Perfect for an Autumn morning or afternoon snack, Glazed Maple Walnut Scones are sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar with crunchy walnuts for texture and topped with a sweet maple glaze. You'll want to make these easy Fall-inspired drop scones again and again!
[August, 2023: I've reworked the recipe and updated this post with all new pictures. Enjoy!]
Why this recipe works
- Robust maple syrup gives both the scones and glaze great flavor
- Using grated frozen butter is easier to cut into the flour than cubed butter
- Drop scones are easy to shape and have a rustic look
I like to play with new flavor combinations, like these Fall-inspired Maple Walnut Scones. They're a riff on my basic cream scones, and are lovely to have with a cup of coffee or tea.
You'll need the following ingredients to make this maple scone recipe:
Maple syrup: I use the grade of maple syrup that has the most robust flavor (Grade A Dark Amber). It's the best for baking as the flavor will be toned down when mixed with the other ingredients. Here's more about the different grades of maple syrup.
Butter: How you cut up your butter isn't as important as keeping it cold. Generally I'll grate frozen butter on a box grater (mostly because I don't have butter defrosted). If you'd rather, cut chilled butter into small ½-inch cubes. Either way will work. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so don't overwork the dough.
Brown sugar: Using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar adds a molasses undertone and increases the scone's moisture.
Walnuts: Raw walnut halves are there to add a crunchy texture, but the real star of the show is maple syrup.
Baking powder: This maple scone recipe uses 1 tablespoon of baking powder to insure you'll have tall, tender scones. Don't substitute baking soda as the scones will have a metallic taste to them.
See the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to prepare butter for scones
It's important to keep your butter cold when making scones (or pie crust, for that matter). Working with frozen butter is even better. The reason is that the colder the butter is before hitting the oven, the crumblier the resulting scone will be.
I find it's best to grate the frozen butter with a box grater and lightly toss it with the flour as you go. The butter won't build up on your cutting board, and will be easier to cut in with the pastry blender. Plus, if you keep your butter in the freezer (as I do), there’s no need to defrost it first, and that means scones at a moment’s notice!
Alternatively, you can just cut chilled butter into small ½-inch cubes before blending it into the flour mixture.
How to make maple scones
Making a maple scone recipe is pretty straightforward. You whisk your dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Next, mix in the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients.
Nothing too difficult.
These are drop scones, that is, portioned using a large cookie scoop rather than cutting the dough into portions. This gives the scones a less formal, more rustic look to them.
Step 1: Mix the flour mixture
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl (photo 1).
Step 2: Cut the butter into the flour mixture
Grate the butter using a box grater and toss it into the flour mixture a little at a time (photo 2).
Use a pastry blender, two forks, or even your hands, to work the butter into the flour until coarse, pea-sized crumbs appear (photo 3).
Step 3: Chop the walnuts
Here's a tip for the walnuts: since are drop scones, you can chop the walnuts on the coarser side (photo 4). But not too coarse. Think medium.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients and the walnuts
In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, and egg together until no lumps remain (photo 5).
Pour the cream mixture into the flour mixture, add in the walnuts, and stir just until the dough appears moistened (photo 6).
Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. You should still see little pieces of butter in the dough.
Step 4: Bake the scones
Step 5: Make the maple scone glaze
While the scones are in the oven, it's time to make the maple scone glaze.
Whisk the maple mixture into the sifted powdered sugar and stir until smooth (photo 8). The mixture will be thick, but should still drizzle from a spoon (like the consistency of molasses). Adjust the icing's consistency with water or powdered sugar in ½ teaspoon increments as needed.
Step 6: Glaze the scones
After the scones have cooled a bit, drizzle them with the maple scone icing and allow to set a few minutes (photo 9).
Storage and make-ahead instructions
Storage instructions: Maple scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. Glazed or plain scones freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then warm to your liking before enjoying.
Make-ahead instructions: For freshly baked scones anytime, freeze the cut, unbaked scones in a ziplock bag. Take out as many as you want to bake (there's no need to defrost them first), and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions you might have...
Basically, it's because maple syrup production is a labor intensive process. Pure maple syrup is made by boiling down the sap from the maple tree (a process similar to making boiled apple cider). Plus, the sugaring season, that is, the season that the sap is most abundant for boiling to make syrup, is only a few weeks long, in early spring.
