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.

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.

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scone Recipe. Made with buttermilk, these are the fluffiest whole wheat scones of all time!

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.

Bake for Good Pie

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.

Pie Girls

Kathryne and I displaying our pie prowess. I was soooo proud of that lattice.

Mac Taste Test

Jim, Alice, and Shaina confirm that the mac and cheese bechamel was juuuuuust right. (I verified their findings.)

Team Salad

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.

Dough Lesson
Dough ball

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 Buttermilk Scones. My favorite whole wheat scone recipe EVER!

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.
Whole Wheat Scones with Rhubarb

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

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones

5 from 3 votes
Moist, fluffy, and absolutely heavenly, this is the perfect whole wheat scone recipe. Spring rhubarb adds a nice kick, but feel free to use this recipe as a base for all of your favorite scone mix-ins.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 8 scones

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup diced rhubarb (or the fruits, nuts, and/or chips of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons ( plus 1 additional tablespoon as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons boiled cider*
  • 1 large egg separated
  • Sparkling sugar optional

Instructions
 

  • 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 1/2 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.

Notes

*Boiled cider is a highly concentrated and intensely flavored apple cider. If you do not have it handy, you can substitute additional buttermilk. Or, to make your own boiled cider: Add 1/2 gallon of apple cider to a large (non-reactive) Dutch oven or pot. Over medium high-heat, bring the cider to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 hours, or until the cider has reduced to about 1 cup and has a thick, syrupy consistency. Transfer to a small jar and store in the refrigerator. Scones are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be individually wrapped and stored at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

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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.

BakeForGood_Participants

front row:

center row:

back row:

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.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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131 Comments

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  1. Girl, I just wanted to tell you how much I love this post! 1. you are so FREAKING CUTE. I want to eat you. Don’t worry, I wont.
    2. These pictures look so fun, and SUCH a great cause!! I’m so excited that you got to help with it! :)
    3. These scones are gorgeous. My hubby loves scones…and rhubarb! Perfect!
    P.s I TOTALLY bust the ruler out when I make scones…glad I’m not alone! Pinned!

    1. High-five for rhubarb measuring. Girl, I am for it, and you can tell your hubby so ;-) Thanks, as always!!

  2. I will buy ingredients to make cookies to send to my grandparents and the other folks who live in their independent living facility!

  3. OPen a bakeru. Please. I alone will keep you in business! These scones look absoutely incredible. The soft inside, the sugar chunks, the juicy rhubarb – girl, its too much! Love love LOVE this recipe! Pinning!

  4. Erin, I so enjoyed meeting you and participating in #BakeforGood with you and everyone else. . what a great time we had! Love these scones and here’s hoping #bakeforgood catches on! See you next month! Cheers!

    1. It was so wonderful meeting you too Alice!! Looking forward to Miami and definitely all for the #BakeForGood movement sweeping the nation!

  5. Scones ARE my weakness. I even keep KA scone mixes for emergencies (just don’t tell anyone…LOL) and just adore the boiled cider. Have to admit, never thought of putting rhubarb in them. A must try..so send the winnings here. Wink!

    1. Teresa, I will never judge–their scone mixes are incredible. I bake from scratch 99% of the time, but if I make an exception, it’s almost always for the KAF scones. They are amazing!

  6. I am so excited to try these scones. Like you I will be making them for a co-worker who has been exceptionally stressed lately. I hope they brighten her day!

  7. It looks like that everyone had a great time!
    Can’t wait to try your scone recipe! They look super, Erin.

  8. It sounds like you had an awesome time…I’m a bit jealous! I also love scones and I will have to give this recipe a try. I enjoy sharing my love of baking with others. I would use this prize and the items I bake from it to share with my family, friends, church teachers and the staff at my son’s school! Thanks!

    1. I really did Amy, thank you! Great to hear from someone who loves baking for others too. It sounds like all of those around you are so lucky to know you!

  9. Here’s the link to my Facebook post about your giveaway!

    https://www.facebook.com/amy.madduxcooley?fref=nf

  10. These scones look delicious and something I need to try! I donate my baked goods to our church youth group!

  11. I cannot wait to try this recipe!! I love bringing homemade treats into work-yummy snacks help make the work day so much better!

    1. Homemade treats never fail to brighten my day at the office Rachael. Your coworkers will love you for it!

  12. I think I have a love hate relationship with scones but these would definitely be a LOVE!

  13. I would bake something for my mother for Mother’s Day. My Dad used to make breads of various types and he only used ingredients from King Arthur. He loved ordering from them. He received a large order before he unexpectedly passed away last year, some of which he shared with me.

    1. Helen, what an incredible story and a special way to remember your dad. Thank you so much for sharing this memory with me, and I know that your mom will love whatever you make!

  14. Ah, love this whole post! I would #BakeForGood to bring in scones for my high school students- prom season and AP test and college decision stress merits such a delectable treat. (:

    1. Thank you so much Georgia! And your student’s would LOVE you for those treats. What a sweet idea!

  15. YUM! I’m doing a scone recipe for my BFG post too :) I absolutely LOVE rhubarb…it reminds me of my grandma since she always had a ton of rhubarb for us to pick each spring. So much fun meeting you!!

