Cardamom Ginger Scones

Author & Photographer: Claire Schultz


I don’t make scones nearly as often as I should. There’s something about them that feels almost decadent--like they should be saved for special occasions or as a treat when I really need a pick-me-up. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a scone I didn’t like, but when I do make them, there’s always the inevitable debate: which is better-- the simple, round English scone, or the sweet, wedge-shaped American? It’s a question that bothers me more than it should. Both are delicious in their own right, but what, exactly, is a scone?

I’m not sure I’ll ever have an answer, but I do have a compromise. These cardamom ginger scones--delicately spiced and not too sweet--are designed to pair perfectly with coffee or tea at any time of day. Round, like the English scone, but glazed and flavored like the American, I think I’ve finally found the best of both worlds.

This particular scone comes from my favorite hometown coffee shop, and I dream about them whenever I’m back on campus. Luckily, they made their recipe public, so I can recreate the scones away from home, and I’ve adapted it a bit to suit my taste (and my pantry). They’re not flashy (I call them my “grandma scones”) but they’re subtly elegant, deceptively simple, and absolutely always worth it.

Servings: 12-16 scones
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes



4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cardamom
½ cup butter (1 stick)
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 cup buttermilk*
½ cup sugar, plus more for finishing
2 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cardamom.

3. Cut the butter into small pieces, then work them into the flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry blender until the dough is well-combined and crumbly.

4. Add the ginger, buttermilk, sugar, and one egg, and mix until just combined. The dough will be a bit dry; that’s fine! If it’s too dry to work with, add another spoonful of milk.

5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and scoop the dough into 12-16 even-sized balls (roughly ¼-⅓ a cup each).

6. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of sugar.

7. Brush the egg mixture onto the scones to glaze, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar to finish.

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!


*Note: If, like me, you never actually have buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Whisk them together and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, and you’re good to go. ¾ cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt also work well here.

Adapted from:

Melanie WangComment