Maple Parsnip Scones

Recipe by Briana Holt

These scones are typical of the magic that happens at Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, Maine. There you'll find immense kitchen talent and fresh local ingredients that give rise to unforgettably flavorful baked goods. You'll find their story in the Holiday 2018 issue of Sift magazine.

1 hr
20 to 23 mins
1 hr 20 mins
16 scones
Maple Parsnip Scones


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. To prepare the parsnips: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the grated parsnips on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with salt.

  2. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, stirring once after 9 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

  3. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, allspice or cardamom, and black pepper. Sprinkle over the roasted parsnips. Set them aside to cool while you make the dough.

  4. To make the dough: Place 3 cups of the flour in the bowl of a food processor with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized. If you don't have a food processor, work the ingredients together using your fingers or a stand mixer. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

  5. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the cooled parsnips on the baking sheet and scrape them into the mixing bowl. Stir to distribute them evenly.

  6. Pour 3/4 cup (170g) of the buttermilk over the dry ingredients, tossing it gently with a spatula or your hands to incorporate it. Repeat with another 1/2 cup (113g) buttermilk. The mixture should feel damp and hold together when lightly squeezed; it will probably still look somewhat crumbly. If it's very dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup (57g) buttermilk.

  7. Transfer the dough to a floured piece of parchment. Use the parchment to fold the dough over on itself until it becomes more uniform. A bench knife or dough scraper is handy here, to scoop up the crumbly parts and bring them to the top of the pile.

  8. Divide the dough in half. Pat each half with floured hands into a disk about 8" in diameter. Divide each disk into 8 wedges. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 1" of space between them.

  9. Place the cut scones in the freezer for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°F.

  10. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until the tops and sides are golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

  11. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the butter until it separates and the solids begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl. Add the syrup, honey, and salt, whisking until smooth.

  12. To finish: Generously brush the scones with the warm glaze before serving.

  13. Store in an airtight container on the counter for two days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • It's a simple and wise thing to bake half of these scones and freeze the rest, unbaked, for baking later. You can bake the frozen scones as directed, and add 5 minutes to the baking time.
  • The sweet and spicy glaze is wonderful on pancakes or French toast; feel free to double (or triple) the amounts, and keep on hand for other breakfast occasions.