Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

Not long after we began dating, my Chief Culinary Consultant told me about the fabulous strawberry-rhubarb pies that his grandmother used to make. At that time, I had never, ever in my life tasted rhubarb. When I told him, he was totally dumbfounded. I promised to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie for him one day, and I kept my word. One beautiful May morning, he left to go golfing, and I headed to the store for rhubarb and pie supplies. I had no idea what I would think of rhubarb, but I ended up loving it!

Since it’s only available here for a short time in April and May, I try to take advantage of it each spring and incorporate it into a number of recipes. As soon as I saw those beautiful reddish-pink stalks in the produce department last week, I snatched some up and started brainstorming. I hadn’t made scones since my mom’s birthday in September (chocolate chip are her favorite!), and I love the combination of rhubarb and ginger, so before long my idea was solidified.

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

Those chocolate chip scones are one of my favorites as well, in large part due to their tender texture (the chocolate doesn’t hurt, either!). I went the same route with these scones, and added a small amount of butter to increase the flakiness. Instead of simply including vanilla extract, I infused the sugar with vanilla bean, which will makes your hands smell phenomenal! Lastly, I chopped up some rhubarb and tossed it in sugar before adding it to the mixture, and threw in a good dose of crystallized ginger.

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

I can’t get enough of flecks of vanilla bean!

So pretty!

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

The result were impossible-to-resist scones. They are wholly acceptable for breakfast, snacks or dessert; the right amount of sweetness provides balance to the tart rhubarb, and the ginger gives them a little kick. The scones are definitely best straight from the oven, but can be kept airtight for a few days.

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

So what if it snowed again two nights ago (that makes snow on my birthday two years in a row, if you’re keeping track)?

Spring has definitely sprung in my kitchen!

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones |

One year ago: Coconut-Vanilla Bean Cake with Coconut Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Two years ago: Homemade Fudge Pops
Three years ago: Baked Doughnuts with Cinnamon-Sugar
Four years ago: Cucumber-Tomato Bruschetta Appetizer
Six years ago: The Perfect Party Cake
Seven years ago: Baked Mac n’ Cheese

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones

Yield: 12 scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Cream scones infused with vanilla bean and loaded with rhubarb and crystallized ginger.


3 stalks rhubarb, cut into ¼-inch slices (about 1 cup)
½ cup granulated sugar, divided, plus more for sprinkling
2-inch piece of whole vanilla bean
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup heavy cream

Granulated sugar, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Place the sliced rhubarb in a small bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the sugar; set aside.

3. Place the remaining sugar in a large bowl. Slice the piece of vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the sugar. Using your fingertips, rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar until it is evenly distributed. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine.

4. Add the cubed butter and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the texture of coarse sand and there are no pieces of butter larger than the size of a pea remaining. Stir the rhubarb and ginger into the mixture, making sure that everything is evenly coated in flour.

5. Pour the heavy cream into the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, gently stir until all of the cream has been absorbed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to bring the dough together.

6. Divide the dough in two and pat each into a 7-inch circle. Cut six triangles out of each circle and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar.

7. Bake until the scones are set and golden brown, about 20 t0 25 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


32 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Rhubarb-Ginger Scones”

  1. Ari on March 27, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I’ve always wanted to make a dessert using Rhubarb, but I don’t know that much about it! Love this recipe, it seems so simple and easy! And I especially love the idea of a vanilla bean scone!


  2. Irene on March 27, 2014 at 3:39 am

    It’s sad that Rhubarb is such an unknown ingrediënt, because it is DELICIOUS. I once made a Tiramisu with it. Anyway, I’m definitly going to make these scones!


  3. Pieliekamais on March 27, 2014 at 5:46 am

    The pictures look so beautiful!
    I just discovered this winter that frozen rhubarb makes EXCELLENT pie filling. I used it in a pie that originally called for canned pineapple. Rhubarb plus sour cream in a pie=yum, and only a few other ingredients, super easy and SO tasty if you like rhubarb.
    Michelle, please feel free do delete the comment if it’s too “come look at MY blog”, but here is my rhubarb stuff, in case you are interested:
    – Pie with frozen rhubarb:
    – a super time consuming rhubarb pie that I tried from a Spanish blog, not worth the effort in my opinion but boy was it beautiful:
    – and did you know that these alien looking red dots are rhubarb sprouts (two last pictures)?


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 am

    So pretty and sunny and cheery looking! Best use ever of rhubarb!


  5. Gloria on March 27, 2014 at 7:13 am

    We have lots of rhubarb in our garden, and this looks like the perfect way to use it! Thank you!


  6. Tembo on March 27, 2014 at 7:32 am

    YUM. Love the Rhubarb and Vanilla Combo. Made my mouth water just thinking about the tartness of the Rhubarb!


