Lemon Sage Scones

I’ll be honest – I feel like I’ve been holding out on y’all. I’ve actually had this recipe for a while but realized that I had never shared it! It’s such a good one.

This was inspired by Claire Saffitz’s Brown Butter Sage Sables from her book Dessert Person. Somehow I had never had the sage and lemon combination before I made that recipe and I absolutely fell in love. Sage is so winter-y to me, and so comforting! I love the combination of it with the bright lemon.

This recipe, while delicious and worth it, does take a bit of planning and time. Let’s walk through it:

  • Browned sage butter – the first step for the recipe is browning your butter and frying the sage in it. The butter takes on a delicious, earthy sage flavor while also getting some nuttiness from the browning. YUM. This then has to go in the fridge for about 30 minutes until it’s re-solidified so that it can create the traditional flakiness you find in scones.
  • Sage sugar topping – while the butter is cooling, you can get ahead by making the crunchy topping for the scones! Using your fingers, you’ll crumble the fried sage leaves into the turbinado sugar. Not only is it the perfect use for the fried sage, but it also brings a crunch to the scones that takes them over the top. You could probably use regular sugar here or leave the topping off completely, but I highly suggest the turbinado sugar for this
  • The usual suspects – from there it’s a traditional scone recipe, plus some lemon zest! I like to make these into large triangles, but you could shape them however makes you happy. If you make them smaller than the recipe be sure to shave a few minutes off of the cook time – no one wants a burnt scone!
  • Storage – these scones keep really well in the freezer! just wrap in plastic wrap and place in a ziptop bag for up to a couple of months. pop one into the microwave for about 30 seconds anytime a scone craving hits

That’s it! This one is great, and you can absolutely play with the flavors to make any scone you could possibly imagine! Let me know what you come up with 🙂

Lemon Sage Scones
makes 8 large scones


  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons (141 g) butter
  • 2-3 sprigs sage
  • 3 Tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (121 g) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon

How to do it

  1. make the browned sage butter: place the butter and sage leaves in a pan over medium heat. cook until the butter has browned – you’ll see it melt and then foam until finally you’ll start to see little brown specks and be able to smell a nutty aroma
  2. immediately remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. remove the sage leaves and set aside. place the butter in the fridge until it has re-solidified
  3. prep the oven and pan: preheat the oven to 400* and grease a sheet pan. set aside
  4. make the topping: in a small bowl, use your fingers (or a fork) to crumble the fried sage leaves into the turbinado sugar. set aside
  5. combine the dry ingredients: in a large bowl, mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined
  6. combine the wet ingredients: in a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest
  7. bring it all together: once the butter has completely re-solidified, cut it into small chunks and, using a pastry blender, 2 forks, or your fingers, rub it into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea sized pieces
  8. add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just to combine.
  9. shape: turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat and shape into a circle about 8 inches across. be careful not to overwork the dough
  10. top and bake: sprinkle the topping over the entire surface of the dough disk. pat down gently to ensure it stays in place. cut into 8 triangles and transfer them to the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. bake for 18-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out with no wet dough on it
  11. let cool and enjoy! store in an airtight container.

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