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Lemon-Raisin Scones

Course: Breakfast
Author: Marion Cunningham from Baking with Julia


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk maybe a little more
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup raisins, dried currants or dried cherries
  • 1/2 stick melted butter for brushing the tops of the scones
  • 1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender, until it resembles cornmeal. You actually want some of the flour to resemble cornmeal, once it is cut with the butter, but you also want to keep some of the butter in pea sized pieces, which will create the flakiness in your scones.
  • Add one cup of buttermilk and zest, gently stir it with a spoon, just to moisten the flour. It is ok if some of the flour is still powdery, but if it seems like there are big bunches of dry ingredients still in the bowl, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. Add the raisins, but don’t stir them in, they will get incorporated when you do the “kneading.”
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to do the gentle kneading. You are really just turning the dough over on itself, using a bench scraper is very handy to get this done without over working the dough. Turn the dough 12 times. Divide the dough in half.
  • As an experiment Charlie rolled one piece of the dough into a log that was about 1 1/2-inches wide. Then he cut the dough at an angle with the bench knife. to get his triangular scones. With the other piece of dough he rolled it into a 1/2-inch thick disc, and cut it into wedges using a pizza cutter.
  • Brush the top of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with sugar. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the scones for about 12 minutes or until golden and set. Allow to cool, then eat warm.


Refer to the above blog post to see pictures of my son, Charlie, doing some of the steps detailed in the recipe.