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These easy vegan pumpkin scones are tender and flaky inside, loaded with cozy fall flavors, with crisp edges – perfect for crisp mornings and Thanksgiving brunch!

completed Vegan Pumpkin Scones on a cooling rack
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Soft, Buttery, Flaky Pumpkin Scones (Vegan)

Pumpkin season may be practically over, but we’ve truly taken advantage of it this year, churning out batch upon batch of vegan pumpkin muffins, vegan pumpkin cookies, vegan pumpkin cupcakes, and vegan pumpkin pancakes (among other pumpkin treats). We couldn’t let the season end without sharing this simple and delicious, loosely Starbucks-inspired pumpkin scones recipe.

We’ve already made 4 batches since September, including for Thanksgiving brunch. They’re easy to prepare, made with simple pantry staples, and bake up to be ‘buttery’, tender, flaky, and light with crisp edges, perfectly spiced, not too sweet, with absolutely 0 animal products – not that anyone can tell.

They’re versatile too… You can top off the batch with sweet and crunchy turbinado sugar, add a simple glaze, and/or experiment with add-ins (who wouldn’t love cranberry, pecan, and/or dairy-free chocolate chip pumpkin scones?!). This mix of cozy fall flavors is perfect for enjoying all season. You can even freeze them for later.

Looking for even more vegan scone inspiration? Check out our recipes for walnut oat scones, lemon blueberry scones, or simple vanilla scones. You might also like our flaky sweet potato biscuits – which are perfect for your Thanksgiving table.

The Ingredients and Substitutions

This easy recipe for pumpkin scones relies on simple, inexpensive pantry staples.

ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Scones on a white surface

The Wet Ingredients

  • Pumpkin: Use plain canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Homemade puree will work, too, but may require straining through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to achieve the correct consistency. Butternut squash puree may also work.
  • Dairy-free butter: Use your favorite unsalted block (not spreadable) vegan butter- frozen. Our favorites include Miyoko’s and Earth Balance.
  • Plant-based milk: Use unsweetened. E.g., oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc.
  • Brown sugar: Pumpkin and the molasses flavor of brown sugar are wonderfully complementary. Use unrefined coconut sugar or date sugar if preferred, though.
  • Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla extract (or paste) to avoid an artificial aftertaste.
  • Apple cider vinegar: (or regular vinegar) to help activate the baking soda.

The Dry Ingredients

  • Flour: All-purpose flour works best, though you may be able to experiment using up to 50% whole wheat flour or make gluten-free pumpkin scones using a gluten-free AP blend like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s.
  • Pumpkin spice: Use store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice (or just some cinnamon, if that’s all you have).
  • Leavening agents: These pumpkin vegan scones rely on baking powder and baking soda for the best texture and lift.
  • Turbinado sugar: Optional for sprinkling over the scones for sweetness and crunch.

Optional Add-ins or Variations

There are several ways to add extra texture and flavor to the pumpkin spiced scones, with about a cup of:

  • Dried fruit: Like raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates.
  • Crystallized ginger: Finely diced to enhance the warmth and spice flavor.
  • Nuts/seeds: Like walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Vegan chocolate chips: Use regular or mini chocolate chips – dark, milk, or white.
  • Orange zest: Use the zest from one orange for a subtle citrusy flavor.
  • Glaze: We love pairing the vegan pumpkin scones with our simple pumpkin spice glaze. However, you could use a maple glaze, a vegan cream cheese glaze, or orange glaze. Make them similar to Starbucks pumpkin scones by first dipping them in a simple vanilla glaze then drizzling with pumpkin spice glaze.

You could also make these more savory by reducing the amount of sugar and experimenting with add-ins like rosemary, thyme, or sage, and/or vegan cheese.

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Scones

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C. Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin spice, and leavening agents and mix well.
  • Add the frozen vegan butter and use a pastry cutter or two forks until it reaches a wet, sandy-like texture with pea-sized butter crumbs.

Grate the frozen vegan butter for minimal ‘cutting’ necessary.

  • Then, combine the pumpkin puree, plant-based milk, vanilla, vinegar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until they only just come together.

Be careful not to over-mix it or allow the butter to start melting.

