Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberry Orange Scones

With a sweet orange scent and tart whole cranberries, these scones are crumbly, tender and so delicious.

In this recipe

  • How to make scones
  • About cranberries
  • Swaps and Substitutions
  • So many variations
  • Advance and Freeze
  • How to store leftover scones

Like all good scones, Cranberry Orange Scones have a tender crumb and crispy edges. Each bite contains tart cranberries and a scent of orange, and the powdered sugar sprinkled on top makes them look magical.

There is no heavy lifting here. Mix the dough by hand, shape into two flat circles and cut the circles into wedges. Once in the oven, your home will fill with a sweet aroma.

How to make scones

Cranberry Orange Scones start by grating orange zest into the sugar. The peel is the thin outer layer of the orange – it contains aromatic oils. Rub it in sugar to bring out and intensify the orange flavor.

We then add to the citrus sugar cold Ingredients. Butter, egg and cream should come straight from the fridge. If they’re not cold, pop them in the freezer for a while while you gather the rest of your ingredients. Cold ingredients help keep the butter intact, allowing it to melt in the oven and form beautiful layers for fluffy, tender scones.

While there are several good ways to make scones, I use my fingers to flatten the cold butter cubes and incorporate them into the batter rather than using a food processor or box grater. Flattened, cold pats of butter will give you laminated dough (think flaky, not dense).

Use your hands to mix the batter. You’ll have a much better feel for the consistency of the batter. I recommend holding the bowl with one hand (to keep it clean) and mixing the batter with the other hand until it comes together.

Don’t overwork the dough. You just want the clumps to come together. It won’t be smooth. It will look a bit jagged around the edges, but that’s okay.

After shaping the dough into scones, freeze them for 15 to 30 minutes before baking. This will prevent the dough from spreading too much in the oven.

About cranberries

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. Do not thaw the frozen cranberries if using. They bleed into the batter and got weirdly mushy.

I like to use whole cranberries in this recipe, but if you prefer smaller pieces, coarsely chop them in a food processor. Just pulse them briefly so you have distinct pieces that aren’t pulverized. I personally love the surprisingly tart morsels of whole cranberries.

Swaps and Substitutions

Here are some ideas on how to make this recipe your own.

  • Use lemon zest instead of orange zest.
  • Instead of heavy cream, use buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraiche diluted with milk to match the consistency of cream.
  • I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda if you’re using cultured dairy products like buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt. Thick liquids are better than thin ones, so while you can use regular milk, it won’t add much flavor.

So many variations

Came here looking for Cranberry Orange Scones but want to make something different? There are so many possibilities!

Fresh fruit: Replace the cranberries with an equal amount of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or small pieces of apple or plum.

dried fruits: Replace the cranberries with an equal amount of dried cranberries, raisins, chunks of dried apricots, dates, or figs. Just make sure they are plump and not dried out. Soak them in orange juice for about 30 minutes and drain well before using.

Oats, cornmeal, or whole grains: Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with oat bran, cornmeal, or whole wheat flour.

Crunchy topping: After topping the unbaked scones with cream, sprinkle the tops with turbinado or natural cane sugar.

Glazed: Make a glaze by mixing together 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice. Drizzle over the cooled scones and let the glaze set for about 10 minutes.

Advance and Freeze

To freeze uncooked scones: Cut the scones into pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze uncovered until set. Place the frozen scones in a lidded container or plastic freezer bag, separated by pieces of parchment. The frozen scones will keep in the freezer for about two months.

Bake Frozen Scones: When you are ready to bake the scones, do not thaw them. Place them on a baking sheet and bake as directed, adding a few minutes to the baking time.

How to store leftover scones

Scones are best eaten shortly after baking, but are delicious toasted the next day. Wrapped in foil or in a container with a lid, they stay relatively fresh for two days at room temperature. After that they lose some of their pep, so it’s best to reheat them in the oven or toast them.

Leftovers can also be frozen in a lidded container or freezer bag for up to two months.

Thaw the scones on your kitchen counter for 20 minutes to reheat. Then bake them, covered lightly with foil, in a 350º F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.

scone mania!

  • ginger cakes
  • Lemon Blueberry Scones
  • Spicy scones with goat cheese and chives
  • Irish scones
  • American scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
22 minutes

rest time
30 minutes

total time
67 minutes

12 servings

12 scones


  • 1/3 cup (66G) sugar

  • citrus peel from 1 orange (Above 1 tablespoon)

  • 3 cups (360G) all purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 10 tablespoons (140G) cold, unsalted buttercut into small cubes

  • 1 1/2 cups (130G) cranberriesfresh or frozen but not thawed

  • 1 big egg

  • 1 Cup heavy creamplus 2 tablespoons for topping the scones

  • Powdered sugar, to sprinkle


  1. Preheat Oven to 400ºF:

    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients:

    In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and orange zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar to infuse it with the orange oil. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir.

  3. Chop butter and add cranberries:

    Spread the butter over the dough and flatten the cubes with your fingers. Toss them in the flour until the mixture looks flaky. Stir in cranberries.

  4. Add the wet ingredients:

    In a small bowl or measuring cup, beat together the egg and 1 cup heavy cream. Drizzle it over the dry ingredients, tossing the ingredients together with one hand until large clumps form. If the batter seems dry at this point, add a little cream, one tablespoon at a time.

    Without overworking the dough, mash and knead the dough in the bowl until it forms a rough ball.

  5. Shape the dough:

    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cut it in half with a sharp chef’s knife or bench scraper. Use your hands to shape each half into flat rounds that are 6 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick.

    Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet. Using the knife or bench scraper, cut each circle into 6 wedges. Separate the wedges on the baking sheet so they are at least 1 inch apart.

    Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. Bake scones:

    Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden on top and brown on bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

  7. Finish and serve:

    Sprinkle them with powdered sugar. I recommend serving them right away! Of course, they’re wonderful a few hours later, but you should gobble them up warm.

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nutritional information (per serving)
308 calories
18g Fat
32g carbohydrates
4g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!