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

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


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

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • GREEK YOGURT: Look for unflavored Greek yogurt (aka yoghurt) or use homemade yogurt with the 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 have a chewy texture because they absorb moisture. That is 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. If you don’t want to ice them, serve them with microwaved lemon curd, softened butter, or your favorite jelly.

cutting and shaping scone dough.Pin

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 prepare 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 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, use a coffee filter inside a small strainer. Measure out a third more yogurt than the recipe specifies. Pour yogurt into the filter-lined strainer 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. They are best eaten the day they are made and even better while still warm. A quick trip through the microwave or toasting them makes them a good snack later in the day.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at Hope to see you again soon! 


Greek Yogurt Scone Recipe with Lemon and Poppy Seeds

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

Rate this recipe here

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Quick Breads and Biscuits
Cuisine American
Servings 12 scones
Calories 194 kcal



  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda - 3 gr
  • ½ teaspoon salt - 3 gr
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter - (1 stick cut into 8 pieces) 113. gr
  • cup unflavored Greek yogurt - 190 gr


  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice - 71 gr
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar - 57 gr


  • Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
  • 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.
  • 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 six 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.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.


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


How to freeze unbaked scones:
Freeze prepared scones on a cookie sheet. Once hard, place scones in a plastic bag. When ready to bake, pull out what you need and put them directly into a hot oven. Allow a few extra minutes of baking time.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword Greek yogurt scones recipe, lemon poppy seeds scones, lemon scones
Did you try this recipe?If you loved it, don’t forget to leave a 5-star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 at the top of the recipe card. Thanks so much for taking the time to do that!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and it was a big hit, especially for those of us watching our waistlines! Delish!

  2. mariaphelan says:

    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.

  3. …And you’ve just answered my “what the heck am I gonna do with all this Greek yogurt?!?!” question! THANK YOU!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. I happy that your son and his family are settling in to their new home. The grandskids will be missed, as will your DIL’s help in the kitchen but hopefully they are not far away and you can get those requests for *who wants a kiss-kiss* seen to quickly 🙂
    Beautiful scones! Something I still have yet to make.

  8. I know exactly how you feel! It takes a while before you get used to not having those sweet little ones nearby- I know you miss them! Those scones are beautiful, and I love that they can be made ahead and frozen. 🙂

  9. I love scones, lemon and poppy seeds and these are especially yummy looking. I have frozen baked scones and popped them into the microwave for a few seconds to thaw/warm but this is a nice way to have them handy.

    I can imagine how you are missing those sweet little ones and the precious love they give each day. I can’t believe your grandson is four already!