Gluten free pumpkin scones are both scrumptious and easy to make! Perfectly soft and tender, with a delightful crusty bite, these scones are topped with the best – a rich maple glaze. Spiced with all the warm fall favorites, but so wonderful any time of year.
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Like so many people, I just LOVE pumpkin goodies.
When fall weather hits, making pumpkin anything is one of the first places my mind runs to for warm fuzzies. But I honestly try to sprinkle pumpkin into almost every season a few times (except maybe summer). Why limit pumpkin to just the fall?
My recipe for gluten free pumpkin scones is the perfect fulfillment. Just as easy as pumpkin bread with a sophisticated flair, these scones will satisfy and leave you wanting more.
My husband agrees after sampling my first batch of freshly-baked gluten free pumpkin scones. Do you know what he said?
“I wish this pumpkin scone would never end.”
YES, they really are decadent. But all good things come to an end…until you make more!
Sadly enough, I don’t think people know just how easy homemade pumpkin scones truly are to make. I mean, anything you can just stir with a whisk and a spatula, pat into a disc, and cut and bake is easy enough to sign up for, right?
Whether you just woke up to your morning coffee, are ready for an afternoon snack with a glass of milk, or are waiting to entertain holiday guests with a cup of hot tea, these scones are the ticket.
And for you Starbucks fans who plead with the barista for gluten free pumpkin scones when fall comes around, look no further.
Brew your own coffee, stay in the kitchen, and “whisk” up a batch of these irresistible gluten free pumpkin scones. You won’t be disappointed, even if you don’t need to cut out gluten!
What Do I Need to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones?
For complete step-by-step instructions to make these scones, see the recipe card below.
Here’s the list of the ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need to make these tasty scones.
Ingredients For Easy Pumpkin Scones
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in most scone recipes. See Recipe FAQ section below for other flour alternatives.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Baking Powder, & Salt – These are traditional flavor-enhancing spices and leavening agents used in many baked goods.
- It is very important to note that not all spices are prepared in facilities that are gluten free. Be sure to check the label and/or contact the manufacturer! See *Ingredient note below!
- *Ingredient Note: I use spices from The Spice House; I know they do not contain gluten, like the majority of their products. YAY! Refer to The Spice House Ingredient & Allergy Information page for more information.
- Egg – Just one egg is enough to provide structure and lift, a tender texture, and flavors the dough.
- Sour Cream and Milk – Using sour cream is thicker and will help keep the dough from spreading. Sour cream also helps to produce a soft tender center. A crusty exterior can be even better achieved when sour cream is combined with milk and brushed on top of each scone just before baking.
- And while some scone recipes call for heavy cream, I chose to use sour cream instead to save on total fat, saturated fat, and calories.
- Pumpkin Puree – The star of the show! Use canned 100% pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie mix or pumpkin pie filling.
- Vanilla Extract – A necessary ingredient for almost all baked goods in my book – used to enhance the sweet earthiness of our star – pumpkin.
- Light Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar – Both add sweetness of course, but also texture, body and color in baked goods. Brown sugar adds a bit of moisture due to the molasses content, but also depth of flavor that marries so well with pumpkin.
- Scones are normally not overly-sweet, so less sugar is used than in most other baked goods.
- Butter – Butter is another important ingredient here, creating both tender layers within the scone and a crusty texture on the outside. Scones are traditionally a bit higher in fat than some other baked goods and butter can’t really be traded out well. So this is a TREAT!
- Pecans – Although pecans are listed as optional, the crunch adds appealing texture to such tender scones. Pumpkin and pecan just naturally scream to partner up anyway. And when together they are topped with a maple glaze…it’s oh so DREAMY!
- Turbinado Sugar – Also optional, this course sugar will add a crusty-sweet texture that sparkles.
- Butter, Maple Syrup, and Confectioner’s Sugar – All for the luxurious finish found in the maple glaze that’s drizzled on these cooled baked scones. It’s naturally so spectacular with pumpkin!
