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Recipe for Pumpkin Scones (rustic-style)

Grab a cup of coffee and cozy up to this Fall favorite recipe for pumpkin scones. Tender, moist, rustic-style, flaky scones made the easiest way possible. No electric mixer, no kneading, no rolling. And less than half the calories of a Starbucks pumpkin scone.

We love the deep gold-orange colors and the pumpkin spice flavor. The cinnamon-sugar topping and maple glaze are the perfect finish.  

glazed pumpkin scones on rack

Once you’ve tackled scones a couple of times, they are easy. In fact, even the first time if you follow the step by step instructions. Just pay attention to two simple tips and you’re good to go. 

Why make this recipe

No need to feel guilty for indulging. Even with a sugar topping and a maple glaze, our scones are approximately 230 calories compared to a Starbuck’s pumpkin scone which has 500 calories! Plus they’re delicious.

Ingredient notes – tailored to your taste

flour, butter, vanilla, seasoning, buttermilk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg
Simple Ingredients: Flour, butter, baking soda and powder, vanilla, egg, buttermilk (or heavy cream), pumpkin spices, brown sugar, canned pumpkin purée.

Here are a few variations and substitutes to try. 

Substitutes

  • For pumpkin spice: If you don’t have pumpkin spice, make your own. 1 teaspoon = ¾ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon ginger, allspice, cloves, or nutmeg (in whatever combination you have or prefer).
  • For buttermilk: Use heavy cream (36%) instead
  • For pumpkin purée: To keep things simple, we’re using canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling which is different). So no need to wait to pumpkin season. If you prefer, here’s a recipe to make your own pumpkin purée by Inspired Taste.

Topping options

  • A simple sugar-cinnamon topping as per the recipe
  • Add a glaze such as maple (see recipe) or a simple blend of powdered sugar and milk with a a dash of pumpkin spice or cinnamon.

2 Tips

To achieve soft, flaky (not dry or dense) pumpkin scones:

  1. Use VERY cold butter. I cut a stick of butter into small pieces onto a plate, then put it in the freezer while I’m gathering the rest of the ingredients. An alternative – a trick I learned from my research – is to freeze the butter and grate it using the large holes of your grater. Clever. 
  2. Don’t over mix the dough. This can make the scones dense. I like our rustic-style scones with no kneading and rolling because there is less of a chance of overworking the dough. 

Step by step instructions

dry ingredients in bowl
Mix together dry ingredients except sugar in a large bowl.
baked pumpkin scones on rack
Place scones on wire rack to cool.
glaze in bowl
Combine maple glaze ingredients in a bowl (if using) and brush on warm scones.
glazed pumpkin scones on rack 3
one scone cut in half on plate

Shortcuts

  • Use #3 or #4 below for your method to blend the flour and butter. These methods are a little quicker. 
  • For a simpler version, skip the toppings altogether. Just slather with butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. Yum.
  • Canned pumpkin puree, of course, is a huge shortcut and time saver. 

Make Ahead and Store

  • Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for:
    • 2 days at room temperature
    • 4-5 days  in the fridge
    • up to 3 months in the freezer. 
  • Defrost or warm in the microwave before serving.
  • To freeze unbaked scones (the best option for freezing), freeze pieces of dough on a tray, then transfer to a sealed container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake as per the recipe (no need to defrost), adding about 2 minutes extra. 

What to serve with pumpkin scones

Serve the delicious scones for brunch, breakfast or afternoon tea along with a cup of chunky applesauce or berries. Or how about with a decadent Starbucks spiced pumpkin latte (get your buffet pants on for this!) I prefer the scones warmed, but room temperature is good too. 

Recipe FAQ

Is pumpkin healthy?

Yes. It’s low calorie and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One cup has 49 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 245% of daily values recommended for vitamin A and 19% of daily values recommended for vitamin C. Source: Healthline

How long will pumpkin purée last?

Store it in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. Or freeze it in a ziploc bag or container for up to a year. 

What can I do with leftover pumpkin purée?

