Flaky apple pecan scones filled with honeycrisp apples, chopped pecans, cinnamon spice and topped with a crunchy cardamom sugar mixture. These are bursting with fall flavors, but perfect year-round when in need of a cozy scone treat. Let’s bake, friends!
This recipe is sponsored by Yes! Apples.
How to Make Scones More Flaky
To achieve taller and flakier scones, you’ll want to focus on these three things: your leaveners (in this case buttermilk and baking powder), your butter, and how you work your dough. Let’s break each of these down:
- Buttermilk & Baking Powder: These are your leaveners, AKA the stuff that makes your baked goods rise. Buttermilk is acidic and when combined with baking powder (an alkaline/acid mixture that helps puff and lighten things up), will help give your scones a good rise. You’re more likely to see buttermilk paired with baking soda (i.e. buttermilk biscuits), but here baking powder helps cancel out the tang of the milk so as to not overpower the other flavors at play.
- Butter: The key is to keep your butter COLD. The more cold/larger chunks of butter you have within the dough as it bakes in the oven, the more your scones will puff up and the flakier they’ll be. This is why I have you freeze the dough for 30 minutes before the bake—this keeps the butter cold for maximum flakiness potential.
- Working the Dough: What I’m specifically talking about here is not over-working your dough and to avoid kneading it where possible. When kneading something like bread, you’re trying to create gluten to give your dough more structure as it bakes. With scones, you want your dough on the looser/crumbly side so it remains light and fluffy. Use more of a pressing/gentle squeeze motion instead of kneading for scones.
Why are my scones dry?
Do your scones keep turning out dry? The answer is probably how you measured your flour! If you scoop your flour out of the bag or container, you’re ALWAYS going to end up with way more than is needed. Flour loves to pack itself into a measuring cup when you scoop—sometimes as much as 25 grams more per cup than what the recipe calls for. Agh!
Which is why you want to fluff up your flour with a fork, spoon it into your measuring cup, and then scrape/level off the excess at the top with a bench scraper or knife (something with a sturdy, straight edge). This will give you more accurate measurements and your dry scones will be a thing of the past!
Using weight is always the most accurate way to make sure your recipe turns out exactly the way it’s intended by the creator. Consider purchasing a kitchen scale (I love this one)—you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results and just how often you use it!
Choosing the right apple…
The Honeycrisp from Yes! Apples was the perfect choice for these apple pecan scones! With a crispy crunch and honey-sweet flavor, they really lend themselves to the spices and textures already at work here. The honeycrisp is in season August-June, so you’ve got plenty of chances to grab some from Yes! Apples.
Click here to find the closest retailer near you and get to baking (and snacking, let’s be real)!
Materials You’ll Need:
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Bench scrape or knife to cut scones
- Large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Pastry brush (or something to brush tops of scones with)
- Cooling rack
Grab some Honeycrisp apples from Yes! Apples, put on some happy music, and bake these apple pecan scones! A warm hug with every bite—I promise. Share with and tag me over on Instagram (@joshisbaking) if you make them! Happy baking, friends!
Need another scone recipe? Check out my flaky Cranberry Orange Scones!Print
Apple Pecan Scones with Crunchy Cardamom Sugar
- Prep Time: 30 Min.
- Chill Time: 30 Min.
- Cook Time: 30 Min.
- Total Time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.
- Yield: 8 Large Scones 1x
Flaky apple pecan scones filled with honeycrisp apples, chopped pecans, cinnamon spice and topped with a crunchy cardamom sugar mixture. These are bursting with fall flavors, but perfect year-round when in need of a cozy scone treat.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled (380g)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (75g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (6g)
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (12g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2g)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter — cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup Honeycrisp apple from Yes! Apples, peeled & diced (110g after dicing)
- 1 cup pecans (100g), coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (200mL)
- Heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons demerara/turbinado sugar (10g)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, & cinnamon. Add in your cold, cubed butter and quickly squish/rub each piece between your fingers. Give everything a good toss so the butter gets evenly coated in flour. You want larger chunks of butter (these will help the scones rise and be flaky).
- Fold in your diced apples and pecans with a spatula or wooden spoon. Make a small well in the middle and pour in half of your buttermilk. Gently toss it in with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until it’s roughly mixed in. Pour in the other half of your buttermilk. Gently toss again and then once no visible liquid remains, begin pressing the dough until it comes together—don’t knead.
- Dump out your dough onto a floured surface (it may still be crumbly) and bring it together more with your hands. Again, it’s less about kneading it (overworking it will result in less flaky scones) and more about pressing and pulling everything together. Press back in any loose apples or pecans along the way—this whole process should only take about 30 seconds!
- Once your dough has come together: shape it into a large square, cut into quarters (with a bench scraper or knife), stack them on top of one another and press the stack down with your hands. This helps create more layers! Repeat one more time (adding flour to your surface/hands as needed).
- After creating some layers, pat the dough into a large ~10in. circle and cut into 8 evenly-sized triangles. Place these on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or small sheet/plate) and freeze for 30 minutes.
- While they freeze, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). In a small bowl, mix together your cardamom and demerara sugar, and get your heavy cream ready to brush on top of your scones.
- As soon as you remove the scones from your freezer, brush the tops with your heavy cream & generously sprinkle with your cardamom sugar mixture. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the edges/tops/bottoms are nicely browned and the middles seem baked through (I baked mine in the upper third of the oven for 28 minutes).
- Once out of the oven, let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to separate racks to cool completely or enjoy warm (highly recommend). These will keep best up to 5 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Be careful not to overwork the dough! Just work quickly, adding more flour to the surface or your hands if things start to get sticky, and focus on bringing it together through pressing/squeezing instead of kneading. Kneading will results in tougher, less flaky scones.
- Keep your butter cold throughout the entire process! Cold butter is what helps give these scones a good rise, which is why I have you freeze the them before baking. Do not skip this step!
- Make sure to spoon and level your flour when measuring it out! Scooping will result in way too much flour and your scones will end up dry.
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