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Greek Yogurt Scones with Lemon and Poppy Seeds: No Heavy Cream

Preview: These Greek Yogurt Scones with Lemon and Poppy Seeds are easy to freeze ahead and bake the morning you want to serve them.

Are you looking for a breakfast or brunch pastry that won’t require too many jumping jacks afterward? Lemon and Greek yogurt team up with poppy seeds to create a scone that hits the right combination of sweetness vs. tartness.


Ingredients and substitutions:

  • GREEK YOGURT: Look for unflavored Greek yogurt (aka yoghurt) or use homemade yogurt with the amount of fat content you prefer. Vanilla-flavored yogurt is another possibility, but you may want to reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.
  • FLOUR: Use bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour.
  • SUGAR: Granulated sugar is specified. You may substitute brown sugar 1:1, but the texture may be different.
  • BUTTER: Substitute margarine or shortening. Salted or unsalted butter is fine. Whatever you use, be sure it’s cold.
  • LEMON: Since this recipe calls for lemon zest, fresh lemons will take care of the zest and juice. You will lose the freshness factor by using dried zest or bottled juice. Substitute fresh oranges for a different taste.
  • POPPY SEEDS: Sesame seeds (especially black ones) are the best substitute. Flax seeds have a similar appearance but will result in a chewy texture because they absorb moisture. Not what we’re going for here.

How to shape Greek Yogurt Scone dough:

You don’t have to cut them as I did in the picture below, but it’s one way to do it. If you don’t want to ice them, serve with microwave lemon curd, softened butter, or your favorite jelly.

cutting and shaping scone dough.

Roll or pat the dough into a 5 x 8-inch rectangle and cut it into 12 pieces. See the recipe for baking instructions.

FAQ about Greek Yogurt Scones:

Can I make these scones ahead and freeze them?

YES! This scone dough is ideal for mixing and shaping ahead of time. It makes it easy to serve overnight house guests or throw together a quick breakfast before heading out.

What is the advantage of using Greek yogurt?

Adding Greek yogurt translates to higher protein and less fat than the sour cream or whipping cream often called for in a traditional scone.

Can I use regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt?

If all you have is regular yogurt, it’s best to strain it for a few minutes to remove some of the whey. This process will make the yogurt thicker. Otherwise, the scones will be too sticky.

How do I strain regular yogurt to use in a recipe calling for Greek yogurt?

Since you don’t need much, try using a coffee filter inside a small strainer. Measure out a third more yogurt than the recipe specifies. Pour yogurt into the filter-lined strainer set in the sink or over a small bowl. Let the yogurt drain for at least 30 minutes. Watch for a yellowish liquid called whey to start leaking out of the yogurt. Stop the straining process when the yogurt gets thick and has the consistency of Greek yogurt.

How long will scones stay fresh?

Scones are like donuts. Best eaten the day they are made, and even better while they’re still warm. A quick trip through the microwave or toasting them makes them a good snack later in the day.

More Recipes for Lemon Lovers

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Lemon Poppy Seed Scones with Greek Yogurt

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Yield: 12 scones

Greek Yogurt Scone Recipe with Lemon and Poppy Seeds

Greek Yogurt Scone Recipe with Lemon and Poppy Seeds

Greek yogurt takes the place of heavy cream for a shot of protein with less fat. You won't miss it.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (240 gr)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (37 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (18 gr)
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (12 gr)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (3 gr)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (3 gr)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (113 gr)
  • 2/3 cup unflavored Greek yogurt (190 gr)


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice (71 gr)
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (57 gr)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and mix 30-45 seconds until butter is in smallish, irregular pieces. Add Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Stir together by hand until the dough comes together in a ball.
  3. Dump out onto a piece of plastic wrap or floured towel and shape with your hands or a rolling pin into an 8 x 5-inch rectangle about 1-inch thick. The dough may be a little crumbly--gently squish it together with your hands. Cut in half the long way. Cut again crossways to make 6 pieces. Divide each square on the diagonal to make 12 small scones. Place onto a cookie sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes.


  1. While scones cool, stir the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice into the confectioner's sugar until smooth. Drizzle over scones.


I like to freeze these on a cookie sheet. Once hard, remove to a plastic bag. Pull out what you need and put directly into hot oven. Allow a few extra minutes baking time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


Wednesday 8th of April 2015

Hello Paula, Have just discovered your website - wonderful recipes. I will be crazy baking this week end for the family, and also your bacon wrapped chicken - thanks so much for sharing. Maria, London.


Saturday 7th of February 2015

...And you've just answered my "what the heck am I gonna do with all this Greek yogurt?!?!" question! THANK YOU!


Saturday 22nd of March 2014

These are delicious scones! The lemon flavor is just right. I did add a bit more sugar (1/3 cup) because my husband likes his scones sweet. Great recipe! Thank you.


Monday 14th of October 2013

Love your blog, Paula, I've been an avid reader for awhile now. The scones look delicious and I'd like to try them and I'm fairly certain I understand the freezing part, but just to be absolutely clear, you've frozen them before their baked and then baked them straight from frozen? (If it seems obvious to everyone else, forgive me, I get worried when something seems this brilliant and easy!)

Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.


Monday 14th of October 2013

Thanks, Pamela. I think you have the scones figured out. Once frozen, I remove the little triangles from the cookie sheet and throw them in a plastic bag and back into the freezer. When you are ready to eat, preheat your oven and put the frozen triangles on your cookie sheet and straight into the oven. No need to thaw. They will need a few minutes longer to bake.


Sunday 6th of October 2013

Want a super fun blog? Check out "Cooking With Mr. C." on Wordpress and on Facebook. It's a great blog just like yours. Connie R.

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