We love these festive and easy Cranberry Orange Scones during the holiday season! They’re slightly crisp and flakey on the outside with a light and moist center and delicious bursts of cranberry and orange flavor.

A cranberry orange scones with glaze on a marble board with more scones and fresh cranberries in the background.

Cranberry Orange Scones

My mom used to make scones fairly often on Sunday morning before church.  She’d usually bring a batch for the youth she taught during Sunday school, and we got the extras! She was well known for her delicious scones, and because of her, I developed a love for them at a young age.

Cranberry orange scones are so perfect for the holidays, and there’s something about that flavor combination that I always crave this time of year (although you can use frozen or dried cranberries and make them any time of year!).

Scones are so EASY to make but I do have a few tips that are really essential if you want to bake absolutely perfect homemade scones.

How to make perfect scones:

Use frozen butter. Frozen butter will help ensure the dough stays cold before baking the scones. As the butter bakes it creates pockets of air which yield the tender, moist center we want from a perfectly baked scone, with a flakey and crisp outer layer. If the dough or butter is too warm when you bake the scones they will spread more and wont puff up like you want them to.

For best results, place a stick of butter in the fridge about 30 minutes before making the scones. Then use a box grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture, in step 2 of the recipe.

Process photos for making cranberry orange scones including grating frozen butter into a bowl with flour, mixing it together with the wet ingredients, and forming the dough into a ball.

Don’t overwork the 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.

Dough for cranberry orange scones formed into a circle and cut into 8 wedges.

How long do scones last?

Scones are best served fresh, warm from the oven, but leftover scones can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two days. You can also freeze the scones after they have cooled, without the glaze. Freeze in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months.

 

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Recipe

A cranberry orange scones with glaze on a marble board with more scones and fresh cranberries in the background.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 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 or regular
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries halved (or use frozen or dried

For the glaze:

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions
 

  • 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.  

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 164mgPotassium: 198mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 540IUVitamin C: 3.7mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 1.7mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OMG! These were the best scones. So delicious, soft & moist. I’ve made scones before but never this good. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    Hands-down… THE BEST scone recipe I have made!… EVER!… and I have made a LOT of scones! The frozen, grated butter is the key and I didn’t have sour cream so I swapped plain whole milk Greek yogurt. THANKS SO MUCH for this recipe. This will be our Thanksgiving breakfast tradition from now on!

  3. 5 stars
    Tasted fantastic! I had never made scones before and these turned out really well. Will make them again for sure.

  4. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I needed more cream, probably closer to a half cup. I also zested two oranges, just because I wanted it extra “orangey”. These are moist and oh, so tasty. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Fantastic scenes! Definitely the best. I have used a number of scone recipes. Now, one. In our senior community my friend no longer cooks. I have shared my scones with her. When I shared these scones, she had advice for me. “Ignore your other recipes and just make these.” Good advice.

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