This EASY Cranberry Orange Scones recipe is perfect during the holiday season, or anytime of year! They are slightly crisp and flakey on the outside and perfectly moist in the center with delicious bursts of cranberry orange flavor.
Why this is the best scone recipe:
- Quick – These easy scones only take 30 minutes from start to finish.
- Flavor – The cranberry orange combination is fresh and delicious; perfect around the holidays.
- Perfect Texture – Follow my tips to ensure the perfect texture of slightly crisp and flakey on the outside and moist in the middle. These are better than any coffee shop or bakery.
How to make Cranberry Orange Scones:
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Grate frozen butter into the bowl and use a pastry blender or fork to combine the flour and butter until it resembles coarse meal. Stick bowl in the fridge while you combine the wet ingredients.
Combine sour cream, heavy cream, egg, vanilla, and orange zest in another bowl. Pour it over the flour mixture and gently stir to combine, just until everything is moistened.
Fold in cranberries. Use floured hands to gently work the dough into a ball and then press it (or use rolling pin) into a circle about 1 inch thick.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place scones on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little bit of heavy cream. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until barely golden on the edges.
Make glaze by combining powdered sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice until smooth.
Cool baked scones on wire rack for at least 10 minutes before drizzling the glaze on top. Enjoy!
Tips for Perfect Scones
- Frozen Butter makes it easy to grate the butter into small pieces. We want to keep the butter cold because as the butter bakes, it creates pockets of air which yields flakiness and tender, moist center. If the dough or butter is too warm when you bake the scones, they will spread more and wont puff up like we want.
- Don’t Overwork Dough: Just like when making homemade biscuits or pie crust, you don’t want to handle or knead the dough more than necessary because the more you mix it, the tougher your scones will be.
Storage and Freezing Instructions:
To Store: Cranberry scones are best served fresh, the day of baking, but leftover scones can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two days.
To Freeze: Skip the glaze and let scones cool completely. Freeze in airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. You can also freeze scones dough after pressing it into a circle. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge, then cut into wedges and bake as directed.
- Cranberries: Frozen or dried cranberries may be used so you can enjoy them year round!
- Scone Flavors: For other flavors, try my Peach Scones or use my basic Homemade Scones recipe with a variety of mix-in ideas!
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Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , FROZEN
- 1/3 cup sour cream , light, regular, or sub Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup fresh cranberries* halved
For the glaze:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Grate the frozen butter into the bowl and use a pastry blender or fork to combine the flour and butter until it resembles coarse meal. Stick the flour mixture in the fridge while you combine the wet ingredients.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream, heavy cream, egg, vanilla extract and orange zest. Pour it over the flour mixture and gently stir to combine, just until everything is moistened.
- Fold in the cranberries. Flour or grease your hands and then gently work the dough together and pour it out onto a floured surface. Press the dough (or use a rolling pin to gently roll it) into a circle about 1 inch thick.
- Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place the scones on your baking sheet and brush the tops of them with a little bit of heavy cream. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden.
- Remove scones from the hot baking sheet and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before drizzling the glaze on top.
- To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice and stir together until smooth. Add a little more orange juice or powdered sugar until you reach your desired thickness to drizzle over the scones.
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