Serves 12


3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

Zest of 1 Lemon


1 teaspoon real Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

1 1/3 to 1 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, plus more for brushing on Scones

For the Lemon Icing:

1/2 to 3/4 Cup Confectioner's Sugar 

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon Heavy Cream + more as needed

1 drop Yellow Food Color (optional)

Pinch of Salt (plus additional)


Preheat the oven to 425

Line a baking pan with parchment

Mix Dry Ingredients in a bowl with the Lemon Zest, whisking together until well incorporated.

Measure Heavy Cream into a measuring cup and add the rest of the wet ingredients to that cup. Stir.

Flour a clean surface. 

Slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing with a large fork until a cohesive dough forms.

The dough should be drier, not sticky or wet, but you can add a little extra cream as needed to help it come together. 

Cut the dough into halves and place them onto the floured surface. Pat them into round discs, about 3/4 inch high and 5 or more inches wide. 

Brush both discs with additional Heavy Cream and cut them into six even wedges a piece. Move the wedges onto the baking pan and parchment with ample space in between them.

Place the whole baking pan in the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Once fully chilled, place in the oven to bake 14 - 15 minutes until the edges are becoming a dark golden but not burnt color. 

Pull out the scones. As they cool a bit on a new surface, mix up the Lemon Icing ingredients in a small bowl. If you need a little extra liquid add a few more drops of Heavy Cream. Stir or whisk until very smooth. 

Once the scones have cooled for about 5 minutes, dip their tops in the icing. Optionally sprinkle with another pinch of salt and enjoy! 

Lemon glazed and ready to be plated 

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