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


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!


  • 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


  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.


  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!


  1. Is the pumpkin 1/2 cup measure before or after blotting?

    1. I measure it, then blot out as much moisture as I can.

  2. Can homemade pumpkin puree be used for this recipe?

    1. I did! Just blot it dry before incorporating it, as there will be more moisture in homemade pumpkin purée. Plus, I double up on amount of pumpkin and use more pumpkin spice as well.

    2. My dough was wet and sticky. I think I must have measured something wrong? Too much liquid to dry? Or does it end up sticky? Thanks

      1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Lucy, Yes the dough should be sticky! If it was too sticky when shaping you can add a little more flour when you are patting down the scone dough into a disc for cutting. That will help prevent excess stickiness. You can also chill the disk in the refrigerator which will make it easier to work with. We hope you enjoy these scones!

  3. Marci Eversole says:

    HELP…..I have made many of Sally’s scone recipes and they all say you can make the dough the day before and leave in the refrigerator overnight and bake in the morning; but this receipe does not say that…..sooo, the question is can I? Or is there too much moisture and that is why it is not listed in this recipe. Thank you soooo much in advance!


    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marci, You can shape this scone dough into wedges and refrigerate overnight before baking. Enjoy!

  4. Do you have a recommendation for dairy free option? What would be best substitute for the heavy cream?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jonica, You can use any non dairy milk. The lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste. I recommend full fat canned coconut milk (unsweetened) if you like a slight coconut flavor.

  5. Can pumpkin pie mix be substituted for the pumpkin purée? Can’t get a can of pumpkin around here!

    1. Same question as above re Pumpkin pie mix if no pumpkin puree.

      1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Brittany and Jane, We don’t recommend it. Pumpkin pie filling not only is filled with spices and sugar, its consistency is completely different. If you are interested in making your own, some readers have reported making fresh pumpkin puree this way:

  6. Melissa Liechty says:

    Just made these for the first time. I followed your recipe very closely. They are amazing! I will be making it again. Love your recipes.

  7. Question about the buttermilk– I don’t have any heavy cream or buttermilk at my house. Would this still work if I just made a homemade buttermilk (vinegar + almond milk)?

    1. Hi Maria! You can use regular almond milk, but the thinner the liquid, the more likely the scones will over-spread. Grab some heavy cream if you can!

  8. Just made as written, and these are DELICIOUS!!! Just coming back and seeing the pics, and mine looked a lot “softer” while I was shaoing them, but they cand out great. They smell & taste delicious!

  9. I am not pumpkin person – pumpkin spice coffees, pumpkin pie – BLECH. But I get most people go crazy for it, so I made a test batch for a fundraiser I have coming up – AND HOLY MOMMA, YOU MAY HAVE MADE ME A CONVERT. These bad boys are just the right amount of pumpkiney, spicy fall goodness – so delicious! I didn’t do the glaze for my testers, but I can’t wait to try them again, all dressed up!
    I might have to rethink my whole stance on pumpkin products.

    1. This is exactly how I felt about pumpkin and last fall these scones changed my mind as well! So I also tried Sally’s pumpkin cupcakes …also yummm!! (Still can’t do pie though lol)

  10. Hi Sally! LOVED this recipe. Came out great. Question: we are big pumpkin heads in our house and love a really bold pumpkin flavor. I often bake recipes that have a hint of the taste/spice but not super bold. I tasted pumpkin upfront in this recipe but not as much as we would like. Any tips on bringing out that flavor more? More purée, heavier spice? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nicole, You can definitely increase the spices without making any other changes. The more pumpkin you add, the more moist and muffin-like the scones will become. You can certainly try adding more if you wish, just be sure to blot the moisture out of the pumpkin (see recipe notes!) and expect a slightly different texture.

  11. Sydney Rennie says:

    I will add a little more spice and a little more pumpkin next time. But i was very impressed with these. the texture was perfect and they were very tasty. I opted for the browned butter icing. I never make review because im super picky. But these are the pumpkin scones ive ever had.

