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. I followed the recipe exactly (something I don’t usually do, but since this was the first time I was making pumpkin scones, I decided not to tinker with it!). If you like soft, cakey scones, this is a good recipe. I, however, like my scones much more biscuity. I knew that adding an egg and moist pumpkin (which I did blot, by the way, but perhaps should have squeezed) would make them cakier, so I wasn’t surprised. I would use salted butter next time and more spice, as the scones tasted a bit flat. I agree that just a drizzle of the glaze is enough, otherwise all you taste is the sweetness and not the pumpkin and spice. These taste better after they have cooled and sat awhile, and unlike biscuity scones, they’re ok to eat the next day.

  2. Vincenza Gruppuso says:

    Hi! I’m just about to put these together and want to use buttermilk. Did you add any baking soda or replace some of the baking powder with baking soda?

    1. Hi! No other changes necessary if using buttermilk in place of heavy cream.

      1. Vincenza Gruppuso says:

        Thank you!

  3. Sherry Obernberger says:

    Excellent!!! love everything about them!

  4. I made these with regular flour a few wks ago, but used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour today for a Celiac daughter in law. I was really pleased with the results! The texture today was *slightly* different than with regular flour, but probably not enough that anyone else would notice. I love being able to make homemade GF treats for her. Thanks Sally!

  5. Just made these. I cut the glaze recipe in half and it was perfect. These scones really did it for my husband and I. I also used winter squash in place of the pumpkin, which was perfect because it’s quite dry to begin with. I put the wet ingredients into a small bowl with the cooked squash chunks and then used the immersion blender on the whole mixture. It was perfectly smooth. I will probably skip the frozen butter grating next time because it seemed to waste a lot of the butter, which got stuck in the box grater. I think cutting in refrigerator cold butter with the pastry blender would do the job, but that’s my opinion. Thanks for a truly delicious and classy recipe Sally! All your recipes are fabulous

    1. Deborah Palm says:

      Place your grater in the freezer with the butter. It works great!

  6. These were great, and I appreciate that they were a bit lighter than a traditional cream scone. The texture was good (though I was very careful to blot my pumpkin extensively) and it had a lovely pumpkin spice flavor. Would definitely make these again.

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed these, Kali!

  7. So i totally freaked when I realized I had put these in the oven but forgotten to add the egg. Lucky for me I guess that they really didn’t need it – delish and that glaze is heavenly!

  8. Fantastic recipe! I never have buttermilk on hand but I used whole milk in the recipe instead and it still turned out fabulously. Thanks for this, Sally!

  9. I wonder if putting the pumpkin in a paper coffee filter inside of a sieve and letting it sit over a bowl in the refrigerator would work to remove enough moisture. What do you think?

    1. Should work like a charm!

  10. Can I make the dough the night before and leave in the fridge until I bake the next day? Will it change taste or texture? Thanks!

    1. Hi Angela, You can refrigerate the dough overnight before baking but they might not rise quite as much.

  11. I have been making so many of your recipes during quarantine and this was what I decided to bake this morning. They are absolutely delicious! I added the turbinado sugar before baking the scones and then decided to make a basic cinnamon glaze (because I do not have maple syrup right now… sigh, grocery shopping is tricky right now). Turns out the cinnamon glaze was a delicious addition! The scones came out crispy on the tops and cake-y in the middle. Perfect. Your recipes continue to make quarantine a more bearable experience. Thank you, Sally!

    1. Hi Brittany, I’m so happy you have been baking so much and that you enjoyed this recipe!

  12. Kristna Evans says:

    Delicious! I only had half and half while sheltering-in-place, but still great (I don’t know enough about baking to know how it might be different with heavy cream). I wish I had added nuts! That would be great. And maybe upping the spice with more nutmeg (my favorite thing to up my recipes with!). I only made half the amount of glaze and still had a good bit left over. If I’d used it all I think it would coat the entire scones. As there’s still plenty of pumpkin in the can, I’m sure I’ll make these again soon!

  13. So easy & so good! Followed exactly. Except I browned the butter for the icing. The whole family loved them!

  14. Elena Jenner says:

    Moist and delicious. Don’t skip the icing!

  15. I needed a recipe to use up the last of some canned pumpkin that I opened last week. This worked beautifully. I did skip the icing and I didn’t miss it. I heartily approve of grating the frozen butter; the scones were flaky and flavorful. I also added raisins and didn’t have heavy cream so I just used whole milk. The results were terrific. I also eliminated a teaspoon of the spices. I know, I have difficulty following the rules, but the great thing is that with all these adjustments, I still had a delicious scone thanks to you!

  16. Can I substitute the brown sugar for maple syrup? Pumpkin scones are my favourite and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Montana, you need a dry (solid) sugar for these scones. I do not recommend maple syrup.

  17. I love the less biscuity-ness of this scone! I doubled the recipe and it still came out great, baked both sheets at once for the full 25 minutes, came out perfect. I’ll try salted butter and buttermilk next time to see if I notice a difference. They are delicious as written.

    1. So happy you enjoyed these scones, Amanda!

  18. Hi Sally! I’m currently making these and I realize I forgot to blot the pumpkin before I added it to the mixture! Is there anything I can do/add to offset the moisture right now? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nina! The scones may spread a bit more. You could try adding a little more flour (1-2 Tbsp) if you haven’t baked them already.

  19. Hi! Can I substitute heavy cream with whipping cream? I can’t find heavy cream…

    1. Sure can! Same amount.

  20. AMAZING it’s spring right now, not fall, but these are amazing. The glaze is so tasty too.

  21. I halved this recipe and made 8 mini scones, and they turned out good! This particular recipe did provide me with a more “cake-like” scone – not sure if that’s just the recipe or very well could have been something on my part. For next time, I would try to make them a bit more pumpkin-y or add some more flavor to it – but that’s personal preference! 🙂

  22. These are DELICIOUS! I would take these over scones I’ve had from a bakery! Question—Do baked scones freeze well or not so much?

    Thanks!

  23. What is the carb count and can I use almond flour

    1. I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp I haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour- if you do, let me know how it goes!

  24. How much flour should I add for elevation?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Clara, I wish I could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  25. Hi sally I wanted to make 3 batches (24) of these scones. So can I triple each of the ingredients? Will it work?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dhivya, For the absolute best results and texture we recommend making one batch at a time.

  26. Just made these and we love em! I used buttermilk powder in place of the cream and they turned out great! I added the powder to the dry mix, and added 1/3 cup water to the wet mix, as the directions on the buttermilk powder carton recommended. Perfect for Labor Day weekend, as we’re getting into the Halloween/autumn mood over here.

  27. I just made these scones and they turned out great! I completely forgot to add the brown sugar but they still taste amazing. I have a bunch of the glaze left over though so I’m going to make another batch tomorrow with the sugar

  28. These scones were gone in less than 24 hours. I made them for a friend who is cutting dairy—besides butter, since it’s low lactose—so I used Silk dairy free heavy whipping cream in place of the regular cream. They may have lacked a sort of flaky flair because of that, but not enough to make a huge difference. These puppies were drenched in icing, and it was perfect. They were delicious!

  29. So, so good!! My guy loves them too! I blotted the pumpkin a lot, plus used a sieve and still came out just a wee bit more muffin-y than biscuit-y, but don’t care. They were still delicate and delicious (I say as I lick the plate and reach for my second warm scone…).

  30. This was a delicious recipe. I left the glaze off as it is a personal preference, and substituted half the flour with spelt (to make them a healthier) and they turned out perfectly! Perfect addition to my fall baking repitoire.

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