Glazed Cranberry Orange Scones

Homemade cranberry orange scones are deliciously flaky and tender with bright orange flavor and pops of juicy cranberries. Crunchy coarse sugar and orange glaze are the perfect finishing touches!

cranberry orange scones

Scones. They can taste REALLY good or they can taste REALLY bad. It all depends on the recipe and mixing method.

I learned how to make absolutely delicious scones a few years ago when I attended a cooking event in the Panera Bread test kitchen. Turns out that I had been making all the wrong scones up until that point! Since that fateful afternoon, I’ve mastered chocolate chip scones, cinnamon scones, and blueberry scones. I use the same basic scone recipe for each flavor. By the way, I wrote an entire post devoted to my favorite base scone recipe.

Today we’re making cranberry orange scones, flavors perfect for fall.

Why You’ll Love These Cranberry Orange Scones

  • Sweet crumbly edges
  • Soft, moist centers
  • Crunchy golden brown exterior
  • Bright flavor from orange zest and orange juice
  • Pops of juicy cranberries
  • Drizzle of orange glaze on top

cranberry orange scones

Cranberry Orange Scone Ingredients

  1. Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount for homemade scones, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Stick with around 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar for this dough. Feel free to slightly decrease, but keep in mind that the scone flavor and texture will slightly change.
  3. Baking Powder: Adds lift.
  4. Salt & Vanilla Extract: These kitchen staples add flavor.
  5. Cold Butter: Besides flour, cold butter is the main ingredient in cranberry scones. It adds flavor, flakiness, crisp edges, and rise.
  6. Heavy CreamFor the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream. Buttermilk works too! For a nondairy option, try using full-fat canned coconut milk. Avoid thinner liquids such as milk or almond milk– the result is often dry, bland, and flat scones.
  7. Egg: 1 egg adds flavor, lift, and structure.
  8. Orange Zest: The zest from one orange provides bright flavor and pairs perfectly with the tart cranberries. Don’t leave it out!
  9. Cranberries: I prefer to use frozen cranberries because they keep the scone dough super cold. Fresh or even dried works too. Use the same amount.

Before baking, brush the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. These extras add a bakery-style crunch and lovely golden sheen.

frozen cranberries

Frozen Grated Butter

I’ve learned that frozen grated butter is key to scone success.

Like when we make pie crust, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients. The cold butter coats the flour. When the buttery flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, they release steam which creates pockets of air. These pockets add a flaky center, while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. Refrigerated butter might melt in the dough as you work it, but frozen butter will hold out until the oven. Timing is KEY! And the finer the pieces of cold butter, the less the scones spread and the quicker the butter mixes into the dry ingredients. Remember, you don’t want to over-work scone dough.

I recommend grating the frozen butter with a box grater.

cranberry orange scone dough

How to Make Cranberry Orange Scones

Since there’s no yeast, these cranberry orange scones go from the mixing bowl to the oven relatively quickly. First, mix the dry ingredients together. Second, cut cold butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a pastry cutter, 2 forks, or your hands for this step. A food processor works too, but it often overworks the scone dough. To avoid overly dense scones, work the dough as little as possible. I always use a pastry cutter.

Next, whisk the wet ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the cranberries, then gently mix together. Form the dough into a disc on the counter, then cut into 8 wedges.

One of my recent tricks! To obtain a flaky center and a crumbly exterior, scone dough must remain cold. Cold dough won’t over-spread either. Therefore, I highly recommend you chill the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes prior to baking. You can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning.

After that, bake the scones until golden brown.


Video Tutorial: Cranberry Orange Scones

Here I’m making blueberry scones, but for the cranberry orange variety add orange zest and cranberries.

cranberry orange scones on baking sheet

The scones are WONDERFUL right out of the oven, but taste even better with an orange glaze on top– a must on cranberry scones. 🙂

cranberry orange scones with icing

More Cranberry Orange Recipes

These scones should most certainly be on your Thanksgiving breakfast menu!

