Rhubarb Scones

Rhubarb Scones are light and fluffy with pockets of tangy fresh rhubarb. They’re perfect for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea or snack time.

rhubarb scones on a piece of parchment paper.

Between my 7-year stint as pastry chef at a British tea shop and baking for family and friends, at this point in my life I’ve baked, literally, tens of thousands of scones.

This recipe brings together two of my favorite foods, scones and rhubarb! The tangy bits of rhubarb add wonderful pops of flavor to the rich scone dough.

I think they’re perfect as they are, but you can certainly serve these scones with butter or clotted cream.

Ingredients

ingredients for rhubarb scones in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Rhubarb – Use fresh rhubarb for this recipe. Frozen rhubarb will release too much moisture into the dough.
  • All Purpose Flour – Medium protein all purpose flour makes a scone that has enough structure to rise high in the oven, but also has a tender crumb.
  • Buttermilk – Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the scones. If you don’t have fresh buttermilk, buttermilk powder is the best substitute. Mix the buttermilk powder according to the directions before adding to the scones.
  • Sugar – Just enough sugar is added to lightly sweeten and tenderize the dough. A little extra sugar is used to macerate the rhubarb. Macerating softens and sweetens the pieces of rhubarb.

Process Photos

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

rhubarb and sugar in a glass bowl.
  • Toss the rhubarb cubes with 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
  • Set the rhubarb aside to macerate for 1 hour.
  • After an hour the sugar and rhubarb juice will form a syrup.
  • Drain the rhubarb and mix the syrup with the other wet ingredients.
Tossing rhubarb cubes into a bowl of flour.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Work the butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Add the drained rhubarb.
  • Toss the rhubarb with the dry ingredients.
Mixing rhubarb scone dough and forming into a disc.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once.
  • Mix until mostly combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface.
  • Use well-floured hands to knead the dough together then pat it into an 8″ round.
Cutting scone dough with a knife. Scones on a baking tray.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the round into 8 wedges.
  • If the scones become distorted as you transfer them to the baking sheet, use floured hands to reform the wedge shape.
  • Brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until golden brown. After 10 minutes, if the bottoms of the scones are browning fast, slide a second baking sheet under the pan.

Pastry Chef tips for making perfect scones

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Dispersing the salt and leavening helps the scones rise evenly.
  • Work the cold butter in with your fingers. Those flakes of butter will give the scones a slightly flakey texture.
  • Once the wet ingredients are added, mix just until the flour is incorporated. It’s best to make scones by hand to avoid over-mixing the dough.
  • No need for a rolling pin. Pat the dough by hand to avoid overworking the dough.

Storage

  • Scones are best the day they are baked but will keep at room temperature for a day.
  • Baked scones should never be refrigerated.
  • Baked scones can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the scones at room temperature, then warm in the oven to revive the texture.
rhubarb scones on a pink plate.
a rhubarb scone on a pink plate.
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Rhubarb Scones

Light and fluffy Rhubarb Scones are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or snack time.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
8 scones
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz rhubarb (cut into 1/2" cubes)
  • 5 oz granulated sugar (½ cup + 2 tbsp, divided)
  • 12 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour (2 ½ cups, see note)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1″ chunks)
  • 6 oz buttermilk (¾ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, toss 8 oz rhubarb cubes with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set the rhubarb aside to macerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line a ½ sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 12 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, the remaining 4 oz of sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss in 3 oz unsalted butter chunks. Work the butter in with your fingers until the bits are small flakes.
  • Drain the rhubarb, reserving the juice. Toss the drained rhubarb with the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk the juice from the rhubarb with 6 oz buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 large egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients all at once and mix until mostly combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  • Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead a few times to bring the dough together.
  • Using well-floured hands, pat the dough a 8” round that is 1" thick. Use a sharp knife (not serrated) to cut the round into 8 wedges. Don't use a sawing motion, just press down with the knife. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet. If the scones get distorted while transferring, use your hands to reshape them on the baking sheet.
  • Brush the top of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Notes

If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.

Nutrition

Serving: 1scone | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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