Ginger Scones


Super gingery buttermilk scones, made with both candied and fresh ginger, with a hint of lemon.

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.

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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: 20 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 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk* (200 ml)
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces, 140 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon 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, prepare baking sheet: Preheat oven to 400°F (or 200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Whisk together dry ingredients: 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 Add butter, buttermilk: 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 Form into wedges: 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: 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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50 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Neva

    Just made these and they turned out great! I will definitely make these again!


  2. Elvia

    I made these scones today and they are great. 100% recomended. Followed exact recipe and had great results..


  3. Ingrid Hughes

    One of my favorite recipes of all time!!! It’s my “special occasion” go-to because the candied ginger is quite expensive. I still haven’t perfected the thickness of it, I always roll it to thin. But I’ll keep trying! I add extra orange and lemon zest to my recipe, we love the freshness and sweetness it adds.


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  4. Ainsley

    I have made this recipe several time in the past 2 months and they turn out great every time! After two successful batches of ginger I decided to try switching up the flavor and recipe still worked great even with slight variations. I have substituted ginger with figs and pecans once and another time I added cranberries, and pecans with the ginger. The scones also hold well at least 3-4 days.


  5. Anne-Marie

    I agree that these are absolutely delicious. I make them frequently. However, the prep time given in the recipe of 10 minutes is totally unrealistic. The chopping of the candied ginger, fresh ginger and lemon zest takes more than that by itself. I am fast and I can get these prepped and in the oven in 25-30 minutes, but no less than that. Would love this recipe to reflect something more realistic!


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