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cranberry orange scones

Glazed Cranberry Orange Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 large or 16 small scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These cranberry orange scones are buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges and soft flaky centers. Crunchy coarse sugar and an orange glaze are the perfect finishing touches! Read through the recipe before beginning. You can skip the chilling for 15 minutes prior to baking, but I highly recommend it to prevent the scones from over-spreading.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup (125g) frozen cranberries*
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream and coarse sugar

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) fresh orange juice*

Instructions

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. See video above for a closer look at the texture. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, the egg, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the cranberries, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
  3. Pour onto the counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more Tablespoons heavy cream. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges.
  4. Brush scones with remaining heavy cream and for extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
  5. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  8. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you make the glaze.
  9. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together. Add a little more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more juice to thin. Drizzle over scones.
  10. Leftover iced or un-glazed scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush
  2. Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
  3. Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  5. Over-spreading: Start with very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula.
  6. Cranberries: I prefer to use frozen cranberries because they keep the scone dough super cold. Fresh or even dried works too. Same amount.
  7. Orange Juice: I prefer fresh orange juice. You’ll have an orange anyway– the one you zested for the scone dough! Store-bought OJ works too, of course.

Keywords: cranberry orange scones, scones

Crumbly edges, bursts of orange flavor, orange glaze, and lots of cranberries make these scones better than any I've tried!
Crumbly edges, bursts of orange flavor, orange glaze, and lots of cranberries make these scones better than any I've tried!

129 Comments

  1. I’ve just recently discovered you Sally, and your baking addiction and I’m so happy I did!! I’ve tried several of your scone recipes and so far this one is my favorite. I am traveling to visit family soon and would like to make some ahead and freeze but I am not sure if thawing will change the texture or taste. And should I glaze them first and freeze…or wait until I’m ready to serve and glaze them then?

    1. Hi Terri! Thank you so much for baking my recipes! You can definitely freeze the baked scones. I personally don’t notice a taste or texture difference. Just let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. I recommend glazing/icing them after thawing.

  2. I made these tonight with GF 1 to 1 flour, using plain yogurt instead of cream amd ground chia seeds instead of eggs. They turned out awesome. I did add 1/2 tsp baking soda, and used frozen cranberries chopped. Thank you!

      1. Made my first ones today. Followed the recipe to the tee. They came out perfect. Thanks so much. Can I freeze the cut Scones before baking?

  3. These look delicious, not like the ones I made in the past! It looks like maybe they were baked in mini cupcake pans? If so, did you use cooking spray and how long were the baked? I need to make a large amount for an upcoming social tea. Thanks.

    1. Hi Susan, These were not baked in a muffin pan! See the second half of step 3 for exact directions on how the dough was shaped and baked! Enjoy 🙂

  4. Sally, I love this recipe! I, too, use only one basic scone recipe, and make a variety of sweet and savory scones. Perfect every time. I have a small cottage bakery business, and I make and freeze UNBAKED scones so I can always have fresh-baked ones for orders or farmers market. Works fine. I take them out, let them sit while the oven heats up. I put whatever topping with the cream. Again, I love this one, and it’s becoming a favorite among my customers. Thanks, Cheryl

  5. I really love when people leave detailed reviews so I can choose my recipes wisely, so here goes (hope it helps someone as nuts about scones as I am lol): These are DELICIOUS and they will get gobbled up asap! But as others have noted, they do indeed expand out but not up, so they may not the best option for a pretty tea party or anything. I appreciate that moist dough presents a tradeoff (the end product is so tasty and tender, but the dough is harder to work with, not pretty or easy to shape, and won’t rise dramatically into the air). If you want a pretty, tidy scone that holds its shape from a cutter and puffs up tall, you need less fat and more baking powder in the recipe (search for “english style scones” or use any recipe by the National Trust). Those latter types of scones are dryer because they are meant to be slathered with butter or cream, by the way, whereas these can definitely be eaten on their own. My husband doesn’t like desserts and he had three in an hour haha. Thanks for this recipe ! xo

