These Pumpkin Scones are delicious for breakfast with your morning coffee as well as an afternoon snack with tea or milk. Loaded with pumpkin spice and topped with cinnamon sugar, they are just the treat for fall. Make them omnivore or vegan, depending on your needs.
These were a spur-of-the-moment creation, based on a half jar of pumpkin sitting in the fridge just crying to be baked into something delicious. Why, yes, Pumpkin Scones sounded lovely.
They always are! Scones are one of my favorite baked goods to experiment with, like a cookie and a biscuit all wrapped into one. From Black Currant Scones to Scones Shaped Like Christmas Trees, I’ve got ya covered. And you’ll absolutely love these Pumpkin Scones – better than Starbucks!
Why Make This
They’re perfect for fall. These Pumpkin Scones are always a big hit with my people, especially in the fall when pumpkin and spices are such welcome comfort food.
The size can be easily adjusted. Cut smaller scones for younger folk; bigger scones for us old people. There are benefits to aging.
You can make them vegan. I’ve included vegan adaptations in the ingredient notes.
The ingredients list in this recipe is pretty wholesome. Here’s what you’ll need to make Pumpkin Scones:
flour – I use part whole wheat pastry flour to enrich this recipe. Feel free to use all whole wheat or all unbleached, depending on what works for you. If you use all whole wheat, you may need to add a few extra tablespooons of buttermilk.
granulated sugar – I use regular white sugar for pumpkin scones, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use brown sugar. Just back down on the buttermilk just a smidge. You will want granulated sugar or raw sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping.
baking powder – This gives the scones their lift. Don’t omit it.
spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg – What’s a pumpkin scone without some pumpkin spice? You can omit any of these if you like or substitute a pumpkin or apple pie spice mixture.
salt – Just a little salt in baked goods helps their flavor and texture. Don’t omit this.
butter – Butter is what gives you a flaky scone or biscuit. I use dairy butter, but you can use margarine or a plant-based butter if you prefer.
buttermilk – Buttermilk is excellent for baking. Remember you can freeze buttermilk or even culture buttermilk yourself. However, in a pinch, you can combine equal parts of milk and yogurt to make a close substitute. See the vegan option below for another substitute.
If you’d like to make vegan pumpkin scones, you’ll need to make two swaps:
- Use a plant-based butter instead of dairy butter.
- Place 1 tablespoon vinegar in a measuring cup. Add enough plant-based milk (I recommend almond) to the cup to make ¾ cup. Allow this to set for a few minutes and then use in place of the buttermilk. Since this type of buttermilk substitute is thinner in texture, we don’t want to use the full cup else the dough will be too wet.
Here’s how to make Pumpkin Scones:
Prep steps – Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set this aside.
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flours, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. (See notes below if you don’t have a food processor.)
2. Add the butter cubes and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and buttermilk. Fold this mixture into the dry gently until combined. The pumpkin scone dough will be sticky. It may come together best with your hands.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold 2-3 turns or until dough comes together. Gently pat or roll the dough into a 1 inch thickness.
5. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough. Cut the dough into twelve squares, triangles, or whatever shape you like.
6. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheets (you will probably need two baking sheets) and bake them for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
No Food Processor? No problem.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives held together, cut the butter into the flour mixture, until coarse crumbs are formed.
You can freeze pumpkin scones baked or unbaked!
To freeze unbaked: Prepare the scones according to the recipe, but do not bake them. Instead slide the tray of scones into the freezer and let them freeze solid. Once firm, you can transfer them to a ziptop freezer bag or container. Be sure to label the package with the date, recipe name, and baking instructions. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To freeze baked scones: Cool completely and wrap well for freezing. Use within 6 weeks.
Pumpkin scones are good for 5 to 7 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Freeze for longer storage.
At least in the US, scones are generally a sweet treat, while biscuits tend more toward savory. Try our Pumpkin Biscuits for a more savory baked good.
Scones are great to freeze, either baked or unbaked. If you want to freeze them unbaked, follow the steps for open freezing. In this way, when you’re ready to bake, you can bake as many or as few as you like.
It depends on whether eggs, butter, or milk are included in the recipe. See our vegan option notes to bake these scones vegan.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- flour – $0.45
- whole wheat pastry flour – $0.44
- granulated sugar – $0.22
- baking powder – $0.09
- spices – $0.10
- salt – $0.01
- butter – $0.92
- pumpkin puree – $0.25
- buttermilk – $0.80
While your costs will vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay $3.28 for a dozen pumpkin scones, about 27 cents each.
How I make these cheap:
Here are some of the strategies I use to make this recipe more economical:
- Do a price comparison. I know that Costco is the best place to buy ingredients in bulk, like butter, and spices, especially when there isn’t a great sale elsewhere. I keep track of prices so that I know who has the best deal where.
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on canned pumpkin, butter or flour, I buy a lot. Hint: this happens often in the fall months, so watch your sales and buy extra when you see a good sale.
- Bake in bulk. It saves so much time and money to make a big batch of scones and freeze the extras. No need to buy a scone when you head to Starbucks next time. Pack your own. Better yet, make your coffee at home, too, and save a bundle.
More Great Scones & Biscuits
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- dough knife
- 3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter cut into small cubes
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
For cinnamon sugar topping
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flours, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. (See notes below if you don't have a food processor.)
- Add the butter cubes and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and buttermilk. Fold this mixture into the dry gently until combined. The dough will be sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold 2-3 turns or until dough comes together.
- Gently pat or roll the dough into a 1 inch thickness.
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough.
- Cut the dough into twelve squares, triangles, or whatever shape you like.
- Place the scones on the prepared baking sheets and bake them for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
- Use a plant-based butter instead of dairy butter.
- Place 1 tablespoon vinegar in a measuring cup. Add enough plant-based milk (I recommend almond) to the cup to make ¾ cup. Allow this to set for a few minutes and then use in place of the buttermilk. Since this type of buttermilk substitute is thinner in texture, we don’t want to use the full cup as the dough will be too wet.
This post was originally published on July 25, 2011. It has been updated for content and clarity.