The shorter the days, the more spices show up in my baking. These easy-to-make pumpkin scones have a warming kick of pumpkin spice and a comforting drizzle of sweet maple glaze. The pastry is tender and flaky and unquestionably pumpkin flavored. Nothing warms up a cold autumn morning quite like pumpkin, spice, and maple.
Pumpkin scones make a special weekend treat for a family breakfast or brunch. You don’t have to worry about waking up too early to get these on the breakfast table, and you could even start them the night before for a rare chance to sleep in. My favorite part is saving a leftover scone for a quiet coffee break in the afternoon.
Tips for Perfectly Tender Scones
Similar to biscuits, tender scones require cold ingredients and a gentle hand. If you have time, dice the butter ahead of time and freeze it for at least 30 minutes before mixing the dough. Don’t worry about getting your eggs to room temperature for this recipe. This is a time when it’s actually best to use them straight from the fridge.
When stirring the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, avoid overmixing. It's okay if there are still some dry bits of flour. When the dough is overmixed, the gluten overdevelops, making scones tough and chewy instead of tender and flaky. After shaping the scones, chill them in the freezer while preheating the oven. They'll hold their shape better, and the butter will melt at the optimal time for flakiness.
Choosing Canned Pumpkin Purée
For baking, I almost always use canned pumpkin purée. It saves so much time compared to making homemade pumpkin purée, and I usually get a better result. When buying canned pumpkin, make sure it's 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. I always reach for Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin. It’s noticeably thicker and more flavorful than other brands I’ve tried.
Pump Up the Flavor with Add-Ins
So many fall flavors combine flawlessly with pumpkin. Think of these scones as a base recipe that is excellent on its own, but can also be used to create cozy combinations by adding:
- Nuts or seeds: My favorites are toasted chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds. Mix them directly in the dough, or sprinkle them on the maple glaze before it sets.
- Chocolate chips: Chocolate and pumpkin pair surprisingly well together. Try milk or dark, or my personal favorite, sweet and creamy white chocolate.
- Dried cranberries: They’re sweet, tangy, and chewy.
- Diced crystallized ginger: Add even more sweet bites of spice.
Add any mix-ins after method step 3, after cutting in the butter, but before mixing in the wet ingredients.
Make Ahead Strategies
These pumpkin scones can be mixed the night before and baked in the morning for an easy breakfast treat. Mix the dough the day before and after shaping the dough into a disk, wrap it and chill in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, continue where you left off: divide the dough into wedges and bake, skipping the freezing step since the dough is already cold.
Make All of These Scones!
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
For the pumpkin scones
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cold
3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (107g) dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (170g) canned pumpkin purée
2 large eggs, cold
2 tablespoons whole milk, for brushing
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
For the maple glaze
1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Freeze the butter:
Chop the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and chill it in the freezer while preparing the dry ingredients.
Line a baking sheet:
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
Cut in the butter:
Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture, tossing with your hands to distribute and coat the butter in the flour. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces.
If you don’t have a pastry blender, use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the flour, pressing and flaking the butter into pea-sized pieces throughout the flour.
Mix the wet ingredients:
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée and the eggs until smooth.
Make the dough:
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until the dough holds together. Don’t overmix. It’s okay if the dough is crumbly or a few dry bits remain.
Shape and divide:
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead the dough with your hands a few times to form a cohesive mass. Press the dough into an 8-inch circle about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Use a kitchen knife or a bench scraper to cut the disk into 8 equal-sized triangles.
Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1-inch apart.
Place the baking tray in the freezer to chill the scones while preheating the oven, 20 to 30 minutes.
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
Brush scones with milk and sprinkle with sugar:
Remove the scones from the freezer. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones lightly with some milk and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar.
Bake and then cool scones:
Bake the scones until golden on top and browned underneath, 17 to 22 minutes. Allow the scones to cool completely on the pan before adding the glaze.
Make the maple glaze:
While the scones cool, make the maple glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt until the glaze is smooth. Adjust the thickness to your preference by adding slightly more maple syrup to thin the glaze, or powdered sugar to thicken it.
Glaze the scones:
Use a spoon to drizzle the scones with the maple glaze. Allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes, then serve.
The scones will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days. For longer storage, the scones can be frozen for up to 2 months in a reusable freezer container or freezer bag. Let the scones defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before eating.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 19g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||57%|
|Total Carbohydrate 74g||27%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 37g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|