Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones

The air is getting crisp and chilled, football is everywhere and good television shows have returned to prime time …. this can only mean one thing … Welcome Back Fall!!  Something about the fall season begs for all things spicy, apple-related and pumpkin-flavored.  The days are perfect for chili, tailgating, and stick to your ribs soups.

Pumpkin Scone

I know that I’ve been on a bit of a scone kick lately, but the change in temperature makes me want to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a homemade scone.  Unlike the almond scones which were only mildly sweet, these pumpkin scones are for those people who prefer a sweeter, more dessert-like scone.  They are tender, moist and studded with toasted pecans.  Topped with crunchy sugar they have a nice sweetness and a tangy spiced pumpkin flavor.  These pumpkin scones are a perfect way to welcome the new season.

can lid

I tend to avoid canned vegetables like the plague.  In my experience they usually have a metallic taste and a slightly grayish color.  My one exception to this prohibition is canned pumpkin.  It’s perfectly delicious!  And look at that stunning color!  Besides, who truly has time to roast a pumpkin just to make a half cup of puree.  If you do, go for it.  Make your own.  We won’t judge you.  If you don’t have the time, grab a can of pumpkin puree (just make sure it’s not the pre-made pumpkin pie filling that has all kinds of added sugar!) and whip these scones up in a half an hour.

unbaked scones

This recipe makes 16 mini scones, but you can just as easily make 8 regular sized scones.  I used a cast aluminum mini-scone pan, which is wholly unnecessary but I bought during an irrational baking supply shopping spree.  The pan does help the scones retain their shape and it gives them a nice crispy edge, but it’s not necessary.  You can bake the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, but be aware that they may puff up a bit more than mine did.

scones in pan

I do use heavy cream in this recipe but it’s only a tablespoon for the whole batch.  It helps with the texture and consistency of the scones.  However, if you are looking to cut calories, feel free to experiment with using a reduced-fat milk.  This also would be an fantastic recipe to try using a sugar substitute (like Splenda).  I have yet to try it myself but I think this recipe would work wonderfully with a substitute.  Let me know how it works out if you do experiment with the recipe.

broken open scone

You would never be able to tell that these scones are made with whole wheat flour.  They have a tender, moist crumb that barely crumbles when you break them open.  I’ve made a couple versions of these scones over the years and I’d encourage you to experiment with different additions.  If you want a sweeter, more dessert appropriate scone, mix in a half cup of mini chocolate chips.  Golden raisins and chopped dried apricots also work wonderfully.

broken open scone


Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones

Yield: 24 mini scones

Cook Time: 16-17 minutes


2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fine baker's sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon heavy cream*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed or grated, then placed back in refrigerator until needed
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Raw sugar or sparkling sugar (optional)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins or dried apricots (optional)


- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cast iron scone pan or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the pumpkin, cream, vanilla and one egg until combined. Place bowl in the refrigerator while preparing the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
- Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers, quickly work the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients. Work until the mixture resembles a crumbly, sandy mixture.
- Add the cold wet ingredients to the crumbly mixture using a rubber spatula. Only stir until combined.
- Carefully add 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans and any additional add-ins (chocolate chips, raisins, apricots). Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans to sprinkle on the top of the scones. Knead the dough briefly, if needed.
- Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 7 inch square that is approximately 1 inch thick. Using a large knife, carefully cut the square into quarters. Then cut each quarter into four even pieces. Place on lined baking sheet or prepared cast iron pan.
- In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush each scone lightly with the egg. Sprinkle with raw or sparkling sugar and the remaining pecans.
- Bake for 16-17 minutes. Be careful not to overbake or the scones will dry out. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

* I always use heavy cream because it is such a small amount and I think it really helps the texture of the scones, but feel free to experiment with a reduced-fat milk if you are looking to save calories.
** If you don't have all the individual spices called for, feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice mix which contains most of the same spices.

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25 Responses to “Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones”

  1. 1
    Maria — October 4, 2009 11:55 am

    I recently found your blog. Love it. I am adding these to my baking list!

    • kate replied: — October 4th, 2009 11:59 am

      Maria — Thanks! I’m glad you found me! I’m a huge fan of your blog, so I’m very flattered. :-) These scones are a favorite of mine. I hope you like them!

