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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 recipe for scones.

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 (a tasty addition we use to make the best cranberry sauce, too!)
  • Pops of juicy cranberries (just like biting into a piece of cranberry cake!)
  • 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 1x
  • 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the best scone recipe by far just made them and it is delicious, glaze included. Thank you

  2. Wow! These are amazing. My husband said they were the best scones he’s ever had. 🙂 I’d say it’s pretty damn close! Can’t wait to make these with blueberries next, thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  3. Quick question,
    What do you do if you can’t find frozen cranberries?

  4. I followed the recipe but made a just few changes. I added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, (I think next time I’ll add more) left out the orange zest and also didn’t make the icing (we wanted it plain). Also, I used Craisins instead of fresh or frozen fruit. It was incredibly delicious! I made 16 minis. It was just the right size! Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  5. These cranberry orange scones were delicious!! I was nervous about making them since it involves working with dough, but the scones came out perfect! Your video was so helpful.
    There was only one disappointment—the recipe only makes 8 scones. I gave 4 away to someone just home from the hospital and my husband and I had the rest. Next time I will double the ingredients to make 16 instead of 8.
    I highly recommend your recipe and video!! They are the best scones I’ve had!

  6. I made these scones today, (my first time), and since I like stuff a little sweeter, I added a little* extra brown sugar, (I used dark brown), but anyway… they are amazing! I barely mixed them at all, (because you scared me with your warning), just enough to hold together. There were tons of butter chunks still in there, (I was a little worried), but I put them in the oven with my fingers crossed. I also put more butter and some salt in my glaze, but if mine even came close to being actual scones, I’m now a big scone fan!

  7. Oh my goodness I’m so excited to try these! I wrote down ALL of your variations to try. Question: if I wanted to make a dozen, would I need to make two separate discs to cut from so the shape isn’t off? Like 8 and then 4?

    1. Hi Courtney, You can either cut one large disk into 12 pieces for skinnier shaped scones, or make two smaller disks of equal size and cut each one into 6. It just depends on the shape you want! Since you scones will be smaller the bake time may be slightly less.

  8. Hi Sally,
    These look amazing! I want to make them for my sisters bridal shower, could I refrigerate the scone dough for three days until the shower or would you recommend I freeze the dough? Also I want to make your mini quiches, if I make them three days prior should I refrigerate them or freeze them? I’d really appreciate your opinion thank you so much! I love your site it’s so thorough and detailed and your recipes are wonderful. Take care! Margie

    1. Hi Margie, We don’t recommend refrigerating the dough longer than overnight. You can freeze the dough before baking for fresh baked scones the day of the shower – see recipe notes for details. The mini quiches can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

  9. My dough was extremely sticky. I must have added almost a half cup of extra flour. Did I do something wrong? I just put the discs in the refrigerator for a few minutes!even though the dough seems cold. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Pat, This is a very sticky dough! Coat your hands with flour and do the best you can to shape them. Since we are chilling the dough before we bake them you can try forming your circle the best you can, refrigerate it and then re-shaping if needed before cutting. The colder the dough the less sticky it should be!

  10. This recipe was the best I’ve ever tried! Since family members have to be gluten free, I decided to make a batch using a gluten free baking flour. They came out incredibly delicious and my family wants more. I also made a regular batch so that I could compare. No difference in taste, texture, or flakiness! Absolutely awesome. Thank you so much! I’ll be trying all of your recipes and letting others know where I found it.

    1. This was a disaster for me to use frozen whole blueberries. It turn my dough blue, and very sticky.

  11. Excellent scones, best I’ve ever made. If you like them more tart than the original recipe, you can substitute sour cream for the heavy cream, and a lime for the orange. This is a good refrigerator dough, so you can mix them, chill overnight, and quickly bake them for breakfast the next morning

  12. Hi!
    I followed your recipe to a “T”, using the weigh measures to ensure precision. Froze the butter, used frozen cranberries, everything. The dough was very sticky even after adding flour. I refrigerated the scones for 30 minutes before baking. Still, they spread very fast in the over.
    Any idea what the issue could be?

    1. Hi Magali, Thank you for trying this recipe! Make sure all of your ingredients are very cold. You can even place your bowl of flour in the refrigerator if needed. 15 minutes is the minimum we recommend chilling the dough but you can chill it longer – up to overnight. 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.

  13. These scones were so delicious. This was my second attempt at making scones. The first time, I got it out of a cookbook and failed miserably. I found your recipe and followed your directions down to the T and it came out so beautiful and delicious. Everyone loved them. I made sure to keep everything cold and that was the key! Thank you so much.

  14. Turned out excellent – except it’s a little salty!! I used unsalted butter, but only had kosher salt on hand, so I used 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Maybe I should’ve just skipped the salt altogether

  15. I followed the recipe and they came out beautifully – my first time making scones and they were delicious!!! I love the combination of the Orange and Cranberry. Thank you!

  16. Hi, are the glazed scones ok to be packed as gifts?will the glazed melt or make scones rancid since it uses fresh orange juice?i’m thinking of making them a day or two earlier

    1. Hi Yen, the glazed scones are OK out of the refrigerator for a couple days. Have the gift recipients refrigerate them.

