Classic Pumpkin Scones

I always feel a jolt of excitement when I crack open that first can of pumpkin in the fall, don’t you? If you’re a pumpkin lover, then don’t go another minute without these flaky pumpkin scones topped with a decadent maple glaze. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee on a crisp Fall morning.

pumpkin scones with maple icing

I’ve already made pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin cheesecake muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, skinny pumpkin frappuccinos….even pumpkin coffee creamer. To be honest though, I was a little nervous to develop a recipe for classic pumpkin scones because the ones at the bakery are just so delicious. After a few tries though, I created a buttery scone recipe that is perfectly spiced without being overly sweet. And did I mention maple icing?


Tell me About These Pumpkin Scones

  • Texture: heavy cream helps produce a freshly-baked scone that is both soft and flaky in the center, crisp on top, and crumbly at the corners.
  • Flavor: these buttery scones are the perfect blend of sweet and spice for the pumpkin obsessed. With every bite, you’ll get a delicious shot of pumpkin spice cut with sweet maple frosting.
  • Ease: if you follow the recipe closely, including my success tips below, this pumpkin recipe is quick and easy to make for breakfast, brunch, or anytime. 
  • Time: the scone dough comes together quickly in about 20 minutes and then just 25 minutes more in the oven to pumpkin perfection. Serve these scones warm right away for the best taste. 

These classic pumpkin scones are inspired by my perfect, no-fail master scone recipe. Use it to build a scone with your own favorite add-ins like lemon blueberry sconesbanana nut scones, and more! Here are all of my scone recipes

plate of pumpkin scones

Recipe Testing Pumpkin Scones: What Works & What Doesn’t

  1. Frozen butter = success. As your scone bakes, frozen butter will melt and release steam, creating tender flaky pockets in the middle with crisp and crumbly edges. Butter that hasn’t been frozen could melt before it makes it to the oven, and you’ll lose all that tender, flaky goodness.
  2. Grate the butter. Weird, right? Fine shreds of cold butter make for an even mix into the dry ingredients. If you don’t own a grater, you can also use a sharp knife to cut the butter into small chunks, but I prefer the teeny shreds. 
  3. Blot the pumpkin. Trust me on this. Pumpkin puree is extremely wet and can cause spreading in your mixture. Blot the pumpkin for 15 seconds with a paper towel before you use it. For more details on blotting pumpkin, see my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Don’t over-mix the dough. After you add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix with ease until combined. Just like pie crust, over-mixing the scone dough will result in a tough texture.

Choosing the Right Ingredients: Heavy Cream for the Win

There are some recipes where substituting similar ingredients is okay, but this isn’t one of them. Rich heavy cream or buttermilk is the secret to these delicious scones. 

  • Heavy cream or buttermilk is a must. Texture is crucial for the perfect scone, so don’t substitute milk or nondairy milk in this recipe. You’ll lose both the texture and flavor that make these scones irresistible. 
  • I swear by this trick. Brush the scones with the remaining heavy cream or buttermilk right before baking and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar if you have any. It will help ensure that sweet, crisp exterior. 

Overview: How to Make Classic Pumpkin Scones

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started. 

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Add frozen butter to the flour mixture. Grate your butter and add to the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Remember, you don’t want the butter to melt before you bake. 
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together. After they are combined, drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until moistened throughout. 
  4. Flour up. Coat your hands in flour and work the mixture into a ball of dough. The dough should be thoroughly combined, but don’t overwork it which could result in a tough texture.
  5. Flatten dough ball into an 8-inch disc. Use a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 equal wedges.
  6. Don’t forget the heavy cream wash. Brush the remaining heavy cream (or buttermilk) onto your scones using a pastry brush right before baking. Sprinkle with coarse sugar for a sweet textured crunch.
  7. Make the glaze. While the scones are baking, make the maple glaze over low heat by combining the butter and maple syrup until the mixture is completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a dash of salt to achieve the perfect glaze consistency.
  8. Drizzle over the scones. Add the maple icing while the scones are still warm so it melts into every flake, crack, and crevice. You’ll taste melty maple goodness with every bite. 

