Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing

Gluten-free pumpkin scones with maple icing are tender and delicious with tea
Gluten-free pumpkin scones with maple nutmeg icing.

Take a deep breath. Stop. Sit. I understand. I get it. And I know what you're craving. Because I'm craving it, too. After all the pre-Thanksgiving hubbub, after scouring the Internet for gluten-free recipes, after all the planning, the lists, the shopping at six different markets because one store never has everything you need (that would be too simple), the label reading, the patience (dug from somewhere deep and zen and maybe even vaguely transpersonal) to explain (again) why scraping the pumpkin filling off a wheat pie crust does not a gluten-free dessert make, what you crave (besides alone time with a freshly cracked book and your favorite mug filled to the brim with your beverage of choice) is something indulgent.

But not overly indulgent.


But not too sweet.

Something warm and tender, and laced with all of the holiday spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.

Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge.

Something for breakfast, perhaps. Or a mid-morning treat that is light and tasty but also comforting, in a warm-from-the-oven homey best friend hug kind of way. 

Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me? 

Then let's get sconed.

Pumpkin scones that remind me of Starbucks- without the gluten
Gluten-free scones worthy of tea time.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing Recipe

Originally published November 2009.

I searched for the Starbuck's pumpkin scone recipe to use as a basic template for this gluten-free dairy-free egg-free scone. A scone to love. A scone to make my celiac readers happy and my lovely vegan readers and autie angels smile. I have no idea if the recipes I found on-line were the true Starbuck's recipe, but I took a shot. And by the time I was through converting it and taste testing the dough, I knew. Babycakes, this one's a keeper.


1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup organic millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
7 tablespoons cold shortening (Spectrum Organic Shortening)
1/2 cup mashed cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 2 tablespoons warm water till frothy (non-vegans use 1 large organic egg, if you prefer)
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
3 tablespoons rice milk whisked with 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or mild rice vinegar


Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a 9-inch Pyrex pie dish. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients. Add in the shortening by pieces and cut in the shortening (with a fork or a pastry cutter) and mix until the mixture looks sandy.

Add in the pumpkin, egg replacer (or egg), maple syrup and rice milk. Beat the batter briefly until the dough forms a smooth mass. You do not need to beat the dough very long- just until it is mixed.

Scrape the dough into the prepared pie plate. Using lightly oiled hands pat and shape the dough into a smooth flat round. Press the dough all the way to the edges of the pie plate.

Use a thin sharp knife to slice the dough into six wedges.

You can bake the scones together in the pie dish, or separate them and bake them on a baking sheet.

To bake them on a baking sheet: Use a thin and flexible spatula to remove the wedges from the pie dish one at a time and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Using a knife or thin spatula, reshape and define the scones, if you need to.

Now brush the tops gently with:

Plain rice milk

If you like a crunchy top, sprinkle the scones with raw sugar crystals.

Place the pie dish - or the baking sheet- in the oven. Bake until the scones are firm and slightly golden- roughly 20 minutes.

Cool the scones on a wire rack and make the maple nutmeg icing.

Maple Nutmeg Icing

Use only a little liquid at a time as you beat the frosting. If it gets too thin, add more confectioner's (powdered) sugar.


1 cup confectioner's or powdered sugar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rice milk
Pinch of nutmeg, to taste (start tiny, you can add more)


Beat until smooth and add more rice milk a tablespoon at a time until the icing is creamy- but not too thin. Taste test and add more nutmeg if it needs it.

Beat the icing for three to four minutes (this improves the texture).

Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a simple tip (or use a plastic sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in one bottom corner). Chill the icing while the scones are cooling a bit.

Squiggle the icing on top of the scones, or spread on the frosting with an icing knife, if you like a lot of sweetness adorning your scone.

Serve immediately. I'm serious. Don't wait. Eat up, Darling. These scones are best enjoyed fresh from the oven.

Makes six scones.

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Karina's Notes:

Like gluten-free soda breads these scones are best enjoyed the day you bake them. However, if you need to bake them ahead of time, I did a little experiment for you. If you must wrap and freeze these scones for the future, place the iced scones in the freezer before you wrap them up (briefly chilling them helps set the icing so it won't stick to the wrapping). To best preserve this kind of drizzled frosting in the freezing process, I think plastic wrap works better than foil.

