These browned butter pecan scones are light and crispy and are filled with amazing melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Drizzled with creamy vanilla icing they make the perfect fall breakfast or brunch treat.
Inspired by one of my favorite ice cream flavors, they are the perfect sidekick for a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter morning.
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Butter: Butter adds flavor and helps to create a flakey scone. I prefer to use unsalted butter.
Flour: Use all-purpose flour.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar creates a softer scone and adds caramel flavor.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Gives the scones lift and helps to create light and fluffy scones.
Cinnamon: Adds a subtle heat and tons of flavor.
Chopped Pecans: Feel free to substitute your favorite nuts. The nuts add a great crunchy texture to the scones.
Whipping Cream: Adds flavor and moisture.
Eggs: Eggs add flavor and give the scone structure.
Salt: Enhances the other flavors.
Vanilla Extract: Helps to enhance the other flavors.
- Powdered Sugar
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Kosher Salt
Kitchen scale: Kitchen scales make baking faster and neater. Accuracy matters in baking. Scales are more precise than measuring cups. Too much flour or not enough sugar can dramatically change a recipe. The most accurate way to bake is to measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume.
A kitchen scale also reduces the number of dishes you will need to wash because you are measuring each ingredient directly from the container into the mixing bowl without the use of measuring cups.
This scale from OXO is the one I use after it was recommended by Alton Brown. What makes this scale great is the display pulls out to make viewing measurements easier when using a large bowl.
You could cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, but I prefer to use a food processor. It is much faster and creates a finer more even mixture. Just be careful to not overwork the dough.
Mixing Bowls: These are some of my favorite mixing bowls. They come in a huge range of sizes, nest together for easy storage, and are easy to clean.
Pastry Brush: I am partial to silicone pastry brushes because they are heat resistant and dishwasher safe. I like them over bristled brushes because I don’t have to worry about them leaving stray bristles behind.
Brown the butter. Slice the butter into pieces and melt it in a light-colored skillet over medium heat whisking constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Continue whisking for about 5-7 minutes, the butter will become a deep amber color. Remove the browned butter from the heat, and pour it into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until firm. This should take about four hours. I often brown the butter the night before and refrigerate it overnight.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda to the bowl of your food processor.
Cut in the cold butter. Cut the butter into 4 pieces and added it to the food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue processing until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Whisk the wet ingredients together. In a large bowl whisk together the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla.
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold them together being careful to not over mix.
Knead and shape the dough. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough a few times until it begins to come together and smoothes out a bit. Flatten the dough and fold it into thirds like you would a letter. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat this flattening and folding process two more times.
Pat into a disc approximately 1 inch thick and cut into eight wedges using a sharp knife.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the scones to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. To prevent the scones from spreading chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush with heavy cream. Brushing the tops of the scones with heavy cream will encourage browning.
Bake until golden brown. Bake for 14-16 minutes.
Whisk all of the icing ingredients together in a small bowl. If necessary thin the icing with additional heavy cream until it is a smooth pouring consistency.
Once the scones have cooled, drizzle with icing and top with additional chopped pecans before serving.
- A food processor makes blending the butter into the dry ingredients a million times easier. And allows you to work with colder butter without hurting your hands. Try putting the butter in the freezer for an hour before blending it into the dry ingredients. The texture of your scones will be even better.
- If you don’t have a food processor, use a box grater to create small strips of butter that will be easier to cut into the flour with a pastry blender.
- If you don’t have heavy cream, you can substitute milk or half and half.
- Don’t overwork the dough. Overworking the dough creates gluten which will result in chewy rather than flaky scones.
- Don’t use a rolling pin. Pat the dough out with your hands to avoid overworking the dough.
- When cutting the scones, push straight down with the knife. Sawing back and forth with the knife will seal the edges together and will prevent them from rising.
- To help scones keep their shape, chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake scones on parchment paper or a silicone mat to avoid overcooked bottoms.
- Baking times will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus.
- If the bottoms of then scones, bake the scones directly from frozen adding an extra 2-3 minutes of baking time.