Here are a few ideas. Make a pumpkin spice latté, a smoothie or pumpkin spice pancakes. Or stir it into mac and cheese (before baking) or oatmeal. 

What is pumpkin spice made of?

Spices can vary, but most common are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice (or cloves) and ginger. 

What is the best way to blend flour and butter?

Here is a great article describing these methods for how to cut butter into flour by Goodlife Eats. The methods are summarized in the recipe notes for pumpkin scones.

Other brunch or breakfast treats you might like

Or check out our full list of vegetarian brunch recipes for Mother’s Day.

one scone cut in half on plate p

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

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glazed pumpkin scones on rack
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Recipe for Pumpkin Scones (rustic-style)

Grab a cup of coffee and cozy up to this Fall favorite recipe for pumpkin scones. Tender, moist, rustic-style, flaky scones made the easiest way possible. No electric mixer, no kneading, no rolling. And less than half the calories of a Starbucks pumpkin scone.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time13 mins
cool time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12 scones
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Scone ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (310 grams) all purpose flour (spoon it into a cup, then level it off with knife)
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) COLD butter (1 stick) salted or unsalted
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) brown sugar, or a bit more (white sugar ok too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, Note 1
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip if you used salted butter)
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) buttermilk (or heavy cream, 36%)
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Sugar-Spice Topping

  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or heavy cream
  • 3/4 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Maple Glaze (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup confectioner/powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice (optional)

Instructions

  • PREPERATION: Heat oven to 425F/218C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Choose method for mixing butter and flour (Note 2). Keep butter cold until ready to use.
  • MIX DRY INGREDIENTS IN LARGE BOWL: Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and salt (if using) and mix together with a fork.
  • BLEND FLOUR AND BUTTER: (Note 2 for various methods). To use finger method, dice very cold butter into small pieces. Add to flour mixture and use your cold fingers to blend it into coarse crumbs about pea-size, 3 minutes. You don't want to melt or warm the butter (don't rub between your hands).
  • COMBINE WET INGREDIENTS WITH SUGAR IN MEDIUM BOWL: Using a whisk or fork, mix together egg, buttermilk (or heavy cream), pumpkin puree, vanilla and brown sugar until smooth.
  • POUR WET MIXTURE INTO DRY INGREDIENTS: Then gently mix together with a fork or your hands until soft dough forms. Incorporate all the flour, but don't over mix or the scones will be dense.
  • DIVIDE DOUGH, ADD TOPPING AND BAKE: Cut or rip the dough into 12 lumps. Gently press into discs about 3/4 inch/2 cm thick on work surface. Place scones on prepared baking sheet 2 inches/5cm apart. Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool.
  • MAKE GLAZE (optional but good!): Mix together in a separate small bowl confectioner sugar, maple syrup, butter and spice. Brush on baked scones while still warm.

Notes

  1. If you don’t have pumpkin spice: make your own. 1 teaspoon = ¾ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon ginger, allspice, cloves, or nutmeg (in whatever combination you have or prefer).
  2. Methods to blend flour and butter:
    • Finger method (see recipe above). I use this one.
    • Pastry cutter method: dice butter and add to flour. Rock cutter back and forth to blend butter and flour into pea size crumbs.
    • Freezer method: freeze stick of butter, grate it using the largest holes on a box grater, combine with flour. 
    • Food processor method: Cut butter into 8 pieces and add flour and butter to processor bowl. Pulse 8 times, scraping half way through, until butter and flour are combined into pea size crumbs. Don’t over process!
  3. Make ahead and store
    • Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for:
      • 2 days at room temperature
      • 4-5 days  in the fridge
      • up to 3 months in the freezer. 
    • Defrost or warm in the microwave before serving.
    • To freeze unbaked scones (the best option for freezing), freeze pieces of dough on a tray, then transfer to a sealed container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake as per the recipe (no need to defrost), adding about 2 minutes extra. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates for one pumpkin scone including the sugar topping and the maple glaze. Less than half the calories of a pumpkin Starbucks scone!

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1888IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This pumpkin scone recipe is inspired by Katie Mitzel from her Skokie Cookbook.

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