I have a love/hate relationship with scones. On one hand, they’re great with coffee, tea, or even a glass of wine if you’ve got a late-night sweet tooth. On the other hand, they’re super dry and make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth in far too many cases. But when you’ve got a good scone—one that isn’t cloying and desert-level dry—you’ve got a damn good scone.
The perfect scone is truly not as hard to achieve as their reputation might make you think. They’re supposed to be soft and crumbly, with a light texture that’s not quite a muffin and not quite a bar, but somewhere in between. And, perhaps most importantly, they’re supposed to have perfectly adjusted flavor that isn’t overpowering, but rather is built to complement a hot beverage. Scones were literally invented to be enjoyed with tea, after all.
My grandma loved scones, along with Irish soda bread and every other notoriously dry baked good. I remember going over to her condo and greeting the box of scones on the counter with eagerness and anticipation, only to find that its contents were less than thrilling. But then I had a good scone. It was a cranberry-orange scone from a small Lansing cafe, and it changed my perspective on scones forever. I knew that if I ever made a scone recipe, it would have to mimic that one in flavor and in texture.
These scones use butter and Greek yogurt to create a sumptuous texture that won’t wick all the moisture out of your mouth. I highly recommend using full-fat yogurt here, but if the thought of buying full-fat yogurt solely for the purpose of this recipe is simply too annoying, you can use nonfat or 2% instead. I imagine that these would also be delicious with lemon instead of grapefruit, but I find that grapefruit just adds a complex flavor that’s pretty irreplaceable.
And don’t even get me started on the glaze. It’s so simple but good enough to eat with a spoon. I’m so down for any glazed baked good. Donuts, scones, muffins, cakes, literally any and all of them. Put them in my mouth. And if all this isn’t enough to convince you, I’ll also have you know that these take no time flat to throw together, and they’re bakery-level good. I recommend sharing with friends, family and coworkers, but you may not want to, and that’s okay. You have my full permission to pour a cup of coffee and enjoy these all by yourself.
Grapefruit Poppy Seed Scones
Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Zest of one large grapefruit
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 3/4 cup grapefruit juice, divided
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (or more if needed)
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and grapefruit zest. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized bits. Stir in 1/2 cup grapefruit juice and yogurt just until a dough forms, adding more yogurt if needed. The dough should be very thick and easy to roll into a ball, but not overly sticky.
Form the dough into a ball, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and press into an 8-inch round. Cut into eighths and place about an inch apart. Brush tops with milk and bake for 12–15 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
While the scones are baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and remaining 1/4 cup grapefruit juice until smooth.
Allow scones to cool completely before drizzling with grapefruit glaze.