Thanksgiving Morning: Cranberry and Pumpkin Scones with Whipped Maple Butter

By  now most everyone in the United States is up and elbows deep in some delicious turkey day preparations.  My family’s Thanksgiving tradition generally involves no breakfast, me taking over any heavy lifting duties, as well as about 4 bottles of champagne for the cooks (of which there are usually 2 – you do the math).  This year we decided to be smart about it and make something simple yet filling and delicious to fill our tummies before the main event begins.  After just finishing my first bites and almost licking the butter container clean, I can tell you that these will definitely become a new part of our family tradition – how about yours?

pop goes the cranberry

Cranberry and Pumpkin Scones with Whipped Maple Butter!
serves 8


……..for the scones…….

2 c. all-purpose flour,  chilled
1/3-2/3 c. light brown sugar, chilled
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 c. salted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 c. buttermilk, chilled
1/2 c. canned pumpkin, chilled
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. fresh cranberries (or dried cranberries soaked in water 30 minutes and drained)
heavy cream to brush over scones before baking, about 1/4 c.

……..for the whipped maple butter…….

1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. sea salt


Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure all of your ingredients are super cold – if needed, place them back in the fridge after mixing.  Cold ingredients is the key to that wonderful perfect texture of a scone.  Also, throw your mixing bowl for the butter into the fridge to chill it as well. Whisk or sift together the flour, sugar (1/3 c. was perfect sweetness for us especially after adding the maple butter, but if you prefer sweeter scones I would double it to 2/3 c.) baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth.  Add this to the dry mixture, then add the cranberries.  Gently mix until JUST combined – do NOT over mix! The scones will become tougher with every stir.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough 4-5 times. Pat it into a circle, taking care not to warm it too much with the heat of your hands.  You are looking to get it to a circle that is about 8″ round and 1.5″ thick.  Cut the circle like a pizza, yielding 8 scones.  Transfer to the baking sheet leaving space in between each piece and brush with heavy cream.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. They did not look done to me, but the toothpick test didn’t lie and they turned out perfectly.

While they are baking, let’s go ahead and whip up that maple butter.

Combine the cup of heavy cream, maple syrup and sea salt in your chilled mixing bowl.  Using the whisk attachment of your mixer (or a hand whisk if you’re feeling like a work out), whip on medium to high until light and fluffy.  You don’t want to overmix or you will end up with butter and buttermilk instead of whipped butter. Just keep testing it until it tastes buttery and delicious – this was my favorite part.

Take your scones out of the oven, let cool on a baking rack and eat as many as you need to soak up that bubbly!



CHAMPAGNE. That is all.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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