Equipment Used to Make Scones
- Small and Medium Bowls – to combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in their own dishes
- Whisk – to smoothly combine both dry and wet ingredients separately
- Pastry Cutter/Blender – to cut butter into dry ingredients
- Rubber Spatula – to combine dry and wet ingredients into a dough
- Sharp Knife, Pizza Cutter, or Bench Scraper – to cut dough into triangles
- Pastry Brush – to brush scone tops with milk mixture just before baking
- Small Saucepan & Spoon – to make and drizzle the yummy maple glaze
- Two Baking Sheets – to insulate and bake the scones
- Parchment Paper – for easy non-stick baking and simple clean up
How to Make the Best Gluten Free Scones
Making the Scone Dough
- Whisk together dry ingredients.
- Whisk together wet ingredients.
- Cut frozen grated butter into dry ingredients.
- Flour-butter mix and wet ingredients shown ready to combine.
- Pour wet ingredients into the flour-butter mixture.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients to form a soft dough; shape into a ball and chill.
Shaping the Scone Dough
- Flatten dough into a 1-inch thick disc with a light touch. Sprinkle and lightly press finely chopped pecans into the scone surface.
- Cut dough into triangles, separate slightly, and brush each with sour cream-milk mixture.
- Sprinkle turbinado sugar across tops of scone dough for an added crunch.
Bake and Glaze the Scones
- Bake scones in the oven until done, remove from the oven, and cool completely.
- Make rich maple glaze on the stovetop.
- Drizzle glaze with a spoon across the top of each cooled scone. Time to eat!
My Essential Tips for Pumpkin Scone Sweet Success
Measure Flour Correctly. Use the scoop & level method for measuring flour and use the appropriate measuring cup.
- Also called the spoon and sweep method, using this technique prevents bakers from turning their lovely baked goods into dense, dry, and crumbly ones that just disappoint. You can really pack extra flour in that measuring cup if you are not using the spoon and sweep method.
- When measuring flour, always use a dry measuring cup, often made of metal or plastic and not one meant for liquid ingredients which has a spout from which to pour liquids.
Use Frozen Butter. As scones bake, the frozen butter will melt and release steam, creating tender air pockets inside with lofty layers and delicate crisp edges.
- Using butter that is not frozen will melt before it gets into the oven; this can cause the dough to spread and flatten, losing the tender layers desirable of scones.
- If you do not have either tool, then yes, cut the frozen butter with a chilled sharp knife into thin pats and then into strips.
Blot Pumpkin Puree. Pumpkin puree is very wet and can lead to spreading and flat scones.
- Line a mesh colander with a double layer of paper towel and place pumpkin puree inside. Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes on the paper towel, pressing slightly with rubber spatula to release excess moisture.
No Over-Mixing. Once you add the wet ingredients to the flour-butter mixture, fold with a light touch until just combined. Much like pie crust or biscuit dough, over-mixing scone dough will result in an undesirable tough texture and a flat scone…kind of like a hockey puck! 🙀
Rest and Chill the Dough.
- Allowing the dough to rest will allow the flour to hydrate and the dough to soften, eliminating the gritty texture that is often found in store-bought gluten-free goodies.
- Resting and chilling the dough allows it to thicken also, making it easier to shape.
- Chilling keeps that grated butter very cold so you don’t lose that tender dreaminess we crave in a scone.
While these delectable scones are not considered a “health food,” they do contain whole food and minimally processed ingredients. Eating less processed foods overall is GOOD and allows you to reap more nutritional benefits from food!
Each scone provides you with:
- about 367 calories and 5 grams of protein
- 4 grams of fiber
- 180 mg calcium, so important for healthy bones and teeth and other body functions
- 428 mg of potassium, which is important for heart health
- 3669 IU of vitamin A, which provides about 120% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for men and 158% of the RDA for women. WOW!