  7. Chloe @ foodlikecake on March 27, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I love rhubarb! Thank you for using it in a dessert 🙂


  8. Ana on March 27, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I love baking with rhubarb in the spring. I’ve actually never eaten or made scones before, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to try it.


  9. Adrienne | Appetites Anonymous on March 27, 2014 at 8:57 am

    These scones are screaming spring and I love it!!


  10. Sarah @ Devour on March 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

    These look wonderful! I have two enormous rhubarb plants in my yard that produce all summer long, and I’m always looking for ways to use it all up. Love the addition of ginger and vanilla beans. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


  11. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on March 27, 2014 at 10:03 am

    These look amazing! They are the perfect scone textures. And those vanilla bean seeds are so pretty! I bet your CCC was pretty happy with these!


  12. Jen of My Tiny Oven on March 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I just love rhubarb. I can’t wait until it shows up in my grocery store. These scones look amazing!


  13. Lexi @ Lexi's Clean Kitchen on March 27, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Killer combo right there!


  14. marcie on March 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I got into rhubarb a few years back and now I’m completely addicted to it. These scones look delicious, and this flavor combination sounds terrific!


  15. The Macadame on March 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I pinned this today and just had to come get the recipe – I love love love scones!
    Anisa – The Macadame. xx


  16. Katrina @ WVS on March 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    These scones sound so good. The rhubarb-ginger combo is especially inviting!!


  17. Lisa @ Simple Pairings on March 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Yum! I love baking with rhubarb. It’s so bright and tart – one of my favorite flavor profiles. I can see how this would be lovely in a scone. Just beautiful! Pinned.


  18. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on March 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I freakin’ love rhubarb, and can’t wait to use it. I haven’t seen it in SF yet – we’re getting asparagus like mad though, so gotta keep a look out.


  19. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking on March 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Rhubarb means Spring!!!! These scones look amazing! I’ve been looking for something to make with rhubarb other than the usual pie…and now I’ve found it! Yay!


  20. Martha in KS on March 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    When my 84 yo aunt was newly married, she wanted to make a rhubarb pie like her mother had made. So she went to the grocery, bought several bunches of rhubarb & made the pie. It was terrible! She had bought red-stemmed swiss chard. She never made that mistake again. We LOVE rhubarb. I tried growing it last year but it was so dry, I couldn’t keep it alive. 🙁


  21. Lulu on March 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I can’t believe that anyone would *buy* rhubarb! What a rip off! Rhubarb is possibly the easiest thing ever to grow in your garden. It comes up every spring and you’ll find you have too much of it in only a couple of year! No watering or special care required. If you have a patch of grass in the sun, it will grow. And grow!

    Around here people can’t give the stuff away! And if it can grow in Alberta, it can grow just about anywhere. I also used to grow it in England.


    • Mercedes on March 28th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      This was my thought exactly! We split our plants every 5 years or so when they start to get huge and give them to friends. We also cut off the sprouts with the flowers before they bloom.


  22. Tieghan on March 27, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    These look so good! I need to try rhubarb already!


  23. Alanna on March 28, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Oooh! All my favorite things in my favorite pastry. 🙂


  24. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction on March 28, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I’ve never had rhubarb anything. Kudos for trying it.


  25. Mercedes on March 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I can’t believe rhubarb is an April/May only food where you are. Once it starts growing in Alaska, IT NEVER STOPS! If we take care of our (weed-like) plants, we can harvest through August, easily.


  26. Mary Claire on March 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I’m reading the other comments, wishing I had planted rhubarb last year. Oh well…to the store I will go!


  27. Mia on March 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I am surprised you found it in the store already since you are north of me and I can’t find it yet. And it is super easy to grow. The place I was getting mine from last year had it until July and July in Maryland can be down right nasty hot. Plus a friend gives me plenty and her’s are going strong until August.

    I have frozen rhubarb in the freezer and would like to make these tomorrow morning. But could I switch out buttermilk for the cream since that is what I have on hand easily?


    • Michelle on March 31st, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Hi Mia, I’m not sure if the buttermilk would have any affect on the final product; usually it is used along with baking soda, not baking powder. You could definitely give it a try, let me know how it turns out.


  28. sara on March 29, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Gorgeous! These look incredible!!!


  29. Rosie on April 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I just pulled a batch out of the oven (I am terrible at waiting for desserts to cool) and they are super! This is my first experience with rhubarb, scones or vanilla beans. This tastes very mild and subtle. I had a terrible time finding crystalized ginger this time around even though it hasn’t been a problem before. I found it in the ethnic foods at Publix and it was less than two bucks! Thanks for the easy to follow recipe. I will make these again.


  30. Laurie on May 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Made these this morning – I love a cream scone and this flavor combination is absolutely wonderful. Thank you!


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