  12. When I grate the frozen butter, it seems at least 1 Tbsp. sticks to the box grater. Am I doing something wrong, or any tips on how to avoid that?

    1. Nothing you’re doing wrong– try to scrape off as much of that butter as you can. Placing the box grater in the freezer for a few minutes to solidify that warmer/sticky butter helps. You can easily scrape it off then.

      1. I spray the grater with PAM first. Works wonders.

  13. These were really good. I don’t usually comment on recipe sites, but these were good enough to do so. Will definitely make again. Followed recipe as written, even the glaze.

  14. I’ve made this 3x in the last 2weeks!
    Question-how long can I leave them in the fridge before baking? I premade them then forgot to stick them in the oven last week. How long would you leave them in the fridge before freezing them?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We are so happy you enjoy this recipe, Clarissa! You can leave your dough in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

  15. Made these today and they were great! Love the maple icing too and may try it on carrot cake.

  16. Made these for the 1st time today for Canadian Thanksgiving. This was a home run at breakfast! So delicious and a wonderful way to use up extra pumpkin purée from making pumpkin pie. I will definitely make again!

    The icing was divine, too. Next time I’ll wait a little longer for the scones to cool more before drizzling.

    All in all this is an 11 out 10!

  17. Could you put the pumpkin in a mesh sieve to drain out the water?

    1. That could definitely work!

  18. They are in the oven now. I followed the recipe exactly but my dough was very soft and hard to shape. What did I do wrong?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dolores, Was it very sticky when shaping? Add a little more flour when you are patting down the scone dough into a disc for cutting. That will help prevent excess stickiness. You can also chill the disk in the refrigerator which will make it easier to work with. We hope you enjoy these scones!

  19. Loved this recipe. I was surprised how fast and easy this was. I did not have maple syrup for the glaze so I used: powder sugar, heavy whipping cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ….BSB (brown sugar bourbon)! This is a keeper!

  20. Just made these today and they turned out wonderful! Even if you’ve never made scones before, you can make these I promise! I’m fairly new to baking and I’ve been learning so much just from trying your recipes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and beautiful recipes with us, they truly bring joy into people’s lives (especially during such hard times)! ❤️

  21. Excited to bake these tomorrow! I tried some my girlfriend made from your site and they were delicious!

  22. I’ve made these scones twice in the last month. They are so delicious! Great directions for a wonderful recipe!

  23. I want to add chocolate chips to make these into a brunch dessert. Is there anything I need to change/add/reduce/etc. in order for the batter to stay the same? What measurement of choc chips would you recommend? Thanks and can’t wait to try them!

    1. Hi Rachel! You can fold 1 cup of chocolate chips into the dough after you add the wet ingredients.

      1. Great! Thank you!

  24. With a few mods I did… the scones were good… but the icing… no go.. I should have been paying attention… the fact when you make icing… it is simple as Powdered sugar and Milk… your flavoring will be added at a smaller amount… the icing came out a gooy
    Mess and well next time I will pay attention to the process and judge it as I see it.. but otherwise the recipe was good.. thank you

  25. Can the scones be frozen prior to baking to bake at a later date? If so, would you cook them from frozen at 400 for a longer time?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi April, To freeze before baking you can place the scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet in the freezer for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time in the recipe above. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.

  26. These scones were fabulous, just like every recipe I try from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Not too sweet, delicate crumble, and the maple glaze as the perfect finish. I had crystallized ginger, so I finally chopped some and tossed it in only because I love ginger and it goes so well with the spices used. I will definitely make these again. Thank you!

    1. Ugh, I hate when I don’t catch auto text errors before I click send – finely.

  27. These are amazing! I did a mix of my own pumpkin glaze and vanilla glaze! Look so pretty! But taste even better!!!

  28. Can I use half and half instead of heavy cream? I desperately want to make these and its all I have!!

    1. Hi Christina, yes, half-and-half works!

  29. These came out fantastic, and were the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Thank you!!

  30. These are outstanding! Just going to make a second batch! Made exactly as written.

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