If you love lemon desserts, then you are going to want to make these Vegan Lemon Scones made with Candied Lemons right away. These lemon scones are soft, flaky, and moist. Plus, they are topped with homemade candied lemon slices!
*Recipe originally shared March 2018 and updated in November 2019*
Here's the thing about these scones- they definitely can be made without candied lemons. However, they taste SO much better with candied lemon syrup in the scones and candied lemons on top.
Before we jump into my tips for making the best vegan lemon scones, first let's chat about making perfect candied lemon slices!
How to make candied lemon slices
The truth is, these vegan lemon scones all started with a quest to make the perfect candied lemons. After a lot of experimentation, I am happy to say I perfected the candied lemon recipe that is sweet and not too bitter!
Are you ready for the big secret?
Use a peeler to remove the lemon rind before you boil the lemons! This step removes any bitter flavor. Plus, you can chop the peeled lemon rind up and use it as the zest in the scope recipe!
Making candied lemons to decorate these scones is easier than you think and I've included a really in-depth recipe for you below. To go over the steps quickly, peel the lemons to remove the very bitter outer layer. Then, boil the lemons in water for exactly 1 minute and immediately put them in a cold ice bath.
After that, cook the lemons in a shallow pan filled with water and sugar for about 30 minutes until the lemon pith (the white part) is translucent and soft. Finally, roll the candied lemons in more sugar and let them dry for 12-24 hours before eating!
Why Do We Boil the Lemons and Put Them In an Ice Bath?
This process is called blanching and it helps to soften the lemons while also making sure they keep their bright yellow color!
How Long Do I Dry Candied Lemons Before Eating?
I recommend letting the lemons dry for 12-14 hours so they are not too sticky. I place my candied lemons on parchment paper and immediately add them to the fridge the day before I want to make these lemon scones.
Please note: Plan to make the candied lemons 24 hours before making your scones as they need that time to air dry. Once dried, they are extra tasty after being rolled in additional sugar to give them a good crunch. If you don't have time to make candied lemons, you can replace the candied lemon syrup with equal parts of simple syrup (with lemon zest added in) or even with honey/agave.
Using leftover syrup for scones
Here's the thing about making candied lemons: After you make them, you have a decent amount of leftover candied lemon syrup. It's super thick, super delicious, and PERFECT as a sweetener in these scones. Reducing food waste AND yummy lemon scones? Win!
I made this scone recipe almost 2 years ago and have learned so much about making the perfect flaky and moist vegan scone since then.
Below are some tips specific to making these the absolute best vegan scones you've ever had!
Tips for vegan lemon scones
Now that you've made a dreamy candied lemon syrup and candied lemons, it's time to dive into the tips and tricks to make lemon scones.
Make scones with grated coconut oil
Freeze your coconut oil and grate it into the dough for the same effect as cold butter with a healthy twist. I'm not going to lie, grating the coconut oil into the dough is a forearm workout, but it led to the most perfect FLAKY scones that were MOIST and not dry at all.
Can I replace Coconut Oil with Vegan Butter?
Yes! It should be a 1:1 substitution, however, this really depends on the brand of vegan butter. Miyokos or Flora vegan butter are my go-to's for scones. If you really don't like the taste of coconut oil, choose refined coconut oil which has virtually no coconut taste.
Use LOTS of lemon zest
These Scones Get Most of their lemon flavor from the lemon zest in the dough and the candied lemon syrup. For that reason, definitely don't skimp on the lemon zest. I promise you are adding enough sugar so the scones won't be bitter!
Use cold ingredients
Make sure all of your ingredients are cold when mixed in (like the frozen coconut oil and cold coconut milk). This makes it so the coconut oil won't melt when you are mixing. To help the coconut stay in chunks, you should also use a pastry cutter and NOT your hands for the best scones.
What can I replace the coconut milk with?
Coconut milk can be replaced 1:1 with any nut milk. I like coconut milk as it gives a creamier scone, but the taste can come through so if you hate coconut milk- almond milk or oat milk would also work great!
Refreeze scones before cutting & baking
After you have shaped the scones into a large circle on parchment paper, place the scones into the freezer for 10-15 minutes while your oven preheats. This helps the coconut oil re-solidify before baking and ensures you will get those air bubbles to form so you can make crumbly, light, and moist scones.
When you're ready to bake your scones, just remove the scone dough from the freezer and cut it into 8 even slices! Finally, bake, top with a vegan lemon glaze and candied lemon slices, and take a bit huge bite of these delicious scones.
I hope you enjoy these wonderful Vegan Lemon Scones with candied lemons!!
More Vegan Lemon Dessert Recipes You Will Love:
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Vegan Lemon Scones
Candied Lemons & Lemon Infused Syrup
- 1 large lemon ( or 2 small)
- 1 cup sugar *plus more for rolling dried lemons in
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut oil frozen/chilled
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2.5 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest use leftover zest from candied lemons
- ½ cup organic sugar
- ½ cup coconut milk sub 1:1 with any plant-based milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 Tablespoons lemon infused syrup or an additional 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon lemon infused syrup or 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup powdered sugar more for a thicker glaze
- ½ Tablespoon coconut milk
- Begin by peeling & finely chopping the outer layer of your lemon or zesting the entire lemon. Save the chopped peels/zest as it will be used in the scones later. Once the rind is removed, cut into thin ½ inch slices, discarding the lemon ends.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, create an ice bath (equal parts ice and cold water in a bowl) and set aside. Once the water is boiling, add in your lemon slices to boil for 1 minutes, then transfer immediately to the ice bath. You don't want to actually "cook" the lemons, but this will blanch them and create a more pleasant lemon taste.
- In a separate flat pan combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and bring to a simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. Next, add in the lemons and simmer for about 30 minutes, flipping occasionally until translucent. Once the lemons are done cooking, add them to a drying rack or a sheet of parchment paper to dry for 12-24 hours.
- Scoop out the leftover lemon infused syrup and set aside for later to make the lemon glaze.
Lemon Infused Scones
- Begin by placing the coconut oil into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest together. Take your frozen coconut oil out of the fridge and grate it into the dry mixture to combine (large chunks also are okay). Once grated into the bowl, used a pastry cutter or similar tool to "cut" the coconut oil into the dough.
- In a separate bowl combine the coconut milk, lemon infused syrup made from the candied lemons, and vanilla extract/paste. Next, add this mixture into the dry mixture using the pastry cutter or a fork and mix until a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too "wet", add 1-2 Tbsp more flour, if the dough is too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp more coconut milk.
- Once combined, place the mixture onto a flat baking tray and form into a flat circle. Place into the freezer for 10-15 minutes and preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the tray from the fridge and cut into 8 even triangles. Separate the triangles onto the baking sheet. Bake for 14-18 minutes until the scones are cooked in the center and beginning to brown on top.
- Remove the scones from the oven and let cool. While the scones are cooling, make the lemon glaze by mixing 1 Tbsp of the candied lemon syrup (or lemon juice), powdered sugar, and coconut milk together. Whisk until a thin glaze forms. Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker glaze and more coconut milk if you want a thinner glaze.
- Pour the glaze onto the scones and top with candied lemons!