August 9, 2019

Easy Raspberry Scones with Lemon-Vanilla Icing

This is my favorite raspberry scones recipe with sweet raspberries, a hint of vanilla, and a drizzle of lemon icing. They’re flavorful, crisp on the outside yet still tender and moist in the center, made with simple ingredients, and perfect for breakfast or brunch!

Raspberry Scones with a Lemon Vanilla Icing via forkknifeswoon.com

For a long time I thought of “scones” as a dirty word. A kind of sad, runner up to more delectable breakfast treats, like fruit-laden muffins or gooey cinnamon rolls or buttery coffee cakes. My experience with scones was all too often hard and dry and bland …akin to what I imagine Hagrid’s rock cakes must be like.

However, after lots of recipe testing, they’ve become one of my favorite pastries to make from scratch, and are now in my vocabulary as something much different:

Think a tender, biscuit-like center that’s soft and flaky, and studded with juicy raspberries. A barely crisp crust topped with the sweet crunch of raw sugar. And a quick drizzle of lemon-kissed vanilla icing that adds a welcome tartness to these sweet, buttery, flavorful – and now definitively indulgent – breakfast treats.

Fresh raspberries via forkknifeswoon.com

These raspberry scones are:

  • quick and simple
  • sweet, but not too sweet
  • packed with berry flavor
  • made with simple ingredients (in just one bowl!)
  • crisp and crumbly on the outside
  • tender and flaky in the center
  • just the right amount of buttery
  • topped with lemon icing
  • easily adaptable
  • massive! (this recipe makes six generously large scones)

… and basically the perfect homemade summer breakfast!

Raspberry Scones with a Lemon Vanilla Icing via forkknifeswoon.com

My version of scones are a sweetened up version of traditional baking powder biscuits, in this case rippled with swirls of raspberry. They’re light and flaky, with lots of fruit throughout, tons of buttery flavor, and rustic, craggly tops that dimple under a sweet glaze.

One thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t require specialty ingredients. All of these things are in my fridge and pantry just about all the time. No special trip to the store required for a buttermilk carton that I’ll only need a third of.

The ingredients you’ll need to make basic scones:

  1. Flour: Nothing fancy, just regular all-purpose flour. Be sure to spoon and level when you measure, or use a kitchen scale.
  2. Granulated sugar: my recipe calls for 1/3 cup sugar, so they aren’t overly sweet. The scones get much of their sweetness from peak-season fruit and the drizzle of icing on top. I also like to top each scone with a generous sprinkle of Turbinado or Demerara sugar right before baking for an extra sweet crunch and some sparkle.
  3. Baking powder: one big tablespoon will give the scones lots of lift. Always check your expiration date (leavening should be used within about 6 months).
  4. Salt: Don’t skip this step! I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt in most of my baking.
  5. Butter: Start with cold butter, which will expand as it bakes, adding lift and flaky layers to the dough.
  6. Whole Milk: many scone recipes call for heavy cream or buttermilk – but I love the flavor and texture in these scones just as much (and appreciate not having to make an extra run to the grocery store). Be sure your milk is cold before mixing!
  7. Vanilla: always use the good stuff, just a splash of pure vanilla extract will really boost the flavor.
Raspberry Scones with a Lemon Vanilla Icing via forkknifeswoon.com

At their core, scones are really easy to make. My recipe takes just one bowl and a whopping eight basic ingredients to make. But, there are some tricks and techniques that ensure you end up with scones that are light, tender, and delicious – no boring, hard-as-a-rock scones here!

Tips for making homemade scones:

  • Start with really cold butter, and work quickly as you cut it into the dry ingredients. Pockets of cold butter will expand in the heat of the hot oven, producing super flaky and delicious scones.
  • Leave some bigger pieces of butter scattered throughout the dough. Once the butter is worked in, your dough will be shaggy and sandy.
  • Don’t overmix. Too much mixing will overdevelop the gluten in the flour, producing a harder, tougher scone. We want the opposite, so once I add the milk, I stir the dough with a spatula just enough to combine, and then switch to using my hands to quickly knead the ingredients together and gently shape the dough into a disk. It’s okay if it seems too crumbly at first; it will all come together.
  • Before baking, brush the tops of the scones with milk, and sprinkle with coarse sugar for a crisp, sparkly crust.
  • When using delicate fruit like raspberries, frozen works best. Even with a gentle hand, I find that fresh raspberries get too smashed and sticky when mixing into the dough. Using frozen berries solves this problem, helps keep the dough cold, and will taste just as great when they come out of the oven.
  • If it’s an extra hot day, pop the scones in the fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before baking. This will ensure they’ll hold their shape without spreading in the oven. But remember, even a wonky scone is delicious!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors or extra mix-ins! Try adding chocolate chips, a handful of nuts, or swapping in your favorite seasonal fruit.

And don’t forget to add a glaze! I like to do this while the scones are still warm so it sinks delectably into all the little craggy bits.

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Raspberry Scones with a Lemon Vanilla Icing via forkknifeswoon.com

Easy Raspberry Scones

  • Author: Laura Bolton – Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Large Scones
  • Category: baking, breakfast, dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Description

This is my favorite scone recipe with sweet raspberries, a hint of vanilla, and a drizzle of lemon icing. They’re flavorful, crisp on the outside yet still tender and moist in the center, made with simple ingredients in just one bowl, and perfect for breakfast or brunch!


Ingredients

Raspberry Scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
12 Tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup raspberries¹
optional: coarse sanding sugar (Demerara, Turbinado etc.), for topping

Lemon Vanilla Icing:
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Instructions

Make the scones: Preheat the oven to 375℉. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients, until a shaggy, sandy mixture forms, with butter pieces about the size of large peas.

Drizzle the milk and vanilla over the crumbs, and stir with a spatula until mostly combined. When the crumbs are mostly moistened, switch to using your hands, and fold in the frozen berries. Work quickly, and knead, firmly but gently, until all of the flour is combined, and the dough holds together in a large mound.

Transfer to a lightly-floured work surface, and shape the dough into a flat, round disk, about 1-1/2 inches thick. It does not have to be perfect! Use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the dough into 6 wedges.

Transfer the scones to the prepared sheet pan, leaving space between them. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the scones are golden, gently puffed, and cooked through.

Make the icing: in a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add a splash or two of milk as needed.

While the scones are still warm, drizzle each with the icing, then place on a baking rack to set. Enjoy!


Notes

¹ For delicate fruit like raspberries, frozen works best. They’ll hold their shape and keep the dough cold, which ensures tender, flaky scones. I like to break the frozen whole raspberries into a few pieces before measuring to get more raspberry flavor throughout the dough.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Louise
    August 12, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    These look fabulous! I can’t wait to try them!
    And I love all the explanations you gave for why you do what you do with the recipe. Quite instructive!