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Chai Spice Scones with Candied Ginger

Chai Scones
I have always been a fan of chai teas and often use the warm and spicy flavors found in masala chai for for inspiration when I’m looking for a way to spice things up in baking. Chai Snickerdoodles, for instance, are a favorite variation on classic snickerdoodles in my kitchen.

These scones are loaded with chai spices and have a very warm, satisfying flavor as a result. The spices I used include cinnamon, ginger, allspices, cardamom, coriander and nutmeg. You’ll get the best flavor if you check the dates on your spices to make sure they’re all fresh. The scones themselves are slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and tender inside. They are also full of small pieces of candied ginger that add even more spice to each bite. You can taste the butter right alongside all of those spices, and a hint of almond extract seems to brighten up all of the flavors. The scones are not too sweet, so I finished them off with a little cream cheese glaze.

Don’t be fooled by the long ingredient list for this recipe. The scones are no more difficult to make than any other scones, they simply include a lot of spices for flavor. I prefer to rub the butter in by hand when mixing up scone dough so I get a flakier finished product, but you can also mix this up by pulsing the butter into the flour mixture in the food processor. The glaze is optional, but adds a nice sweetness to the scones and gives them a polished look before serving. If you want to skip it, serve these scones with butter, jam or softened cream cheese – and perhaps a cup of chai tea, too!

Chai Spice Scones with Candied Ginger
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into 10-12 pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all spices. Add the cold butter and toss to coat, then rub the butter in with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until mixture is slightly sandy looking and there are no pieces of butter bigger than a pea remaining.
Mix together milk and almond extract, then add to flour mixture. Stir until dough just starts to come together. Stir in candied ginger. Dough should be thick and slightly sticky, not dry. If it is dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of milk and mix until the dough comes together.
On a very lightly floured surface, pat dough into a large circle about 3/4 to 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges and arrange on baking sheet, allowing room to spread.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until scones are lightly browned.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before glazing.

Cream Cheese Glaze
2 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
additional candied ginger, for topping

For the glaze: Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk until very smooth. Transfer to a small ziploc bag, snip off the corner and drizzle glaze on top of scones. Top with additional pieces of candied ginger, if desired.

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  • Heather
    April 15, 2011

    Yum! Those scones look perfect. And I love the addition of the Cream Cheese Glaze.

  • Nanette
    April 15, 2011

    very interesting. Love chai…love scones. Why not? Thanks for this one. Will try. N

  • Lora
    April 16, 2011

    Wow. What lovely scones with such beautiful flavors!

  • These scones sound great for a Sunday morning. I love Chai tea.

  • Brandy
    April 16, 2011

    Delicious! I made these this morning and I just wanted to hoard them all away for myself! But, alas, I have to share them.

  • Hilary @ Cupcake Avenger
    April 16, 2011

    What a great recipe! I have always triend to love scones, but am a HUGE fan of chai–so maybe this will be the winning recipe to bring me over to the scone side! 🙂

  • melissa@IWasBornToCook
    April 16, 2011

    My husband is a big chai lover – I know he would love these. Thanks!

  • I love chai, and am actually drinking a cup of chai tea right now! I’ll have to give these scones a try. I’ve recently made (and posted about) Chai Sugar Cookies and Chai Shortbread. I’ve got a few other chai recipes still to be tried!

  • Kris
    May 6, 2014

    We love chai but my husband is not a fan of candied ginger. Can I leave it out? if not what can I substitute it with?

  • Nicole
    May 8, 2014

    Kris – You can simply leave out the candied ginger, if you prefer. If you want to add some texture to the scones, you could add in chopped nuts (such as toasted walnuts) instead, but the ginger does not need to be replaced by anything.

  • Anastasia
    February 2, 2016

    I made these this morning… they are INCREDIBLE!! The candied ginger is soo yummy! Thanks for such a great recipe!
    Note: I had to use a bit more milk in the scone batter, and more powder sugar in the glaze (added until good consistency). I also made whipped cream to go along with the scones… delicious!

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