Loaded with lots of fresh and dried cranberries and plenty of orange flavor, this easy-to-make recipe for Orange Cranberry Scones can be made and baked in under an hour. Yes, these warm golden brown scones, with crumbly edges that bake up nice and tender, will quickly become a family favorite.
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I absolutely love whipping up a fresh batch of scones from scratch! They go amazingly well with my morning cup of tea or coffee. Who wouldn't want to join in the scone-making fun?
These scones bake up buttery and with flaky layers like a biscuit, and to make this easy scone recipe even tastier, add a two-ingredient orange and sugar topping for a little crunch that turns these scones into a bakery-style treat.
Reasons To Love This Recipe
- Simplicity: This great recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for bakers of all skill levels. It's an excellent opportunity to try your hand at baking if you haven't before.
- Versatility: These scones can be served at any time of the day. Enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, or as a sweet accompaniment to your afternoon tea or coffee.
- Homemade Goodness: There's nothing quite like the taste of homemade scones. These are made with fresh ingredients and lots of love. The two-ingredient orange and sugar topping gives them a unique, bakery-style finish.
- Flavorful: The combination of orange and cranberry packs a punch of flavor in every bite. The tartness of the cranberries is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the oranges.
What are Cranberry Orange Scones?
Cranberry Orange Scones are a delightful bakery delicacy featuring a harmonious blend of tart cranberries and zesty oranges, all baked into a light, flaky dough that perfectly balances sweetness and tang.
- Combine these two fruits in sweet and savory recipes like this Spiced Orange Cranberry Bread, or this fall favorite Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with an Orange Glaze.
- Scones need flavor; otherwise, they would just be boring. This easy orange scone recipe has a sweet and tart mixture of oranges and cranberries.
- Mixing dried and fresh cranberries adds two times the cranberry flavor and texture, plus orange juice and orange zest add some great citrus flavor.
- Try these Gluten-Free Scones filled with cranberries and white chocolate for another option.
Cranberry Orange Scones Reipce Ingredient
- Flour - sift the flour to make sure it mixes into the dough well
- Butter - allow this to come to room temperature
- Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt
- Egg - whisk the egg first before adding to the dough
- Whole Milk - or you can use Half and Half or Heavy Cream
- Oranges and Orange Zest - fresh is best for a fresh orange flavor
- Fresh and Dried Cranberries - use a mixture of fresh and dried cranberries for the best results
How To Make Orange Scones
Step 1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Step 2. The butter for scones needs to be as cold as possible. Cut the ⅓ cup butter into small cubes and put it back in the refrigerator to keep cold until needed.
Step 3. Either with a food processor or a food chopper, chop the fresh cranberries into small pieces. My handy dandy food chopper works great for chopping cranberries, as I can control the size of the chopped cranberries better.
Step 4. Zest and juice the oranges. Reserve one tablespoon of the fresh orange zest for the batter and use the rest to make the orange sugar topping.
Step 5. In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, and baking soda and mix this all together.
Step 6. Add the cold cubed butter to the bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles small peas.
Step 7. Mix the milk, egg, and orange juice in a separate bowl and pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Add the dried cranberries and stir until the ingredients are just moistened. This is where you do not want to overmix the dough.
Step 8. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a round ball.
Step 9. Once you have a large dough ball, use a rolling pin to work dough into a large circle until it is about ¼" thick.
Step 10. Next, add the chopped cranberries to the top of the rolled-out dough.
Step 11. After you add the cranberries, fold the dough over in thirds. If the dough is sticking, use a bench scraper and a little flour to lift it.
Step 12. Once the dough is folded into thirds, pinch to seal the edge and flip the dough over. With your hands, you can press the edges of the dough to make them smooth and straight.
Step 13. Cut the dough into triangles; here, the bench scraper works perfectly for cutting the dough. I like to do it this way so I don't have to re-roll the dough scraps. Plus, I like triangle-shaped scones. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
Step 14. Using a pastry brush, brush the scones with cream or milk and then with the orange sugar mixture. Yes, these two simple ingredients will take these delicious scones to the next taste level. Bake scones for 15 minutes until nice and golden brown.
