Ginger 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.

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


  • 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.

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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.

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

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

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  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Stefani Sarah

    I substituted raisins for ginger and these turned out super!

  • Jen

    These are fantastic! I substituted coconut milk for the buttermilk, and they turned out beautifully.

  • lynnbee

    These scones ROCK!!! Love the gingery taste. Baked them and took them to work and all my coworkers scarfed them up!.. For those looking for crytalized/candied ginger try They have all kinds of great baking/cooking supplies, have great pricing and are really user friendly.

  • Stephany Brisco

    These are some of the best scones I have tried or made! Perfect in every way. I love it with tea! These don’t need anything more once they come out of the oven, they are perfect. I used buttermilk I had in the freezer, just incase anyone out there didn’t know you could freeze it. Oh, I forgot, I only had a little more than half the ginger called for in the recipe. I can imagine how it would taste with more ginger. Either way is wonderful. Also, I’m not sure if this was already mentioned but if you look in the international isle at your regular grocery store you can find very inexpensive candied ginger. I found one from KAME (crystallized ginger) that cost me just a couple bucks. I had to cut it up myself and would need to buy two boxes next time.

  • Betsy

    I love ginger scones. When I make them I throw in Chinese 5 spice powder. My recipe makes double what this one does and I usually add a heaping tablespoon. People love them, but can never quite identify the spice. I also use Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour.

  • aylin

    Just made these today as I love the taste of ginger and have been reading a lot about the health properties of it, anti-inflammatory etc. So I was looking for good ginger recipes and came across these delicious scones. Made them today and my hubby just happened to come home early around 3pm, so we had a big mug of tea and enjoyed the scones with afternoon tea time. They came out great! I love the kick of the ginger flavors popping!

  • Lorenb5

    These scones were the perfect New Years Day treat. One problem: it’s really hard to stop nibbling on them! Next time, I’ll add a handful of dried cranberries, as well! Thanks for the great recipe…have a sweet new year!

  • Doreen

    I make a lot of scones but didn’t have a great one with ginger & lemon (flavors I love), so I tried yours. Traditional scones usually cut in cold butter, so I did that instead of melting the butter. I also added a bit of ground ginger to the recipe. I used a round biscuit cutter instead of triangles and they turned out great!

  • Carol

    These were AMAZING! So full of clean ginger flavor with the perfect amount of sweetness. I over baked the first batch a teeny bit, but they still turned out soft and delicious. I’ve never made scones before; I was always under the impression that they were difficult, but they couldn’t be easier. The hardest part of this recipe is chopping all the candied ginger. I’m so happy to have a good base recipe to experiment and play with. Thanks Elise!


  • mantha

    This is the best scone I ever ate!! I’ve had fresh grated ginger in ginger snaps too, and it really adds a beautiful fragrant top note over whatever kind of dried ginger you might use.

    McCormick’s spices are too expensive, and they’re often not the best or freshest flavor. You can often find bigger bulk amounts of candied ginger in better supermarkets with the dried fruits, packed by the store and much cheaper. (You get spoiled, in New York — only thing you can’t get here is a good night’s sleep). Penzey’s also sends out bigger bulk amounts for less money, and the quality is always very fine.

  • Nick

    I only have UNcrystallized candied ginger. Could the difference ruin the recipe?

    As long as the candied ginger is soft and sweet, you’re good. ~Elise

  • Kathy Walton

    Oh, Elise, these are fantastic! My husband and I are enjoying them with a hot cup of tea even as I type. (I used The Ginger People‘s Baker’s Cut Crystallized Baby Ginger Chips and they were the perfect size, flavor and tenderness for these scones. Found them at Cost Plus.)

  • Elise

    Candied ginger is really easy to make, by the way. Check out David Lebovitz’s post on How to Make Candied Ginger.