  17. Hi Sally! I’m so excited because I have always been afraid to make scones but your recipe looked so good and the video helped calm my fears! I decided to try to the blueberry lemon and they were delicious. However, I used frozen blueberries (that I had bought at the market and frozen myself) and as soon as they hit the batter it became very wet. I added flour but it did not seem enough and since it was my first time I was afraid they would come out dry. The blueberries went straight into the batter (ie they did not sit out for even 30 seconds) and in addition to being wet it turned blue. What can I do to prevent the bleeding and wetness in future? Also, they did not keep their shape-they were pretty ugly-lol! Guessing that was because they were so wet. I cut half the disk into 8 wedges-those were a bit of a disaster looks-wise!
    Today I made the cranberry orange ones and they are DELICIOUS. I used dried cranberries so I did not have an issue. However, I froze the dough overnight so the big ones kept their shape but the smaller ones did not look as nice.
    Any pointers would be appreciated. Joanie

  18. These turned out fabulous! I made clotted cream also! Took us back to our times in England! I truly believe the frozen butter and rest in freezer for 15 minutes, really made the difference from my previous attempts to make scones! Will be making these again!

  19. Wow, these were so good!! I prepped last night and placed in the refrigerator and let sit in there overnight. I popped in the oven this morning and they came out great! The family enjoyed them and now we are looking at other scone flavors of yours to make. Thank you for the helpful tips and wonderful recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!


  20. These were great. Was skeptical that the zest alone would be enough for the orange but it certainly was. The cranberries were a nice little tart pop. Could only taste powdered sugar in the glaze, not orangey enough. Next time will put some zest in or leave it off. Plenty of sugar in the recipe without it. Will try at Christmas with tart cherries and maybe some spice like nutmeg or cinnamon. This is a keeper.

    1. Update: added 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 cardamom which gave the scones a very light warm winter spice. Soaked orange zest in cream in the refrigerator overnight with the shaped scones. Used the orange cream with powdered sugar for the glaze. Great orange flavor and not too sweet.

  21. Question!
    I want to make these but I want to forgo the cranberries, are there any other additions I will need to make?

    1. Hi Brooke, You can leave out the cranberries without making any other changes. Enjoy!

  22. I have made these several times and I love them. However, mine always get a little too dark at the bottom. I use dried cranberries, but other than that I follow all the same steps to perfection. I even have an oven thermometer so I know they aren’t baking in hotter than 400 degrees. The cranberries at the bottom and sides end up getting a burnt taste to them. I usually just scrape the bottom off a little bit, but i just wish I’d know why they are getting to dark even though I’m baking them for the minimum amount of time, at the proper temp and my rack is in the middle.

    1. By any chance are you using a dark nonstick pan? That could do it as they heat hotter. If so, decrease your oven temp 25 degrees. If not, have you tried convect baking for a shorter amount of time? That would get the tops cooked faster than the bottom. Just ideas that came to mind.

    2. This recipe is great for crunchy scones, which are my favorite. Today I’ll make it for the third time. I used dried cranberries soaked in hot water for 30 minutes before mixing into the recipe. And because I didn’t have heavy cream last time I used fresh orange juice – which really kicked up the flavor. They were certainly a little more wet because of the orange juice but that seemed to bake right to perfection with a the few extra minutes in the oven. Thanks for posting such a terrific recipe and very good instructions.

    3. I just watched the Great British Baking Show where they were making teacakes. The bakers were also experiencing that exposed dried fruit catches in the oven, making them burnt. Some bakers made sure that any fruit wasn’t sticking out and had more favorable responses. If you poke the fruit in and cover it with scone dough, the same amount of fruit is there, just not sticking up. Paul Hollywood approved tip! 🙂

  23. Question:
    My Vegan Daughter-in-law would love the blueberry scones. I know I can substitute coconut milk for the heavy cream. Do you have a suggestion for the stick of unsalted butter? Not sure what would be best?

    1. Hi Charlotte, I don’t have much experience with vegan baking so I can’t say for certain, but you could try a plant-based butter in its place. Let me know if you give it a try!

    2. Hi Charlotte. As a vegan baker, I recommend using either Myokos or the new Country Crock plant based butter. Results will be the same as using a dairy based butter. Also be sure to use the full fat coconut milk in order to get the same richness and moisture that heavy cream would provide. a chia egg will also provide richness and binds well in place of the egg.

  24. I made a double batch today using fresh cranberries. Dough was soft and wet, I used a glass to cut into circles. (I can not cut a pie evenly if my life depended upon it). Baked for 20 minutes and glazed while warm and again after cooling. I am so sorry to say I had to give 6 of them away as I would have eaten every single one – myself! Another FABULOUS recipe – Thanks Sally

  25. These were very good. I refrigerated dough overnight and I baked them at 375 degrees and removed them from oven at around 20 minutes. just right.
    Thanks for the great recipes,

  26. For the vegan:
    I have substituted this in many recipes, I didnt in this particular recipe though. “flax egg” for the egg and coconut oil for the butter. This is also useful for people with egg and milk sensitivities.
    Hope this helps.

  27. Hi! Could almond flour be substituted for all purpose flour? Would anything change?
    And in switching out the heavy cream for full fat coconut milk, does the flavor change?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Ellen, we don’t suggesting using almond flour in this recipe. It will drastically change the texture of the scones. Coconut milk is a delicious alternative to heavy cream but you will be able to taste some of the coconut flavor. Let us know if you give these scones a try!

  28. Great scone recipe! I used dried cranberries and baked 22 minutes- they came out perfect.

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