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!

143 Comments

  1. i love how tall and golden they look after they come out of the oven! and that frozen cranberry trick sounds genius for keeping the dough cold, and i bet it also helps make sure that the scones have defined pockets of fruit instead of being all pink! though those would be just as delicious (:

  2. I love the look of these Sally! So festive! I also love the look in general of American scones. They are so eye catching – here in England our scones are round and plain looking. They look like what you in the USA would call a biscuit. I love all the varietys you post and am planning on making some for Christmas morning breakfast! Cant wait!

  3. These look so good! They are ever so easy to make and the cranberries give them a nice festive look! Beautiful!

  4. Triple chocolate would have to be different, just because that’s quite a feisty flavor.
    The frozen butter makes all the difference! And I wish these were the cover of Us Weekly. I’m tired of seeing Khloe Kardashian on there.

  5. Can I have these for every meal? They look HEAVENLY! You are totally spot on, no cranberry wants to be nude when they can be covered in lovely orange zest sauce! You totally nailed this!

  6. These look so yummy! I can see myself on Thanksgiving morning eating one of these with a cup of coffee while I prepare for the busy day ahead of me! Pinned!

  7. Hi Sally! I’ve tried lots of scone recipes now and I can easily say, yours are by far the best. I am addicted to the chocolate chip and cinnamon chip. These are next on my list to try!!!

  8. lovley scones but we dont have neither fresh or frozen crannberries as l know in the gulf 
    dried can be found what else i can replace with thank you ..

  9. The scones look unbelievably scrumptious. They have Thanksgiving written all over them.  Just the other day I baked Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones, the whole tray was gone in a day (no it was not only me who was at home that day though I wish I was).  Your wonderful pictures are always backed up by the foolproof recipe. I feel pretty confident to have the Glazed Cranberry Orange Scones as an unplanned surprise for Thanksgiving without a trial run!

  10. I had the privilege of tasting them at the NYC book signing. They are as good as they look! Besides the flavor being awesome, they are nice and moist. So often scones are so dry but these were amazing! 

  11. How did you know I needed a recipe to use up the cranberries I have left over from making sauce?! These look like exactly what I am looking for! Happy Thanksgiving, Sally!

  12. Mmm Sally I think I can smell that beautiful orange zest through my computer screen! What a delicious holiday breakfast! And you can totally come and hang out and be festive down here anytime. Except I think we’ll swap the apple cider for sangria because it’s 85F today! 
    I can’t wait to make these and have some girlfriends over for afternoon tea soon. Thanks Sally and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. These look amazing and I happen to have some extra cranberries on hand. Totally going to make these! I made your dinner rolls over the weekend and oh my goodness were they good. So puffy! So soft and chewy! My husband has been talking about them since. I left the few remaining at my family’s house and my sister texted the next day saying she couldn’t stop eating them. Thank you for your delicious recipes; if you ever make a dinner/savory cookbook, I will buy it! 

  14. Wow looking very beautiful and delicious! Could you also use clementines instead of oranges? I love scones with all kinds of berries in it – blueberries and also raspberries – but sometimes they are so soggy that they destroy the consistency of my dough … Cranberries are a good alternative! xoxo Katie from

  15. I was JUST thinking of how much I wanted something cranberry-orange, and here is a delicious scone recipe! These look fabulous, Sally! Also I’m super pumped for your visit to Houston! 

  16. These look delicious! And the photos display the colours so well! 
    Never been a scone fan but who knows? These scones might change that…

  17. Is there anyway is change the orange zest to lemon and omit the cranberries? Trying to make a completely lemon scone. Thanks 
    Alexis

  18. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!  I made these today and they are incredibly delicous!  Soft and tender with bright bursts of juicy cranberries – perfect!!  I followed the recipe exactly and appreciated all the little tips.  THANKS for another great recipe!!

  19. These look amazing! If I don’t have any coarse sugar should I add a teaspoon more to the dough or would it be just fine with the glaze?

  20. Made these Thanksgiving morning. So fresh tasting and delicious! Tried to keep the dough as cold as possible but they still spread… Good thing looks didn’t affect the taste! Will definitely be making them again! Your recipes are the best Sally!

  21. Sally, these were AMAZING!! I’m never going back to making scones without frozen butter because it make such a difference! Unbelievably moist and that orange-cranberry flavour is just divine. Thank you! 

  22. These are great!! I made it in 2 flat disc and then cut each one 8 so I had  16 and baked them for 15 minutes!! So good!!! These are the third scone recipe of yours I have made! 🙂

    1. Thanks for commenting about making 16 scones! I was wondering how long to cook them, so I will try the 15 minutes. I have made the cinnamon chip scones (amazing), but they are definitely large enough to only eat half. Thanks again!

  23. I made these this afternoon for a Christmas brunch tomorrow. They were so easy to put together! I always have to do a taste test to make sure they are good. I was just going to eat one bite of one….well, now there is one less scone for the party tomorrow. It was delicious. Can’t wait to take them. Thanks, Sally!!!

  24. I’m going to try these. I have made scones for over 40 years, ever since a visit to Sydney. Those were like a biscuit which you spread jam and clotted cream on top. When I have to make a lot for a ladies brunch, I make them ahead and just freeze them unbaked and when frozen, put them a freezer bag. Then on the day of the brunch, I can bake them fresh. I think they raise so much better this way. To make then gluten-free, I just use my usual recipes and just substitute GF flour and add a little xanthan gum. They come out great.

    1. Thank you so much for the idea of freezing them… I am going to make them do my sons class on Friday and was wondering how I was gonna make it in the morning… 

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