Cranberry Orange Scones

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Make these buttery, tender cranberry orange scones for breakfast or a brunch treat! With step by step photos, you will be rocking out these scones in no time! Top with a fresh orange glaze to make any guest happy. And these cranberry scones are egg free!

cranberry orange scone with glaze


 

One of the things that I know and love well is a scone. Like my lemon poppyseed scones in the winter, pumpkin scones during pumpkin season, and blueberry lemon scones basically any time of year!

It’s one of the baked goods I was responsible for making batch after batch when I worked at a bakery. Let me just tell you when you make 12 batches of scones by hand in a day you have serious arms to show off.

So when I attended a cookbook demo from Rose Levy Berenbaum herself and she was showing us how to make scones. I didn’t think there wasn’t anything new she could show me. I mean I’ve been making scones for years. But boy was I wrong. Dead wrong.

She showed me a few tricks that has me re-thinking scones forever. Rose, I am not worthy. So let me share with you the magic that is these cranberry orange scones. I used her recipe however I swapped out the dried cranberries for fresh cranberries, but if cranberries aren’t in season you can always use dried.

What makes these homemade scones different, is that she uses whipped cream to fold into the scone dough with a little honey for sweetness which creates a light, tender scone that is not at all dry. And most scones use eggs in the dough, but these cranberry orange scones do not and resemble more of a traditional scone made with cream.

These tender scones are a perfect Christmas morning brunch treat. They are made with fresh orange juice and orange zest, and tart cranberries, and then topped with an sweet orange glaze. Your guests will love them!

See Also:

two cranberry orange scones stacked on top of each other

Why you will love these cranberry orange scones

  • Mixes up in 15 minutes or less to mix up the dough – It’s one of the reasons I love making scones! These cranberry orange scones are so quick to prep.
  • Great to freeze for later – I love making a batch of scones and then freezing some for later to enjoy all the holiday months.
  • Can make all year long – Use fresh or frozen cranberries, or even dried cranberries so you can enjoy these the whole year!
plate of cranberry orange scones

Ingredients Needed

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe card and directions.

To make the cranberry scone dough:

  • 10 Tbsp (142 grams) unsalted butter – You want to use cold butter. Cold butter will yield a flaky, tall scone.
  • 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream – It needs to be heavy whipping cream, because you are going to whip it to soft peaks, so milk won’t work.
  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) cranberries – You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. Or even dried cranberries!
  • 1 Tbs. orange zest – You want one tablespoon of fresh orange zest that is loosely packed. Be sure to zest only the orange layer, not the white layer which is bitter.
  • 2 1/3 cups (300 grams) bread flour – This is what gives them good structure. But if need be you can swap and use regular all purpose flour.
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar – This gives your scones sweetness but also tenderness. If looking to reduce the amount I’d give this article a read – how to reduce sugar in quick breads.
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp +1 teaspoon (28 grams) honey

To make the orange glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) powdered sugar – Or confectioners sugar or icing sugar. If you don’t have any make your own powdered sugar!
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) orange juice – About the juice from one orange, or you can use bottled.
cranberry orange scones ingredients

How To Make These Orange Cranberry Scones – Step by Step

Before You Start

  • Zest your oranges.
  • Cube your butter and keep it in the fridge 30 minutes until ready to use.
  • Place a metal bowl in the freezer 15 minutes to keep cold before starting to whip the heavy cream.

In a cold, metal mixing bowl whip the cream just until the soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

whipped cream in a bowl with whisk attachment

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. 

flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest whisked together in bowl

Add the cold, cubed butter, and with a fork toss to coat it with the flour. Press the butter cubes between your fingers to form very thin flakes, or use a pastry blender (or pastry cutter) and cut the butter into the flour mixture.

You want the cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

cold butter cubed and cut into flour mixture

 With a wooden spoon, or spatula, stir in the cranberries. 

frozen cranberries folded into scone mixture

Make a well in the center by pushing the flour mixture to the side. Pour the whipped cream and honey into the well and with silicone spatula.

Stir the flour mixture with the cream mixture until its all moistened. 

whipped cream and honey stirred into cranberry scone dough

Lightly knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.

Gently knead it a few times until a soft dough forms and comes together and can be shaped into a smooth disc.

round disc of cranberry orange scone dough on a lightly floured surface

Line the 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into it, or shape the dough into a 9-inch (3/4 inch) disc if not using the pan. Press in any loose cranberries.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (this is ideal to help the scones from spreading and create tall scones)

cranberry orange scone dough pressed into cake pan lined with plastic wrap

When ready to bake scones, pre-heat the oven. Set an oven rack at the middle level. Set the oven to 375oF/190oC.

Lift out the dough using the plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 even wedges. Place them 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet.

cranberry orange scones cut into eight wedges

Bake for 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the baking sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

If baking frozen scones, bake first for 20 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, then cover loosely with foil and continue baking for 10 minutes longer.

If baking half sized scones, bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 5 minutes longer.

Set the cookie sheet, on a wire rack. Transfer to a cooling rack until to cool. These scones will be slightly moist. If you prefer a drier scone allow to sit overnight uncovered.

baked cranberry orange scones on parchment lined  prepared baking sheet

In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and orange juice.

If you want a thinner glaze, add less powdered sugar or a little more orange juice. If you like a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar or use a little less orange juice.

