Cranberry Orange Scones are classic for a reason. Fresh cranberries and orange zest make these scones the perfect fall breakfast treat.
Tips for the perfect scones:
- Keep ingredients cold! It’s of upmost importance to use cold butter and cold cream when making these scones. If you’re concerned your ingredients are warming up, simply stick the scone dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before baking it. This will ensure you get that perfect flaky, crumbly texture.
- Don’t add too much liquid. We’re making scones, not cake. Making a scone is a lot like making a sweet, extra rich pie crust. Add the liquid a little at a time until the dough just holds together. It might be a little harder to work with and look like it doesn’t want to hold together, but that’s what you want to get the best results.
- Work the butter into irregular pieces. Texture wise, I got the best result when working the butter by hand. I rub the butter between my fingers to create some flat sheets of butter and some small pieces of butter, approximately the size of large peas.
- Use an egg wash, but skip the egg in the dough. Many scone recipes include eggs, but I find my egg free version to have the most appealing texture. Yes, the egg does help bind the dough and make it easier to work with, but it takes away from that crumbly texture. And don’t worry. These scones are still nice and moist on the inside without the egg. No dry scones here. I prefer to use an egg wash to brush the tops of the scones to get the most golden, shiny finish. You can brush the tops with cream, but they won’t look quite as nice.
- Eat them on day one! If possible, try to eat one of these scones on day one after they cool. They’ll have this perfectly crisp exterior, and a slightly moist crumbly interior. You can store them in a sealed container at room temperature for several days, and they’ll still be great, but you must experience a day one scone.
Can I use dried cranberries?
Of course. I originally created this recipe years ago using dried cranberries. It’s delicious that way too, and you can make these all year long if you use the dried fruits instead.
Alternative toppers and fillings:
- Orange glaze. Ditch the crunchy sugar topping and try a glaze if you prefer. Simply swap out the lemon for fresh orange juice in my lemon glaze recipe listed in my Gingerbread Scones post.
- Add nuts. Chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts would be a nice addition with the cranberries in this recipe. I would cut down the cranberries to 1 cup and add ½ cup of nuts.
- Go for lemon. Lemon zest can definitely be subbed out for the orange zest. In that case, I might top those scones with a lemon glaze.
More Scones and Seasonal Treats
- Gingerbread Scones with Lemon Glaze
- Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Cream Cheese Spread
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze
- The Best Easy Panettone
- Panettone Bread Pudding
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate and Jam
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Nutella Cannoli
- Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
- Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Marshmallows
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Cranberry Orange Scones are the perfect fall and winter breakfast treat! Swap out dried cranberries to make these any time of year.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt (½ fine salt)
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, or about ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¾ cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
- Zest of one medium orange
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Demerara or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven and prep pan. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
- Mix dry ingredients. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Mix in butter. Toss cubes of butter in with flour mixture. Using hands, pinch butter together into irregular pieces. Form some flat discs and some small pieces of butter, the size of large peas. Work quickly as to not overheat the butter. Stir in cranberries. Transfer mix to fridge for 5-10 minutes if butter starts to soften significantly.
- Add wet ingredients. In a bowl, mix together ¾ cup heavy cream, zest and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Add additional cream, 1 or 2 spoonfuls at a time until the dough just holds together when pinched. The dough should not be wet.
- Form dough. Dump dough onto a clean work surface. Shape into a 6 to 7 inch round disc. Cut into 8 triangles. Transfer to prepared pan about 2 inches apart. Place in fridge or freezer for 10-30 minutes for better results.
- Top and bake. Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy.
I typically use approximately 1 cup to 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream total for this recipe.
To store, place in an airtight container when completely cooled. Keep at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
You can also freeze the scones after they’re baked and cooled. Wrap individually with plastic wrap and store in a sealed freezer bag. To defrost, place in the fridge the day before you want to eat them. You can also warm them in a 350F oven unwrapped on a baking sheet.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 scone
- Calories: 400
- Sugar: 18g
- Sodium: 154mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 56g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 48mg
Keywords: cranberry orange scones, cranberry scones, Christmas, Thanksgiving, scones