    1. It was so great meeting you too Taylor! I hope our paths cross again soon, and I can’t wait to see your scones too.

  16. I am so happy to learn that I am not the only one who uses a ruler when making scones! (My husband will be happy to know that it’s not just me, too! ;) ) These look perfect Erin!

  17. These look amazing! I will be trying these this weekend–while my rhubarb is not yet up outside, I still have some in my freezer that should work okay!

  18. What a truly cool experience that must have been! Thanks for sharing it…I’ve been eagerly waiting to see photos :) The scones look super yummy too :)

  19. Erin, this sounds like such an amazing event. How fun, not only do you get a little baking lesson you get to volunteer for a great cause. These scones look delicious!

  20. Hi Erin! I’m going to try baking once a week. We have some older neighbors who could use a little extra love, and I want to send cheer to a neighbor of mine who has Parkinson’s Disease. I’ll be baking a variety of biscotti, and I definitely want to try your rhubarb scones—maybe with some strawberries, too!

    1. Diane, what an incredibly sweet act of kindness! Your neighbors are a lucky bunch to share a street with you :)

  21. I would start by baking these scones and feeding them to everyone I come in contact with!! I’ve never even heard of boiled cider before, but I want some STAT and I want to use it to bake these scones! I have a recent love of rhubarb, and currently have a rhubarb and raspberry pie on the counter that won’t last long!

    1. Kate, boiled cider is wonderful. I bet you’d love it! Speaking of love, rhubarb and raspberry sounds like an incredible combo. I might have to try that soon!

  22. I like to bring in treats for my student employees (I work at a college) to give them a taste of home. I’ll also be doing some baking for two expectant mothers when they deliver in early summer so they have some treats to enjoy.

    1. Nikki, those are all such wonderful people with whom to share your baking talents. I bet they would love every bite!

  23. I agree, the boiled cider is reason enough. It’s not really charity baking, but I’d make my son an apple pie.

    1. Patti, isn’t boiled cider AMAZING??? Also, I love that you would bake a pie for your son! I bet he’d appreciate it so much.

  24. I would use this prize to bake some goodies for the new mamas at our church! I am sure they would appreciate a boost of energy (i mean…sugar…ahem) in the form of baked goods!

  25. Sounds like Bake for Good brought you a really great opportunity, and it looked like so much fun! Thanks for sharing these scrumptious scones, Erin!

  26. I will bake for my broke-starving-exam-stressed-college nieces and nephews – they all need pre-exam care packages!

    1. Sara, it sounds like you are the best aunt EVER! I still remember pre-exam care packages–they never failed to brighten my entire week!

  27. I would use the price to bake for good at the charter school – family service center I teach at – for our end of the year student-parent celebration

  28. I’d bake some scones to share with the hard working ladies in my Linus Project sewing group–a healthy treat always makes the stitches more even, you know!

  29. Yummy, I love rhubarb; can’t wait to try these. I’d use the winnings to bake some treats for new neighbors.

  30. I will make some goodies for my brother to share with the nurses and patients where he goes for chemo.

    1. Sandy, what an amazing group to bake for. I’m sure they would appreciate your goodies more than you could ever know! Thanks for sharing.

  31. The first thing I’d do is try out your scone recipe. I never know what to do with rhubabrb but I love scones and now I have te perfect excuse to bake with it.

  32. Ah, memories! The Bake For Good Tour was so fun. Those whole wheat scones were killer. I can’t wait to try making them at home!

    1. Thanks Kate! I’ve been enjoying reliving the trip via baked goods. Next up: pie crust. Lattice optional.

  33. Great cause, beautiful scones… and if Kate from Cookie + Kate say they’re killer, then they must be delicious, too! I’d love to do more baking for my husband’s squadron. Those men and women work so hard, and deserve a baked treat!

    1. Heather, I would say that Kate definitely has great taste in scones too! :-) I think it’s wonderful that you would bake for your husband’s squadron. What an incredible, inspiring group. They absolutely deserve a baked treat and then some!

  34. This is such a great post and cause Erin, thanks for sharing with us! Hehe, I totally keep a ruler in the kitchen too – love these scones, they look fantastic girl!

  35. These scones sound so amazing! I love how you cut your scones into triangles before baking- we traditionally always make round scones here! :)

    1. I’m a sucker for the edges Jessica! That’s why I go triangle all the way (though if you handed me a round scone, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down…)

  36. Erin, this looks SO fun! I volunteered quite a bit in college with my sorority, but the one opportunity that had the most impact was serving meals to the homeless in my little college town. I had no idea so many were struggling. It made me really think about and appreciate all that I have.
    Now, I spend my free time volunteering with the schools my kids attend. And honestly, if I won, I would likely make a treat for the teachers. They do SO much and have such great impact on my kids’ lives – they certainly deserve a special treat! (I do occasionally send in goodies – but I think they deserve more!)
    I {heart} scones. Dry, crumbly, over baked is no good … but these absolutely look like THE one! I have a great apple recipe that is a snap to make, but lemon blueberry sounds amazing!!! Mmmmm … now I want a scone! Guess what I’ll be making today?! :)

    1. Gretchen, I think it is so fantastic of you to volunteer at school and to bake for the teachers too. I have no doubt that they deserve it!! (And I bet your apple scones are wonderful too :) )

  37. What a super cool and fun opportunity to hang out with some fellow food bloggers and the King Arthur Flour peeps for a good cause! My wife and I both help out with our church’s middle school youth group and it is so rewarding. Maybe we would have to bake them some goodies!