Tips for Making the Perfect Scone
- If you have never made scones, don't be intimidated; they are simple and quick to make. Ensure you have cold butter cut into small cubes to add to the flour. Adding the cold butter to the scone dough keeps it from getting soft too quickly in the dough and keeps the scones tender.
- Another excellent tip for making perfect scones is to handle the dough as little as possible. The more you mix, knead, or roll the dough, the tougher the dough gets. Have you ever had a scone that resembled a hockey puck?
- After mixing the dough and adding the dried cranberries, gently roll it out into an 8" thick circle or a rectangle. Add the chopped fresh cranberries on top of the rolled dough. Doing this keeps the cranberries from getting overmixed in the dough, which can make the dough an odd color. The cranberries keep their nice bright color and fresh flavor by doing this.
- Lemon Blueberry Scones: Replace the oranges and cranberries with fresh lemons and blueberries. Add lemon zest to the dough and create a tangy lemon glaze for the top by combining powdered sugar with fresh lemon juice.
- Chocolate Chip Scones: Omit the fruit and add 1 cup of chocolate chips. You could add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough for extra flavor.
- Vanilla Lavender Scones: Omit the cranberries and orange zest, add vanilla extract to the dough, and sprinkle in some culinary lavender for a sophisticated flavor twist.
- Cherry Almond Scones: Replace the cranberries with dried cherries and add a half cup of chopped almonds. Use almond extract in place of the orange juice.
- Peach and Pecan Scones: Substitute fresh or canned peaches for the cranberries, and add chopped pecans. You could even drizzle a powdered sugar glaze over the top for extra sweetness.
Place the frozen scones on a lined baking sheet and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the scones as directed, adding about 5 minutes extra for baking.
Yes, the colder, the better to keep the butter from melting before the scones are baked; you want that to happen in the oven. The cold butter will make a flakier and tender scone.
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper or a Silpat
- Food Processor or a Food Chopper
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Pastry Cutter
- Measuring Cups
- Bench Scraper
- Brush for applying cream/milk and orange sugar mixture
More Cranberry Ideas
When cranberries are in season, buy some extra bags and freeze them; that way, you can have cranberries available the next time you make these warm scones. I keep them on hand for making these One Hot Oven favorite cranberry recipes.
- Cranberry Winter Fruit Salad
- Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Cranberries
- Apple Cranberry Galette
- If you like, you can freeze these scones baked or unbaked. After baking, wrap the individual scones in plastic wrap, then in foil, or place them in an airtight container.
- For the unbaked scone dough, place the scones in a tray in the freeze for about a half-hour until frozen, and then put in an airtight container or a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
More To Make And Eat
Orange Cranberry Scones with Sweet Orange Topping
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- 2 cups AP flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 oranges zested
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter cubed
- ¼ cup whole milk can use half-and-half, or heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons Milk for glaze
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping
- Heat the oven to 400° F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes and put back in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Zest the orange and add 1 tablespoon of the zest to the flour mixture. Reserve the rest of the zest for the topping. Juice the orange for later.
- Cut in the cold cubed butter using a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture will look like coarse crumbs.
- Mix together the milk, ¼ cup of orange juice, and the egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture along with the dried cranberries and stir with a fork until combined to make a soft dough.
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times to form a smooth dough.
- Gently roll into an 8" circle, then top with the chopped fresh cranberries.
- With a bench scraper lift a third of the dough and fold to the center, then lift the other third of the dough and fold to the center. This will create a long rectangle.
- Pinch the seam and flip the dough over on a floured surface. With your hands, you can press the dough to even it out and smooth the ends and side. Cut the dough into 8 triangle shapes and put the triangle dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Mix the remaining orange zest and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl.
- Brush the tops of the unbaked scones with milk and sprinkle the orange, sugar topping over the tops of the scones.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve the scones warm from the oven.
- Store uneaten scones in an airtight container for up to three days.
- You can freeze the baked scones in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to three months. Let thaw at room temperature before serving.
First published: Feb. 7, 2020. Last updated: Oct. 13, 2023, for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.