Lemon Cream Scones With Orange-Zest Icing

Some of our favorite holiday (or anytime!) bakes are British-style scones, or cream scones. These are notably different from the giant American coffeehouse-style scones you may see at your local cafe.

Cream scones are delicate and light, similar to a biscuit. Here is an easy technique for making these breakfast or tea-time favorites. The cream (rather than whole milk or buttermilk) makes the scones richer in flavor and keeps them tender. A food processor does a great job of cutting the butter into the flour but is not required. These cream scones go down wonderfully with our optional Orange-Zest icing (or even plain with a little bit of jam) .



2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 cup heavy cream


1) Heat oven to 425 degrees. (oven rack to middle position)

2) Place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, in large bowl or food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse 6-7 times.
3) If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps.
4) Stir in lemon zest. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry mix. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.
5) Stir in cream with rubber spatula or fork until dough forms, about 30 seconds or so.
6) Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Following illustrations below, cut scones into 8 wedges. Place wedges on parchment paper on baking sheet. (Baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
7) Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Optional) Orange-Zest, Powdered Sugar Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk
Zest from 1 orange.

1) Stir all ingredients together until icing forms
2) Drizzle over scones.


Never boil a vegetable again...