  6. I had a dried cranberry scones recipe that’s been in the family since I was a child and just learning to bake . I wasn’t sure if fresh berries were useable in it so I searched for one calling for fresh cranberries. I found yours. Turns out the one you posted is almost identical to the one I have had for over 40 years. So needless to say I used mine and substituted fresh berries for the dried and the scones were excellent . Anyways Nice blog

  7. I baked these this morning, and they are perfect. I love your recipes and know that if your name is on it, it’s a good recipe. Question? I’m at a high altitude, what adjustments do I need ti make?

  8. The recipe itself was pretty good and easy enough to follow but the bake time was all wrong. I baked for the minimum 20 minutes and they were burnt! I have an oven thermometer and the oven temp is fine but the cook time is just no. Wasted good heavy cream and butter for burnt scones. :/ the ones that weren’t too burnt were a nice texture though so I’ll try again another time and adjust bake time.

  9. Can the flour used be substituted with self rising flour? Or does it only have to be AP? Looks delish! Can’t wait to try making them!

  10. These. Are. So. Good. I’ve made them multiple times for our church cafe and they sell so well. Yesterday I had a baking session with my three granddaughters because they all wanted to learn how to make these. I just finished one with coffee for (a healthy) 😉 breakfast. Thank you for a truly great recipe!

  11. Someone asked me to make cranberry scones. I have everything I need, except for OJ and fresh oranges, for these. Any suggestions, how to sub something for the orange? I do have the orange peal (in a jar).

      1. ***** The rating scale isn’t here, so made my own.
        Used the orange peel. Worked well. Ended up being more of a citrus scone….the glaze was the orange peel and lemon juice. Taste like lemonade. I had no idea what to expect in taste, but soooo good! After the “initial” chew, they just melted in my mouth.
        Thanks Sally, for another great recipe!

  12. i didn’t have any fresh cranberries on hand but used some frozen strawberries! was a little bit worried about the moisture, but it came out perfectly! added more orange zest in the dough, and used less vanilla so I could add a little bit of fresh orange juice into the dough as well. added zest into the icing as well because I’m a huge a orange fan.
    Everyone loved them and will definitely be making more of these scones and testing out different fruit/citrus combos!

  13. I tried these this morning using cake flour. I added the baking powder, salt etc.. grated the frozen butter… the dough looked great…. cut them out and baked them and they all melted together into one big blob. The smell great, and probably taste great, but not happy with the results… I live in Denver.. perhaps a different cooking time and temp would be recommended.

  14. Thanks for the feedback… I will try again once I can find more cranberries.. hard to find in summer here in denver… btw should I reduce cooking time because of high altitude?
    Lenny

  15. All the stores near me only have dried cranberries! What would you recommend to make sure they don’t end up dry?

    Thank you in advance! Super excited to try these.

    1. Hi Morgan! You can use dried cranberries instead with no other changes to the recipe. Feel free to add another Tbsp of butter or cream if you’d like to, though.

  16. I’m making these for a tea party and want to know, an I make the dough and let them stay in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning?
    Thanks, Linda

    1. Hi Linda! You can certainly prepare the dough and shape the scones ahead of time to store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Baking powder is initially activated once wet, so the scones may not rise quite as tall.

  17. Thank you Sally,
    I decided not to take any chances and made them the next morning. Everyone loved them and I tucked one away for breakfast this morning. Soooo good!

  18. These are absolutely wonderful. Yes, they spread out, not up. But they are so flaky. I made a thin glaze, I used half the powdered sugar because I want them for breakfast and I don’t like overly sweet breakfast foods. This is definitely a keeper. Oh, first timers, be sure to separate them by 2 inches. They spread.

  19. The ingredient list is missing cinnamon. In the instructions it calls for it in the dry ingredients. Unless I’ve missed it somewhere….Does cinnamon go in this recipe? If so how much?

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