When serving, remove the scones from the freezer and unwrap immediately (so the icing won't stick to the wrapping as it thaws and softens).

For best results- hands down- heat a thawed scone in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds- this restores the warmth and tenderness of a just baked scone.

More gluten-free pumpkin scones from food bloggers:

The Sensitive Pantry's Maple Glazed Pumpkin Scones
Daring to Thrive's Gluten-free Dairy-free Vegan Pumpkin Scones


  1. Holy Gluten Free Goddess Batman!

    I was just wondering what to do with these leftover white sweet potatoes I made to put in a GF cheesecake. I'm all over this recipe & I'm gonna use the potatoes instead of pumpkin. I <3 you!

    Happy Thanksgiving Karina :)

  2. Now I hesitate no more on making pumpkin scones. Thank you!

  3. Oh. Wow. I think you've just created my dream recipe.

  4. I can't wait to try this!!!! Just discovered your blog off of

  5. Feed the craving, I say! :)

  6. my autie angel mama's heart is truly thankful for you this am!!

  7. I just made scones too! These look fantastic =D. I love the flavours and everything in this! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

  8. Gluten Free in MT00:39

    I just stumbled upon this recipe this morning as I was looking for something for MY breakfast this morning. I did these pretty quickly but used eggs, milk & butter - OMG - they looked amazing and tasted just as good. Thank you Karina!!!

  9. We just made these..DEE-licious! I love it when even my omnivore husband loves it(lucky dog can eat anything he wants). I don't know why I'm always surprised when your recipes turn out so must be because of all those wretched recipes out there. You spend so much time/energy/money making something and then it can only be fed to the garbage. My sons and I are GF/CF and my youngest is soy and nut free as well so when I stumbled upon your blog five months ago it was a gold mine! I'm sure you hear that story all the time...I hope you do!

  10. Anonymous12:49

    Just made these scones with my daughter. They are delicious. We also made your multi-grain sandwich bread. I was always scared to take the plunge and start GF-baking. Your recipes are easy and delicious. Everyday we try a new one. THANK YOU.

  11. Made these this morning. Got home from an errand and several more were missing- everyone in this family loves these. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Do you think it would work to use Pamela's mix instead of your different flour blend?

  13. Yes, Babycakes this is it!

  14. Yes, I don't see why you couldn't use Pamela's baking mix as the flour blend. Pre-leavened baking mixes are usually *really* good in biscuits, scones, muffins, etc.


  15. Um, I love you. Thank you so much. I love scones and have been deeply missing them.

    Also, you just blew my mind, I had no idea that potato flour and potato starch were different. No wonder my breads that call for potato starch are turning out weird. GAH!

  16. Anonymous11:49

    I made these scones on Thanksgiving morning for a quick breakfast and they were a hit with the kids and adults. Now it's the Sunday morning following Thanksgiving and I'm making them for the FOURTH day in a row. It's a fantastic recipe. Thank you for making our first GF Thanksgiving special.

  17. Yes! I am totally feeling you!!!! Even reading your post helped me get past some of that post Thanksgiving craving, yes!!! Next year we're having Thanksgiving at my house and every dish is going to be prepared such that I can eat it!!! And this could very well be one of them, but I think I'll be making it before the week is out.

  18. Anonymous20:57

    Thank you SO much for this recipe!! I went GFCF two years ago and the things I constantly crave are Starbucks' pumpkin scones and Peet's maple scones, which taste like pancakes.

    One question before I begin: Do you think I could make this without a stand mixer? How would it change the prep? Thanks.

  19. How do you like the KitchenAid??? Isn't it a treat, all on its own?

  20. Anonymous00:13

    I was wondering the same thing as kerrdelune. i don't have a stand up mixer but want to give this recipe a shot. what do you think, Karina?

  21. Holy Yum! I've been reading your site for ages now, Karina, and it's always inspiring. I made these with Bob's GF Flour Mix and the dough was soft and somewhat difficult to handle. BUT, once baked these were amazing!!! Perfect texture and flavor. Thank you for another fantastic recipe. :) ~ Kimberly

  22. Yes- indeed! I love my stand mixer.

    And yes, you can certainly make this recipe with a good hand-held beater or even by hand (I beat batters for the last four years, actually, without a stand mixer).

    If you don't have a whisk attachment for your beater, whisk the dry ingredients by hand.

    Cut in the shortening till it's crumbly and sandy.

