Cranberry Orange Scones

Light and fluffy Cranberry Orange Scones are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or snack time. Fragrant with orange zest and cinnamon, these buttermilk scones are absolutely bursting with tangy cranberries.

a plate stacked with cranberry orange scones

Why these are THE BEST Cranberry Scones

Between my 7-year stint at a British tea shop and baking for family and friends, at this point in my life I’ve baked, literally, tens of thousands of scones.

I love baking with seasonal produce, both fruits and vegetables. At the end of this post you’ll find a whole bunch of special scones recipes you might want to try.

These scones feature the classic flavor combination of cranberries and orange.

Ingredients

ingredients for cranberry scones in glass bowls on a white surface.

Ingredient Notes

  • All purpose flour – Medium protein all purpose flour makes a scones that has enough structure to rise high in the oven, but also makes a tender crumb.
  • Buttermilk – Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the scones. If you don’t have fresh buttermilk, buttermilk powder is the best substitute. Mix the buttermilk powder according to the directions before adding to the scones.
  • Sugar – Just enough sugar is added to lightly sweeten and tenderize the dough.
  • Fresh orange zest – The oil in orange zest is where the flavor is at.
  • Cranberries – Fresh or frozen cranberries will work in this recipe. If using frozen berries do not defrost them before adding them to the dough.

How to make Cranberry Orange Scones

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

two photos showing how to mix cranberry orange scone dough
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the butter and zest. Mix in the wet ingredients until almost combined.
  • Fold in the cranberries.
two photos showing how to shape and cut cranberry orange scones
  • Knead the dough briefly to finish mixing the ingredients.
  • Pat the dough by hand into an 8″ round and cut into 8 wedges.
two photos showing cranberry orange scones before and after baking
  • Line the scones on a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  • Bake until golden brown.

Storage

  • Scones are best eaten they day they are baked but will keep at room temperature for a day.
  • Baked scones should never be refrigerated.
  • Baked scones can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the scones at room temperature, then warm in the oven to revive the texture.

Pastry Chef tips for making perfect scones

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Dispersing the salt and leavening helps the scones rise evenly.
  • Work the cold butter in with your fingers until the bits are no bigger than a pea. Those little bits of butter will give the scones a slightly flakey texture.
  • Once the wet ingredients are added, mix just until the flour is incorporated. I like to make scones by hand to avoid over-mixing the dough.
  • You can use a rolling pin, but I prefer to pat the dough by hand to avoid overworking the dough.
  • Since the baking powder is activated as soon as the wet and dry ingredients come together, it’s best to bake the scones soon after the dough is mixed.
  • To work ahead, mix all the dry ingredients and work in the butter. Combine the wet ingredients and refrigerate the prepared ingredients until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Buttermilk Scones are classic and can be served any time of year. For a real treat these my Sweet Corn Scones or Cheddar scones.

If you’ve got a Sourdough Starter and hate to throw away that discard, you should make these special Sourdough Scones.

Gingerbread Scones and Date & Spice Scones are perfect flavors for fall and throughout the holidays.

a split scones on a plate showing the interior crumb

More Cranberry Recipes

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

two scones on a plate
Print Recipe
4.69 from 29 reviews

Cranberry Orange Scones

Light and fluffy Cranberry Orange Scones are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or snack time.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
8 scones
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour (2 ½ cups, see note)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large orange
  • 3 oz unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1″ chunks)
  • 7 oz buttermilk (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen, 1 ½ cups)
  • Demerarra Sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line a ½ sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 12 ½ oz unbleached all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 4 oz granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, and finely grated zest from 1 large orange. Toss in 3 oz unsalted butter chunks. Work the butter in with your fingers until the bits are the size of a pea.
  • Whisk together 7 oz buttermilk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 large egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just barely combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  • Sprinkle 8 oz cranberries over the dough and finish mixing by hand until all the loose flour is absorbed and the cranberries are evenly distributed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to bring the dough together.
  • Using well-floured hands, pat the dough a 8” round that is 1" thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Brush the top of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with Demerarra or granulated sugar.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Notes

If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.

Nutrition

Serving: 1scone | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

2 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    Be consistent. You say to dump dough onto floured surface THEN sprinkle cranberries on it. So they rolled of the dough and all over the flour. Then your picture shows added cranberries in the bowl. Text says put in oven with no mention of brushing with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
    Dump the dough directly onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle 8 oz cranberries over the dough and finish mixing by hand until all the loose flour is absorbed and the cranberries are evenly distributed.
    Brush the top of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with Demerarra or granulated sugar.
    Pat the dough by hand into an 8″ round and cut into 8 wedges.
    two photos showing cranberry orange scones before and after baking
    Line the scones on a parchment lined sheet pan.
    Bake until golden brown.
    I almost threw the mess into the bin.

    1. There was a slight discrepancy between the steps listed in the photos and in the recipe card. You can add the cranberries in the bowl or knead them in, whichever is easier for you. I’ve done it both ways.

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