  • Sprinkle some flour on a clean, flat surface and transfer the crumbly dough to it. Then knead the dough just a few times to incorporate all the crumbly bits into a cohesive dough. Once again, be careful not to handle it too much.
  • Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick disk and cut it into 8 triangles (like pizza).
  • Transfer the pumpkin scones to the baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and optionally sprinkle with turbinado sugar (brush with a little dairy-free milk to help it stick).

Then, if needed, transfer them to the refrigerator until the oven is done pre-heating. Don’t leave them at room temperature for too long, or the vegan butter will soften, plus they’ll spread more in the oven.

  • Bake the pumpkin scones for 10-15 minutes, until they’re lightly golden brown on top. Then, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire cooling rack for at least 20 minutes to cool. Enjoy!

Enjoy a pumpkin spiced scone warm with vegan butter, coconut whipped cream, pumpkin butter, maple butter, dairy-free yogurt, fresh fruit, etc.

FAQs

Can I prepare the scones in advance?

You can prepare and shape the scones in advance, leaving them, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a day before baking (or a month in the freezer) – then bake, adding a few extra minutes if baking from frozen.

Can I use a food processor to prepare the scone dough?

Yes, but be careful to only pulse the mixture and not to overly heat the vegan butter or overwork the dough.

How to reheat pumpkin scones?

Simply pop a scone in a microwave for 15-30 seconds or reheat it in a toaster oven. To reheat several at once, do so in the oven at 300F/150C for 10-15 minutes.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Measure the flour correctly: To avoid using too much flour and ending up with dense scones, first fluff it up in its bag using a fork, then spoon it into the measuring cup before using the back of a knife to level the top.
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter: Over-mixing has the potential to overwork the gluten and end up with dense, tough scones. It’s also important not to let the vegan butter melt.
  • Use frozen vegan butter: And be careful not to handle the dough too much as you don’t want the dairy-free butter to melt. Instead, it will melt while the vegan pumpkin scones bake, releasing steam and creating these wonderfully flaky, tender pockets for the best texture.
  • To avoid crumbly scones: Leave them to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Don’t overcrowd the scones: They need a little space for spreading and to allow the sides to become a little crispy.
completed Vegan Pumpkin Scones on a cooling rack

Storage Instructions

Once baked, leave the vegan pumpkin scones to cool completely, then store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

To freeze the pumpkin scones, spread them on a baking tray in a single layer, not touching, and flash freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a Ziplock/Stasher bag for up to 3 months. Leave one/them to thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temp for several hours.

More Vegan Pumpkin Desserts

Or browse this list of 24 vegan canned pumpkin recipes for more inspiration!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Vegan Pumpkin Scones on a cooling rack

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

5 from 32 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cool: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
These easy vegan pumpkin scones are tender and flaky inside, loaded with cozy fall flavors, with crisp edges – perfect for crisp mornings and Thanksgiving brunch!

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of plant-based milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ cup of vegan butter, frozen and diced
  • Turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

Instructions 

  • Prepare a baking sheet and line it with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, plant-based milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Mix well and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well and add the frozen diced vegan butter. Incorporate the vegan butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or a fork until it reaches a sandy like texture.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix just until it starts to come together. Important to not overmix or allow the vegan butter to start melting.
  • Sprinkle some flour on a clean flat surface and place the dough on it. At this time, the dough is a bit crumbly and not fully incorporated.
  • Knead the dough a few times until all the remaining small particles fully incorporate with the dough. Do not overwork the dough or the vegan butter will start to melt with the heat from your hands.
  • Shape the dough into a circle and flatten it using your hands to about 1 inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles like a pizza.
  • Place scones on the baking sheet about an inch apart from each other, optionally sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top of them, and put them in the refrigerator while the oven preheats.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they just start to become golden brown.
  • Carefully, using a spatula, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Notes

Note: These taste great with topped with pumpkin cake glaze!
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter: Over-mixing has the potential to overwork the gluten and end up with dense, tough scones. It’s also important not to let the vegan butter melt.
  • Use frozen vegan butter: And be careful not to handle the dough too much as you don’t want the dairy-free butter to melt. Instead, it will melt while the vegan pumpkin scones bake, releasing steam and creating these wonderfully flaky, tender pockets for the best texture.
  • To avoid crumbly scones: Leave them to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Don’t overcrowd the scones: They need a little space for spreading and to allow the sides to become a little crispy.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 2gSodium: 319mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 2384IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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