Spent Coffee & Prune Morning Scones Recipe

By Mary Denham |

I love using spent coffee grounds in baking. In the days of working in bakeries and restaurants with full coffee programs, I’d go to the espresso station and ask for a couple pucks to throw into cookie doughs, scones, muffins, cakes. I love the coarser texture that comes from using pourover grounds. And unlike using straight ground coffee, the spent grounds are softened, both in texture and in flavor. 

Recipe by Mary Denham

Ingredient notes:

  • I would highly encourage you using your gram scale for this one. I’ve included cup measurements but they’re really so much less accurate.
  • The flours here are flexible. Replace the oat flour with rolled oats, ground in your food processor until fine. Not into whole grain? Use all-purpose flour (though you’ll need to reduce the buttermilk). Throw in some spelt flour, or maybe a couple tablespoons of buckwheat flour. Just keep the total weight of flour the same.
  • The 40 grams of spent coffee grounds here come from about 25 grams of ground coffee.
  • You’re very welcome to switch up the dried fruit here. I know the prune club, while ardent, is rather small. Chopped dates would be fantastic. Or perhaps candied orange and star anise. Or chopped milk chocolate.
    This is a great base for lots of flavors.

Whole wheat pastry flour 285 g (2 cups)
Whole oat flour 123 g (1 cup)
Sugar 115 g (1 cup + 1 tablespoon)
Baking powder 8 g (2 teaspoons)
Baking soda 2 g (1⁄2 teaspoon)
Kosher salt 11 g (1 tablespoon)
Spent coffee grounds, cooled 40 g (3 tablespoons)
Butter, cold 226 g (2 sticks)
Buttermilk 277 g (11⁄4 cups)
Pitted prunes, chopped 150 g (1 cup)

  • Toss together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coffee grounds, taking care to loosen any clumps of the wet grounds.

  • Cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes and toss into your dries. Using your hands, begin to press the butter into the flour, tossing as you go. Continue until your butter is about pea-sized.
  • Flour a work surface on your counter and prepare a sheet tray by lining with parchment and dusting with flour.

  • Pour the buttermilk into your flour-butter mixture. Toss with your fingers as you would a salad. Continue until no dried flour bits remain. The mixture should still be shaggy and rough.

  • Dump your scone dough onto the floured work surface. Press into a rough rectangle about 1 inch thick. Dot half of the surface of your dough with half of your chopped prunes. Using a bench scraper, fold the bare half of dough onto the prune half and press slightly. Dot the entire surface with your remaining prunes, pushing each one in with your fingers. Transfer this block of scones to your floured and lined sheet tray. Press into a rectangle about 1 inch thick.


  • Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

  • Your scone dough should be quite firm by now. Transfer to a cutting board. Trim the edges off to ensure an even rise on you scones. Cut the dough into six large rectangles or eight medium-sized scones or even ten small ones. Or into four rectangles that can be bisected to make eight triangle scones. Whatever you feel like! Press your scraps together and cut up to make baker’s snack scones. At this point, you can bake the scones, or you can freeze them, tightly wrapped, for up to two weeks. I like to bake just a few at a time because they’re so much more special fresh from the oven.

  • Place cut scones on a lined sheet tray, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Place in the 375-degree oven, then turn down to 350 degrees. Bake for 16-24 minutes, until golden brown. They should feel set and firm to the touch in the center.

Mary Denham is a pastry chef in the Bay Area, her birthplace. For over ten years, Mary studied pastry at the Culinary Institute of America and went on to such establishments as M.H. Bread & Butter, Oliveto, Neighbor Bakehouse, and outer sunset institution Outerlands, where she spent two formative years as pastry chef.
In 2018, Mary began highlighting her signature baked goods — pies, cakes, cookies, croissants, morning pastries, jams, and more — through a series of pop-ups spanning the bay area.
She founded Blooms End as a way to continue and expand these pop-ups in the comically (in?)opportune year that was 2020. Baking out of a shared kitchen space in Sausalito, CA. Mary continues finding creative ways to bring you baked goods. Find out where to find Blooms End and give them a follow on Instagram.