  • Barbara Sutherland

    I. too, am a big ginger fan. I just want to post a caution. Last week I found McCormick’s chrystalized ginger in the spice rack of my grocery store and yes, it was very pricey. But as someone suggested, Trader Joe’s is better pricewise, but if you don’t have one of those near you, try Penzey’s or one of the other online spice companies. I paid $11.00 for one of those little McCormick’s bottles, and you would need 2 of them to bake that recipe. This is outrageous and unnecessary. The pieces are tiny; with the others you will need to do some dicing.

  • Tammie

    Do you have to use melted butter?

    I am tempted to try them with room temperature butter but my McCormick’s candied ginger was so pricey I would hate to ruin the recipe. I love ginger and have been saving the stuff for just the right recipe. This one looks amazing. :)

    This recipe uses melted butter. I haven’t tried it any other way, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Gordon

    Delicious! I have “tried” to make scones before… Blech… Yours, however – Delicious!!
    I will make these again! :)


  • Ellen

    Oh, delicious! In our family it’s a fight as to whether we have scones (me) or sticky buns (my husband) on Christmas morning. He won this time, so I am owed a batch of scones and this recipe will do it! I’ve found that it’s very easy to have fresh scones in the morning if I use the food processor to cut in the butter (as my old recipe has me do). Also makes it easy to replace half the flour with rolled oats and process them finely before adding the other ingredients. They have a milder taste than whole-wheat, and make the scones light and flaky.

  • Ann Marie

    Made these this morning using 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup regular flour. They are delicious, and the whole house smells wonderful.

  • Angela

    These are just delicious! Perfect with a nice cup of coffee… thanks, Elise! Texture was divine. Fun way to try out the silpat I got in my stocking.

    Could I use the base recipe and sub in blueberries or other ingredients? My husband has requested blueberry, and I’d also like to try cinnamon. Happy New Year!

    Hi Angela, I haven’t tried the base recipe with any other ingredients, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I think it would be great with blueberries. ~Elise

  • Amy

    I just made these and whoa they are amazing! I’m a huge ginger fan and these were able to satify my need for ginger. I put some ground ginger in with the sugar that I sprinkled on top. But great recipe! These are going in the family favorites.

  • Lisa

    Trader Joe’s has crystallized ginger.

  • Stephanie F.

    The recipe looks great but I’ve never heard of candied ginger. Where would one find that in the grocery store?

    It’s also called crystallized ginger. If your grocery store carries it, it’s probably in the baking section. ~Elise

  • Susan

    These sound wonderful. I’ve just experienced using candied ginger for the first time this holiday season and I became at peace with candied ginger! It’s not hot or overpowering in ginger-spiciness when you bite into a piece, only the lovely flavor comes through.
    For those not wanting to have too many scones left over, they can be flash frozen in an unbaked state and baked directly from the freezer, (a tip I got from Smitten Kitchen: adding a couple extra minutes to the baking time. Hope this helps you have fresh scones daily!

  • Farmgirl Susan

    Woohoo! Scones! What the world always needs is another good scone recipe, and this one sounds marvelous. I love candied ginger, although I usually just eat it straight from the bag. ;) I bet these are great with tea.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, Elise! xoxo

    P.S. I usually have some type of scones in the freezer, and I just wrap them in foil and put them straight from the freezer into my little convection toaster oven at about 350 degrees. After they’re warmed through, I unwrap them, cut them in half, dot with butter, and bake them a few minutes more so they get a little crunchy and the butter melts nicely. :)

  • Flordesombra

    Hi Elise, I’m trying this recipe right now, and I was wondering, after freezing them, it’s just enough to pull them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven for a while? Or what’s the procedure, exactly?

    For freezing? I would probably just defrost them by letting them come to room temp on their own, and then pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to soften up. ~Elise

  • Teresa

    Do you have a good way of storing scones? They’re best the day they’re made, but we can’t always eat a dozen scones in a day!

    If you wrap them tightly in plastic they’ll last for days. ~Elise

  • Arcey

    Do you think these would work without any ginger? Maybe currants instead? Thanks.

    Yes, I think they would be lovely with currants. ~Elise