My parents like to travel a lot: sometimes because of my dad’s job and sometimes to see new places. They like to bring me different types of food from these places. Recently, they brought me roasted cocoa beans from Belize. I wasn’t sure what to do with unshelled cocoa beans, so they have been sitting in my pantry while I figure that out.

I do know that my second boy loves eating the cacao nibs from these cocoa beans. They are so full of caffeine though that he acts completely not like himself when he has some!

Cocoa beans are a pain to shell by hand!

This is a cocoa bean after I took a rolling pin to it. That didn’t work too well. I hit it a little too hard! Tapping the bean very lightly with the rolling pin ended up being the easiest way to crack the shell and gain access to the nib inside.

After about 30 minutes, I only had a little less than a 1/4 cup of cacao nibs. That turned out to be plenty for 8 scones. In fact, I probably should have tried to make these nibs even smaller.

I used my usual scone recipe and just added 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/4 cup candied ginger, and the cacao nibs.

Ginger-Cardamom Scones with Cacao Nibs

Servings: 8



  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tsp heavy cream or water (up to 10 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, ginger, and cardamom. Using pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add in the cacao nibs. Make well in center and pour in heavy cream. Fold everything together; do not overwork.
  • Press dough out on lightly floured surface into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Cut circle into 8 wedges. Place scones on ungreased cookie sheet, top with candied ginger, and brush with heavy cream. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let scones cool before drizzling with icing.

Icing drizzle:

  • Mix together powdered sugar, heavy cream/water, and vanilla until combined. Add more heavy cream/water as needed (up to 10 tsp) to reach desired thickness.

Unbaked ginger-cardamom scone.

The scone after baking. The candied ginger disappeared into the dough. I think the quality of my candied ginger wasn’t very good; I will use a better kind next time.

I have learned that scones just look better with a glaze on them! Not all of them need the glaze. In fact, this one probably would have done better without it. I will give it a try without glaze next time. I think this recipe still needs a little work. The ginger flavor could be more pronounced, as well as the cardamom. They must still have been good, because my kids were more excited about these than the lemon poppyseed scones I made at the same time!


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