Fall is my favorite season. By August, I’m done with sweltering heat, longing for cool breezes, jeans, boots, and sweaters. I will always choose a hot drink over something iced, which can be slightly difficult on summer mornings when the last thing I need is any more cause for rising temperatures. But I can’t help it. Hot coffee is so much better than iced. I am also utterly in love with fall flavors. Squash, apples, slow-simmered soups, tender braised meat, and the wonderful mix of spices that accompany the season. There’s another fact: I will always pick herbs and spices or fruity or sweet flavors. Non-mint candy canes are an abomination. Fruit-flavored gumdrops, a disappointment.
What was equally a disappointment was that we were halfway through October and I had yet to make anything with pumpkin in it. I know, it’s a craze, but it’s one in which I wholeheartedly take part. As of October 20th, the closest brush I’d had was a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte. (Yes, this post is a long time coming.) So, when I found myself with close to an entire day off, in addition to making a shawarma-inspired meal to last all week, I dug out my pumpkin and set to work adapting Karina’s pumpkin scones. Before I swore off gluten, especially in my junior year of college when a Starbucks opened on campus and ran 24 hours a day through weekends and finals weeks, Starbucks’ pumpkin scones were a veritable treasure. You had to be there when they were stocked for a chance to grab one.
After going gluten-free, these were a seasonal longing, filed away and forgotten all summer until I would spy the first batch laid out in the pastry case window. Te spicy, sweet support for the wonderful pumpkin flavor has been elusive, but now, after seeing several gluten-full copycat versions on Pinterest, I went in search of a gluten-free version to start from. I’ve had very little experience with scones. Luckily, Karina was there to rescue me. I love that her version starts with sorghum and millet flour, both hearty and whole-grained. I, obviously, have de-veganified her recipe and fiddled with some spices and flavorings, as well as mixing up my own version of glaze.
If you are looking for a vegan recipe, or to sub out a particular additional allergen (milk, eggs, etc) I would highly recommend jumping over to her recipe.
Gluten-Free (& Whole Grain) Pumpkin Scones (copycat recipe)
For the Scones
- 1 cup (sweet, white) sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 5 Tbsp dark brown sugar (packed)
- 7 Tbsp butter (cold)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure you get plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 extra-large egg
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp buttermilk
For the base icing
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
For the spiced icing
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves
- 2 tsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ pie plate or a 9×9 pan and line with parchment paper. Mix all the dry ingredients (flours, spices, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar) in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add diced cubes of butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or press and break cubes with your fingers until the mixture looks like cornmeal (I favor the hand method, since I do not have a pastry cutter). Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin, egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup). Beat the mixture until it begins to hold together in a mass. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Spread the dough into prepared pan (I used a square pan to make mini scones). With a sharp knife, cut into four even squares, and cut each of those squares into four triangles. If using a pie pan, cut into 6 sections for large scones. Brush the tops with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown. Halfway through, I ran my knife along the seams again, as the scones were rising and blending together. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
When scones have cooled, mix the two separate icings. The base icing should be liquid enough to be brushed or poured onto the scones. The spiced icing can be drizzled from a fork or place into a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off to be piped on. Allow icing to set. Store leftovers in refrigerator.