Cranberry Orange Scones

published Oct 6, 2022
Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

These tender and buttery scones - chock-full of juicy cranberries and zippy orange - will be the baked good you'll want to make all fall and winter long.

Serves8

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Cranberry orange scones on a baking sheet.
Credit: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

Irresistibly flaky and not too sweet, cranberry orange scones are one of my favorite breakfast baked goods. I love the way the crisp outside gives way to a tender interior — it’s the best accompaniment to my first mug of tea in the morning.

Dried cranberries and orange are great flavor partners. The sweet cranberries bake up juicy and plump, while the orange adds brightness to both the dough and the glaze. These scones require no special equipment beyond a box grater, meaning scone-making can happen quickly when the craving hits.

Tips for Making Better Scones

  1. Mix the zest with sugar. One of my favorite ways to get the essential oils in citrus zest to shine through is to mix the orange zest with the sugar first. This helps perfume the dough in a really beautiful way and makes the final scone fragrant with orange flavor.
  2. Skip the rolling pin. Instead of using a rolling pin and a round cutter, I prefer to go the much easier route of patting the dough into a round and cutting it into wedges. There’s no excess dough to re-roll or scraps to throw out.
  3. Freeze the scones. Unbaked or baked, scones freeze beautifully. You can freeze scone dough wedges and bake according to directions. Or freeze baked scones and pop them in a low oven to rewarm.
Credit: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

What Is the Secret to a Nice, Flaky Cranberry Orange Scone?

Grating cold butter on a box grater creates flakes of butter that can be incorporated quickly into the dough before it starts to melt. (Cold butter is key to flakiness!) When the butter melts in the oven, it creates steam that helps form the distinct flaky layers.

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

These tender and buttery scones - chock-full of juicy cranberries and zippy orange - will be the baked good you'll want to make all fall and winter long.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium orange

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick)

    cold unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup

    dried cranberries

  • 1 cup

    cold heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup

    powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  2. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium orange into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until fragrant. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and whisk to combine.

  3. Grate 1 stick cold unsalted butter on the large holes of a box grater directly into the flour mixture. Toss with your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour, breaking up any large flakes of butter. Add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and toss again with your hands to combine, breaking up any cranberries that are stuck together.

  4. Measure out 1 cup cold heavy cream in a liquid measuring cup, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Drizzle over the flour mixture and stir with a flexible spatula until the cream is absorbed. Knead the dough in the bowl with your hands just until big clumps form and all the loose flour is incorporated (be careful not to overwork it). Gather into a ball and place on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead a few times so the dough forms one cohesive mass.

  5. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick-round about 7 inches wide; use a bench scraper to shape the dough as needed. Cut into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter or chef’s knife. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Freeze while the oven heats, at least 15 minutes. (Alternatively, freeze the wedges on a plate and transfer them to the baking sheet for baking.) Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

  6. Bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  7. Juice the zested orange into a small bowl until you have 1 tablespoon. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled scones in a zigzag pattern and let sit until the glaze hardens, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Mini scones: After cutting the scones into 8 triangles, cut each in half again before baking to form 16 mini scones, which are perfect for tea parties.

Make ahead: The scones can be cut and frozen unbaked. Freeze on the baking sheet until solid, then store in a freezer bag. Bake directly from frozen for about the same amount of time.

Storage: Baked scones can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Rewarm in a 350ºF oven until heated through, about 5 minutes.