For those seeking weight loss or weight maintenance:
- I recommend dividing the dough into 12 mini scones vs. 6 large scones before baking. The nutrition would then be cut in half…providing just 184 calories and 10 grams of total fat, which fits more easily into weight loss and weight maintenance regimens!
- The pumpkin of course is the star ingredient but also the nutrition powerhouse in this scone recipe. Low in calories and a great source of fiber, it is also the main contributor to the high Vitamin A content.
- Pumpkin contains beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is perhaps best well known for its critical role in normal vision and in the prevention of night blindness.
- Pumpkin gets its beautiful orange color from two powerful carotenoid antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Being one of the best sources for these two compounds, pumpkin in your diet may help to lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- This carotenoid form of vitamin A is also important for immune function, reproduction, cellular growth and functioning, cancer prevention, and healthy skin. Vitamin A may also serve to support bone health.
Recipe FAQ for Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones
Here are some common questions you may ask as you prepare this recipe:
Yes! While I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in most scone recipes, I have used Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour with similar results.
-It is important to note that both flour options mentioned above contain Xanthan Gum, which is an important ingredient that helps with binding; it provides elasticity and structure in doughs that do not contain gluten.
-If you choose a gluten free flour blend that does not contain xanthan gum, I would recommend adding ½ teaspoon per cup of gluten free flour used in this scone recipe. Without it, gluten free scones and many other baked goods will likely crumble apart easily.
Yes. Nuts can be removed from the recipe entirely or you may wish to substitute finely chopped almonds or walnuts for a different tasty bite. All nuts add healthy fats and fiber plus a delightful crunch that contrasts nicely with the soft moist interior of these scones.
You can use fresh pie pumpkin, a variety of fresh winter squash, or even canned yams or sweet potatoes (not candied) in lieu of canned pumpkin. While I am a fan of using canned pumpkin, I have dabbled with fresh pie pumpkins for making pumpkin treats.
For gluten free pumpkin scones, process and puree above-mentioned substitutes and use in place of canned pumpkin for this recipe.
To use fresh pie pumpkin
Make pumpkin puree and start with a pie pumpkin (not a carving pumpkin used for Halloween decorating). Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake, flesh side down until fork-tender. Once it is cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth.
-For more information about the differences between canned and fresh pumpkin, refer to this article here.
To use fresh winter squash
-Choose butternut, buttercup, acorn, or honeynut squash. Prepare and puree as if using fresh pie pumpkin, as described above.
To use canned yams or sweet potatoes
-Drain canned yams or sweet potatoes, and puree in a food processor until smooth.
Yes, you sure can! To make these vegan, just make a few swaps:
-Replace the butter with vegan butter sticks – such as Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks. This brand contains sodium. If you use a vegan butter alternative that contains sodium, I would decrease the salt to about 1/4 tsp then in this recipe; my original recipe calls for unsalted butter.
-Replace the egg with one flax egg – combine 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
-Replace sour cream with a vegan sour cream – such as Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream.
-Replace milk with non-dairy milk of your choice.
NOTE: When making these changes, the recipe becomes egg-free and dairy-free. 🙌🏼 A WIN for people who need to avoid eggs or dairy!
Sure! They might last longer! To make smaller scones, divide dough in half when turned out onto parchment; pat each half into a smaller disc about 4 – 4 ½ inches across. Cut each disc into 6 triangles for 12 total; decrease the bake time to 15-20 minutes, checking early to prevent drying out.
-To achieve the golden crust typical of fabulous scones, high heat is used, but it can often lead to dry scones with dark undersides.
-To prevent dry scones or dark bottoms, a high burst of heat gets the baking process jump-started, but then the heat is decreased.
-Stacking baking sheets allows for a layer of insulation to keep the bottoms from getting too brown. 😉
Store baked scones at room temperature in a loosely covered container for up to 3 days, or tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes! This recipe can be frozen before or after baking.