  2. 2
    Fallon — October 4, 2009 3:55 pm

    Sounds wonderful!

  3. 3
    chocolate shavings — October 4, 2009 6:13 pm

    I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes – this sounds amazing!

  4. 4
    CinnamonQuill — October 4, 2009 10:43 pm

    These sound incredible…I’ve never had a pumpkin scone and now I’m eager to try! I also like how you used a scone pan; I’ve always wondered how well those work! Looks good to me.

  5. 5
    Sandie (Inn Cuisine) — October 5, 2009 7:44 pm

    Love your mini-scone pan! I had no idea they made such a thing, although I’m not really surprised (not like I need to add to my crowded kitchen collection or anything, but I feel a new purchase coming on). The scones look fabulous too—I’ve been into all things pumpkin since September rolled around.

  6. 6
    pannybear — October 6, 2009 12:23 am

    These scones are so amazing, I’m going to have to go out and find one of those special scone pans to make them in!

  7. 7
    CaSaundra — October 7, 2009 7:57 pm

    These look absolutely delicious, and perfect for fall–but really any season! :-) I was browsing through all your recipes and they rock!! Great blog!

  8. 8
    Natalie — October 8, 2009 12:32 pm

    WOW these look awesome! i need one of those scone pans–they look so perfect!

  9. 9
    Gala — October 10, 2009 8:36 am

    The sparkling sugar looks beautiful on these!

  10. 10
    Elizabeth — October 13, 2009 6:25 pm

    These look awesome. Plus I totally covet your scone pan.

  11. 11
    Debbie — October 22, 2009 2:01 pm

    I made these yesterday and they were delish! I actually cut mine into circles. I had no salt butter, pear jam and fig jam and a touch of whipped cream on top.

  12. 12
    Julia (Color Me Green) — November 14, 2009 12:45 am

    it is the other way around my friend. make your canned pumpkin and i WILL judge you. some more bpa in my food. sounds yummy. not!

  13. 13
    Rachel — November 19, 2009 11:44 am

    These were very tasty texture-wise, but not very pumpkiny. I think my problem is that I didn’t have canned pumpkin, so I did use some home-roasted pumpkin puree–which always tends to be frustratingly LESS flavorful than the canned stuff. So–this ain’t a knock on your recipe, but a warning to people that in this case, the canned really is better, not “just” a timesaver.

    I’m curious to try another batch with more pumpkin, though…

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  15. 14
    Dave Stewart — November 9, 2010 4:28 pm

    I agree with you about canned pumpkin. It’s that rare exception to the freshness rule. I’ll definitley try your recipe. Thanks!

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  17. 15
    Danabee — January 2, 2011 11:02 am

    Delightful! I was mourning the end of the holiday season. I awoke this morning with pumpkin scones on my mind. Maybe I think about food too much?.. I went straight to the ‘puter and googled. Uninspired by all the Starbuck’s versions I finally found yours. They’re delicious! I might add a sprinkle of minced dried crans next time. Thanks for the recipe and enabling me to prolong the holiday feeling just a little longer.

  18. 16
    Lisa — January 19, 2011 9:37 am

    We made these with Craisins yesterday and they were absolutely delicious. We’ve tried other scone recipes but this will now be our “go to” recipe. Thanks so much!

  19. 17
    Susan — August 22, 2011 7:16 pm

    These look wonderful… with a hot cup of tea on a cool fall day… gives me a reason to not be quite so bummed about the end of summer. So glad I found this site!

    • kate replied: — August 23rd, 2011 3:32 pm

      Susan — These are some of my Fall favorites. So glad you found me!

  20. 18
    dusti — September 23, 2011 11:28 pm

    does anyone have calorie info?

    • kate replied: — September 24th, 2011 11:04 am

      Dusti — I don’t usually calculate the calorie info for my recipes, but there are plenty of calorie calculators online where you can punch in the recipe info and get calorie info. I can’t speak to the accuracy of them, but it’s worth a shot! Here is one I have used before.

  21. 19
    Jess` — May 5, 2012 3:42 am

    I made these for my daughter today, I used butternut pumpkin puree, rookie mistake. Next time I will pick a muck more flavoursome pumpkin. Other than that they turned out great. Very soft in the centre. I am tempted to try a little maple syrup in them next time around. :-)

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