Classic Pumpkin Scones
These classic pumpkin scones are filled with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. They are crisp on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside and drizzled with a cinnamon glaze to finish them off!
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Techniques Used: Biscuit Mixing Method
- Components Used: Powdered Sugar Glaze, Pumpkin Pie Spice
Scones are one of my favorite things to bake and I use my basic scone recipe to make endless flavors like blueberry lemon scones, cranberry orange scones, and chocolate chip scones. But adding pumpkin to scones forces me to go off script a bit because the pumpkin puree throws off the ratios of everything.
I worked on these classic pumpkin scones for quite a while before I was fully happy with the texture and flavor. I wanted to make sure they had plenty of flavor from the pumpkin, not just from the spices, while also staying tender and flaky.
Making Sure Your Scones Rise
One of the most important parts of making scones that rise really high and stay fluffy is the mixing method and technique you use to make them. The method is the same used to make buttermilk biscuits, and is in fact called The Biscuit Mixing Method.
It’s extremely important that you are very gentle with the dough and don’t overmix it. The method calls for you to fold it over itself several times to create layers, but once you are finished with this, you want to stop working it. The dough will seem pretty incohesive and shaggy, but this is absolutely normal and how it should look!
Preventing Scones from Spreading
It is very common for scones to spread out too much if the oven isn’t truly up to temperature or if the butter in the scones is too warm. We want the outside of the scone to set before the butter melts and seeps out.
If the scones spread a lot or if the butter is pooling on the sheet pan, make sure you check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to ensure it is gettting up to temperatre. Also, avoid opening the oven door until the very end of the cooking time or you will release too much heat.
This recipe calls for freezing the raw scones for 10 minutes before baking to help firm them up and prevent spreading. I recommend not skipping this step!
For the Scones
- 360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 113 grams (1 stick, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 118 grams (1/2 cup, 120 milliliters) heavy cream
- 1 large egg, cold
- 200 grams (1 cup) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
For the Glaze
- 120 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Prep: Read the recipe through completely. If you've never made scones before this will help with the process while making them. Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together.
- Cut in Butter: Add the cold cubed butter and cut it throughout the flour mixture with a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips. To do this, press down on the fat as you move around the bowl. Continue cutting the fat into the flour until most of the pieces of fat are about the size of peas with some pieces being about the size of a walnut half.
- Wet Ingredients: In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and the pumpkin.
- Combine: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula just until the liquid is absorbed. This should only take a few turns. The dough will look incohesive but it will come together on the counter.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and flour the top of the dough. The dough is typically a bit difficult to handle at this point, this is normal. Use a bit of pressure to press the dough together into one mass. Press the dough out to about a 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick rectangle.
- Fold: Using a bench knife (or a metal spatula can be helpful if you do not have a bench knife), fold the dough in half and then turn it 90 degrees. Pat out and fold again for a total of 6 times. The dough will likely crumble during the first few turns. Be very gentle and keep patting it back together. This process is creating layers which will create flaky scones. Dust more flour on top of the dough as needed to make it manageable.
- Cut: Pat the dough out to about a 7-inch (18 cm) circle (about 1.5-inch, 4 cm thick). Cut into 8 triangle-shaped pieces. I like to use a bench knife for this, but a sharp knife also works. Transfer the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle liberally with turbinado or granulated sugar, if desired.
- Freeze the scones for a minimum of 10 minutes before baking. This will firm them up and keep them from spreading too much. You can also freeze them completely and bake them from frozen when you are ready. See note sections for details.
- Bake at 425°F/220°C for 14-18 minutes until golden brown and firm when gently pressed on.
- Cool: Transfer to a cooling rack. If using a glaze, allow the scones to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding.
- For the Glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar and cinnamon with enough milk until you have a pourable glaze. Drizzle on the scones before serving.
- To freeze for later: Freeze the scones fully until firm in a single layer then transfer the scones into a freezer ziplock bag. To bake, bake straight from frozen at 425°F/220°C for 18-22 minutes until baked through.