To Freeze Scone Dough: After cutting dough into triangles, freeze them on parchment-lined baking sheet for about one hour. Transfer dough to a freezer-friendly container, place a layer of plastic wrap on top, secure lid and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
-To bake, remove plastic wrap and thaw overnight or bake from frozen; just remember to brush scones with milk mixture and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, baking as directed.
-If baking from frozen, add a few minutes to the bake time shown in recipe card below.
To Freeze Baked Scones: After cooling baked scones, skip the step to make and drizzle maple glaze. Transfer scones in a freezer-friendly container, place a layer of plastic wrap on top, and secure lid and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
-To thaw, remove plastic wrap and set at room temperature for 2-3 hours or place in refrigerator overnight. Prepare maple glaze as directed in recipe card below and drizzle over scones with a spoon and enjoy every bite!
-For that fresh-from-the-oven-sensation, warm scones individually in microwave for 12-15 seconds. 😋
There are so many options!
For Breakfast: My favorite time for scones is in the morning with a cup of hot coffee.
-For a balanced breakfast, these scones are a lovely addition to scrambled or poached eggs and small bowl of fruit…next to that cup of hot coffee, hot tea, or glass of low-fat milk.
-And of course the sweet pumpkin maple combo is exquisite with the salty contrast of lean ham.
-We also enjoy these scones simply with a cup of low-fat Greek vanilla yogurt.
For Snack: I have been known to enjoy these scones as a late-morning snack, too. And whoa, hold your socks – these are the perfect fall afternoon treat when paired with hot apple cider, or hot cinnamon spice tea or vanilla chai tea!
For Dessert: Enjoy these scones after a light dinner with a cup of hot decaf coffee or tea.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones
- Rubber Spatula
- Mixing Bowls
- Pastry Cutter
- Bench Scraper
- Pastry Brush
- Small Saucepan
- Baking Sheets
- Parchment Paper
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend spooned and leveled with 1 Tablespoon REMOVED
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon*
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 1 tspl ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp sour cream or low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree blotted in paper towel*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar packed
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsp frozen unsalted butter grated*
- 3 Tbsp roasted & salted pecans finely chopped (optional)
- 1 Tbsp low-fat milk
- 1 tsp sour cream or low-fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 tsp Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
- Set out two large baking sheets and line one with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten free flour blend, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine egg, sour cream or Greek yogurt, blotted pumpkin puree, vanilla, brown sugar, and granulated sugar; whisk until fairly smooth and set aside.
- Remove frozen grated butter from freezer and scrape into flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles small uneven pea-sized sandy crumbs.
- Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture, gently mixing into a soft dough and shape into a ball with a rubber spatula; cover and chill for 25-30 minutes.* Do not overwork the dough.*NOTE: At this point, dough can be covered and refrigerated overnight if preparing the dough ahead of time is desired.
- In a small bowl, combine milk and sour cream and set aside. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
- Turn dough out onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Using slightly moistened hands, gently flatten dough into an 8-inch round disc about 1-inch thick, patting the edges to make it round. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly across the dough and press in slightly with hands. Using a bench scraper (or large sharp knife or pizza cutter), cut dough into 6 triangles; separate* each scone from one another with a bench scraper or the blunt side of a large knife. *NOTE: For soft-sided scones, leave wedges closer together, for crustier sides, separate wedges, leaving at least one inch between each scone.
- Place the parchment-lined baking sheet with cut scone dough on top of the other baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush each scone with milk mixture, and using fingers, sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar for a nice crunch, if desired.
- Place prepared scone dough in hot oven, and immediately turn heat down to 400°F. Bake for 23-26 minutes, until golden brown with crusty tops, rotating halfway through baking. Scone should spring back slightly when touched in center with flattened fingertip.
- Transfer scones and parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled make the maple glaze. Place butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Once butter is melted, turn off heat and add confectioner’s sugar, whisking until smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over each scone and rest for 10 minutes for glaze to set.
Your Own Notes
I hope you love these easy gluten free pumpkin scones. When you try this recipe, please consider leaving a recipe rating and comment below!
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