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a Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones resting on a dark green plate on a dark orange piece of fabric

Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones with Maple Brown Butter Icing

  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rest Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 41 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast & Brunch, Breads
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones with Maple Brown Butter Icing pair my love of rich pumpkin and spice with my need to use up my seemingly neverending supply of sourdough discard to create a seriously delicious fall and winter bake! These cozy sourdough scones are flavored with rich pumpkin puree, warm cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove spices, and a splash of vanilla. After baking, they're drizzled with a sweet maple brown butter icing that is truly spectacular in its own right. Pair these pumpkin scones with a big mug of tea or coffee for the ultimate cozy day treat!



For the pumpkin scones:

  • 400 g (about 3 cups + 3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp) all-purpose flour, plus more to lightly flour your work surface
  • 175 g (about 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 200 g (about 4/5 cup stirred down) 100% hydration cold sourdough starter
  • 163 g (about 2/3 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream

For the maple brown butter icing:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 60 g (about 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole milk, plus more as needed
  • Optional to finish: pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


For the pumpkin scones:

  1. Line a baker’s half sheet with parchment paper and reserve to the side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-mixed.
  3. Using a standard cheese grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients just until the mixture is uneven and crumbly. It’s okay if some chunks of butter are unincorporated. Transfer the bowl to the freezer to keep cold while you prepare the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sourdough discard, pumpkin puree, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Mix together with a sturdy wooden spoon until fully combined.
  5. Remove the four and butter mixture from the freezer and transfer the remaining wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Using a sturdy spatula or a dough scraper, combine the ingredients until roughly combined. I prefer to transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface at this point and finish combining by hand but you can continue combining in the bowl if it’s more comfortable for you. You’ll want to work the dough until just combined and there aren’t any huge streaks of flour; some small flour streaks may remain and that’s totally okay.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, gently work the dough into an 8-inch flat circle. Using a bench knife or chef’s knife, slice the circle in half, then into fourths, then into eighths until you have 8 wedges.
  7. Transfer each wedge to your reserved baking sheet, equally spaced across the sheet so the scones aren’t touching.
  8. Using a basting brush, brush the tops of each scone with heavy cream.
  9. Transfer the sheet of scones to the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. I prefer to make the dough and freeze the scones the day before (or the night before) and bake the following day.
  10. When ready to bake, pull the scones from the freezer and allow the tray to rest on the counter while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F / 220 C. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the scones are lightly brown on top and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F / 94 C.

For the maple brown butter icing:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, stirring regularly. The butter will foam at first, then as the foam dissipates it will begin to turn golden and eventually brown and nutty-scented. Watch the butter closely because it can quickly turn from brown to burnt.
  2. Once golden, pour the butter into a heat-proof glass bowl. Then add the maple syrup, vanilla, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  3. Set a sieve/fine-mesh strainer over the top of the bowl and sift the powdered sugar into the mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Add 1 tbsp milk to thin and whisk again. If needed you can add an additional splash of milk until it reaches your preferred consistency, however, be careful not to add too much or the icing will never set.
  5. Drizzle icing over the scones. If desired, top the scones with a sprinkle of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) while the icing is still wet. Store the scones in an airtight container in the fridge so they don’t dry out. The scones should keep this way for up to 5 days.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

Once frozen, you can also transfer the unbaked frozen scones to an airtight container or bag lined with parchment paper between each layer and continue freezing for up to 3 months, baking one or two scones at a time as desired.


  • Serving Size: 1 scone
  • Calories: 412
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Sodium: 271 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 79 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 14 mg

Keywords: sourdough discard, pumpkin, brown butter, maple