Alice’s Tea Cup Pumpkin Scones

A few weeks ago a friend took me to Alice’s Tea Cup for perfectly brewed cups of tea and fabulous pumpkin scones. I can’t wait to go back this summer, but until then I’ll just keep baking from the Alice’s Tea Cup Cookbook.

Last night I made the pumpkin scones.

Pumpkin Scones

The recipe uses the same basic proportions as the cookbook’s other scone recipes but with the addition of pumpkin. Like another recipe from the book which called for fruit, the dough was pretty sticky and seemed much softer than the dough described in the book.  That is, stiff enough to cut with cutters. I’m wondering if Alice’s bakers use a little more flour by weight per cup. For instance, they may use 5 oz while I use 4.5 oz weight. Or maybe it’s something else.  Either way, the scones still tasted like Alice’s despite the soft, dropped dough. The rich butter flavor comes from the glaze on top and the punch of holiday flavor comes from 1/4 cup EACH ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Feel free to reduce it if you feel it’s overkill, but I have made the recipe with the full amount.

Since there are only 3 of us here, I made a half batch and frozen them in a large freezer bag. I tried a couple of different methods of re-heating, but the best was just to let them thaw naturally and and then use the defrost setting of the microwave to complete the thaw and warm them a little. Heating them up in the oven is another option, but the glaze melts into the scone. If you don’t want to make the scones from start to finish early in the morning, you can make the scones, freeze them, thaw them, re-heat them and make the glaze fresh or your could probably freeze the dough (I’ve done it with a lot of scone doughs), let it thaw for a few minutes and bake the scones fresh.

Update: Some time has gone by since I posted this recipe and based on what I’ve read, there is a typo in the book and the actual amount (based on what was used on a TV appearance) is actually 2 tablespoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Since my version is a half-batch version, I am now using 1 tablespoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon. That is still a lot of spice, but the scones are still very good and don’t taste overly spiced.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Alice's Tea Cup Pumpkin Scones
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Half Batch Alice's Tea Cup Pumpkin Scones
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: United Kingdom
Serves: 6
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used Morton)
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (mine was cold)
  • 5 oz buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (all pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Caramel glaze:
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. With clean hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated and has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract into the well. Still using your hands (I did this with a spatula scraper), combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead!
  3. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick.(My dough was pretty soft, so I used about a 1/3 cup measure and made drop scones) using a 3-or 3 1/2- inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can and lay them on a nonstick baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones—just don't knead the dough too much (Again, I bypassed all that and made drop scones.
  4. Bake the scones for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the scones cool slightly on the baking sheet (about 20 minutes) before glazing them.
  5. While the scones are cooling, prepare the caramel glaze: Place the butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk gently until the mixture is smooth. Just as the mixture comes to a light boil, add the heavy cream and reduce the heat to low. Whisk well for 2 minutes, or until the glaze is thickened and smooth; then remove the pan from the heat.
  6. To glaze a scone, hold it by the bottom, dip the top in the warm caramel glaze, and place it back on the baking sheet. Makes 5 o 6
This is a half version of the original recipe. I bought the book right when it came out and the original full version called for 1/4 cup cinnamon and 1/4 cup ginger.


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  1. Louise says

    These look very tasty. I have everything except the buttermilk, including a half can of pumpkin in the frig. I think I’ll need to get some buttermilk and try these.

  2. says

    Alice’S is so cute. A great place to meet friends for talking and sharing good food and treats. Thanks for the recipe. They look wonderful.

  3. says

    Wow, that is a lot of spices. They look great though. And I have an open can of pumpkin, too. The only thing I’m not sure I have enough of is ginger.

  4. says

    Louise, I forgot to mention that I used lemon juice mixed with milk (the old buttermilk sub). It worked fine, but that might have had something to do with why my batter was soft since regular milk is thinner than buttermilk. Or maybe that’s a stretch. Still not sure.

    Camille, dipping the tops in the caramel really does make them pretty.

    Lora, I’ll watch your blog to see if you try the recipe. BTW, you macarons look delicious.

    Katrina, it seems like an insane about of spices, but it works!

  5. says

    the reviews on amazon state that the 1/4 cup of spices written in the recipe is a mistake, and in fact should only be a teaspoon.

    are they really good with all those spices? my initial reaction would be to reduce them, but if you say it’s good, maybe i’ll give it a try as written.

  6. says

    Jessica, from what I’ve read the amounts in the book are correct. Plus, I’ve been making the scones with that amount of spices and they’re delicious! Here are a few more reviews from people who’ve made them with the 1/4 cup.

    Now I’m only going by what the book says and what I’ve tasted (and shared) and can’t confirm anything other than what’s in the book, but I agree that you should try them as written. Let me know what you think!

  7. Michelle says

    I can vouch that Alice’s pumpkin scones are very liberally spiced, as of a trip there this summer. Too much so for me, so if I were to make the recipe for my family I would definitely reduce the ginger and cinnamon by at least half. But I do believe 1/4 cup is the amount intended by Alice’s.

  8. Brenda says

    I made these scones the other day with some slight variations, I love Alice’s and often frequent there for a cuppa and the pumpkin scones.

    Variations – Reduced buttermilk by 1/4 cup and used only 1 tsp of the spices, ginger & cinnamon. They were amazing, I actually thought they were better then Alice’s (especially in light of me saving a trek uptown and the $10 for two!!)

    I also didn’t have any cream so I used the milk I had in my fridge, I halved the sauce and still had leftovers after dipping all of the scones.

    Thanks for posting!

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