These light and fluffy earl grey scones are full of earl grey tea and get topped with a bright lemon glaze. Full of that lovely bergamot flavor, these pair perfectly with a London Fog, coffee, and also make an excellent afternoon snack.
Forget those overly dry, crumbly scones you may have had in the past, because these are about to knock those out of the park! These earl grey lemon scones are moist and fluffy, and are packed with a subtle earl grey flavor (also known as bergamot), which has some lemon undertones.
Because of that, they're topped with a quick lemon glaze, which pairs so nicely with the bergamot. When biting in, you get a pop of bright lemon flavor, followed by the crunch on the outside, and the soft buttery scone interior. Finishing each bite includes the subtle flavor of the earl grey tea, which also goes best with a hot cup of it!
They're incredibly easy to make, and can even be made ahead, frozen, and baked off when you want one!
- Unsalted butter. This will get frozen, grated, and frozen again prior to adding to the dough.
- Earl grey tea. Loose leaf tea or tea from tea bags are needed. Some will get steeped, some will get added straight to the dough.
- Dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.
- Wet ingredients. Sour cream, egg, vanilla.
- Icing. Powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla paste or extract.
What is the Secret to Making Good Scones?
Cold ingredients and good quality butter!
First, you want to use ingredients that are as cold as possible. When the heat hits the butter strewn throughout the dough, it releases steam which causes the dough to rise and become fluffy.
Second, using good quality, flavorful butter is best. Because there is a considerable amount of butter in scones, a good butter with some flavor will make for the most delicious earl grey scones.
How to Make Earl Grey Scones
STEP 1: Freeze the butter, then grate it on the large openings of a box grater. Add the grated butter back to the freezer.
STEP 2: Steep the earl grey tea in hot water, then wring out the tea bags (or strain if using loose leaf) and place the tea in the fridge to cool for a bit.
STEP 3: In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) plus one earl grey tea bag (about 1 tablespoon) and whisk.
Add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla to the tea and whisk to combine.
STEP 4: Add the frozen, grated butter to the dry ingredients and toss to coat, then add the wet ingredients and bring it together with a wooden spoon. Finish bringing it together with your hands.
STEP 5: Flour a clean work surface, then form the scone dough into a large circle about 7-8" in diameter. Cut the dough using a chefs knife of bench scraper into 8 wedges.
STEP 6: Transfer the wedges to a parchment lined baking sheet, keeping them in a circle, but spaced about ½" to 1" apart. Freeze the scones while the oven preheats to 400℉.
Hot tip! Keeping scones slightly close to each other while baking allows them to rise better than if they were completely separated on the pan.
STEP 7: Bake the scones for 16-18 minutes and allow them to cool on the pan.
How to Make Lemon Glaze
While the earl grey scones cool, make the lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract until a thick but pourable consistency forms.
If the glaze is too thick, add more powdered sugar. If the glaze is too thin, add more lemon juice (or water, milk, cream). Only add a bit at a time, though.
Once the scones are completely cool, top with a spoonful of glaze and a bit of lemon zest.
If you'd like to add a fun flavor and color combination, try these with my blueberry glaze recipe!
- Culinary lavender can be steeped and in milk, cream or water and used as the liquid for the glaze, rather than lemon.
- Vanilla. Use the insides of a vanilla bean or vanilla paste to create a straight vanilla icing.
- Fruit. Adding dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots to the dough can make a great addition to scones. Fresh blackberries or raspberries can also be chopped and mixed in. Try adding ½ cup of chopped fruit to the dough.
- Add a blueberry glaze to the tops for a fun color variation!
Storing and Freezing
Store the scones covered at room temperature for 2-3 days. After that, the scones will begin to dry out considerably.
To freeze the scones, make and cut the scones, then freeze for 30 minutes and transfer to a zip top bag or sealed container. Bake from frozen following the same recipe instructions.
FAQs & Tips
A London Fog is an earl grey tea with cream or milk, so this is another name for an earl grey scone! Rather than adding lemon to the glaze, you can keep it just as vanilla so it's more London Fog like.
Very cold ingredients, a leavening agent (baking powder in this recipe) and keeping them slightly close together while baking all assist in allowing scones to get a good rise.
While they do not require resting, it is good to rest and either refrigerate or freeze the scones so they can be as cold as possible prior to baking. The baking powder and butter will take care of the rest.
More Easy Breakfast Recipes
- Strawberry Almond Bostock Pastry with Croissant
- Baked Glazed Blueberry Donuts
- Bialy Bagels with Everything Seasoning
- Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish
Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Glaze
- ½ cup unsalted butter frozen and grated (113g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 earl grey tea bags 3 to steep, 1 for the dough
- ¼ cup boiling water 2oz
- ½ cup sour cream cold (114g)
- 1 large egg cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar 150g
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- Boil water, then measure out ½ cup (4oz) and add three tea bags and steep for 10 minutes, then wring out the tea bags to get all the flavor.
- Grate the frozen butter, then store it in the fridge while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and contents of 1 earl grey tea bag.
- In another bowl, whisk together the steeped tea, sour cream, egg and vanilla.
- Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and toss to combine, then add the wet ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.
- Switch to your hands to bring the dough together quickly into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and press the dough to a circle about 7-8" in diameter and about an inch high.
- Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the round into 8 slices, then transfer to a large parchment lined baking pan.
- Keep the wedges relatively close to each other, as it helps the scones rise.
- Place the pan and scones in the freezer and preheat the oven to 400℉.
- Once preheated, bake the scones for 16-18 minutes, then cool on the pan.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until a thick icing is formed.
- If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more lemon juice (or water).
- Add a spoonful of glaze to each scone, spreading it over the top.