Rhubarb scones are a favourite spring treat! Spicy fresh ginger is a great match for the rich cream scone base and tart chopped rhubarb.
Photography by Kelly Neil
The arrival of rhubarb season makes us want to celebrate! Along with the arrival of asparagus, finally seeing this colourful vegetable in our gardens and at the markets means treats like rhubarb custard bars and rhubarb upside-down cake are on the table again. It’s the best part of spring.
Made with 35% whipping cream, rhubarb scones are indulgent and rich — a great match for tart spring rhubarb! The scones are tender and fluffy inside, with a light golden crust on the outside.
This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb (see more below). Because the scones only take 15 minutes the rhubarb needs to be cut into small pieces so it softens quickly. Nothing compares to the beautiful shades of pink and green in these pretty little baked treats and we hope you love them too.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Sharp knife (for the rhubarb)
- Pastry blender: while you can use two knives, a blender is a life saver if you bake a lot of scones, pies and tarts, or other pastry!
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Pastry brush
- Whipping cream: this is about 35% milk fat, which may be called heavy cream in your local shop.
- Sugar: plain white sugar for the scone dough.
- Egg: a large egg. Room temperature is best.
- Rhubarb: very finely chopped. There’s no need to peel, but if your rhubarb is late season, you may want to.
- Ginger: fresh (see below).
- Flour: plain white all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder and salt
- Butter: salted. Room temp butter is used for this recipe, for more crumbly cream scones.
- Coarse sugar: this is optional, but adds a nice sweet golden crust on the top of the scones. Highly recommend!
Keep scrolling to see clear and detailed process shots, as well as tips and notes to help you make Rhubarb Scones perfectly the first time!
1. Chop that rhubarb. Make sure the rhubarb is really finely chopped. Pieces that are too large will be raw after 15 minutes of baking.
2. Use an offset spatula. Or a butter knife, to lift the scones onto the baking sheet. This keeps the shape and makes for prettier scones.
3. Make sure the stalks are equal sizes. Halve lengthwise if needed to ensure every piece is the same size for equal baking.
- We used room temperature butter for this recipe which yields a lighter, fluffier, more cake-like scone. For a flakier version use cold or frozen butter, using the same method as in cranberry orange scones.
- Frozen rhubarb can be used, but it’s best if it’s chopped small before freezing as the bake time is so short. Don’t thaw, use it frozen.
- If you’re not using coarse sugar on top, consider making a simple glaze to drizzle over the scones once cool.
- We don’t recommend making these in a food processor as the butter is soft. If you’re having a hard time cutting the butter in, you can use your fingertips – just work quickly and with light hands.
How to Store and Freeze Cream Scones
- To Store: Store scones in an airtight container or zip-top bag on the counter for up to two days. They start to get a bit soggy after that.
- To Freeze: Rhubarb scones freeze well! Once cool, place them in a large zip-top bag in the freezer for up to one month. To thaw, simply leave out at room temperature, or heat at half-power in the microwave.
Substitutions and Variations
- Buttermilk or whole milk can be swapped in for cream. This makes a lighter scone.
- You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, orange blossom water, almond extract, or any other flavouring you like to the egg and cream mixture.
- If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand you can use 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.
- Lemon or orange zest is a good substitute for ginger.
- Whole wheat or light spelt flour can be substituted for all-purpose. If the dough seems dry add a drizzle of cream while kneading to moisten.
- To make a vegan version, use our vegan scone recipe but add the same amount if rhubarb listed here.
Fresh ingredients! Make sure your baking powder is fresh and active, that the butter is good quality, and any fruit being added is tasty. Rise is dependent on the leavener, so test your baking powder if you’re not sure.
Sure thing. Make sure the rhubarb is still frozen when it’s added and that it was finely chopped before freezing to ensure even baking.
It depends on the type. Cream scones, which are more cake-like, often include egg. It causes better rise, helps to bind the dough, and makes for a richer scone.
More Rhubarb Recipes
Rhubarb Scones With Fresh Ginger
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- sharp knife for the rhubarb and ginger
- Whisk or fork
- Pastry blender or two butter knives
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- pastry brush
- offset spatula optional
- Wire rack
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- ½ cup 35% whipping cream, plus extra for brushing the top of the scones
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups rhubarb, ends trimmed, chopped into small pieces about ⅓ inch (roughly 1 cm), about 4 medium-sized stalks
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter, room temperature (see notes)
- coarse sugar for sprinkling, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the cream, sugar, and egg in a large bowl.
- If you haven’t chopped your rhubarb and ginger, do so now. Cut each piece of rhubarb into three or four segments (depending on how long your stalks are). Slice each segment lengthwise into three strips (or four if your stalks are huge). Gather the strips of rhubarb together and carefully chop them into small bits, about ⅓ inch (roughly 1 cm) in size. Peel and mince the fresh ginger.
- Stir the chopped rhubarb and minced ginger into the egg and cream mixture. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter to the flour and cut it in using a pastry blender or two butter knives (for information about butter temperature see the notes section below). The mixture should look coarse and crumbly.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour the rhubarb and cream into the well. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold everything together until most of the flour is moistened. Switch to using your hands and knead the dough inside the bowl about 10 times.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface then sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Use your fingertips to gently press the dough into a round disc, and use your hands to shape and smooth the edges. The disc should be approximately 7-½ inches (19-cm) in diameter, and about 1-inch (2-½ cm) tall.
- Brush the top and sides of the disc with whipping cream then sprinkle the top generously with coarse sugar if using. Using a sharp knife, slice the disc into eight wedges. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to lift each wedge from the work surface onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave as much space between the scones as you can.
- Place the sheet in the oven and bake the scones for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The scones are done when the outsides are light gold in colour. Cool the scones on a wire rack, on the baking sheet, for 10 minutes before removing them from the sheet and cooling them directly on the rack.
SUBSTITUTIONSButtermilk or whole milk can be subbed for cream. You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, orange blossom water, almond extract, or any other flavouring you like to the egg and cream mixture. Lemon or orange zest is a good substitute for ginger. Whole wheat or light flour can be substituted for all-purpose. If the dough seems dry add a drizzle of cream while kneading to moisten. Use dairy-free cream or milk, and dairy-free butter to make this recipe dairy-free.
This post first appeared in February 2015 and was last updated in May 2022.