Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

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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!

Glazed orange cranberry scone on a wood platter.

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!

And if it’s more scones recipes you are looking for, check out my peanut butter and jelly scones and cherry cornflake crunch scones.

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!
Fresh baked breakfast treats with bursting fruit on a wood platter.

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.

Delicious bite of a cranberry orange scone with bursting cranberry inside.

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.
Creamy caramel orange glaze in a pretty white bowl.

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.

Top of a beautiful glaze swirl on a fresh cranberry scone.

FAQ

Can the recipe be doubled to make more scones?

I have not tested it, though I think it would work.

Is it necessary to chill the scones before baking?

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.

Can I add orange juice to the scone dough?

I don’t recommend it because it may alter the texture of the scones. You can add more zest though!

Do I have to make the caramel for the glaze?

You can make a simple orange glaze by mixing just the powdered sugar and orange juice.

Can I freeze the scones?

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.

Freshly baked cranberry scone with bursting cranberries on a wood platter.
Glazed orange cranberry scone on a wood platter.
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5 from 1 review

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

Yield: 4 Scones
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!
Prep20 minutes
Cook18 minutes
Total38 minutes

Ingredients
 

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)

Orange Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (from half an orange)

Instructions

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.
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RECIPE NOTES

  • 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.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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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!

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