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Feeding the Fam: Pumpkin Ginger Scones

Photograph by The Naptime Chef

It took me a long time to understand the art of scone baking. When I was younger, I had a single recipe for scones, and I made them over and over. I served them with clotted cream and jam to good reviews and figured that was all I needed under my belt. I was good to go with one slam-dunk scone recipe for the rest of my life. But then I moved to a new town, tried a scone at the local bakery and was transported. It had a soft crumbly interior, but was not too sweet so as to be mistaken for a muffin. It was so different than the recipe I’d been making at home. The scone I made was flakey but almost a little hard. I was intrigued that scones came in so many different variations.

Realizing I’d been wrong about scones for all these years, I started ordering them everywhere I went. Some were drop scones—the batter dropped from a tablespoon and baked in a gentle lump; others were cut into triangles and baked until the edges were almost crispy; and, last but not least, some were baked in a specialized scone pan. (There are special pans for scones? Why had I never heard of this?)

Armed with this knowledge, I set out to broaden my scone recipe repertoire. I wanted at least three or four reliable ones I could turn to, depending on my mood. One of these recipes turned into these pumpkin ginger scones, which have become a family favorite each fall. They are flavored with pureed pumpkin and studded with candied ginger. They are soft and almost cakey, but not overly sweet. You won’t mistake these for pumpkin pie, but you will get as much pumpkin spice flavor as you can handle with your breakfast.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Ginger Scones


  • ½ can canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for the ginger
  • ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • Sanding sugar (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the pumpkin, egg and whole milk until they are completely combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder, spice, salt and flour. Then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Then, use a wooden spoon to stir in the pumpkin mixture until it is just combined and the flour is no longer visible. Toss the ginger with 1 teaspoon of flour and stir it into the prepared batter.
  3. Remove the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, and pat it into a circle about 10-inches in diameter. The dough will be sticky and quite moist, which is normal. Wrap the dough completely in the plastic, and chill it for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 8 equal-size triangles and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and set in the middle. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Recipe via The Naptime Chef

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