Scones are one of the best coffee shop treats – right?! And what is fall without a pumpkin scone 🍂 I’ve been making these homemade ones for years, and now they are a favorite of my kids.
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I have no patience at all when it comes to whining, but recently she has learned to just ask nicely if we can make something else as well – and I’ll always have patience to make a batch of scones.
These are incredibly easy to whip up. You just have to make sure to follow the instructions. Most importantly: Use cold butter, don’t overwork the dough and cut these autumnal guys with a fairly sharp tool (I usually use my OXO Dough Scraper for this – works like a charm!). These tips will already help you make beautiful scones, but I’ve got more information in the recipe card below to perfect them.
I’ve made a few different versions of pumpkin scones over the years, and I know many recipes only use cinnamon as a spice (at least they did back in 2012 before #PSL was a thing). I most definitely recommend using all pumpkin pie spice to make these very flavorful. But if you don’t have any/are not a fan, cinnamon is an acceptable substitute if you’re OK with not having those warm pumpkin spice flavors in your scones. You could also make your own – see my recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Mix.
We love to cozy up with a Pumpkin Scone just as much on a crisp Saturday morning as we do for a special after school snack. I’ll make a batch of Slow Cooker Hot Apple Cider to go with them and we’ll watch the leaves falling and inevitably there will be a sibling fight over who’s got the more orange scone. Ah, memories 😉
Who doesn't love a good homemade Pumpkin Scone on a crisp fall morning?! These tender, soft and fluffy scones are made with just a handful of simple ingredients you probably have on hand already - just as easy as going out to buy some! We let ours cool and then drizzle them with plenty of glaze. But you can also sprinkle them with sugar before baking instead, then enjoy them warm out of the oven!
For the Scones:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons whole milk OR heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the White Glaze:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the Maple Glaze:
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon molasses (optional for a darker color)
- Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and flour well. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Make scone dough: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form.
Whisk togteher the pumpkin, milk, egg and vanilla in a separate measuring jug. Pour into flour mix.
Use a spatula to fold the two together. Only fold JUST until combined. Do NOT overmix! It will look scraggly, that's fine.
- Shape scones: Empty the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly flour the top, then push into a flat 9-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges.
Pull them about 2 inches apart to leave room for expansion during baking.
- Bake the scones: Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until done. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Glaze the scones: Stir all ingredients for the white glaze together. Generously glaze the top of each scone and allow to set. Mix all ingredients for the maple glaze together and drizzle over the scones.
Ingredients should be cold: Scones rely heavily on the cold butter creating a form of lamination to rise. It it very important to use all cold ingredients (butter, milk and egg; the other ingredients can be at room temperature) so this process can work correctly.
Making the dough: Just like pie crust, you want to avoid overworking the dough - otherwise you'll develop the gluten in the flour too much and your scones will come out more chewy like bread vs light and fluffy.
- use a spatula to combine the pumpkin mix and the flour mix - not a whisk or a mixer
- do not knead the dough when you turn it out onto the baking sheet, only push it down and together into a ball, then flatten it
- if the dough feels very crumbly when you push it together, add an extra tablespoon of milk. if the dough feels extremely sticky, add a little bit of flour (do not add too much flour or they'll turn out dry and powdery)
Getting a good rise: It can be tricky to get a nice, evenly risen scone - unless you know a few tricks!
- do make sure you're working with cold ingredients, and put the dough together quickly so it doesn't warm up too much.
- combine the dry ingredients very well to evenly distribute the baking powder - unevenly distributed baking powder can be a reason for lopsided scones.
- don't overwork the dough: overworking the dough will keep the scones from rising nicely, so they won't be big and fluffy
- cut the scones with a sharp tool to get clear cuts - this helps a lot to create evenly risen scones! I love my Oxo Dough Scraper for this.
- don't forget to preheat the oven, baked goods like scones need the appropriate heat right as they enter the oven for the baking powder to work with full power.
Glaze: The glaze is optional - if you don't want to use it, sprinkle the scones with granulated sugar or light brown sugar before baking. If you do glaze them, make sure the scones are cooled completely, or the glaze won't set.
Gluten free: Since scones don't rely on gluten (on the contrary - you want to avoid developing the gluten too much!), they are well suited to make gluten free. Use a cup-for-cup gluten free flour blend and make sure to check all ingredients to make sure they are certified gf; especially the baking powder.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: If you don't have any pumpkin spice mix, either see my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Mix; or use ground cinnamon and a few pinches of ground ginger instead.
Canned Pumpkin: You can also use homemade pumpkin puree; just make sure it's firm and not runny (or your dough will be too slack). Drain and pat dry if necessary.
Butter: Please do not use any substitutes for the butter! It's the only way to make a nice scone.
Baking powder: Yes, that really is 1 tablespoon. You need it to get those perfectly big and fluffy bakery-style scones!
Unfortunately, scones do not keep too well. They are best eaten the day they are made so they're the softest and fluffiest they can be.
I find that if I keep them in an airtight container on the counter, they are still fine to eat a day after making them. Any longer than that and they dry out and get tough.
These freeze well without the glaze.
Let the scones cool completely, then place in a freezer-friendly bag or container, close well and label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months).
To defrost, unpack and place on a rack on the counter for a few hours, until defrosted. I like to warm them in the oven for a few minutes (or in the microwave for a few seconds) for that freshly-baked taste!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 55mg Sodium: 422mg Carbohydrates: 55g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 29g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
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