Will you be having house guests during the holidays? These pumpkin scones are the perfect thing to whip up for guests. They come together quickly, bake in only 15 minutes, and will turn your house into an instant bed and breakfast. Give them a try!
When I checked my e-mail this morning I had a message from my friend Ruby. She suggested that I try to create some pumpkin scones because she is in love with the ones that Starbuck’s is selling right now. I’ve never tasted a pumpkin scone and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to.
When I think of using pumpkin in baked goods, I think moist. Things like pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, and more recently, pumpkin pancakes. But scones aren’t supposed to be moist. To me, the perfect scone is somewhere between a biscuit and shortbread. It’s rich and flaky and tender, but I wouldn’t want my scone to be moist.
But the more I thought about the pumpkin scones, the more I wanted to try it out. I looked for some imitation recipes online for Starbuck’s Pumpkin Scones and there were plenty. But I didn’t like them. I could tell they would turn out to be a different type of scone than I like. So, I went back to one of my own scone recipes and started from there.
First of all, I ditched the egg and replaced it with pumpkin puree. I increased the sugar a bit because I knew I couldn’t compete with a Starbucks scone without adding some extra sugar! I also decreased the liquid so that I could add enough pumpkin puree to actually give it some pumpkin flavor. And of course, I also added some of my favorite pumpkin spices.
First batch: Even though I had left out the egg and adjusted the liquid to try to compensate for the added pumpkin moisture, the dough was still too moist. I managed to work with it and get the scones shaped and baked but it was extremely messy! The flavor of the baked scones was good but the texture just wasn’t right.
Second batch: I decreased both the amount of pumpkin and amount of liquid and left everything else the same. This time the dough was perfect! The finished scones weren’t quite as pumpkin-y as the first batch but they still had a hint of pumpkin and the spices really came through. The best part was that they still tasted like a scone. The buttery flavor was there and the texture was there. With that second batch, I became a pumpkin scone convert!
Third batch: That’s right, I baked three batches of pumpkin scones today. Even though the second batch was really good, I wanted to try a batch with some raisins thrown in. I love raisins in pumpkin bread and I love currents in scones. So I figured that raisins in a pumpkin scone would probably be really good. Guess what? I was right!
Both the second and third batches were really good plain. But again, I know I’m competing with Starbuck’s scones here and I’m pretty sure those things are covered in a sugary icing. So, I decided to come up with some icing of my own that would compliment the flavors of the scones.
The first batch of icing I flavored with molasses and ginger. Although molasses can be a bit overpowering on it’s own, it was great in the icing. I chose to use only one spice in the icing instead of repeating all of the same spices that were in the scone. I wanted the icing to compliment the scone but also stand out a bit on it’s own. It worked and the flavor was strong enough that a little bit of icing went a long way.
The second batch of icing I flavored with just cinnamon. The flavor of this icing wasn’t as assertive as the other one but it definitely worked well on the scones. I found that I preferred the cinnamon icing on the pumpin raisin scones and the ginger molasses icing on the plain pumpkin scones.
So, Ruby, here are some pumpkin scones for you. Try them out this weekend and let me know what you think!
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not required but makes cleanup easy!).
2. Ingredient prep: cut the butter into small pieces, put it in a small bowl and put it back in the refrigerator. In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, salt, and all spices. Whisk together well. Place bowl in freezer (refrigerator is fine if you have no room in freezer).
3. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together well. Put this bowl in the refrigerator and take the other bowl back out. Get the butter pieces out of the fridge and dump them into the bowl with the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins if you are using them.
3. Get the liquid mixture out of the refrigerator and pour into the flour mixture all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is just moistened. The dough will be very crumbly, this is the way it should be. Turn the mixture out onto the counter and push the pile together with your hands. It should stick together fairly well. Knead it just a couple of times until everything is together. Don't knead it too much or the dough will get too sticky.
4. Pat the dough out into a rough circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut it like a pie into 8 pieces. Place pieces on the baking sheet so that they are not touching. Bake scones for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees. They should be light brown on the bottom, the tops will darken as they cool.
For ginger molasses icing, stir together 1 C. powdered sugar, 1 T. molasses, 1-2 T. milk, and 1/4 - 1/2 t. ground ginger (to taste). Adjust the amount of sugar or milk to make the icing the consistency you want. It should be pretty thick.
For cinnamon icing, mix together 1 C. powdered sugar, 2 T. milk, 1/4 - 1/2 t. cinnamon (to taste). Again, adjust amounts to change consistency. Icing can be brushed on or drizzled.