Drizzle glaze over cooled scones. 

orange glaze drizzled over cranberry orange scones

Recipe Tips

  • Be sure to measure your flour. You want to scoop it with a spoon, and then level it off with a knife. Here is a tutorial on how to do that. For best accuracy, it’s best to use a kitchen scale.
  • You want to chill the bowl and beaters for the heavy cream before whipping it. The cold bowl and beaters will help to whip the cream.
  • Make sure to use cold butter for the scones. You want butter that doesn’t get incorporated or melt into the flour so that it steams in the oven and creates wonderful flakiness.
  • Chill that dough. It’s totally worth it. Chilling the dough will solidify the butter even more which will create a tender flakier cranberry orange scones that will also spread less in the oven, creating taller scones in the end.
eight baked cranberry orange scones in a circle

Recipe Variations

  • Use dried cranberries – Instead of fresh or frozen cranberries use dried. I recommend cutting them in half first.
  • Skip making by hand – You can skip making these by hand and make in a food processor or stand mixer but be careful to not overmix the dough.
  • Add a little vanilla extract – You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough or to the glaze as well.
  • Use gluten free flour. You can swap and use 1:1 gluten free flour instead.
  • Skip the glaze. Instead of the orange juice glaze, you can brush the scones with a simple egg wash, or a little heavy cream before baking and sprinkle on a little raw sugar.

Recipe FAQs

How Long Do Scones Last?

These cranberry orange scones can last 1 to 2 days properly stored at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also keep any leftover scones stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or better yet freeze them! Freezing desserts is my secret to always having baked goods at my fingertips.

Can You Freeze Scones?

Oh yes! That’s what I love about them. Once you cut them into wedges, you can freeze them by placing them on a cookie sheet. Then once frozen, wrap in either plastic wrap or store in a plastic bag. I like to do both to ensure they don’t have freezer burn. Then when ready to bake, no need to thaw, just bake frozen. You will just need to tack on a few extra minutes of baking time.

Can I Make These Half Sized?

You can make these half size by dividing the dough into two equal pieces (250 grams each) and then shape into a 6-inch disc. You can still shape these into a cake pan (just use a 6 inch pan). If using a cake pan to mold these, after shaping the first one, lift the first disc out wrap it and reline the pan to shape the disc. These half sized scones will take less baking time of course. After the first 10 minutes, rotate the pan in the oven and bake 5 minutes more.

plates of cranberry orange scones

Craving More? Check Out These Posts

cfranberry orange scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

Flaky Cranberry Orange Scones that are the perfect brunch treat!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: breakfast
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 scones
Calories: 500kcal

Ingredients

To make the scone dough:

  • 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream
  • 10 Tbsp (142 grams) unsalted butter cold
  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries *see note
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest loosely packed
  • 2 1/3 cups (300 grams) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp +1 teaspoon (28 grams) honey

To make the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) powdered sugar (confectioners or icing)
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) (about juice of 1 orange)

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • At least 15 minutes before whipping into a medium metal bowl place the heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate with the mixers beaters alongside.
  • Whip the cream just until the soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Place in the refrigerator.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. 
  • Add the butter, and with a fork toss to coat it with the flour. Press the butter cubes between your fingers to form very thin flakes
  •  Stir in the cranberries. 
  • Make a well in the center. Pour the whipped cream and honey into the well and with silicone spatula. Stir the flour mixture with the cream mixture until its all moistened. 
  • Lightly knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Gently knead it a few times until its slightly stretchy and can be shaped into a smooth disc.
  • Line the 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into it, or shape the dough into a 9-inch (3/4 inch) disc if not using the pan. Press in any loose cranberries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • When ready to bake the scones, pre-heat the oven. Set an oven rack at the middle level. Set the oven to 375oF/190oC.
  • Lift out the dough using the plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 even wedges. Place them 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets halfway around. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes.  If baking frozen scones, bake first for 20 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, then cover loosely with foil and continue baking for 10 minutes longer. If baking half sized scones, bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 5 minutes longer.
  • Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet, on a wire rack. Transfer to a cooling rack until to cool. These scones will be slightly moist. If you prefer a drier scone allow to sit overnight uncovered.

Make The Glaze:

  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and orange juice. If you want a thinner glaze, add less powdered sugar or more orange juice. If you like a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar or less orange juice. Drizzle over cooled scones. 

Notes

  • Storage: These cranberry orange scones can last 1 to 2 days properly stored at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also keep any leftover scones stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • Freezing: Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Once you cut them into wedges, you can freeze them by placing them on a cookie sheet. Then once frozen, wrap in either plastic wrap or store in a plastic bag. Freeze for 3 months. Then when ready to bake, no need to thaw, just bake frozen. You will just need to tack on a few extra minutes of baking time. 
  • Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen. If using frozen do no thaw. Or you can use dried cranberries, cut in half. 
  • Half sized: You can make these half size by dividing the dough into two equal pieces (250 grams each) and then shape into a 6-inch disc. You can still shape these into a cake pan (just use a 6 inch pan). If using a cake pan to mold these, after shaping the first one, lift the first disc out wrap it and reline the pan to shape the disc. These half sized scones will take less baking time of course. After the first 10 minutes, rotate the pan in the oven and bake 5 minutes more.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 891IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg
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4 Comments

  1. Emily Leishman says:

    5 stars
    These were super delicious and I love the flavors of orange and cranberry together! My family loved them too!

    1. Oh I am so glad you and your family loved them Emily!

  2. Linda Price says:

    4 stars
    Wow! For a first try from scratch, I think it was a win. The scones were PERFECT with great flavor. Smooshing the flour coated butter pieces into flakes with my fingers was fun but messy. I was also surprised to find the cream needed to be whipped to soft peaks. Next time I will use my pastry blender and will not beat the cream.

    1. Yes the recipe is from cookbook author, Rose Berenbaum, and she whips the cream to make a light fluffy scone. I do prefer to use my pastry blender as well! Glad you loved them 🙂 Thanks Linda!

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