These gluten-free pumpkin scones are such a treat for breakfast in the fall! They’re soft, light and tender, with warm notes of pumpkin spice and a sweet maple glaze. These are also easy to make - the dough comes together in about 15 minutes - and like most homemade baked goods, they’re so much better than anything you can get from Starbucks!
I’m always sad to see summer on its way out, but there’s one thing that never fails to get me in the fall mood, and that’s what I like to call a “coffee shop style” fall breakfast. Pair a freshly-baked pumpkin scone with a homemade pumpkin cream cold brew (or a chai latte, for the tea drinkers) and the changing seasons suddenly feel a little more welcome.
Here’s What You’ll Love About This Easy Pumpkin Scone Recipe
- It’s quick and simple to make - about 15 minutes for the dough, and 5 minutes for the (optional) glaze.
- There are no special kitchen appliances required.
- The scones bake up soft and tender, and stay that way for days! This is gluten-free baking at its best - nobody will know the difference.
- A simple maple glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness and truly makes them quintessential fall scones.
- You can make the dough and freeze it for later. This is my favorite thing about homemade scones!
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
If you’ve made any of my scones before - these blueberry buttermilk scones are a personal favorite - you’ll recognize that they all follow the same basic ingredient formula: flour + butter + cream + flavor-enhancers. This recipe for gluten-free pumpkin scones is no exception! Here’s a look at what you’ll need:
A few notes:
- Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum, guar gum, or a similar binding agent. My favorite brands include Cup4Cup, King Arthur Flour, and Bob’s Red Mill. You can also use regular all-purpose flour. Just keep an eye on the texture of the dough and add more heavy cream if it seems too dry.
- I used light brown sugar (aka golden brown sugar) for my scones, but the darker variety should be fine as well.
- You can replace the individual spices in this recipe with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
- Use very cold butter that’s been cut into cubes (which makes it easier to disperse in the dough). If you’re using salted butter, reduce the salt in the scones to ¼ teaspoon. I like to splurge on European-style butter for scones; it has less water and more fat, helping the scones rise rather than spread, and giving them a better flavor.
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which looks similar but is not the same. I've only tested this recipe with canned pumpkin, and can't speak to how well homemade pumpkin puree will work.
For the maple glaze on these pumpkin spice scones, you’ll need the following:
Skip the added salt if you use salted butter.
How to Make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones
Start by whisking all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl - flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture and cut it in with a pastry cutter (also called a pastry blender) until the pieces are roughly pea-sized and well- dispersed. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients: pumpkin puree, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and fold it in with a rubber spatula until incorporated. The dough will be a bit crumbly.
Use your hands to finish working the dough together, adding more cream sparingly if it seems too dry. It should be soft but not particularly sticky. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and press it into a round disk about 1” thick. Place it in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
If your baking sheet won’t fit in your freezer, you can temporarily transfer the parchment paper and scone dough onto a smaller tray or plate to freeze.
Toward the end of the chilling period, preheat your oven to 400ºF. Just before baking, use a sharp knife to slice the scone dough into 8 equal pieces, pizza-style. Spread them apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes, until they’ve puffed up and appear dry (not glossy) on top. A toothpick inserted into the center of one should come out clean. Place the baking sheet over a wire rack and let the scones cool for about 15 minutes. Then, transfer them directly to the rack and let them cool to room temperature before glazing.
To make the maple glaze:
Add the butter to a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave just long enough to melt (about 30 seconds). Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, and salt, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Finally, mix in up to 1 tablespoon of cream as needed so that the glaze is just thin enough to drizzle down slowly from the whisk when lifted - it shouldn’t be runny.
Spoon the maple glaze onto the pumpkin scones, spreading it over the top of each one and letting it slowly drip down the sides. Let the glaze set before serving.
Storing and Serving Pumpkin Scones
Scones tend to be best fresh, but these do keep well for 3-5 days. To store, transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag and keep them refrigerated.