2 images of pumpkin scone dough in glass bowls

2 images of pumpkin scone dough shaped into a circle and cut into trianges

pumpkin scones with maple icing

More Fall Recipes

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plate of pumpkin scones

Classic Pumpkin Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously spiced classic pumpkin scones are flaky and soft with perfectly crumbly edges. Top with coarse sugar for extra crunch and maple icing for extra decadence!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (105ml) heavy cream, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (115g) canned pumpkin puree, blotted*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Maple Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini scones, I use 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Make the scones: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater). Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup (75ml) heavy cream, the egg, blotted pumpkin (see note), brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then mix it all together until everything appears moistened.
  4. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer onto a floured work surface. Press into a neat 8-inch disc and, with a very sharp knife, cut into 8 equal wedges. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. (Larger scones are pictured in this blog post.)
  5. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using a pastry brush, brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Gives a nice crunch!)
  6. Bake the larger scones for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you made 16 smaller scones, bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
  7. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle over warm scones.
  8. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Plain baked scones freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
  3. Blotting Pumpkin: Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, lightly blot the pumpkin puree to remove some of the moisture before using in the recipe. The more moisture removed, the less moist and muffin-like the scones will taste. We want the scones to be flaky and crumbly, not super moist or muffin-like. I prefer to squeeze lots of moisture out so the scones taste textured and delicious. Do what you prefer!

270 Comments

  1. These scones look perfect for the season! Such a delicious Fall brunch idea!

    1. Thank you Natalie!

  2. Definitely one of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin…can’t wait to try these!!!

    1. Mine too! Hope you love them 🙂

  3. Sounds soo good! Maple pairs so wonderfully with pumpkin but you mentioned brown butter icing and now I can’t shake the thought from my mind! Brown. Butter. Icing. Is ALWAYS the answer!
    My friend and I make sure to get PSL’s every fall and I will definitely need to make these to eat with them. I don’t care, it’s fall. Pumpkin everything!

    1. YES to pumpkin everything!! I hope you love these – happy baking!

  4. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Yay for Fall! These scones look amazing and I wish I had one right now with my coffee. All my baking for the next few months will always include pumpkin or apples. LOVE this season!

    1. Thank you so much!

  5. I was actually JUST talking to my family about how pumpkin scones were a menu item on my bake list this fall. Definitely making these!

    1. Hope you love these!! Perfect for fall 🙂

  6. Yum!! These look amazing. I made two batches of your apple cider donuts this week and soon I’ll be making these. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you tried the donuts! YUM!

  7. How do I alter this recipe for fresh pumpkin? I buy those little pumpkin pie pumpkins in the fall, roast them in the oven, then clean them out and put the guts in containers for later use as a pies, or as a side dish with butter and brown sugar.
    But instead of pumpkin canned pumpkin puree, how much of the real stuff would I need? Is it a real 1:1 ratio from one to the other? Would I need to boost the pumpkin pie spice to make up for the more bland taste of real pumpkin compared to canned pumpkin?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Sapat! Just an even swap if using fresh pumpkin puree – 1/2 cup. Make sure you blot some moisture out as described in the recipe notes. You can definitely increase the spices if desired.

  8. Pumpkin scones have pretty much always been my favourite. I lost my original recipe a couple years ago so I’ll have to try yours out! I think I’ve commented before saying I’m dairy-free, but I have had great success in the past using vegan butter instead of regular and full-fat canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream for your recipes 🙂

    1. I hope you love these!

    2. Did you taste any coconut at all after you used coconut milk for this recipe?

  9. Your funfetti scones I made for the vet last weekend were one of my most raved about bakes ever. So I was sitting here thinking about making some more scones for this weekend and BOOM! Here are pumpkin scones! I will make these tonight! I have cinnamon chips…and need to do brown butter icing because I am all about brown butter lately!

    1. Let me know what you think about the brown butter icing with them!! I hope they’re a hit, too!!

  10. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I have never made scones before, but these look amazing! I need to make these today while the kids are in school!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    1. Yes!! Hope you and the kids love them!

  11. Hi Sally, this was in my gmail Spam folder again 🙁

    1. Austria Azaceta says:

      I also use gmail and mine have been going into my junk folder instead of my inbox recently. I’m not sure why…..

  12. Can you describe “blotting the pumpkin” a bit more? Do you mean just blotting the moisture off the top of pumpkin after opening the can? Or putting the puree in a towel and squeezing it, like shredded zucchini? Or straining it?

    1. Hi Colleen! See my recipe note. The amount of moisture you squeeze out is up to you based on the texture you’re after.

  13. Sally,
    The scones look delectable! Here is a question on a possible recipe hunt for you. Have you ever had or made a cookie called a Pumpkin Penuche? There is a little bakery here in Tucson called Village Bakehouse on Oracle Road. They are “Heavenly” and we think you would love them. Can you try to develop this and share with us. ‘Tis the season for this little guy. Swear you would rave over this. Check out their site and look at some photos. Thanks for the consideration and input. Truly enjoying your site!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Christine! I’ll give it a search. I’m always up for checking out new pumpkin bakes!!

  14. The dough was quite sticky. I had to use quite a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticky to my hands and surface. I’m wondering…next time, could I chill the dough in the fridge for about 15 mins? Do you think it’ll make the dough easier to handle without possibly over flouring?