    These scones look amazing! I’m looking forward to doing some baking with rhubarb soon!

  38. Baking is always an act of joy and empathy. It’s very hard to find a good scone, so I’m printing this recipe! And, yes, King Arthur flour is sitting in my cupboard.

  39. I live about an hour and a half away from the KAF store in Norwhich and it works out perfectly as its a mid point between me and my best friend in Boston. Nothing better than heading to the store and shopping, grabbing an iced coffee and a baked good from the cafe and then hopping across the river for some strolling around Dartmouth college campus and some lunch at Molly’s. It is my less expensive version of therapy!

    1. Amy, I’ve actually been there! One of my best friends went to med school at Dartmouth, and when I went to visit her, we spent time in the KAF store. I still dream about the pumpkin whoopie pie I devoured! It truly is heaven on earth (and the best therapy I could wish for.) Thanks for sharing this special tradition. You live in a beautiful place!

  40. I wish I lived near King Arthur! What I wouldn’t give for a class (or four!) and maybe a caffeinated beverage! But if I were to win, I’d bake something for my students, who are nearing the end of a hard semester.

  41. When I #bakeforgood I usually bring my snacks to my local watering hole to delight the patrons. Really it’s just a way for me to not eat all of the brownies or cake by myself, in one sitting. So it might be more of a #bakeforselfishgood? Either way, I’ve definitely made a few people drool and smile-and also suffer when it doesn’t turn out to well. I may have the wrong concept going for me!

    1. Emily, I think as long as you are baking and sharing EVERYONE wins (which is exactly what I’ll be telling myself as I rationalize the pan of PB brownies I have every intention of making and devouring this week!)

  42. I will bake for a friend at church who is going through chemo. My husband recently finished his chemo.

    1. Judith, wow. I am so touched by the bravery of your friend and husband. Wishing you all of the best, and I have every confidence that your baked treats will brighten their day!

  43. I would bake some treats for my good friend and her children who are currently in the throes of a contentious divorce.

    1. Karen, my heart goes out to your friend and her kids! I’m sure your treats would brighten their day.

  44. I’ve been reading the whole series of these Bake for Good posts and I am SO encouraged by you and the other girls. It’s a fantastic movement to be a part of, I would totally be jumping on board if I was in the same country! I do still bake for good over here though, I’ve made banana bread for my colleagues today! Like your scones, a little bit of warmth and baked generosity can make a difference in my opinion! xxx

    1. Your colleagues are one lucky bunch Laura! #BakeForGood knows no boundaries, and it sounds like you are bringing it to life down under. High five!

  45. i’ll bake for my student worker at the library! it’s finals and the students could all use some love.

  46. These scones have me dreaming of rhubarb (which I am yet to find by me). I would have a hard time giving them away, but it sounds like you made your coworkers day! Love that.

  47. My Dad has rhubarb that has come up in his garden for over 30 years! We always need a new recipe for it… and this one is just perfect!!!!!!! Something the entire family would enjoy!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Mary! I hope your whole family enjoys it (and I’m jealous of your dad’s rhubarb supply too!)

    1. What a lovely gift for her they would be Lynee! I think it’s wonderful that your grandmother grows rhubarb too. I hope to do the same some day!

  48. I will use this to buy things to make treats with my 4 year old son and take the leftovers to school to feed my fellow, struggling cosmetology school classmates:-)

  49. I love your recipies, and this is a very welcome opportunity to enter this giveaway. a

  50. these look amazing!! Do you think I could make the dough the night before and refrigerate, then bake in the morning? Or should I freeze it overnight? 

    1. Hi Christina, you might be able to get away with refrigerating, but I would freeze them just to be safe. Hope you love them!

  51. I have made this recipe dozens of times now using craisins (always on hand) and my kids love them. Thank-you!!!5 stars

    1. That’s wonderful, Shannon! I’m so glad you enjoy the scones. Thank you so much for leaving this wonderful comment!

  52. These are soooo delicious! I received 32 cups (!!) of rhubarb from coworkers’ gardens, so have been looking for all the rhubarb recipes :D A tasty scone with delicious, juicy, tart rhubarb bites sprinkled throughout! The recipe was super clear, I used white whole wheat flour and extra buttermilk instead of boiled cider and the scones turned out perfectly. Thanks Erin!5 stars

  53. Beautiful scones! I substituted 1.5 T pomegranate syrup for the boiled syrup and upped the buttermilk by 1.5 T. Thank you for a delicious healthy scone.5 stars