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Easy Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

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My favorite cranberry orange scones are light and flaky, with fresh orange zest and dried cranberries. Top with a bit of sugar, or add my optional easy orange glaze.

My Mom makes a lot of scones. She inherited her love from her Mom, and I can only imagine it goes back from there. Now, here I am sharing this cranberry orange scone recipe with you!

Scones are super simple to make. If you’ve made American biscuits, you’ll recognize many of the steps in our recipe below. For more scones recipes, see our blackberry lemon scones or these pumpkin scones.

Key Ingredients

Cranberries: I use dried cranberries in my photos, but you can absolutely use fresh or frozen cranberries in these scones. If you opt for fresh cranberries, keep in mind that they are more tart, so you might want to add a touch more sugar to the dough (I’ve shared tips below the recipe).

Orange: I use plenty of orange zest to infuse the dough with a bright citrus flavor. For more orange flavor, try my optional orange glaze, which you’ll find in the recipe below.

Flour: I stick to all-purpose flour for my scones. It consistently yields light and flaky results.

Baking powder: This adds a little extra lift and lightness to the scones.

Butter: I always use very cold butter when making these cranberry scones. The cold butter creates steam in the oven, resulting in that delightful flaky texture we all love.

Heavy cream: I’m partial to cream scones because they tend to be lighter and more tender than those made solely with butter.

Honey: I love the subtle sweetness honey adds to these cranberry orange scones. For an extra special touch, try using orange blossom honey! Feel free to substitute with sugar.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Scones

Using cold ingredients is really important when making scones. The butter should be chilled and hard, and you want to use the cream straight from the refrigerator.

Once your dry ingredients are combined, it’s time to “cut in” the cold butter. I use a pastry blender for this, but you can also use cool hands or a food processor. The goal is to distribute small pieces of butter throughout the flour. During baking, these little bits of butter create steam pockets that make the scones rise, resulting in a light and tender texture.

You’ll have a crumbly mixture after cutting in the butter and adding the cream. Gently bring it together into a ball on a lightly floured surface, kneading only 3 to 5 times.

Pat the dough into a disk and cut it into eight triangles. Don’t worry if the edges are ragged. They’ll puff up beautifully in the oven.

Easy Cranberry Orange Scones




These incredible cranberry orange scones are light and flaky, with fresh orange zest and dried cranberries. I love topping them with a little coarse sugar, but they are also delicious drizzled with our optional orange glaze shared in the recipe below.

Makes 8 scones

You Will Need 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons (70g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup (235ml) heavy cream, plus more for tops of scones
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup (100 grams) dried cranberries, see tips for fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon coarse sugar for tops of scones

Optional Glaze 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45ml) orange juice

1Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicon baking mat.
2Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
3Combine cream, honey, and orange zest in a measuring jug. Stir until the honey is completely incorporated into the cream.
4Use a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with a few small crumbles of butter the size of peas. (Or use a food processor).
5Stir in cranberries. Pour in the cream mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix until a crumbly dough forms.
6Transfer the dough and all dry, floury bits to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough 3 to 5 times until it just comes together. Form into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 triangles, or use a biscuit cutter.
7Place the scones on the baking sheet, brush with extra cream, and lightly sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
8Bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
9For the optional glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a bit more orange juice. Drizzle over the cooled scones.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

Fresh or frozen cranberries: You can substitute 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries in the recipe above. They will be more tart, so consider increasing the honey or sugar by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Storing: Scones are best eaten fresh. If you do have leftovers, your best bet for keeping them fresh is to freeze them. Freeze baked and cooled scones until hard, then transfer to resealable plastic bags. Freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, bake in a 350°F oven until warmed. It shouldn’t take long.
You can freeze unbaked scone dough: Chill cut scones in the freezer until firm, then transfer to resealable plastic bags. They can be kept for up to one month. Bake in a 425°F oven straight from the freezer. (They may take a few extra minutes.)
Recipe inspired and adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Nutrition Per Serving
Serving Size
1 scone
4 g
42 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
Total Sugars
16 g
Total Fat
19 g
Saturated Fat
11 g
60 mg
342 mg


Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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