Recipes Breads Quick Breads Muffins and Biscuit Scones with Raisins and Lemon Zest

Scones with Raisins and Lemon Zest

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 6

These crumbly scones are easier to make than they look, which means you can get them into the oven and still have plenty of time to enjoy your morning. For the best results, mix the dough with a light touch and bake it as soon as it is shaped. Serve fresh out of the oven, with butter and berry preserves.


For the dough:

  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) raisins or dried currants
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream

For the topping:

  • 1 Tbs. Demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. whole milk or heavy cream


Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.

To mix by hand, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it is broken down into small pieces, the largest as big as a pea. Stir in the raisins. Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

To mix by food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 7 or 8 times, just until it is broken down into unevenly sized pieces, the largest as big as a pea. Pour in the cream and pulse just until moistened. Scatter the raisins over the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press gently until the dough clings together in a ball. Pat out into a round about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm) in diameter. Cut the round into 6 wedges, or use a 3-inch (7.5-cm) biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the Demerara sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake the scones until they are golden brown, 13 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes 6 scones.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Two in the Kitchen, by Christie Dufault and Jordan Mackay (Weldon Owen, 2012)