These cranberry orange scones are studded with fresh, tart cranberries and packed with a zesty orange flavor. They are moist and buttery and topped with a sweet orange-vanilla glaze. This easy-breezy recipe is guaranteed to become a favorite for the holidays! Cranberry orange scones on a cooling rack being drizzled with glaze.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Easy to make – All you have to do with this no-fuss recipe is mix, knead, chill, and bake!
  • Amazing texture – These scones are soft and flaky on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and moist. There are absolutely no dry scones here.
  • Superb taste – The taste is buttery with a fresh orange flavor and bursts of tart cranberries. It finishes with a sweet-creamy glaze to balance all the flavors.
  • Can be made in advance – You can prepare the dough the night before, cover and store in the fridge overnight, and bake fresh in the morning for breakfast or brunch.

Glazed cranberry orange scones on a gold cooling rack and tray.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated & coarse sugar
  • Baking powder & salt
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Unsalted butter
  • An orange
  • Buttermilk (store-bought or homemade)
  • An egg
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Vanilla extract

How to make cranberry orange scones:

a picture collage of how to make cranberry orange scones

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Toss in the cranberries.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a ball. Flatten into a 6″ circle and cut into 8 or 10 wedges. Place the wedges onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush the surface with buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and drizzle with glaze.

Cranberry orange scones brushed with buttermilk and topped with coarse sugar before baking.

Expert tips:

  • Use cold ingredients – Using cold butter, milk, and egg is key because you want the butter to remain solid while you work the dough. Cold butter creates steam as it melts in a hot oven. The steam from the melting butter expands between the layers of dough, yielding a soft and fluffy interior, while the fat on the surface of the dough coats it and creates a crispy outer shell.
  • Chill the dough – This allows time for the gluten in the flour to relax, which makes the scones more tender and enables them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which makes the scones flakier.

How to store cranberry orange scones:

Place the scones in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to freeze cranberry orange scones:

You can freeze them baked or unbaked. To freeze unbaked scones, place the wedges in the freezer until frozen solid, put them in a ziplock bag, return them to the freezer and store for up to a month. When ready to bake, let thaw overnight in the fridge, and bake as instructed. To freeze them after baking, let cool completely (do not glaze), place in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes. Glaze before serving. Two cranberry orange scones on a dark red plate.

FAQ:

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Yes, you can use frozen cranberries. Toss them in the butter-flour mixture before you add in the liquid ingredients. Bake as instructed for a few extra minutes. When using frozen cranberries: do not thaw, and bake the scones right away after resting in the fridge for 20 minutes. Do not make in advance.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?

Yes, but if you are going to use baking soda, make sure to use buttermilk so there is an acid for it to react with. Also, since baking soda is 4x stronger, only use 3/4 of a teaspoon in this recipe.

What makes a good scone?

Fat and flavor, the two Fs. A good scone has enough fat so it’s rich, moist, and has a good mouth-feel. And of course, the flavor is key, whether that comes from the basic ingredients or add-ins.

How long do homemade scones last?

When properly stored, about 1-2 days at room temperature and up to a week in the fridge.

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Cranberry Orange Scones


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10

Description

These cranberry orange scones are studded with fresh, tart cranberries and packed with a zesty orange flavor. They are moist and buttery and topped with a sweet orange-vanilla glaze.


Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and kneading
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups  (125g) fresh or frozen cranberries (see notes below if using frozen)
  • ½ cup (114g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅔ cup (167ml) cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp orange zest 

Topping

  • 1 tbsp buttermilk for brushing
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar for sprinkling

Glaze

  • 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Work in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal with a few larger pieces remaining. Toss in the cranberries. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined and all appears to be moistened.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, gently and quickly knead the dough into a ball (sprinkle more flour if needed as you’re kneading). It doesn’t have to be smooth. Rough and shaggy is good.
  6. Pat into a 6″ circle and cut into 8 or 10 wedges and place 2″ apart onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Chill uncovered in the fridge for 20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 425F.
  7. Brush the top of the scones with more buttermilk and generously sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients, adding in 1 tablespoon of orange juice at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Drizzle over scones.

Notes

Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

When using frozen cranberries: do not thaw and bake the scones right away after resting in the fridge for 20 minutes. Do not make in advance.

 

How to freeze:
You can freeze them baked or unbaked. To freeze unbaked scones, place the wedges in the freezer until frozen solid, put them in a ziplock bag, return to freezer and store for up to a month. When ready to bake, let thaw overnight in the fridge, and bake as instructed. To freeze them after baking, let cool completely (do not glaze), place in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes. Glaze before serving.

  • Category: breakfast, snack
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cranberry orange scone recipe

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