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Willing Cook-A-Long: Pumpkin Scones

October 14, 2011

This week’s Willing Cook-A-Long Challenge was Pumpkin Scones from The Shoebox Kitchen. (Though she actually didn’t create this recipe. By following the links, I’ve determined We Heart Food is the original creator of these scones.) I was really hesitant to jump in, because I’ve had a number of recipes that have turned out to be bricks, or gritty, or too chewy. I decided to jump in anyway, and I’m so glad I did.

The Changes

missing xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt

To make the scones gluten-free, I substituted King Arthur Gluten-free Flour 1:1 for the regular flour, and added 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum. To make them dairy-free, I substituted rice milk for the half-n-half, and milk. I used Earth Balance Soy-Free butter for the regular butter. All 1:1.

I also didn’t like that the recipe called for 7 Tablespoons of sugar. 1/2 cup of sugar is 8 Tablespoons. So, since more sugar + less measuring = me happy, I increased the amount of sugar. However, when I went to make the scones, I discovered that my 1/2 cup, and most of my measuring spoons were being washed in the dishwasher, so I still ended up with lots of measuring. Oh well.I also substituted all spice for the cloves, since ground cloves are expensive. I do own whole cloves, but I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to grind the entire thing, or take the stem off. So, I settled for grinding 4 whole pods of all spice in my mortar and pestle.

Mix together pumpkin, milk, and egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. At this point, my 3-year-old daughter came by to help me measure. It was just a start of the adventures I would have making these.

Add the cold butter. I’d actually left mine on the counter for a bit, but the Earth Balance is still softer than regular cold butter.

Cut in the butter using two knives, or a pastry cutter until left with crumbs no larger than a pea

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well mixed. The gluten-free flour will leave it a bit sticky still. Dump it onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. I didn’t feel like struggling with it sticking to a rolling pan, so I just patted it with my lightly floured or (after I rinsed my hands) wet hands. The recipe actually says to have the rectangle measure 12″ x 4″ x 1″. When I had my rectangle formed, I knew it wasn’t 12″ long, or 1″ high, so I measured it. I had 9″ by 6″ by 1/2″. And I figured it was good enough.
Using a pizza cutter, cut into triangles. I cut horizontally, then into thirds, then with x’s. I probably should have cut horizontally last.

Separate scones and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I actually didn’t have parchment paper, so I used wax paper. It was ok in this recipe, but I’ve had others where the wax paper melts/burns. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. I’m actually still getting used to my new gas oven, so I forgot to turn on the vent until I started baking. Hence, I sat under the smoke detector for the entire baking period trying to get it to stop beeping at me.

When I mixed the plain frosting, I actually added a little extra milk so that it would be more runny for me to paint the scones.

While I used my pastry brush to paint the scones, my daughter stirred the frosting. I’m just glad she wasn’t trying to eat it. She just liked watching it drizzle. I also learned that dabbing the scones would leave behind more frosting than making big brush strokes across the whole scone.

I mixed the flavored icing in a ziploc bag in order to cut down on mess (and dishes).

I then snipped a hole in the bag and piped it onto the scones. I was so excited at how cute they were turning out, then half way through my bag burst open. I transferred the frosting to another bag, cut a larger hole to prevent pressure build up, and finished icing. While the thicker icing isn’t as cute, at least it doesn’t belong on Cake Wrecks because it looks like poo.

You can eat right away, or wait an hour (which we did since I still had to make dinner) until the icing is hard.

Pumpkin Scones

Adapted from We Heart Food

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free


  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour*
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmet
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 Tablespoons cold Earth Balance Soy-Free butter

Plain Icing

  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice milk

Flavored Icing

  • 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmet
  • Pinch ground ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, and egg together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmet, all spice, and ginger. Cut in butter.

Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Put dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, measuring roughly 6″ x 9″ x 1/2″. Cut dough into triangles.

Place triangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet so they aren’t touching. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until tops begin to turn light brown. Move to a cooling rack.

While cooling, mix the plain icing ingredients. Brush scones with the icing using a pastry brush.

Mix the flavored icing in a ziploc bag. Cut the corner off, and pipe onto the scones. Let harden before eating.

Makes 18 scones.

*To make your own flour mix, follow these instructions from King Arthur: Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature.

cover copy copy

This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).

What I Thought

These scones took a lot of work, but they were worth it! They weren’t super moist, but neither were they dry. They had the right amount of crumbliness to them, and tasted great. I loved them. Joseph enjoyed his too. My daughter just licked the frosting, and my husband thought they weren’t sweet enough. Still, I think they are a keeper!

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-free Wednesday, Allergy-free Wednesday, Real Food Recipe Roundup, and Gluten-free and DIY Tuesday

21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 10:26 am

    Great job on making these gluten-free!

  2. October 16, 2011 1:07 pm

    Beautiful, Annaliese! You’re pictures are lovely. I really need to get a good camera working (as well as some photo tutoring) to capture better pictures for my blog.

    How did you get your icing to turn out so nice? My icing just soaked right into the scones no matter what I tried to do. I probably was too hasty and didn’t let them cool enough. It certainly didn’t change the flavor any, but they weren’t as pretty as yours or the original recipe.

    Thanks for joining in this week with The Willing Cook-A-Long. I always learn something new from how you make it work in your allergy home.

    • October 16, 2011 4:34 pm

      My icings look thicker than yours. Maybe that’s part of it. Or maybe your scones was just more porous than mine, for some reason. I did notice that when brushing on the icing, I had to dab it, unless I wanted a really thin layer of icing.

      Thanks for the comment on my pictures. 🙂 I’ve never had any photography training. I just shoot multiple shots of each stage and throw up the ones I like the best. I’m sure I have a lot to learn, especially about lighting.

      And I’m glad to be part of the willing cook-a-long.

      • October 16, 2011 7:28 pm

        Yes, I thought your icing looked thicker. I’m thinking of making another batch this week (I have leftover pumpkin, afterall), so I may fool around with the icing a little.

        I seem to always have camera issues of one sort or another. A friend suggested I do some photo training on YouTube. If I ever get that kind of time, perhaps I will. I need to get my camera issues resolved first though.

        “See” you on Friday!

  3. Megan permalink
    November 16, 2011 1:29 pm

    These look fantastic! Do you think that I could use my all purpose flour? It includes xathan gum.. Would that be okay? Fabulous! I can’t wait to try!

    • November 16, 2011 1:41 pm

      I’ve only been baking gluten-free for just over a year, so I’m not very experienced with things. You don’t say what’s in your all purpose flour, but it’s probably worth trying out. You just won’t need to add the extra xanthan gum like I do.

      • Megan permalink
        November 17, 2011 9:13 am

        I use a mix from it has white rice flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, and xathum gum!

      • November 17, 2011 9:47 am

        Sounds like it should be fine, but as I said, i’m not very experienced. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  4. September 19, 2014 9:08 pm

    These sound amazing. I can’t wait to give them a try. Thanks for linking up to Gluten Free & DIY Tuesdays. I hope to have you back again next week.

  5. Diane permalink
    September 23, 2014 8:28 am

    What is “nutmet”? Did you mean nutmeg??


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