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!
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
When creating a new recipe, it's nice to have guidelines. And I like to play with new flavor combinations, like these Fall-inspired Maple Walnut Scones.
Longtime readers know of my homemade cream scones recipe that follows the 3-1-2 flour-fat-liquid recipe ratio for biscuits and scones. When you use a recipe ratio, it’s not difficult to substitute other liquids for heavy cream to flavor scones (like eggnog, for example).
But what if you’re playing with the liquid to flour ratio itself? What could go wrong?
Since I phrased that as a question, you already know the answer.
How to create a new recipe
The first step is to adapt a scone recipe that already had a major flavor substitution, in this case Sally’s Baking Addiction's Banana Nut Scones.
I replaced the mashed bananas and yogurt with maple syrup, remove the spices, and reduce the amount of brown sugar. I also decided to make them a little healthier by subbing in whole wheat flour for some of the all-purpose flour.
My first attempt at Maple Walnut Scones were dry and crumbly instead of flaky and cake-y, but they did have a faint maple flavor. I also toasted the walnuts, but that only made the resulting scone have a bitter, burnt taste.
Time to go back to the drawing board...er...kitchen.
Trying again, I ditched the whole wheat flour because it absorbs liquid and contributed to the dry texture (I can be healthier elsewhere). Next, I kept the walnuts raw, and increased the amounts of maple syrup and butter to add more maple flavor and richness. Finally, I added a rich maple glaze to up the flavor profile.
Eureka! That did the trick.
What you need
Besides the normal ingredients for a scone recipe (flour, baking powder, salt, butter, eggs, and heavy cream), this maple scone recipe uses brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. This adds a molasses undertone and increases the scone's moisture.
Raw walnut halves are there to add a crunchy texture, but the real star of the show is 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.
For more about the different grades of maple syrup, see the FAQs below.
How to make drop scones
Making a recipe for maple scones 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.
Step 1: Chop the walnuts
Here's a tip for when you chop your walnuts. Since these scones will be dropped (more on that later), you can keep the walnuts on the coarser side (photo 1). But not too coarse. Think medium.
Step 2: Cut the butter into the flour mixture
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Here's another tip for you. It's important to keep your butter cold, and working with it frozen is even better.
I find it's best to grate the frozen butter with a box grater and lightly toss it with the flour as you go (photo 2). The butter won't build up on your cutting board, and will be easier to cut in with the pastry cutter.
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!
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients and the walnuts
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, and egg together until no lumps remain. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, add in the walnuts, and stir the mixture together until everything appears moistened (photo 3).
Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. You should still see little pieces of butter in the dough.
Step 4: Portion out dough
What are drop scones? 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 these Orange Cranberry scones), you scoop out mounds and drop them directly onto a half sheet baking pan (photo 4).
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.
After brushing the scones with heavy cream and sprinkling them with coarse sugar (for extra crunch), bake at 425°F for 18 to 23 minutes.
Step 5: Make the glaze
While the scones are in the oven, it's time to make the glaze.
Melt the butter and maple syrup together In a small saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted powdered sugar (photo 5).
Step 6: Glaze the scones
After the scones have cooled a bit, drizzle them with the maple glaze and allow to set a few minutes.
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions you might have...
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.
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.
Maple and walnuts are perfect for Autumn baking
These Glazed 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 Maple Walnut Scones will be a hit with your family. Enjoy a taste of Autumn baking!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
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Easy Glazed Maple Walnut Scones
- pastry brush
For the scones
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, frozen and grated
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 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
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing on top of scones
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for sprinkling
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 425°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.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, and egg together until no lumps remain.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, add in the walnuts, and stir the mixture together until everything 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 whisk in the sifted powdered sugar.
- Drizzle over the still warm scones and let the glaze set about 5 minutes (if you can wait that long!). Serve & enjoy!
- 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.