    1. Yes! Chilling the scone dough in the refrigerator will help it be a little more manageable to work with.

  15. These look so good, Sally. I need these ASAP! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Alison!

  16. Hi Sally
    These look great but can I use mashed pumpkin. I can’t get canned pumpkin where I live
    Thanks!

    1. I was wondering the same thing! So many delicious pumpkin recipes call for canned pumpkin and it just doesn’t exist in Australia. I was literally about to comment asking Sally she had any tips for substituting and then I read your comment haha

  17. I was just thinking I wanted to find a recipe for pumpkin scones and here it is! I think it’s going to be delicious with pumpkin spice creamer! I hope to bake a batch up on Sunday!

    1. Perfect timing – happy baking, Traci!

  18. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says:

    I am SO excited to do some fall weekend baking this weekend with pumpkin…YUM! 🙂

    1. The perfect weekend to open that first can of pumpkin 🙂 Hope you had a great one!!

  19. I’m going to make these this weekend! We just had homemade chili and I made your favorite cornbread and it was the best I’ve ever had!!!
    You are such a great inspiration and teacher!

    1. Thank you so much, Deb. That means a lot!! Happy baking!

  20. Ps) To all the Aussies I’ve just found canned puréed pumpkin at my IGA on the Sunshine Coast

  21. sheenam | thetwincookingproject.net says:

    Have all the ingredients! Trying this tonight!! Thanks for such an amazing recipe.

    1. Yay! Hope you love these!

  22. Incredible. I may have to make another batch this afternoon. The scones have great pumpkin flavor, and the glaze is like maple candy. So good! I just made half of the glaze and still had plenty to cover the tops of all 8 scones.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these! Thanks for the positive feedback 🙂

  23. More complicated than my normal scone recipe but worth the effort! Super good with the brown butter frosting!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these scones!

  24. I finally managed to get hold of canned pumpkin this year (I’m in Australia), I’m so excited to be able to join in the pumpkin baking season! I’m just wondering why you use cinnamon and extra pumpkin pie spice? I have to make my own pumpkin pie spice blend because it’s not sold in Australia, I’ve based it off of your spice recommendations but I’ve made it so the cinnamon is more dominant since we’re new to pumpkin spice (it was a bit too strong for my family before I adjusted the spices). Since my blend is rather heavy in cinnamon, would I still add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice?
    These look delicious!!!! 🙂

    1. Hi Kaitlin! You can adjust the spices. I love extra cinnamon, but if you don’t, definitely leave it out or reduce the amount since it’s also in the pumpkin pie spice.

  25. Made these for breakfast for me & my husband to celebrate the 1st day of Fall!! They were delicious!! I made the mini scones and froze half of them. I made 1/2 of the glaze recipe and still had plenty to freeze for the remaining scones for later. Thank you, Sally, for another great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for the positive feedback- I’m thrilled you tried these! Happy fall!

  26. Hey Sally. I’ve made your blueberry scones quite a few times and they’re always good, but I have a question. I recently went to Publix and picked up a box of blueberry scones to try from their bakery. These scones were small (about the size of the raw pre-baked scones in this article) and the texture was more dense than fluffy. I was wondering if there was a way to slightly alter your recipe to achieve a more denser scone texture than cake-like, i.e. altering the egg content or something. I’d really like to make these pumpkin scones but after making them a few times I’d like to make them a little less airy if possible.

    1. Hi Zee! Try leaving out the egg and replacing with an extra 1 Tbsp of pumpkin. That may help create a denser pumpkin scone. Using whole wheat flour would work too!

  27. Yes, same amount 🙂

  28. I have been waiting for the longest time for a pumpkin scone recipe from you and I can’t tell you how excited I was when you posted this! I have tried several of your other scone recipes and they’ve all been wonderful. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made your lemon blueberry scones! Your pumpkin version is every bit as wonderful as all the others and I have a feeling I’ll be making them a lot this season. I mean A LOT! I did swap your Maple Icing from your Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins for the Maple Glaze in this recipe, but only because I’m not a fan of butter in my glazes. It was absolutely perfect. Thank you, Sally, for this amazing recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you loved these scones!! 🙂

  29. We made these this weekend and LOVED them. My whole family devoured them, and they were still delicious a day later.

    1. Yay! Thank you so much for your positive feedback 🙂

  30. These scones are absolutely delicious! I was somewhat apprehensive b/c baking isn’t really my thing, but i took my time and followed the instructions to the letter and it paid off. Not overly sweet and the texture is amazing. Great with my morning coffee!
    This recipe is definitely a keeper!
    Many thanks for sharing…

    1. I’m so happy you tried something new, Norma!

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