Accurately described by Zingerman’s Bakehouse as “remarkably tender and delicate,” these delicious Ginger Scones are a wonderful addition to any breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea.
I should’ve known that these scones would be so darn good.
Truthfully the thought of ginger scones isn’t the kind of recipe that usually strikes my fancy, but my friend raved about them and said they were one of Zingerman’s most popular items.
After tasting one fresh from the bakehouse, all I can say is that they’re further proof that Zingerman’s Bakehouse does everything right. Wow.
Thanks to a particularly high ratio of butter and cream, and a mixing method that makes a “short dough,” these are some of the most tender and light scones I’ve ever had.
The best part? No chilling time required, and they’re so easy to make.
If you’re not familiar with Zingerman’s, it’s a bakehouse, deli, and specialty food store located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Despite the fact that I grew up nowhere near Ann Arbor, I’ve been eating their food all my life. Every Christmas my dad would mail-order a selection of their breads and baked goods, and we still order them for each other during the holidays.
Some of the recipes on this blog, like Asiago Black Pepper Bread, are inspired by my childhood memories of some of their most popular loaves.
A few months back I discovered that they published a cookbook titled Zingerman’s Bakehouse (affiliate), and I was delighted to see that these scones are one of the included recipes. The ginger flavor comes from two places, but it’s well balanced.
Let’s dig into the step-by-step!
Step by Step Overview:
For the dry ingredients, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger in a large bowl:
I used all-purpose flour and had great results, but Zingerman’s original recipe calls for pastry flour. Use that if you have it, but because most people don’t have it on hand (myself included), I didn’t use it.
Whisk those ingredients until blended, then work cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients, squishing the cold butter cubes with your fingertips (or you may use a pastry blender or pastry cutter):
Once the butter cubes have broken down into large pea-sized pieces, add crystalized ginger to the mix:
You can also do candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, or currants, if you want to try some other flavor combinations!
Toss that through to evenly distribute, then make a well in the center and add heavy cream.
Use a fork to push the dry ingredients from the sides into the well:
Continue using the fork to gently combine the dry ingredients and heavy whipping cream, until you get a shaggy mess, like this:
Knead the dough gently by hand about 6-8 times, making sure not to overdo it. You can do this either on a lightly floured surface or in the bowl.
Note that it should be a cohesive dough, but still somewhat loose.
Split the dough in half, and roll each half into a ball.
The ball doesn’t need to be perfect, and remember that any additional kneading you do will make the scones tougher.
Roll the dough 7″ in diameter, then cut into 6 pieces using a sharp knife. I like to do pie-shaped wedges, though you can cut whatever shape you prefer.
By the way, since I get asked all the time, this is the baking mat pictured above (affiliate) that has the diameter measurements labeled. It’s really helpful whenever I bake!
Repeat with the remaining dough, then place all the scone triangles on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Though parchment is preferred, you can make a prepared baking sheet by greasing with butter or using a silicone mat.
Beat one egg and one tablespoon of water in a small bowl, then brush the tops with the egg wash:
This will give the tops of the scones a gorgeous golden sheen when they come out of the oven.
Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 18 minutes.
When they are done, they should be a deep golden brown on the bottom too.
They’re now ready to be enjoyed, either warm out of the oven, or at room temperature.
If you want an even fluffier and softer scone, try my popular English Style Scones. They are my favorite of all my scone recipes on this site.
More Breakfast Baked Goods:
I recommend trying this ginger scones recipe as written at least once, but there are some ways you can play with the flavors after the first time.
Citrus – I love adding lemon zest and orange zest to baked goods, and both work well here. Add up to 1 tsp of citrus zest to the dry ingredients.
Sprinkling the tops – For extra crunch, you may sprinkle some coarse brown sugar on top (turbinado sugar is great), after adding the egg wash.
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Yes, though what I don’t like about this is then you’ll have chopped crystallized ginger pieces in the dough. It’s a matter of preference, but I prefer to make by hand rather than in the bowl of a food processor.
Because there are no preservatives here, keep at room temperature for a maximum of two days. Otherwise, they should be frozen.
Place in an airtight container and keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Zingerman’s Ginger Scones
- 3 cups all purpose flour* (15 ounces by weight)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold, cubed into 1/4" pieces
- 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
- 1.5 cups heavy cream cold
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger.
- Add the butter cubes to the mixture, and quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your fingertips, until you get pea-sized pieces of fat. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour the heavy cream into the well. Using a fork, gently mix the cream into the dry ingredients. The dough will look very shaggy.
- Gently knead the dough in the bowl 6 to 8 times, using your hand or a plastic scraper. By the end of kneading, there should be no loose flour in the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured suface, divide into two even pieces, and gently shape each one into a round ball.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll each dough ball out into a disk 7 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut each circle into six triangular wedges, then place the scones on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with at least 2 inches of space between each piece.
- Beat together the egg and water in a small bowl, and brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
- Bake the scones for 18 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are both golden brown. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.