    Then use a hand mixer (or a wooden spoon with some elbow grease) to add the rest of the ingredients and mix.


  23. Jacquelyn22:36

    Hi Karina,

    Thank you for the lovely recipe. My favourite way to shape scones is to spread the mixture into a non stick round cake plate lined with a couple strips of parchment that hang over the edges to form handles.

    Bake the scones for 3/4 of the total time, then use a sturdy bench scraper to slice the scones into wedges while still in the cake plate. Lift them out carefully and spread them out on a cookie sheet to finish baking.

    Hopefully that isn't too complicated to follow. This is a technique I got from Carol Fenster's book and it works well. The bench scraper is just the right tool for the job.

  24. megito9313:55

    Wow. These are awesome. I made a batch this morning and they're disappearing quickly. Even my 8-year-old Celiac autistic little boy who's skeptical of almost everything ate one and said, "they're actually pretty good!" High praise from this little guy! Now I've got to exercise some self-restraint or the entire batch will be gone by evening!

  25. Anonymous09:37

    These were fabulous! My 5 year old and DH couldn't get enough. I used my homemade coconut yogurt instead of the rice milk plus ACV. I also used lemon juice instead of rice milk in the frosting - made it tangy and delicious. I know these won't last... but they were sooo easy to make they'll become a part of my regular GF repertoire. Thank you so much !!!

  26. Anonymous16:23

    I did not have millet flour so I substituted buckwheat flour. Baked them for an extra 3 minutes. Delicious!

  27. These were tasty tasty! I made these to bring to a football game - we waited in line for two hours in below freezing temperatures for the gates to open, and so I was highly welcomed when I unwrapped the foil and said "Scones?"

    I was a little short on tapioca - seems to be a shortage in my city, so I used a little teff to fill the gap. Worked great! I also cut the shortening by 2 tablespoons and added 2 extra tablespoons of pumpkin. I baked and frosted the scones the night , then froze them wrapped in foil. The next morning I popped them in a 250 deg oven to warm them, then wrapped the whole package in a few towels to bring to the game.

    I was expecting this to be a more aggressively pumpkiny-spicy scone, so I was a little surprised by their mild flavor. In the future, I would up the spices and maybe sub a little more pumpkin for some liquid.

  28. I made these this morning and they tasted great! I only had whole nutmeg and cloves on hand, so I ground some of each in my spice grinder and it gave it a little more oomph in the flavor.

    My only issue with these was that the shape didn't hold up too well. They spread a bit and didn't rise like yours pictured. I think I might try to cut the shortening the next time around and also drain the pumpkin before adding it. I'm thinking the dough might have been too wet--although it was sticky, it didn't feel dense enough.

    I was recently gifted a cast iron scone pan. I haven't used it yet and was wondering how I would adapt this recipe in order to use the pan. I tried looking up a recipe, but the only one I found (was not GF) set the oven temp to 425 and baked the scones for 15 mins. Would that translate to this recipe?

  29. Stephanie L.21:36

    I took my kids through a Starbucks the other day and I felt bad that I bought a pumpkin scone for three of them, but my 9 year-old who is GFCF could not have one (He had an alternative snack). When I saw this recipe, I tried it immediately. WOW! My kids said these are better than the one they had at Starbucks!

  30. These look so yummy! I wonder, though, if I can just omit the maple syrup in the frosting? I'm not a fan of maple... Should I add in a little more milk for the liquid content? Or just skip it altogether?

  31. Fatima the dough should not be too wet. Next time start with less liquid- maybe your flours are damp.

    As for the skillet approach- see my Skillet Cornbread recipe for guidance. I haven't baked scones this way; but based on the cornbread recipe, it should work.

    Mandy, Sure- if you don't like maple use vanilla coconut milk or whatever you prefer.

    xox Karina

  32. Karina these are awesome:) I made gf scones before and I just made a round scone baked it and then sliced...turned out great, as well as these did too:) Thank you for all your help in the food realm:)

  33. Siri A.00:24

    I just made these since I am living in Canada right now and It is Canadian Thanksgiving.

    They were delicious!

    I subbed buckwheat flour for the millet flour, just because it's what I could find in the store. I also used flax meal instead of egg replacer. I like to think it makes them a little more healthy...though the frosting might undo that bit.

