With orange zest, fresh cranberries, and cranberry glaze, cranberry orange scones are a pretty way to enjoy a simple, classic baked treat. If you have time, make a batch of homemade vanilla sugar. It adds a lovely vanilla flavour to the scone base!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cranberries: substitute other berries if preferred, or use dried cranberries. You can even omit the cranberries and have orange scones. Frozen cranberries work too.
- Glaze: the topping is optional, and the scones are just as good without it. You can sub a simple orange juice and powdered sugar glaze, too.
- Make it vegan: substitute cold vegan butter for regular butter, vegan creamer for heavy cream, and plant-based milk for dairy.
Step 1: mix together the dry ingredients, then cut in the cold butter.
Step 2: add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.
Step 3: pat the dough into a disc and cut into 8 wedges.
Step 4: place the wedges onto a baking sheet and brush with cream.
Step 5: make the cranberry icing while the scones bake.
Step 6: bake the scones until lightly golden, then cool and top with icing.
- Halve the cranberries: taking the time to slice the cranberries in half really does make a difference! It doubles the amount of berries in each scone and cuts down on bursts of large pockets of juice. This helps create a better balance with the orange zest.
- If your forgot to chill your butter: cold butter is essential to create layers. A good alternative is to cut room temperature butter into your flour, then freeze the bowl of flour and butter for 30 minutes before adding the cream, orange zest, and cranberries.
- Top with cream: don't skip brushing the tops of the scones with cream before baking. The cream adds moisture, richness, and makes for a more tender scone.
A bench scraper can really come in handy for pressing and smoothing the edges of your dough.
You can cut the scones into any shape you like - circles are pretty classic - but note that the baking time may change. Just keep your eye on the oven for the tops or edges to start turning gold and remove them from the oven.
How to Store
Storage: cranberry scones are best eaten the day they're baked. They can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for a couple of days. Note that they will dry out a bit as they're stored.
Freezing: place the scones on a baking sheet in the freezer after topping with glaze. Once frozen, transfer the scones to an airtight container and keep for up to two months. To thaw simply leave at room temperature until defrosted, or place in the microwave or oven at 350ºF (180ºC) until heated through.
What is the secret to making good scones?
For perfect scones, make sure all the ingredients are cold, work quickly, and don't over-mix. This way you'll have perfectly fluffy, light scones every time.
Why do you put milk on scones?
Brushing scones with cream or milk before baking adds a nice golden crust that isn't crisp, the way it can be when using an egg wash. Cream doesn't hinder any potential rise the way an egg wash can.
Should you rest scones before baking?
If your home is warm, it's a good idea to refrigerate or quickly freeze your scones before baking. If the dough feels warm, refrigerate for an hour or freeze for 20 minutes right before baking.
If you make this Orange Cranberry Scone recipe or any other scone recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Cranberry Orange Scones with Cranberry Glaze
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry blender
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup butter cold, cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup 35% heavy cream plus 1 tablespoon for brushing scones
- Zest of one orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh cranberries divided
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ cup powdered sugar sifted
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice ¾ cup (75 grams) of the cranberries in half. Reserve the other ¼ cup (25 grams) of cranberries for the cranberry glaze.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
- Add the butter to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or fork to cut the cold butter into the flour until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
- Add the cream, orange zest, vanilla, and the ¾ cup of halved cranberries to the flour mixture.
- Mix everything gently and quickly with a fork, then switch to mixing with your hands until the dough just comes together.
- Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Using your fingertips, pat the scone dough into an 8-inch (20-cm) round disc.
- Cut the dough into eight wedges and gently transfer them to the parchment lined sheet.
- Brush the top of each scone with a bit of the 1 tablespoon of cream.
- Once you’ve brushed the top of each scone, use any leftover cream to brush the sides.
- Place the scones in the preheated oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Cool the scones on the baking sheet set on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then transfer the scones to the rack itself to cool completely. Finish with cranberry glaze once cool.
Make The Cranberry Glaze
- Combine the reserved ¼ cup (25 grams) of fresh cranberries and 1 tablespoon of milk in a blender.
- Pure the cranberries as smooth as you can, then press them through a small strainer, reserving the pink milk.
- Add the pink milk to the powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon at a time, stirring between each addition, until the icing reaches a consistency you like.
- Drizzle the cranberry glaze over the cooled scones.