I’ve dated a lot of scones. Some were so dry, I wanted to ditch them at the table in the midst of our meal. Some were fun at first, but turned out to be bad for my health. Still others were too mushy to handle. Now at last, I found my scone true love: Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones.
I’m a scone fanatic. The sum of the scones I’ve devoured in my lifetime could sustain the population of a small island for a remarkable period. In my life’s work of scone eating (one of my more impressive achievements), I developed a clear idea of what I am looking for in my ideal scone: supreme moistness; ultra fluffiness; alluring flavor; light crunch at the top and edges; and the kicker—whole wheat flour.
Sure I love an indulgent, white-flour, heavy cream-laden scone every now and then, but for my regular baking and eating, I prefer whole wheat scones, which are more nourishing and filling. I’ve baked my way through an arsenal of whole wheat scone recipes, and while many were good, none were it—the supremely fluffy whole wheat scone of my dreams. Then, two weeks ago, I attended King Arthur Flour’s #BakeForGoodTour in Minneapolis, and my wildest whole wheat scone dreams came to fruition.
The recipe for Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones is based off of a whole wheat cranberry scone recipe that King Arthur Flour baking instructor Susan Reid prepared for us the first morning of the tour. They were the softest, fluffiest whole wheat scones I have ever tried. From first bite, I knew I had found the one. This recipe will be my go-to whole wheat scone base forevermore.
I love today’s springy tart rhubarb version, but I can see endless whole wheat scone variations in my future: apricot pecan; lemon blueberry; chocolate and more chocolate. Feel free to swap in whatever fruits/nuts/chips suit your fancy.
Bake For Good was a three-city tour hosted by King Arthur Flour that combined baking education with volunteering. I and the other bloggers received hands-on instruction in pie and yeast-bread making, two areas that can intimate even the most practiced of home bakers.
We then immediately put our skills to practice by baking dozens of pies and loaves of bread for a real-deal sit-down meal that we prepared and served at the Family Service Center in St. Paul. It was an enriching and powerful experience.
Beautiful work of the talented and creative Amanda.
Though I have attended other blog events, what made Bake For Good truly unique and special to me was the focus on volunteering. Though I was an avid volunteer through college and during my four years living in the Twin Cities after graduation, since moving to Madison, I am ashamed to admit that my volunteer hours have been sparse. Bake For Good reconnected me with the importance and joy of volunteering, and it reminded me that all of us have gifts to share.
Kathryne and I displaying our pie prowess. I was soooo proud of that lattice.
Brenda and I rocking our sweet hairnets and tossing salad like champs.
Baking has been a part of my life since I was a little girl.
Every Wednesday in the summer, my Grammy would select a new dessert recipe, shop for the ingredients, then bring me to her house and teach me to bake it. I learned so many wonderful skills from her, but prior to Bake For Good, the primary beneficiaries of those skills were the guys I dated and my co-workers.
Bake For Good reminded me that our skills and our passions have a broader place in the world, even if that place feels very small to us at the time. On the Bake For Good Tour, we cooked nearly 100 from-scratch meals for homeless families. It was a team accomplishment, but guess what? We can each Bake For Good, right where we are, right now.
Baking instructor Susan Reid teaches us to bake the bread that we would serve at the Family Service Center.
I baked these Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones for a co-worker who has been under an unusual amount of stress.
No, I didn’t serve another 100 meals, but I did bring a little bit of joy to someone’s day, and if my baking made the second floor of our office building a happier place to be, then I have done good work.
Speaking of good work, I definitely bust out the ruler to measure my scone dough as I pat it into a disk. Scones deserve this level of TLC (and they bake more evenly too!)
Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones use a few of my favorite King Arthur Flour products, boiled cider (think golden, concentrated apple-icious nectar of the gods) and sparkling sugar. I first revealed boiled cider as the secret ingredient in this divine Fresh Apple Cake, and I’ve been smitten with the combination of rhubarb and apple since Sparkling Rhubarb Apple Sangria came into my life.
I knew I wanted to add rhubarb to the whole wheat scones, and boiled cider seemed like the perfect ingredient to sweeten and balance the tart rhubarb.The dusting of sparkling sugar on top provides a delightful crunch. Plus, everyone deserves a little bling, so let’s gussy-up the scones, shall we?
The original King Arthur Flour recipe for whole wheat scones calls for white whole wheat flour, which has the same nutritional properties as regular (red) whole wheat flour but a milder taste.
At Bake For Good, we did a side-by-side white whole wheat vs. regular whole wheat scone taste test, and I prefer the nutty flavor of regular whole wheat flour in my scones. Though I selfishly selected my regular whole wheat flour preference for the recipe, feel free to choose whichever variety you prefer.Final selling point: scones are some of the absolute best baked goods to make and freeze ahead. Make the batter and shape the scones on a baking sheet just as you ordinarily would. Then, instead of putting the sheet in the oven, pop it into your freezer! Once the scones have hardened, wrap them individually in plastic, then pop them into a zip-top bag. Whenever you are craving a freshly baked scone, simply unwrap and bake. No need to thaw—just add a few minutes to the baking time. They’ll taste just as fresh and wonderful as if you had made the batter that morning.
Now, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce you to the one: Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones. Moist, fluffy, and delicately crunchy, this will be my go-to whole wheat scone base recipe forever and always. True love lasts a lifetime, even my next batch of whole wheat scones vanishes by noon.
Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat if you prefer a milder taste)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup diced rhubarb (or the fruits, nuts, and/or chips of your choice)
- ½ cup cold buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons ( plus 1 additional tablespoon as needed)
- 3 tablespoons boiled cider*
- 1 large egg separated
- Sparkling sugar optional
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheeting with parchment paper and set aside. Dice butter into small pieces and place in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry blender or place the mixer on low speed. Continue working in the butter until some pieces are the size of oat flakes and some are the size of your thumbnail. The butter pieces may look large, but this is OK. By hand with a spatula, gently fold in the rhubarb.
- Whisk together ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, the boiled cider, and egg yolk.Stir into the dry mixture until a soft, moist dough forms. The dough should be somewhat sticky and not at all dry. If it seems too dry, sprinkle in 1 additional tablespoon of buttermilk.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, then pat it into a 7-inch disk. Cut dough into 8 wedges. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet. For crispier scones, gently separate the wedges. For softer, higher-rising scones, leave the wedges in a circle (I placed mine in a slightly spaced circle for the best of both worlds).
- Beat the egg white in a small bowl, then brush over the tops of the scones. Sprinkle generously with sparkling sugar, then bake for 18 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half-way through. Begin checking at the 18-minute mark (the farther the scones are apart, the more quickly they will bake.) Remove the scones from the oven when they are light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
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I feel so privileged to have shared my Bake For Good experience with an incredible group of bloggers. It’s a weekend I will never forget, and I plan to continue to #BakeForGood wherever my next bag of flour leads me.
- Jena – Little Rusted Ladle
- Natasha – King Arthur Flour
- Alice – Hip Foodie Mom
- Shaina – Food For My Family
- Yours truly
- Julia – King Arthur Flour
- Kathryne – Cookie and Kate
- Chef Susan – King Arthur Flour
- Stefani – Cupcake Project
- Taylor – Greens & Chocolate
- Kristin – Pastry Affair
Thank you King Arthur Flour for a wonderful experience in Minneapolis. My trip lodging and meals were covered, but I was not compensated to write this post. As always, all opinions are my own.