Ginger Scones

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

If a scone is tender on the inside, and not at all hard or dried out, does it still qualify as a scone? I hope so, because that’s exactly what is happening with these ginger scones.

My brother’s girlfriend Shelley brought a batch by the other day and I couldn’t stop eating them. She had fallen in love with ginger scones at a local bakery and balked at paying $5 a piece for them, so came up with her own terrific recipe.

These scones are dotted with sweet bits of candied ginger, and there is some lemon zest for a little lemony kick as well. I’ve made only the slightest adjustments to Shelley’s recipe. She uses a combination of 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all purpose, where I found I liked a version with just all purpose flour better.

Feel free to swap out as much as two thirds of the flour with whole wheat if you prefer using whole wheat flour. (If you do so, you may need to add a little more buttermilk).

Ginger Scones Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 scones.

As with any baking recipe that relies to some degree on the leavening power of baking powder, make sure you are using relatively fresh baking powder. Baking powder that is older than six months tends to be flat. So, mark your can with the date you bought it, and then replenish when it is over 6 months old.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour (400 g)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (160 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup candied ginger (chopped into 1/4-inch pieces or smaller) (3 1/2 ounces or 110 g)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk* (200 ml)
  • 10 Tbsp (5 ounces, 140 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

* If you don't have buttermilk you can substitute with a Tbsp of lemon juice and 3/4 cup minus one tablespoon of regular milk.


1 Preheat oven to 400°F (or 200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 In a large bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the candied ginger, lemon zest, and fresh ginger until evenly mixed.

3 Create a well in the center of the flour, pour in the melted butter and the buttermilk. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until the flour mixture is just moistened. Don't over-mix! The mixture should look very shaggy.

4 Divide the mixture into two balls, and flatten each onto a floured surface into a 1-inch thick, 6-inch wide circle. Slice each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing at least an inch apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

5 Bake at 400°F (or 200°C) for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before eating.

To store, allow first to cool to room temperature, then seal in a freezer bag.

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How to Make Candied Ginger by David Lebovitz

Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Alisha

    I’ve made these scones twice now and they are really delicious. I take ginger for medicinal reasons, so I always have it around in pretty much all forms. I didn’t have any coarse sugar for the top so I made an icing with my favorite ginger ale: 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 – 3 tablespoons of Reed’s Original Ginger Brew (it’s a non-alcoholic ginger ale). I drizzled it over the scones once they cooled and it was perfect. Since I’m the only one in my house that eats ginger, I had to freeze most of these but less than a minute of defrosting in the microwave and they taste as fresh as the day I baked them.

  • Eileen

    Hmmmmm. You know how on your Albondigas Soup post, you mentioned that it wouldn’t be the same if you left out the mint? Well, I’m Irish-American and scones are our thing! Although I’m sure this recipe is delicious, it seems more of a scone-muffin hybrid to me (which is probably why you like it!) I love traditional scones, and they usually have much less sugar & are blended with cubes of cold butter, which give them their classic craggy texture. I’m sure this recipe is delicious, but I might have to rename it in my files!

  • Paige

    WOW! It took me awhile to find crystallized ginger at the farmer’s market. I’ve been meaning to make these for weeks when I had some buttermilk and finally did. They puffed up nicely with the buttermilk, which I’m guessing is really the key. I think they’ll be gone within 24 hours and I’m not going to share. I can’t wait to try them with some cranberries or blueberries.

  • Monica

    When I make these, they spread, and end up flat. My baking powder is new, so I know its not that. Any suggestions?

    We just love these, I’m planning to make them for our girls weekend next month!

  • Linda

    Elise, I made these this morning and just had one with a cuppa tea. They are simply outstanding – so flaky and tender, and slightly crisp on the outside. The flavor is lovely. And so professional-looking and bakery-like! (I couldn’t find candied ginger and I was in a hurry to make them, so I used dried cranberries instead. Next time with the ginger.) Thank you. Love your recipes!

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