I like to reheat them by popping them in the microwave for about 30 seconds - easy!
Scone Baking Tips
- The ratio of dry to wet ingredients in scone dough is important. To get it right, it’s best to weigh your ingredients - especially the flour - with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, make sure you measure your flour properly by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off.
- Always, always, always use cold butter and cream for scones. Keeping the butter cold until it hits the oven will help your scones rise better and give them better texture.
- Don’t overwork the dough! Your goal is to handle it just enough to bring it together.
- Like most scones, this pumpkin scone dough freezes exceptionally well. After chilling the dough and slicing it into individual pieces, you can place the unbaked scones in a freezer-safe Ziploc and freeze them for up 3 months. Once you’re ready to bake them, let them sit at room temperature while you preheat your oven. The baking time may need to be increased by about 5 minutes.
- While I personally think serving these pumpkin scones with a maple glaze takes them to the next level, you can of course skip it. If opting for no glaze, I’d suggest brushing the scones with cream and sprinkling them with coarse sugar before baking.
Pumpkin Scone Recipe FAQ
There are a number of factors that can prevent scones from rising properly - the wrong ratio of liquid to dry ingredients, expired baking powder, overworking the dough, and even the quality of your ingredients. I created this recipe for pumpkin scones with these factors in mind, so as long as you use fresh ingredients and follow the tips included, you shouldn’t experience this problem!
These pumpkin scones lean a little more moist than most of my scone recipes because of the pumpkin puree. However, they’re still scone-like and not cakey - truly the ideal texture.
Yes! If preferred, you can separate the dough into two portions before flattening into disks, and slice each portion into 8 smaller triangles to make 16 mini scones.
More Gluten-Free Recipes with Pumpkin
Don't stop here! I have plenty of other delicious pumpkin recipes you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
These gluten-free pumpkin scones make the best breakfast for crisp fall mornings with their soft, tender crumb, warm fall spices, and sweet maple glaze. If Starbucks pumpkin scones have been your go-to in years past, these are a must-try!
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Chill Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hr 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 scones 1x
- Category: biscuits and scones
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones
- 3 cups (360 grams) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ½ cup, packed (106 grams) brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup (227 grams) pumpkin puree
- ½ (117 grams) heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon (7 grams) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (78 grams) pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (142 grams) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the butter is dispersed and only pea-sized chunks remain. You can also use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, cream, and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and fold in until the dough starts to come together; it will still be crumbly at this point.
- Use your hands to finish bringing the dough together into a ball, adding more cream sparingly if it seems too dry. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and press into a round disk about 1” thick. Place in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
- Towards the end of the chilling time, preheat your oven to 400ºF with a rack in the center position. Remove the chilled scones from the freezer and slice into 8 equal pieces (like you would a pizza). Space the scones apart on the baking sheet.
- Bakes in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until scones are puffy and tops no longer appear glossy or wet. A toothpick inserted into the center of one should come out clean. Cool on pan over a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then, transfer scones directly to the cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before glazing.
- Melt the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Add the cream, mixing in just enough for the glaze to drizzle slowly down from the whisk when lifted.
- Spoon glaze over cooled scones, spreading it over the tops and letting it drip down the sides. Let set before serving.
- Make sure that your gluten-free flour blend contains a binding agent like xanthan gum or guar gum. Regular all-purpose flour can also be used if preferred.
- The individual spices in the scone dough can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
- If using salted butter, reduce the salt in the scones by ¼ teaspoon. Omit the added salt in the maple glaze.
Storing and Serving:
- Scones are best served the day they are baked, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in the microwave (about 30 seconds) before serving.
Freezing Scone Dough:
- If you want to freeze the scone dough for a longer period before baking, you can! Freeze for 1 hour as directed in step 4, and then slice into triangles as described in step 5. Place in an airtight zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, remove scones from the freezer and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to thaw slightly while preheating your oven. Baking time may need to be increased by 5 minutes.
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