Treacle ginger scones recipe

Treacle scones are traditionally made with a bit of cinnamon, but I thought I’d try ginger for a wee change.

This is the recipe I used, although next time I’ll alter it a bit and you’ll see why below. Sometimes it can be helpful to see mistakes and then possibly avoid making them yourself.

Ingredients and Method (all in a oner because I’m lazy)

1. Switch your oven on (with a shelf near the top) at a high heat. I used 210ºC in a fan oven, which I think is 230ºC in a normal electric oven and about gas mark 8.

2. Using your fingertips (you can use an electric mixer but I prefer the old-fashioned method), rub together:

6oz self raising white flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

2oz butter/margarine (I used solid baking margarine)


Flour and fat – I don’t bother sieving the flour, just shake it in a bit above the bowl and then some air gets into it as it falls


Rub the fat into the flour, very lightly. If you lift your hands as you pick up the flour and fat you bring more air into the mix. You’ll see that there are lumps of yellow that haven’t been rubbed in much, that’s what you want. If you rub in too much the scone will be heavy and solid.

3. Add:

1oz soft brown sugar

2oz (1 tablespoon) treacle

1 teaspoon ground ginger (or more if you like it fiery, or cinnamon if you prefer)

some crystalised ginger chopped up (optional, I used about half an ounce)

1 beaten egg (retaining a little – a level teaspoon or so – for brushing on top of the scones before they go into the oven, if you like them to come out shiny)

2 tablespoons milk


Bung everything into the bowl, adding the milk and egg last (they haven’t yet gone into the bowl in the picture above). Then mix it all together with a spoon, knife or other implement of your choice.

What you should end up with is a soft, pliable dough, not like this (apologies for poor focus, my hands were sticky), which is too wet:


Too wet – determined to stick to the sides of the bowl

It was at this point that I realised I should have used less milk, or possibly omitted it altogether. I used a large egg and the treacle gave a bit of moisture too. This is how I would tweak the recipe above, just add a wee spot of milk at a time if you think the mixture’s too stiff. It should be soft and dampish but not so wet that it sticks to your hands.

To rectify the situation, I added a bit of flour, to get a consistency that was still a bit on the damp side but at least prepared to come away from the bowl:


Damp but manageable dough

4. Take the dough out of the bowl and plop it onto a well floured work surface.


5. Handling it lightly, flatten it out on top so that it’s more or less even all over and as thick as you fancy making it. I tend to make mine about the thickness of the height of the scone cutter, probably between 2cm and 3cm thick.

6. Shoogle the cutter into the flour on the work surface and plunge it straight down into the dough without twisting:


If your mixture’s very wet, as mine was, you might have trouble getting the dough out of the cutter:


I’m shaking it but it won’t come out.

I had to resort to turning the cutter upside down and gently persuading it to fall out of the top:


Come on, oot wi’ ye!

When I managed to get it out I popped it on a baking tray:


Now you just sit there nicely while I get your bedfellows.

7. Cut out the rest of the dough (there is invariably a wee bit at the end that doesn’t make up a full size scone, in which case I form it lightly into a sconeish shape) and put all scones onto the tray.

8. Brush the tops (and sides, if you’re feeling meticulous) of the scones with the leftover beaten egg (you can use milk instead but egg gives a shinier finish):


If you cook the scones at a lower temperature than I did you might find that they don’t get crispy on the outside, and I know some people prefer a chewier textured top, in which case use a lower heat. I like mine crisp outside and soft inside, however, which is why I go for the high heat.

For the last 4 minutes I turned my oven down to 190ºC (210ºC/gas 6 or 7) because the scones seemed to be getting quite brown. I don’t always do this, but I was cooking these for a couple of minutes longer than I might have done with a drier mixture.

The finished result demonstrates what happens when the scone mixture is too damp – the scones have keeled over instead of rising up:


The poor things tried their best to rise up but the damp mixture meant they burgeoned more outwards than upwards.

The tops were crisp but the inside was soft and, most importantly, there were lots of air holes that made for a light texture. The scone I had melted in the mouth in a way that my scones don’t always do, and I think that was due to using a higher than normal ratio of fat to flour.


Air holes: a result of not rubbing in too vigorously.

Not too bad for a morning snack, particularly with a nice pot of jasmine pearls tea:



31 thoughts on “Treacle ginger scones recipe

  1. Given that the mixture was too damp and they didn’t rise as perhaps they should have, just send them my way Lorna and I’ll take care of them!

