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.

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

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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.

More from Elise

38 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Jelly

    Absolutely delicious! Wonderful by themselves, heavenly with cream cheese.

    I would add 10 more minutes to that prep time, to account for the grating of the ginger and cutting the candied ginger. After that the process goes pretty quick.

    I didn’t have fresh lemons nor buttermilk. So, instead of lemon zest I added 1/2 tsp of concentrated lemon juice (I used the one that comes in the squeeze bottle). And, I made my own buttermilk by mixing 3/4 cups of full fat milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice letting it sit for the 10 to 15mins it took me to get all the other ingredients and things prepped.


  • Bobbi G

    This is the recipe I’ve been looking for for ages! Perfect delicious scones. The basic dough is right on and will be super versatile. I had 2 fresh from the oven- fabulous! Thank you!


  • Laura

    Love these scones. I’ve made them as ginger scones using David Lebovitz’ recipe for homemade candied ginger. What a treat!! I’m thinking of making a batch with dried fruit now, because I don’t have any candied or fresh ginger on hand.


  • Sue

    Also made by cutting gin cold butter. Mix dry ingredients and candied ginger, cut in butter, then add buttermilk. Made with 1/2C sugar too. Very good

  • Carol

    Excellent scones! I have had many requests for this recipe. I have made these scones at least 10 times, with a few modifications. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and increased the fresh ginger to 3 tablespoons and the lemon zest to 2 tablespoons. I also use fresh ricotta cheese (where I live easy to come by from locals) instead of buttermilk, sometimes I use yogurt or coconut milk instead of buttermilk. Thank you!

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