Gingerbread Cranberry Scones

What happens when you finally remember to open your eyes and see? A delicious batch of scones and a whack of images to show for it.

This recipe came about by accident. Some extra molasses, a handful of fresh cranberries leftover from the holiday baking season, a personal quest to improve my lighting strategies and a diatribe about the lost of art seeing. You can read the accompanying blog post, “Bird Brain” here.

Things to note:

  • Keeping the butter nice and chilled is key! I recommend measuring out the required amount, cutting it into small cubes and chucking it into the fridge before mixing it up. Another strategy is to avoid using your hands to mix the dough. Use things like forks, bench scrapers etc that don’t transfer heat so the butter will remain intact.

  • Don’t like cranberries? Try something else! Candied ginger, toasted nuts are a few good options. Its your life, your scone - take control!

gingerbread cranberry scones recipe jennifer hulley food stylist food photographer hamilton ontario food blog


  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 fancy molasses

  • 1 yolk from large egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 375F and prep a baking sheet with parchment paper

  • In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour(s), sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

  • Using a pastry cutter, add the chilled butter and blend by hand, until the have butter pieces the size of green peas.

  • in another bowl whisk together the egg, milk, molasses and vanilla

  • pour the wet ingredients over the flour/butter mixture and mix gently. I like to use a bench scraper to do this to avoid my hands heating up the dough and melting the butter.

  • Add the cranberries and mix by hand, taking care not to over mix. You can use your fingers to press the cranberries into the dough if they pop out.

  • Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and mix by hand until the dough comes together. It should still be somewhat dry and butter should be visible.

  • Shape the dough into a ball and flatten gently with a rolling pin until it is 6 inches in diameter.

  • Using a knife cut into 8 equal slices

  • Arrange the slices on the parchment lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden and you can smell the gingerbread!

  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


This part here is a bit of an “un-recipe” and requires a bit of experimenting. I’d love to say add this much to this much and voila, you have a glaze! But the reality is that it can be a bit temperamental and depend on things like humidity level, temperature etc. So taking baby steps here is the best approach.

To achieve your idea of the perfect glaze do the following:

  • Take 1 cup powdered icing sugar and add 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time, whisking to blend.

  • Once you achieve a consistency that is quite thick and drips slowly from the whisk you are ready!

  • The thicker the glaze the slower it will drizzle and the more it will maintain that thick opaque look.

  • Glaze that is slightly runnier will drip quickly but will also absorb into the scone leaving you more with a transparent effect (think what the white glaze is like on a chocolate glaze donut vs the vanilla dip at tim hortons)

gingerbread cranberry scones recipe jennifer hulley food stylist food photography food blog

 Want a great story to read while you wait for the scones to bake? This recipe was part of an blog post called “Bird Brain” . You can read the post here.