A small batch cranberry orange scone recipe that makes irresistibly tender, flaky scones! Juicy cranberries burst into jammy goodness inside the buttery orange-scented scones. The breakfast scones are finished with a creamy caramel orange glaze for a tasty holiday treat!
Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberries aren’t just for Christmas! And, chance are, you may have a bag of frozen cranberries left in the freezer after the bustle of the holidays. So why not make a tasty batch of cranberry orange scones – and maybe relive some festive memories!
This scone recipe is a small batch that yields 4 perfectly tender and flavorful scones. Made even tastier with the caramel orange glaze that you may just want to drizzle over a batch of orange almond scones or cranberry breakfast cake!
Why You’ll Love these scones
- Tender, buttery, and flaky inside and out.
- The cranberries burst into jam!
- Orange zest perfumes the scones for a wonderful compliment to the cranberry.
- Easy, no-yeast breakfast bread.
- The delicious creamy and smooth caramel orange glaze on top!
Key Ingredients To Make Cranberry orange Scones
This is a preview of the key ingredients in the scones to prepare your shopping list! Refer to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and instructions.
- All-Purpose Flour – I have not tested a gluten free version, but you can certainly try a 1:1 blend. You may have to add a little more heavy cream if the dough is too dry.
- Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar ever-so-lightly sweetens the scones. And we use it to make the caramel orange glaze. I recommend light brown sugar vs. dark for a lighter flavor and perfect balance of moisture.
- Egg Yolk – Only the egg yolk to achieve a tender scone.
- Butter – I prefer unsalted butter since we will add our own salt. The butter needs to be very cold.
- Heavy Cream – The heavy cream makes the cranberry orange scones super tender.
- Cranberries – I recommend frozen cranberries since we want the other wet ingredients in the dough to be cold. You can use fresh un-frozen cranberries – just exercise caution when mixing to not burst them!
- Fresh Orange – Orange zest flavors the scones and use orange juice for the glaze. 1 large orange is all you need.
Helpful Baking Tools
- Rolling Mat – While not necessary, I love to use my rolling mat because it has measurements on it! Otherwise, you can simply shape and cut the scones on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bench Scraper – Another handy tool to cut the scones is a metal bench scraper. The larger blade will make a clean, single cut.
Frozen cranberries burst into juicy jam inside the scones! Each bite is full of balanced tart and sweet flavor. I like to use frozen cranberries to keep the dough cold, however fresh cranberries will work in these cranberry orange scones.
Tips For Tender Scones
- The butter needs to be cold – To achieve a tender, flaky scone, the butter should be cold. Even frozen. If the butter is too warm, the scones will likely turn out more cake-like.
- You can also grate the butter – This is the same method I use to make buttermilk biscuits. Freeze the stick of butter and grate it on the box grater. Then toss the butter flakes with the flour for an even distribution.
- Frozen cranberries are preferred – I like to use frozen cranberries for a couple reasons: they keep the dough cold, and they are less likely to burst when mixing the dough!
- Chill the cut scones before baking – The extra chill on the scone dough will give the dough time to rest, hydrate, and develop flavor. It is also helps to keep the scones from over-spreading.
- Cool slightly before glazing – For the simple reason we don’t want the yummy glaze to melt into the cranberry orange scones!
- Enjoy the day they are baked – Like a fresh bagel or flaky croissant, these cranberry scones are best the day they are baked.
A creamy caramel orange glaze adorns the top of the cranberry orange breakfast scones! The glaze is rich and smooth with a wonderful burst of citrus.
I have not tested it, though I think it would work.
It’s not necessary, but will help with the texture for the cranberry orange scones. Time in the refrigerator will hydrate, firm, and flavor the dough.
I don’t recommend it because it may alter the texture of the scones. You can add more zest though!
You can make a simple orange glaze by mixing just the powdered sugar and orange juice.
Yes! Baked and un-glazed scones can be frozen for up to 3 months. Place in a sealed freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature to glaze.
Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe
Cranberry Orange Scones
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream, cold
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (from half an orange)
- ½ cup cranberries, frozen
- turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (from half an orange)
Cranberry Orange Scones
- Pop the cold butter cubes in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ¼ cup light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the cold butter cubes to the flour. Using your fingertips, press the butter cubes into small flat, flaky discs (about the size of a nickel) – making sure they are all coated with flour. You should still see butter chunks in the dough when you are done mixing it. Note – You can also freeze the stick of butter, grate it on a box grater, and toss in the flour until coated.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Depending on your flour brand, humidity and weather, you may not need all 6 tablespoons. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir with a fork to combine.6 tablespoons heavy cream, cold, 1 large egg yolk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Pour the liquid into the flour mix, along with the frozen cranberries. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently mix until a rough, shaggy dough forms and the flour is moistened. If needed, add more heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.½ cup cranberries, frozen
- Pour the dough onto your rolling mat. Gently work the dough into a ball. It will be sticky, so you can flour your hands to make it easier. Press the dough ball into a 6 inch disc. Use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut into 4 wedges.
- Place the wedges 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.turbinado sugar
- Refrigerate the scones for 10 to 15 minutes (while the oven is preheating) to rest and hydrate the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Bake the chilled scones for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden on tops and edges. Cool the scones on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack while you make the glaze.
Caramel Orange Glaze
- In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and butter. Heat over medium low heat until melted and a light caramel forms. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overheat, or the caramel will be too sticky.2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a small mixing bowl, add the caramel, powdered sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Mix until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time – or to reach your desired glaze consistency.½ cup powdered sugar, pinch salt, 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Drizzle the glaze generously over the scones. Leftover (glazed or un-glazed) scones can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. Beyond that, and they may start to dry out.
- Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe. I have not tested a larger batch, though I think it would work.
- Yield – As written, the recipe will yield 4 scones.
- Chill Before Baking – I recommend chilling the cut scones for 10 to 15 minutes to let the dough rest and hydrate. Otherwise, the scones my be extra crumbly.
- Frozen Cranberries – Since we use cold butter and cream, I prefer to use frozen cranberries as well. They will help keep the dough cold! However, fresh or even dried cranberries will work.
- Caramel Orange Glaze – The caramel adds richness and flavor to the glaze. You can omit the caramel (butter and brown sugar), and make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and orange juice.
- Orange Flavor – I recommend only orange zest in the scones. Adding juice will add too much liquid. To increase the orange flavor, add more zest. You can also add zest to the glaze.
- Overnight Instructions – To make the night before, prepare to step 7, cover the scones and refrigerate, then follow the instructions to bake.
- Freezing Baked Scones – The baked un-glazed and cooled scones can be frozen for up to 3 months. Gently place in a sealed freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature and glaze.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!