Orange Ginger Scones

As of today, there are 3 things I would like to do in my life.

1. Win the lottery or find some other way to have unlimited cash flow so we can travel around wherever we want, see our favorite bands play all over the world, and document every single day.

2. Open up a bakery / coffee shop / music store / book store that has local music, legendary cookies, and 6+ kinds of ice cold milk. Skim, 1%, 2%, whole, chocolate, strawberry… you name it, we’ll have it.

3. Live in a place where European breakfasts and snacks are the norm. Croissant and coffee? Yes, please. Scone and tea for an afternoon snack? Every day? I’m there.


My first experience with scones wasn’t the best. I don’t even remember where I had my first one – I just remember thinking “what’s the big deal? It’s just a dry biscuit with chocolate chips”.

Thankfully, I’ve had better scones since that first one. And, I’ve finally figured out how to make them just as good at home.


The secret to making scones – and biscuits, for that matter – is to not overmix / overknead the dough.

I know you want to, but don’t. Just don’t do it. It’s not the same as making bread.

Making scones isn’t the recipe to make when you’re wanting to let out some frustration while you’re baking. That’s what beating egg whites is for or letting bread dough rise so you can punch it down a few times. We all do it.

But not scones. Promise?


Scones are sensitive. They need to be handled gently. As soon as you start mixing in the egg and buttermilk, time is ticking. You don’t want to be mixing for more than a minute or two.

Get the dough so most of it is just holding together and then stop. I know you’ll want to keep mixing, but this is it – it’ll look like a mess. It’s not going to look like cake batter.

But here’s the secret. You’re going to dump out that shaggy, sticky mess onto a floured board or counter, gently knead it a few times, and your dough will be perfect. Easy to pat or roll out, easy to cut, easy to work with.


And then comes the best part: the baking.

Those buttery pockets in the dough will expand and melt, leaving you with crumbly, tender scones that kind of seem like sweet versions of biscuits in a different shape.

This – this – is what you want.


Orange Ginger Scones

Makes: 8 scones


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fat free buttermilk, plus 2 Tbsp for brushing
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, orange zest, ginger, salt, and 3 Tbsp of sugar.
  3. Cut the butter into the dough (with pastry blender, forks, or hands) until mixture feels like (and looks like) cornmeal.
  4. Beat the egg in a small dish and stir into the 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
  5. Pour in the egg and buttermilk and mix, just until dough comes together.
  6. Dump the dough out onto a floured pastry cloth or counter. The dough should be a little shaggy and sticky. Knead a few times to get a light flour coating so it doesn’t stick to your hands.
  7. Pat the dough, gently, into a round, and slice into 8 wedges.
  8. Brush the top of each scone with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
  9. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden.
  10. Once the scones have cooled, mix the powdered sugar with the orange juice until you have a thick glaze that falls into ribbons off a spoon. Drizzle the cooled scones with the glaze. Let it set before serving.


  1. These sound absolutely lovely! Great recipe :)

  2. Your scones look incredible! We don’t tend to have this kind of scone over here but I really fell in love with them when we were in the US and I can’t wait to try making my own.

  3. Orange and ginger is an amazing combination! I can’t wait to start baking with oranges. Just a few more weeks! And these look lovely. Overmixing scones is sometimes tempting but yeah, very bad. :)

  4. I love your list in the beginning of this post! :)
    The combo of orange and ginger in these sounds absolutely perfect!

  5. I love your list of what you’d want to do – sounds similar to mine! I want to win the lotto and go to culinary school, travel, and open a bakery/coffee shop/craft store/local produce shop!

    These scones sounds wonderful =)

  6. I will happily open up that shop with you! ;)

  7. I love scones and don’t make them nearly enough. Great recipe!

  8. wait you can’t move away from your fig trees!! i’m with you on winning the lottery and opening up a coffee shop or something of the sort ;)

    i’m also totally with you on these scones, i’ll take mine with tea, no milk!

  9. I used to hate ginger, but my taste for it has changed over the past few years. Now I love it! The orange/ginger combo is a great one for fall and winter (we’re starting to get a lot of oranges in our CSA produce box).

  10. Scones! Yes! These are exactly what I want to eat in midafternoon with a big mug of tea. :)

  11. If European snacks were the norm I would be one happy girl! A scone and a cup of tea sounds like the perfect snack to me. Especially one of these scones…they look delish! :-)

  12. Pingback: Just two scones

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