  2. Ooh I must try these! Thank you for the recipe. They look delicious! Do you think golden syrup would be OK as a substitute for treacle? I have used it before in other cakes and they turned out OK. Excellent photography – and you even showed how to correct a potential problem. The uncooked scone looks almost like a souffle! You will have all your followers baking these by tomorrow! 🙂

    • Thank you, Jo, I reckon golden syrup would be fine instead of treacle, they’ll just taste more syrupy than treacley, and no doubt come out a bit paler. Depending on how sweet you like your scones you might want to use less sugar, or possibly no sugar, if you’re using golden syrup as I think it tastes sweeter than treacle. You could, of course, omit the treacle/syrup altogether and just use sugar or, also very nice, a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup. With scones the possibilities are endless! Happy baking, I hope they turn out well if you make them.

      • I’m doing an experiment to see if my reply works if I reply directly via your blog page, rather than in the ‘notifications’ on my dashboard. I think I’ve spammed you again! 😀

    • I believe treacle and molasses are indeed the same thing. I think the key with fluffiness is not to rub in the fat too much, and to get plenty of air in as you do the rubbing in. It’s good to be theatrical and flamboyant when making scones.

  3. Awesome! Thank-you for sharing the knowledge. I have been accustomed to get worried if I didn’t get all the butter rubbed in, but now I can just relax about that bit. I’m going to be making these sometime soon.

    • I used to be the same, very concentrated on getting the fat rubbed in properly and I couldn’t understand why my attention to detail fell flat, but then I learned the secret and my scones have been better since then. A quick, airy light touch is the answer, I think.

    • What I love about scones (apart from eating them) is that they’re so quick to make. You can get your ingredients out, mix them up, have the scones cooked and cooling on a rack in half an hour. That’s my kind of baking!

    • Thanks Darlene, I think they would have been fine without the crystalised ginger but it’s good to experiment. They certainly tasted warming and comforting, a good scone for a cold day.

  4. Delicious! Love the treacle & the mixed spice. It has lovely airy holes exactly as you describe and without a doubt look tea time perfect! I had a go ate king cream scones recently, also a great success and very tasty too.

    Now I wish I’d had a jar of treacle too 🙂

    • There’s nothing quite like a cream scone, Alice, mmmmm. I was thinking as I made these that they’re really more of a winter scone than a summer one with those treacle and ginger notes. These would do for a lopsided teatime but I’d have to do a better job if I had special visitors coming to tea.

  5. What a great looking scone… I call this “rustic”…but oh so tempting. Will definitely try your recipe. sounds like a nice spicy scone for the holidays too. Thanks for the step by step photos and including the challenges too. As always, your writing is so engaging…I smiled the whole way through.

    • I take that as a huge compliment coming from you, Linda, thank you very much. I think people are often troubled by scone making because it doesn’t always go according to plan, even if you follow the recipe. As with most cooking, it’s a case of trial and error and practice, practice, practice, but it’s nice if you can avoid common mistakes in advance. I wish I’d known about the rubbing in business earlier because it was years before I found out that I was rubbing in too vigorously, and since following the less is more routine my scones have been consistently lighter.

  6. Hi Lorna, I have just made these scones and I am just enjoying one right now! The best scones I’ve ever made, in fact. Crisp on the outside and soft inside – almost a cross between a scone and a ginger cake (a bit decadent to put butter on, in fact!) Thank you again.

    • Hooray! That’s wonderful, Jo. Did you use golden syrup in place of treacle? They are rather cakey with that amount of fat in them. I’m so pleased they turned out well for you. 🙂

      • No, I used treacle in the end – they turned out a lovely dark colour. They haven’t risen quite as much as a ‘textbook’ scone but they make up for it in terms of softness. Don’t mind the cake-iness at all. Delicious!

        • My treacle scones never rise as well as other ones and I assume it must be due to the weight and consistency of the treacle. I’ve also found that scones that have some sort of syrupy ingredient such as treacle tend to have a smoother cakier texture. Just a dash of maple syrup can transform the consistency of scone dough, it’s worth experimenting with.

          • I thought that was probably the reason – also, I don’t think I cut them out as deep as yours in your photo. But they’re still light and fluffy, and crisp on the outside. I’ll be trying these again! 🙂

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