As a sweetener, maple syrup is better for you than sugar because it contains antioxidants and minerals. And, it has less overall sugar and less fructose per tablespoon than honey.
Great question, and no, it doesn't involve picking anything up off the floor. At least I hope not.
Drop scones mean that instead of rolling the dough into a big disk and cutting it into wedges (like with Orange Cranberry scones), you scoop out mounds and drop them directly onto your baking pan.
I use a large cookie scoop that holds about ¼ cup of dough to shape my rounds. If that's not handy, you can use an ice cream scoop or just two spoons. On the plus side, there’s no need to chill the shaped scones before baking.
Maple syrup grading
What is the best grade of pure maple syrup? That's going to depend on how intense you want the flavor to be.
Maple syrup is graded by its intensity of color and flavor. Here is the current grading systems used by the USDA and Canada:
Grade A Light Amber or Canada No. 1 Extra Light: Grade A golden color, delicate taste
Grade A Medium Amber or Canada No. 1 Light: Grade A amber color, rich taste
Grade A Dark Amber or Canada No. 1 Medium: Grade A dark color, robust taste (can be closer to the Medium Amber designation...it will depend on the brand)
Grade B or Canada No. 2 Amber: Grade A dark color, robust taste
Grade A Dark Amber has the most intense maple flavor, so it's the best to bake with.
Maple and walnuts are perfect for Autumn baking
These maple walnut scones have a delicious maple flavor with a lovely moist texture that's nicely contrasted by the earthiness of the walnuts. They have a rustic look to them because they're scooped instead of shaped into the traditional wedges.
In other words, Autumn baking flavors for the win!
These Autumn scones are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack. I can just imagine a steaming cup of tea, a fire, a book, a dog at my feet… (hey, come back to us!)
I know these maple scones will be a hit with your family. Enjoy a taste of Autumn baking!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Try these recipes next
The real beauty of biscuits and scones are their endless variations. They can be savory or sweet, and customized with different flours, liquids, and mix-ins, and can even incorporate sourdough starter discard. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I hope you like this recipe! Do you have any questions I can help with? Let me know! Or, if you made the recipe, I'd love for you to leave a comment and rating. Thanks!
Glazed Maple Walnut Scones
- large cookie scoop (4 tablespoons) or an ice cream scoop
For the scones
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, frozen and grated, see Recipe Notes
- ½ cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on top of scones
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup, Dark Amber, robust taste
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed, light or dark
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for sprinkling, optional
For the maple glaze
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Dark Amber, robust taste
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 400 °F. Line two half sheet baking pans with a Silpat silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the scones: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
- Grate the butter using a box grater and toss it into the flour mixture a little at a time. Once all the butter is grated, use a pastry blender, two forks, or even your hands to work the butter into the flour until coarse, pea-sized crumbs appear. Set aside.
- Coarsely chop the walnuts into medium-sized pieces.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, and egg together until no lumps remain.
- Pour the cream mixture into the flour mixture, add in the walnuts, and stir just until the dough appears moistened. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. You should still see little pieces of butter in the dough.
- Using a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to portion out ¼-cup mounds of the dough onto prepared baking sheet at least 3 inches apart. You might need to use a spoon to help get the dough out of the scoop. The dough will be sticky and a little wet.
- Brush scones with cream, then sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake scones for 18 to 23 minutes, rotating pans after 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove the scones from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Make the glaze: While the scones are baking, you can prepare the maple glaze. Heat the butter and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes.
- Whisk the maple mixture into the sifted powdered sugar and stir until smooth. The mixture will be thick, but should still drizzle from a spoon (like the consistency of molasses). Adjust the icing's consistency with water or powdered sugar in ½ teaspoon increments as needed.
- Drizzle the glaze over the still warm scones and let the glaze set about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long!). Serve & enjoy!
- Storage Instructions: Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. Glazed or plain scones freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then warm to your liking before enjoying.
- Make-ahead instructions: For freshly baked scones anytime, freeze the cut, unbaked scones in a ziplock bag. Take out as many as you want to bake (there's no need to defrost them first), and bake at 400 °F for 20 to 25 minutes.