  34. I'm so glad you put up this recipe! I'm in love with all things pumpkin right now, and probably will continue to be even after fall. But I was wondering if by canned pumpkin you meant pumpkin puree? If not, is it possible to use pumpkin puree in this recipe? Also, I have Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour and was wondering if I could use that instead of all the flours and starches you have listed separately in the recipe? I'm hoping to make these early next week before I leave for a trip so I can have something for breakfast while everyone else has bagels.

  35. So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Tami and Siri! xox

    B- Yes, cooked pumpkin puree is the same as canned pumpkin. I added this tidbit to the recipe. As for Bob's flour mix- I've never used it, so I cannot say how different it is from my flours. Different flours do impact the recipe, taste and texture wise. If you like the Bob's mix, it's worth a try.


  36. Cute, Im just now getting into pumpkin

  37. I so look forward to making these! Pumpkin and Gingerbread are two of my favorite fall items. Need to pick up ingredients- I've got potato flour not starch :(

    Reading the comments is helpful. I've had challenges with different canned pumpkin too. Some are too wet (experienced this with Whole Foods Market organic 365 brand) so you have to adjust. Like the idea of Teff and buckwheat flours too. At any rate, thanks for sharing this!

  38. I made these scones twice in the past two days and can't figure out why my dough isn't stiff enough. The first time I made them I subbed br. rice flour for the millet flour, but the second time I used millet flour and had the same result. I had to add quite a bit of extra flour to get it so it was even possible to cut out the wedges. Besides the flour change, I also used one large egg each time (not the egg replacer).

    Any thoughts on that? They ended up tasting fine, but I am so confused as to why I got such different results. I am pretty new to GF baking and maybe I'm missing something.

    I also baked them 27 mins and thought they easily could have taken 30 mins. However, I have found that every single GF recipe I bake needs longer than the recipe says (oh, and I have a thermometer, so I know the oven is the right temp, too).

    Thank you so much for your recipes, Karina! Your site is a god(dess)-send!

  39. Anonymous10:39

    Just wanted to post my substitutions (based on what I had in my pantry), in case it helps others thinking about doing this recipe. I subbed TEFF flour for the millet, ARROWROOT starch for the potato. Used butter, instead of shortening, cow's milk (not rice), and one chicken egg.
    I made the dough the night before (very easy to put together) and then spread it into a greased pie plate, as the recipe suggests. The dough was very sticky and wet and there is not way I would have been able to mold acceptable triangles of it. I then refrigerated it over night. In the morning I took my bench scraper (the perfect tool) and cut wedges in the dough and then easily lifted out these chilled wedges with an offset spatula and placed them on a lined cookie sheet.
    They tasted wonderful. The texture was more muffin like then scone (probably due to my subs) but the kids, cousin and grown-ups loved them. Even the non-celiacs.

  40. This was great - everyone loved it. thanks for sharing.

  41. Erin23:26

    These scones specifically and this blog in general has singlehandedly reaffirmed my love of baking- gluten free vegan baking, as of the past six months. Thanks Katrina, you're a life saver! Keep being amazing!

  42. Glad there's scone love goin' on. Thank you!

    As for the dough- wondering if my dough is cooler than your dough. I store my flours in the fridge and although they warm up a bit while I assemble all the ingredients, maybe my dough is still a bit cool?

    I use dry measures for dry, and a liquid measuring cup for wet.

    Sometimes the different styles of measuring can make a difference.

    xox Karina

  43. Hi Karina,
    I just tried this recipe and the results were terrific. My 8-year old who recently was found to be allergic to gluten, eggs, dairy and a host of other things, absolutely loved them. Thank you so much!

  44. I just made these for the first time and had 100% success. They are so wonderful! Soft, tasty, and totally delicious! Thank you so much Karina.
    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  45. Fantastic recipe! Thank you!

  46. Thank you for this recipe and your wonderful site. These scones are SO good!!!

  47. These were wonderful! I've made them twice in the past month :) My first batch turned out fantastic but my second batch I had to substitute coconut flour for the sorghum flour since I had run out...Much more dense and stick to the roof of your mouth texture (not what I was hoping for). Anyways, I learned my lesson! Thank you for the wonderful recipes, Karina! You are my tastebuds saviour <3

  48. My husband is in love with Starbucks pumpkin scones. I made these for him and he's been talking about them ever since. He's not GF but says there are just like Starbucks. We're both happy now.