These pumpkin scones are soft and moist on the inside with a pleasant crunch on the outside. They’re perfectly spiced and full of fresh pumpkin flavors. Cinnamon icing is the best topping for these classic pumpkin scones. Best part is you can make them in under an hour!
These tasty morsels go perfectly in the morning with a cup of coffee on chilly fall mornings, or treat yourself to a quick afternoon snack. The aroma will be lingering for days in the kitchen after you bake them. After all, they are packed with cinnamon and other classic fall spices. That cinnamon icing on top is just a perfect burst of sweetness too. It’s really a great fall treat!
If you want something even more decadent, try my Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pumpkin Scones. It has a lovely addition of caramel flavors that go very well with fall spices and pumpkin.
Or, you can try Cinnamon Scones. It’s another great, aromatic flavor for the season.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Pumpkin puree – you can use canned or homemade pumpkin puree here. Just make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix! (That’s a very different flavor.)
Dark brown sugar – The only difference between dark and light brown sugar is the amount of molasses. Because the dark variety contains a higher percentage, it has a deeper flavor that’s similar to toffee or caramel. Feel free to use light brown sugar if needed, just know that the overall taste won’t be as complex.
Spices – While this recipe uses individual spices, they’re the same used in pumpkin pie spice blends. You can easily substitute the blend in an equal amount as the individual spices.
Dairy – Make sure both the butter and buttermilk are cold, since that’s the best way to get the scones to rise higher. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of vinegar into ⅓ cup low fat milk and letting it sit for about 10 minutes until thickened and curdled.
Pumpkin spice extract – You should be able to find this in the baking aisle with the rest of the extracts, but if not, replace with vanilla extract instead. The pumpkin spice flavor won’t be quite as strong, so you can use a little more spices.
Flour – all purpose flour is the best choice here.
Pumpkin scones recipe
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Mix the batter:
First, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl of an electric mixer and mix them it together (use a whisk of the mixer of stir setting). Add chopped cold butter into the dry ingredients and mix on low setting until crumbly.
Separately, whisk together wet ingredients until smooth and pour them into the dry ingredients as they are mixing on low speed. Let them mix on low speed until there are no more streaks of flour.
Knead the dough:
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just a few times. Then, gently pat the dough into a circle and lightly press the top to get the correct thickness.
Slice dough into equal pieces:
Next, use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 even slices. (If you want to make 16 smaller pieces, that is fine!)
Transfer the pieces to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To prevent them from baking together, be sure to leave ample space between them.
Bake for 22-24 minutes (or about 18 minutes for smaller scones). Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool down.
Make the icing: Let the scones cool completely first. Make the icing right before adding it to the cooled scones! Sift together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Heat the heavy cream, then whisk it into the powdered sugar until smooth.
Finish and serve: Generously drizzle the icing over each scone and enjoy them with tea or coffee (or even a glass of cold milk)!
Extra Tips and Tricks
Measure flour correctly – Either use a kitchen scale or scoop it into a dry measuring cup with a spoon. Otherwise, you’ll end up using more than you should and the scones will come out dense and dry.
Cut butter into small cubes – This makes it easier to blend into the dry ingredients without melting too quickly. Cold butter creates tender, flaky scones. If your kitchen is especially warm, freeze the butter before cutting it.
Don’t overmix – Keep a close eye on your electric mixer or mix by hand with a pastry cutter. Too much mixing will result in tough scones.
Watch the consistency – If your dough is too crumbly, add another splash of buttermilk. If it’s too wet and sticky, add a little more flour. It should be just tacky enough to hold together without falling apart or sticking to your hands.
Make icing right before topping – make sure to prepare the icing right before you will be adding it to the scones. If you make icing too soon and let it sit, it will harden and won’t drizzle.
Pumpkin Scones Recipe Notes
Skip the glaze – You can keep these simple and just sprinkle the tops with a blend of sugar and pumpkin spice. I discovered this by accident when I was out of powdered sugar, and they came out just as delicious. You can brush tops of scones with egg white before baking to make them glossy and help sugar and cinnamon stick to the outside better.
Make petite scones – Once you’ve cut the initial dough round, cut each triangle in half to make 16 smaller triangles. Then, reduce the baking time to about 18 minutes or until cooked through.
Checking for doneness – If you don’t want to poke holes in the scones, there’s another way to tell when they’re done. They should no longer feel doughy when you press on the center, and they should easily release from the pan. You can also always break one apart. The inside should be no longer doughy or wet, but pleasantly moist and firm.
Storage – Allow the scones to cool before transferring to an airtight container. Store at room temperature and eat within a day or two for best results.
Make ahead – You can make this scone recipe a day in advance and keep the dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Just make sure to wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap to prevent it from drying.
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and #willcookforsmiles so I can see all the things you tried!
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup salted butter cold
- 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk cold
- 1 cup pumpkin puree 15 oz can
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice extract
- Little more flour for kneading the dough
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream hot
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, pumpkin extract, and pumpkin puree and whisk until blended.
- Chop cold butter into small slices and add to the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients and butter on low speed until it looks like coarse crumbs.
- With the mixer still mixing on low speed, pour in pumpkin puree mix into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Take the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead just a few times and shape it into a circle that's about 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Cut the circle like a pie, into 8 pieces.
- Transfer the pieces onto a greased or parchment paper covered baking sheet.
- Bake for about 22-24 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool to room temperature before adding the glaze.
- Note, that you can also make 16 smaller scones by cutting the dough into 16 pieces instead. Bake smaller scones for about 18 minutes.
- Place powdered sugar into a shallow bowl and whisk in cinnamon.
- Warm up heavy whipping cream in a microwave for 5-7 seconds and see it's not. If it's not hot, warm it for a few more seconds. Be careful not to overheat!
- Whisk hot cream into the powdered sugar until smooth.
- Drizzle scones generously with the icing.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on September 18, 2012. Updated September 24, 2020.