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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
  • 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. LOVE this recipe just as it is! Thank you. I do English Teas and this is now my scone! I do plain and orange cranberry. I appreciate your video and wonderful insights.

  2. These are delicious! I substituted cran-raisins for cranberries & followed the recipe! Absolutely perfect!

    1. Hi Lee, no need to chop the cranberries before using in this recipe. Hope you enjoy this one!

  3. I made cranberry cordial and have about a cup of cranberries that have been soaking in vodka for about three weeks. Do you think I could use those cranberries for this recipe? Thanks!!

  4. My go-to scone recipe. I use frozen lingonberries we pick in the fall and have made them for years. I made them a few times over Christmas break. My son who is heading back to college asked for the recipe. We love these scones!

  5. I used half and half because I didn’t have heavy cream, and I had dried cranberries that I soaked in the fridge in orange juice to replump them. Used leftover juice from the plumping to cover the scones before baking and then as the glaze with powdered sugar. Was a hit. I think I might grate butter and just keep it in a baggie in the freezer until needed to make the next batch faster. Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Love, love, love the way these scones came out and they were so easy. I used fresh cranberries and I really like the tart taste. The texture was perfect. These scones rival the ones sold in coffee shops. This scone is in my top 2 picks!

  7. I soaked 1/2 cup of dried cranberries in boiling water, drained and pressed out the water. Next time, I’ll use less sugar due to preference of using dried fruit. I didn’t have heavy cream, so I thinned some full fat vanilla skyr with skim milk. This is the first time I’ve tried grating frozen butter…I like that technique.

  8. Just baked the second half of recipe that I held over from yesterday and kept in fridge in Tupperware. My double layer baking sheet was pulled out of cupboard instead of fridge. This impacts how browned they bake on bottom…almost burned. Next time will know to shorten cooking time or start with cold pan.

  9. Thank you so much for the recipe, they are great. I made them at Christmas time and were a huge hit. Now, my son and his fiancé want me to make them for his wedding. I would like to make them smaller. Have you tried making them about half the size? Do you think it would work to make this batch into 2-4″ circles? Have you tried making them smaller?

    1. Hi Donna, absolutely! Simply divide the dough into two small discs instead of one. Cut each disc into 8 wedges, for a total of 16 mini scones. Hope these are a hit at the wedding!

  10. I am diving into one of these as I type – glazed, still a bit warm from the oven with a cup of coffee. Wowza, these are divine. Just right for a scone in my opinion (I hate dry scones). For me, fresh or frozen cranberries are key because I love the tartness and juiciness that you can’t quite get from dried. And Sally’s right…don’t skip the orange zest on these.

  11. Do you have any experience making these at a high elevation? I am planning to make them when I am in Colombia this summer. I believe the elevation is around 8500 feet.

    1. Hi Donna, we wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. We know some readers have found this chart helpful:

  12. These are soooo good Sally! I followed your recipe and used a one to one gluten free flour and they turned out amazing! Your scone recipe is the absolute best I have tried, hands down..

  13. This my first time trying the scones. Absolutely the best ever. This recipe definitely will replace my old one. Thanks Sally for so many wonderful recipes. I’m a big fan!

  14. Made these for the first time today. NO modifications. 22 min in the oven.
    It’s just me here for the next two weeks, so I shared among my neighbors.

    I have one “marry me!” and one moderately-indecent proposal so far.

  15. Sally, you’re my go-to when recipe searching. I have tried several of your bakes and the results are always amazing!

    In this recipe, I didn’t have an orange so I left out the zest and I subbed the OJ with lemon juice in the glaze. So good!!!! The blueberry scones are spectacular too!

  16. I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of making these now, and I have to say, as a very experienced cook and baker, that grating that frozen stick of butter was a giant waste of time and made a butter mess all over my hands, grater, and cutting board. Using the food processor on just cold butter would have been faster, easier, and less mess, and given how much I hate pulling out and cleaning my food processor, that is saying something. Hopefully the scones still taste delicious, but I won’t be using a grater for butter ever again.

  17. My wife is a huge fan of scones; I never have been. Dry, powdery, uninteresting. I just as soon eat a clod of dirt!

    One of the times we visited London, I thought “Why not try them here? This is their mother country!” Nope! But these aren’t that! They’re soooooo goood!! Lighter, a good rise – we couldn’t be happier!

    Thank you for a great recipe!

  18. omg. I will never buy a scone again. Great recipe. Used frozen cranberries. the orang rind makes a big difference for flavor. Of course I glazed for me sweet tooth. Thanks for sharing this recipe. My first time making them and they came out perfect.

  19. Amazing recipe! I made the blueberry scones on my first try but only had half and half- they were delicious, but when made to the recipe with cream they were phenomenal in taste and texture. I made for my mom’s book club and one of the guests had lived in England for several years; she took slice out of politeness, then went back to get the rest and took some home (with the recipe link). SO good! If you feel the need to tweak, do it with the add ins!

  20. I made these today, along with your Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scones. I used dried cranberries in this one and it turned out so good! I love scones, but so often they are over dry and just not as flavorful as I would hope. These were perfect and I will be making again!

  21. Mine spread out like crazy! I froze the butter, chilled the dough, used frozen cranberries, and then chilled the shaped scones for 20 min in the frig before baking. I had to reshape them 1/2 through baking, & they still ended up looking like giant triangular-ish cookies! What up???

    1. I followed the recipe exactly as directed, I weighed the ingredients and they came out like cookies

      1. Mi Mary! If your scones are spreading, it’s likely that the butter got too warm while you were making the scone dough – Make to sure to handle the dough as little as possible and you could even try popping the scones in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking to keep them cold before baking.

    1. Hi Jt, buttermilk will work in place of the heavy cream in a pinch.

  22. These scones were absolutely incredible! They were incredibly moist, so if you prefer dry, crumbly scones, these may not be for you (I personally love both types). I really wanted the orange flavor in the scones to pop, so I replaced about 1/4 cup of the heavy cream with juice from the orange that was zested – it turned out delicious! I also had some leftover cinnamon crumble from another recipe, and topped a few of the scones with that which was wonderful. Great recipe overall!

  23. I made these in preparation for an Easter high tea lunch. The colour is beautiful on theses scones and the flavor is on another level. The outside is crunchy with a soft and flakey inside. I literally had to take a step back and just appreciate these scones. I love them so much! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  24. This recipe is AMAZING! I followed the steps exactly, but used dried cranberries instead of frozen. It is SO easy to follow and the result is delicious! The scones came out a little larger than I anticipated so it was a sizeable treat– I wish there was a way to share a photo. This is definitely my new go-to recipe for scones! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Hi Katie! We’re thrilled you enjoyed these scones so much. If you’d like, feel free to send us a photo at — we’d love to see them!

  25. My neighbor has been sharing her fresh scones with us and shared the recipe. I made mine this morning with 1 cup of diced rhubarb (sprinkled with 1 tsp sugar and placed in freezer while I mixed the rest of the recipe) and 2 tsps lemon zest. Brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar. These are soooooo good!
    Thank you for the recipe!!!!

    1. Hi Bri, you could use heavy cream or milk in the glaze for a plain glaze – we would add a dash of vanilla to make a vanilla icing for more flavor. Enjoy!

  26. These scones are 10/10! So delicious. You can tell that the little little details in the technique really make the difference. Grating in the frozen butter almost gives the scones little creamy pockets. I used quite a bit of orange zest, probably 4 tbsp and it gave them a delicious orange flavour. I used half and half cream because it was all I had on hand and they still turned out great.

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