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 be your favorites.
This page may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure for policy details. I earn commissions if you shop through the links on this page.
I never mind baking a batch of scones from scratch, ever! They are perfect with my hot cuppa tea or coffee.
These scones bake up buttery and flaky like a biscuit, and, to make these scones even tastier, add a two-ingredient orange and sugar topping for a little crunch that turns these scones into a bakery-style treat.
Baking with oranges and cranberries
- Combine these two fruits in both sweet and savory recipes like in 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 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 zested orange zest adds some great citrus flavor.
- For another option try these Gluten-Free Scones filled will cranberries and white chocolate.
When cranberries are in season make sure to buy some extra bags and freeze them that way you can have cranberries available for your next recipe. I keep them on hand for making these One Hot Oven favorite cranberry recipes.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder
- Whole Milk or Half and Half, Heavy Cream
- Oranges and Orange Zest
- Fresh and Dried Cranberries
A classic pairing of Orange and Cranberries
Let's make 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. Take the ⅓ cup of cold butter and cut it 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. I find my handy dandy food chopper works great for chopping cranberries as I can control the size of the chopped cranberries better.
Step 4. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt, sugar, orange zest baking powder, and baking soda and mix this all together.
Step 5. Add the cold cubed butter to the bowl. With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it resembles small peas.
Step 6. Mix the milk, egg, and orange juice together and pour this mixture into the bowl with 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 7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a round ball.
Step 8. Once you have the dough in a nice round shape start rolling into a large round circle until the dough is about ¼" thick.
Step 9. Next, add the chopped cranberries to the top of the rolled-out dough.
Step 10. After you add the cranberries fold the dough over in thirds. If the dough is sticking just use a bench scraper and a little flour to lift it.
Step 11. 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 12. 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 a large baking sheet.
Step 13. Here is the last step before baking your scones that will turn your scones into truly remarkable treats. Brush the scones with a little bit of cream or milk and then mix together a little bit of sugar and the zest of an orange and sprinkle on top of the scones. Yes, just these two simple ingredients are what will take these scones to the next taste level. Bake for 15 minutes until nice get nice and golden brown.
Freezing and storage
- 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 in an airtight container.
- For the unbaked scone dough, place the scones in a try in the freeze for about a half-hour until frozen, and then place in an airtight container or a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
Tips for Making the Perfect Scone
- If you have never made scones don't be intimidated, they are simple and quick to make. Just make sure 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 great tip for making 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. By doing this the cranberries keep their nice bright color and fresh flavor.
More bakery sweets
- Sweet Mandarin Orange Scones have that tart and tangy flavor of mandarins.
- Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake has pieces of mandarin oranges baked throughout the cake.
- Mandarin Orange Creme Caramel is a lusciously creamy dessert that is so easy to make.
- Lemon Ricotta Muffins have a bit of savory flavor from olive oil and ricotta cheese.
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.
Orange Cranberry Scones with Sweet Orange Topping
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 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 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.
Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello or just let me know what you are baking these days, I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to help!
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 both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.