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An early class and a recipe: Ginger Cream Scones

ginger cream scones

My favourite breakfast treat is undoubtedly the scone. While some might go in for muffins, some for pancakes and some for waffles, to me there’s nothing better to eat (or bake) first thing in the morning than a crumbly, tender, buttery scone. Actually, I love scones at any time of the day. Sitting down to an English Cream Tea , a decidedly scone-centric activity, is one of my favourite things to do ever. But breakfast scones and teatime scones, at least in my opinion, are two different animals.

Discussing teatime scones always brings up the inevitable debate of plain vs. fruit. I stand firmly on the side of the former, and like my afternoon scones to be unsullied by raisins or other flavourings. A proper teatime scone is meant to be loaded with jam and clotted cream, and anything else just fights with those flavours. Sitting down to an afternoon tea, I’m always disappointed to find that an establishment favours fruit scones. And I have no qualms about leaving a small pile of picked-out raisins on the side of my plate!

Breakfast scones are another matter. Heartier, heavier and somewhat more exciting, they’ll happily play host to any number of additions. In mine, I like dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, peanut butter, cheese- it’s all good. Well, not all those things together (that wouldn’t be good), but you see where I’m going. With a breakfast scone, more is more.

My other scone-differentiating issue is shape. For teatime, I like traditional rounds made with a pastry cutter, which somehow seem more refined. For breakfast, though, I favour the humble wedge. Not only is it quicker and easier to make, but it just seems so pleasantly rustic. Perfect for breakfast. 

I hadn’t made any scones in a while when a friend tipped me off to this Deborah Madison recipe. It comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, so I knew it stood a good chance of being tasty. I was right: the texture of these, fresh from the oven, is divine. The cream makes them wonderfully light and tender, and though I normally prefer a richer, crumblier scone, these made a nice change. The flavour is great, too; the faintest touch of sweetness in the dough is punctuated by the pieces of spicy, sugary candied ginger. 

So, if you’re tired of your muffins, pancakes and whathaveyou, why not be British for a morning and try your hand at some breakfast scones? Oh, and one last thing- it’s pronounced “skon”, not “skoan”, no matter what time of day you’re serving them. 

ginger cream scones

  • Ginger Cream Scones
  • adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
  • makes 6
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
    1 cup plain flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    2 tsp. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 Tbs. (28g) unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces
    1 egg
    1/4 cup single cream, plus 1 Tbs. for later
    1/4 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/425°F. Toss the ginger pieces with a small spoonful of flour to coat and stop them from sticking to each other. 

    2. Mix the rest of the flour with the baking powder, ground ginger, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, and set aside. 

    3. In a small jug or bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/4 cup of cream and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the ginger gently.

    4. Turn out onto a well-floured surface (it is a very sticky dough) and give it 8 to 10 kneads, just enough to bring it together. Pat into a circle about 1″ thick, and cut into 6 wedges. Place wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1″ away from each other, brush with the remaining cream and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly before serving.

8 comments

  1. F. says:

    This is my favourite scone recipe! Ever since I got back from traveling I’ve been meaning to make these – I’m just waiting for my peace strawberry crisp to be eaten up so that I don’t overwhelm myself with too much baked goodness…. today might just be the day!

  2. Ele says:

    Fi, I really liked these, thanks for the heads up! I’m not sure they qualify as “favourites” for me due to the cake-like texture, but I definitely liked them.

    I added some ground powdered ginger to the dry ingredients (pretty much the only adaption I made to these), which I think they really needed. I also chopped the ginger more finely than she recommends, because I’m not a fan of huge pieces of it.

  3. F. says:

    It has been a while since I made these but I remember adding lots of powdered ginger and grated fresh ginger because I didn’t have any candied ginger (and I don’t like pieces of it in my baking!). Also, I made it with whole wheat flour (again, I didn’t have any white flour)… I think that made it less cake-like.

  4. [...] made time and time again. If granola isn’t your breakfast of choice, how about a scone? My ginger cream ones are pretty good, if I do say so [...]

  5. Gerry says:

    I make similar scones (without the powdered ginger) but add zest from a lime: lime ginger scones.

  6. Ele says:

    Gerry- That sounds wonderful! I’ve never had scones with lime before- lemon many times, but not lime. I must try this soon!

  7. [...] was the safest bet. At first I thought of scones but soon reconsidered, as I’ve made several for the blog in recent [...]

  8. [...] talked about my love of scones here before- to me, there’s no better way to start any day, really. The French can have [...]