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!

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


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.


  • 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*


  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.


  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!


  1. Hi Sally!  I LOVE these scones!!!  I know you say the BAKED scones can be frozen, but can the UNBAKED scones be frozen and then baked at a later date directly from frozen?


    1. They should really be baked right away. The baking powder is activated once wet. Though you could freeze them, they just might not rise as high when baked.

      1. Thank you!  How about heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream?

  2. Sally, I am literally eating one that just came out of the oven as I type this!! By far, the best scone I have ever had!! I recently stayed at a 5 star bed and breakfast and was so excited when they had scones for breakfast. Ugh. They were so dry and yucky. Such a disappointment! Your recipe is far superior! Thank you! 

  3. This woman speaks the truth. My husband smelled these things baking and asked how soon he could try one. On his first bite, he told me I could make these any time I want. And this is coming from someone who typically doesn’t eat cranberry and thinks scones are a bit girly. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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

    1. Oh, I forgot to add that I substituted heavy cream with coconut milk and cranberries with lingonberries, and it turned out just perfect! 

  5. YUM! Tested and approved by hubs! 🙂 I actually didn’t have recipe handy for Cranberry scones & used the Blueberry recipe…subbed cranberries and orange zest and 2% milk bc much to my surprise, I had no heavy cream in fridge. The dough was a bit sticky but I managed to lightly dust it w/ flour to be able to form my disc. They did spread a bit but the final product was sooo delicious! Will definitely use again. The one thing I did notice on recipe for blueberry vs cranberry scones is the amount of flour in grams…is this on purpose?

    Thanks again so much for sharing your yummy recipes! 🙂

    1. Should be 250g here– only a 10g difference isn’t a big deal anyway especially with scones when you need a little more flour for your hands/surface. So happy you loved them!

  6. Debra Ellifson says:

    Hello! These look delicious, but where is the actual recipe?

  7. 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 🙂

    1. I’m so glad that you love these scones!

      1. Hi Sally ,I don’t have whipped cream,only have whole milk and don’t have orange but have orange juice,sorry I just wondering if I can still make this recipe working?

  8. 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.

  9. Hey sally! I already made these BITS OF HEAVEN (I had to do that in caps) and they were the perfect scones! 
    So tender and moist and those crumbly edges…AHHHHH!!!!
    SO GOOD!
    And obviously I want to make them again (like any other person who has made these scones) but…I’M OUTTA CREAM!!!(insert face of horror)
    So… you think I could use whole milk instead?
    Maybe i could melt some butter and put it in the milk?
    You know, cause butter is made of cream.
    These are the scones that my whole family loves.
    I brought them to church and everyone instantly became WILD about them!
    My favorite scone ever!!

    1. P.S, you were right when you wrote that these would be your new favorite scones!

    2. Hi Kayla! You can use whole milk instead. I wouldn’t add any melted butter to it; the scones will be just fine with whole milk.

  10. 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! 

    1. I could go for a banana chocolate chip scone right now! Happy you all love them!

  11. Hey Sally! We are longterm lovers of this recipe (and we first had it at your signing in NYC! Yay!) but we recently started weightwatchers and are trying to eat a bit healthier. Making these scones were always a go-to for breakfast on the go, but we were wondering, can this recipe be made with some healthier options? We were thinking, specifically subbing the butter with I can’t believe it’s not butter light (frozen of course), the heavy cream with nonfat milk, the egg with egg white (this one is not as important), and the sugar with Splenda. Also we wouldn’t add the glaze at the end. My boyfriend LOVES this recipe and we also recently discovered your similar lemon blueberry one so we’d love your input! Thanks!

    1. Feel free to do some testing, Elysia! The texture and taste will obviously change since fat (butter, heavy cream, egg yolk) give so much flavor and richness. Let me know anything you try. I’ve been meaning to work on a new whole wheat or oatmeal scone recipe, so hopefully I can get to it soon!

  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.

    1. I think baking together and having fun doing so is the best part. 🙂

  13. I wish it were Thanksgiving right now, but I’m going to make these scones anyway.  I have a bunch of oranges and a bunch of cream.  And yes, some cranberries from last fall. I was wondering about the butter…. I tried freezing and then grating it but it’s so hot it was melting in my hands.  Do you hold it with a potholder?  Anyway, when I want to have fresh scones in the a.m. without getting up tooo early, I mix up the dough the night before to the point of cutting in the butter and adding in the mixins, then put it in the fridge.   In the morning I add the wet ingredients and – scones!
    Today I had 3 teenage girls in my tiny kitchen mixing up 3 batches of scones for a trip they’re going on.  Fun!  Next time we’ll have to try the triple chocolate….

    1. Hi Monica! I actually keep the butter in its wrapping– and only unwrap the one end I’m grating. That way I’m holding onto the wrapper, not the butter. Towards the end of the stick, it gets tricky though. Especially in warm months.

  14. Can you do any mix in  in this scone recipe without it being dry?

    1. Sure can! I particularly love mixed berries.

  15. I shouldn’t have made these…because I just want to eat them all! These were so so so good. Definitely my new go-to! Thank you!!!

  16. Hi! I was wondering if this recipe doubles well? They have become a family favorite and go a little too quickly.  

    1. I don’t think doubling will be an issue!

  17. Hi! I wanted to make the scones a smaller size because I’m bringing them to a brunch potluck. If I cut the dough into more pieces, how would you adjust the cooking time? Or should I just try dividing them after they are already baked. Any pointers?

    1. I’d simply cut and bake them smaller. Reduce the bake time by a few minutes– they’ll be done when they’re golden brown on the edges.

  18. Made these a couple of times and taste delicious. Both times I followed all the suggestions, but found the texture very crumbly inside a bit more like a cake than a scone.  Any suggestions? 

  19. Making these today for a great breakfast and can’t wait to try them! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  20. Hi 🙂
    My baking sheet is very small.It can hold 2-3 scones at a time.While the first set is in the oven,can I just cover the unbaked ones n keep them outside or should it be refrigerated.

  21. Hey therem
    This recipe looks really yummy, but I need a gluten free substitute for the flour. Can I use just any gf flour, or could you recommend a specific type, like rice flour or plain self raising flour? I usually use rice flour and tapioca flour (gives a nice texture). Would love any tips you have!

    1. Rhiannon Mencarini says:

      I just made them with King Arthur brand cup for cup style substitute gf flour.
      They came out beautifully.

  22. Hi,  can I substitute half and half for cream in the scones?
    Thank you

  23. I just made these and they were so bitter I couldn’t finish my scone. I’m not sure what the heck it’s coming from, maybe the orange zest? Something is very wrong. 

    1. The zest or cranberries? I can’t imagine what else it would be besides either.

  24. 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!

  25. I just made these for the 2nd time.My mother who doesn’t say much requested the recipe so I thought I would just make them for her.They are wonderful as are all the recipes of yours I have tried!I have been spreading the word about your wonderful blog.Thankyou so much and congrats on your new baby.I am anticipating my 9th grandchild at the end of April.

  26. I tried the recipe and the smell was delightful!! However they came out a bit dry inside even though I followed the recipe step by step. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I will try one more time and maybe add more butter.

  27. 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!

  28. margo Daniels says:

    Can I use dried cranberries?

    1. Absolutely!

  29. 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.

    1. Raspberries and white chocolate sound amazing!

  30. 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

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