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Apple Pecan Scones with Crunchy Cardamom Sugar

  • Author: joshisbaking
  • 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.


Units Scale
  • 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)


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.