Six cranberry orange scones on a white tray garnished with orange slices, rosemary and fresh cranberries. There is a plate with rosemary in the background as well as sliced oranges, a whole orange and a glass container holding extra glaze.

Best Little Cranberry Orange Scones

5.0 from 3 votes

Fresh orange zest and dried cranberries come together to make these scones taste so good! If you’re looking for something to bake that’s easy to put together, try my cranberry orange scones! You don’t need a mixer or any special equipment and there’s no time to wait while dough rises. The trade-off is that you do have to be willing to get your hands a bit dirty, but I promise you, it will be worth it!

These scones are soft, fluffy and tender. The buttermilk makes for a really moist finished scone that stays soft, even after they’ve cooled completely. I love how the dried cranberries and orange zest come together and the freshly squeezed orange juice in the glaze is so good! If you want to try another variation, you could leave the cranberries out and substitute lemon zest for orange zest in the dough, as well as lemon juice for orange juice in the glaze.

When shaping your dough, you’ll notice that it’s really sticky, even after it’s chilled. This is how it should be, so don’t worry that the dough isn’t right. I gently rolled it and formed it into a ball on my pastry board, using lots of flour. I worked one tablespoon at a time so that I didn’t end up over-flouring it, but it did take about 1/4 cup. You want to roll the dough in it, not knead it. The dough will still stick to your knife when you make the cuts. You’re not trying to add flour to the entire dough, just the outside so that you can work with it. I included some photos int the recipe below to help with visuals.

I think that these scones make the perfect accompaniment to my egg and cheese quiche for a special brunch! I’d serve them both with fresh fruit and maybe even a simple green salad.

If you want to cut down on the sweetness, you can skip the glaze altogether. They would be delicious cut open and served with a little bit of orange marmalade!

As seen on instagram here.

Update: I made these into heart shapes for Valentine’s Day, so if you’re interested in seeing another way to shape these, check out this post.

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Best Little Cranberry Orange Scones

Recipe by Sarah
5.0 from 3 votes
Course: Breakfast, BrunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

16

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

213

kcal
Chilling time

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

20

minutes

These scones really are the best! They’re soft and fluffy, made with buttermilk, fresh orange zest, dried cranberries, and topped with a freshly squeezed orange juice glaze.

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Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 3 c 3 all purpose flour (360 grams)

  • 1/3 c 1/3 granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp 1 pink Himalayan sea salt – see note

  • 2 1/2 tsp 2 1/2 baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 baking soda

  • 3/4 c 3/4 very cold unsalted butter – see note

  • 1 tbsp 1 orange zest – see note

  • 1 c 1 buttermilk

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract

  • 1/2 c 1/2 dried cranberries

  • Other:
  • 1/4 c 1/4 all purpose flour – see note

  • 1 tbsp 1 buttermilk – brush on before baking

  • 1 pinch 1 granulated sugar

  • Glaze:
  • 1 c 1 powdered (confectioners) sugar

  • 1 oz 1 orange juice – see note

  • 1 tbsp 1 unsalted butter – melted

Directions

  • Place 3/4 c (a stick and a half) of unsalted butter into the freezer for about 15-20 mins so that it’s chilled, but you can still cut it. Slice it up thinly with a sharp knife and give it a rough chop. You can use a box grater to grate it instead, but I prefer to cut it. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and mix them with a whisk. (For baking purposes, I like to use a kitchen scale to measure my flour, so I measured 360 grams.)
  • Using a microplane, grate in the zest of one orange.
  • Add in the cold butter and using either a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands, mix ingredients together until they start to form little balls the size of peas. Your ingredients should look like this:A large glass mixing bowl with dry ingredients and butter that have been mixed evenly until the dough starts to form little balls the size od peas. There is an orange to the side of the bowl and a wooden tray above in. The bowl is sitting on a pink holiday tea towel.
  • Pour in buttermilk and vanilla extract and then add cranberries. Mix until combined and you have a sticky ball of dough. The dough should look like this:Cranberry orange scone dough in a glass mixing bowl on top of a pink holiday tea towel. You can see part of an orange in the background as well as a wooden tray with a gold measuring cup and a wooden bowl.
  • Chill dough for about 15 minutes.
  • Add flour to your work surface, one tbsp at a time and roll your dough until you have a ball that no longer sticks to your hands. I used about 1/4 cup of flour for this step. When it was no longer sticky, it looked like this:A floured ball of cranberry orange scone dough on a wooden pastry board with two oranges in the background.
  • Cut your ball of dough in half and form two equal size round sections of dough. I didn’t weigh them, I eyeballed it. They will look like this:Two round sections of cranberry orange scone dough that are equal in size, on a wooden pastry board with a knife in the backgground.
  • One at a time, cut these circles into 8 equal sized wedges each.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add your scone wedges to it. Space them apart evenly and make 4 rows of 4. They will look like this:Sixteen triangle shaped sections of cranberry orange scone dough on a baking sheet with brown parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place your rack on the top 1/3 of the oven.
  • Lightly brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle on a pinch of sugar, then chill once more for 15 minutes. This chill will help prevent the scones from spreading and melting into each other while baking.Sixteen triangle shaped sections of cranberry orange scone dough on a baking sheet with brown parchment paper. The scones have been brushed with buttermilk and you can see some buttermilk drops on the parchment paper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until you can see the edges getting slightly golden. I turned my baking sheet at 15 minutes and actually cooked them for a total of 21 minutes.
  • While the scones are baking, make your glaze.An empty silver mixing bowl, two whole oranges, melted butter in an orange bowl with a white spatula, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed orange in a glass measuring cup and 1 cup of powdered sugar in a gold measuring cup, all on a rattan placemat with a pink holiday tea towel in the background.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, orange juice and melted butter. Stir well until smooth and combined. If your powdered sugar isn’t super fresh, humidity can cause it to have some harder chunks of sugar. If this is the case, use a sifter first so that your glaze will end up smooth. Your glaze should look like this: Small silver mixing bowl with freshly squeezed orange juice glaze and a small white spatula, on a rattan placemat with two oranges, a glass measuring cup and a gold measuring cup.
  • Once the scones are done, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes and then drizzle on your glaze. I like to lightly drizzle it and had extra glaze. You could also spoon glaze onto each scone if you like a heavier glaze. I like mine to look like this:Close up shot of freshly baked cranberry orange scones with glaze drizzled over them, on a rimmed baking sheet with brown parchment paper. There is extra glaze in a glass measuring cup in the background as well as 3 oranges, a small container of cranberries and some rosemary off the top corner.
  • Serve warm and enjoy! These go really well alongside my quiche, for a weekend, holiday, or special occasion brunch. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Equipment

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This is a very sticky dough and you’ll need about 1/4 cup of flour for your work area and hands when you’re shaping the dough into a ball before cutting it. You can start 1 tablespoon at a time and see how much you need, I ended up needing about 1/4 cup.
  • I like to use pink Himalayan sea salt for baking and I keep in on hand, but regular iodized salt works for this too, You don’t need to buy special salt.
  • I put my butter into the freezer for about 20 mins before I needed it for the recipe. I used a sharp knife to cut it into thin pieces. Some people like to grate their very cold or frozen butter into their dry ingredients.
  • I used a microplane and zested one orange for approximately a tbsp of zest.
  • I used freshly squeezed oj from the orange that I had zested, I measured out an ounce and I squeezed just under half of the orange.

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