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

2 cranberry orange scones on an orange plate

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 in a measuring cup

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.

2 images of cranberry orange scone dough in a bowl and cut into triangles on a baking sheet

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 on an orange plate

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
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 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, sugar, 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, 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

168 Comments

  1. 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!!

  2. 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!

  3. 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! 

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!!

  6. These are phenomenal, by far the most delicious scones I’ve ever made. Thank you for another wonderful, reliable recipe. 

  7. I just made these and they turned out FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for the great recipe!!

  8. Excellent recipe and amazing result! These are the best scones I’ve ever tried! Thank you very much!

  9. I just made these right now! I have some extra heavy cream in my fridge and was wondering what I could make, then I thought SCONES! Your recipe is so easy to follow and easy to assemble! I’ve made scones once before but it was a crumbly, flavorless mess.  This dough comes together well and they bake up so nicely! I left them in for 21 minutes so they’d stay nice and soft.  That glaze just pulled the flavors all together. Nothing too overwhelming but a beautiful cranberry taste with subtle orange.  You never disappoint me, Sally 🙂

  10. These scones were very delicious but I have some questions about the texture. These scones seemed not quite as crumbly as the scones I usually make. The texture on the inside was a bit like a cranberry orange loaf I make but not really scone-like. I kept the dough very cold and was sure to fold in the ingredients gently, not to overmix, but is there something else I did wrong? Again, not really complaining because they were still delicious, just not scone-like.

    1. Hi Steph, did you change anything in the ingredients or method of mixing? Make sure the dough is still slightly tacky (but not overly sticky). You can also try baking them for longer at a lower temperature. And are you separating them on the baking sheet? That way the heat can get to all edges (and centers) of the scones.

  11. We made these for breakfast and they did not disappoint! My youngest does not like scones and insisted she didn’t like these either, even while continuing to eat the whole thing. Then she said “I do like scones!”  This is a great base recipe too. I made mixed berry scones with lemon glaze and Banana Chocolate chip. They were amazing. We will definitely be making these again! 

  12. You were not kidding when you said these would become a favorite. My 8 year old grandson asks to make these almost every time he comes over. It is so much fun baking with him. I have to chuckle because he is not strong enough to mix the dough yet  but he sure does try and he is a pro at flattening out the dough and cutting out the scones. We cut them up into small triangles so that there are about two good bites out of each one. Perfect for grabbing for snacks. We do freeze them even with the frosting and they hold up very well, even though they never last for more then a few days.

  13. The best scone ever. Moist inside, crisp edges, fantastic flavor. There wasn’t a crumb left after my four boys and husband tasted them. Next time I will double it!

  14. Hi Sally! I am a huge fan and have loved so many of your recipes. Not sure why but I’ve tried this recipe twice now and the scones burn badly on bottoms within 10 minutes in the oven. I tried rolling them out on a non-floured surface in case the flour was burning, but any ideas? Would love to find a scone recipe that works!

    1. What type of pan are you using? And are you lining the pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment? Also, try lowering the oven rack. This should help!

  15. margo Daniels says:

    Can I use dried cranberries?

    1. Absolutely!

  16. Best scones ever. I used salted butter and cut back on the salt, used 2% milk with half and half instead of heavy cream only because those are what I had on hand. I’m going to try them with raspberries and white chocolate chips. Thank you.

  17. I have made these scones multiple times each time the dough is extremely crumbly- I am extra careful not to overmix they usually don’t rise and kinda grow upward and not upward. I have tried googling my issues and cant figure out why it keeps happening. I even bought new baking powder- they taste wonderful but don’t look pretty. Help

  18. Terri Stewart says:

    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.

  19. Lorraine Moen says:

    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!

  20. 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!

  21. Sheila Calnan says:

    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. A little orange peel in the dough would be wonderful. Instead of OJ in the icing, use heavy cream or milk.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Hi Sally, can you use orange extract to replace the orange zest? if so, how much?

    1. Hi Jane! I can’t see why not. Orange extract is potent, so I only recommend 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon.

  25. Cordilia D Vialpando says:

    Hi Sally ! This recipe was the most wonderful scone recipe I have ever tried. Thank you so much for sharing. I will certainly be making these for the Holidays.

  26. Jessica Kepler says:

    Wow Sally! These scones are fabulous!! This is definitely a master recipe and I followed it pretty much to a T except that I subbed some of the vanilla extract for almond and I used some dried cranberries that I had in the pantry. I made mine the night before and then brushed with heavy cream in the morning just before baking. They baked up perfectly and the glaze is so key! Mine was a little runny and most of it pooled off and round the edges so I ended up using a pastry brush and brushing the glaze all over them. Oh. So. Perfect. Thank you Sally!

    1. I’m so glad you tried these and enjoyed them so much, Jessica! Great save with brushing the glaze! You can try reducing the liquid in it next time for a thicker glaze if you wish!

  27. I made these this morning and they are amazing! I used 1 cup of almond flour and 1 cup all purpose flour, then added extra almond flour to handle and shape the dough. It was DIVINE! The almond flour gave it a slightly nutty/crunchy texture.

  28. These are the best scones I have ever eaten!! And I don’t even really like cranberries but the tart and the sweet and the crunch were heaven!

  29. Hi there, thank you for your recipe and the super helpful video. I just made these for a cookie exchange tomorrow. I used some leftover cranberry relish I made for thanksgiving. I also used Bobs redmill gluten free one to one baking flour. The only issue I had was the bottom cooking faster than the rest. I could smell them starting to over cook at about 14 minutes and pulled them at 20. The bottom is slightly over cooked. They still taste really good though. I cooked the second batch at 375 for 25 minutes and had more success with the bottom. I haven’t tried that batch yet, but it was golden brown around the edges and on top. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Sara! It may be the flour you’re using and/or the oven is just a little too hot. That’s an easy fix for next time– slightly lower your oven temperature and try baking on a lower oven rack.

  30. Just made these and they’re wonderful! I used dried cranberries and buttermilk, since that’s what I had on hand, and they still turned out great. A keeper!

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