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Several triangle glazed scones with orange zest on white paper, metal cake server underneath

Orange Cranberry Scones

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5 from 13 reviews

Buttery and flavorful, these scones are sweet with a nice tart bite from the cranberries and orange zest. They can be ready to eat in an hour and have a fantastic texture. Being a huge fan of scones, I can tell you that these are fast becoming my favorites in the sweet category. 

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 large scones


  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (65g) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen for 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, very cold (or use 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup sour cream)

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Orange zest, to finish


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC.
  2. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In the food processor: in the bowl put flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Process a few seconds just to mix.
  4. Scatter butter over this mixture and add orange zest. Pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas or chickpeas.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
  6. By hand: in a large bowl lightly mix the dry ingredients.
  7. Add the butter pieces and orange zest, and cut or incorporate it with your hands or a pastry cutter. The butter should be the size of peas or chickpeas.
  8. For both: add milk (and sour cream if using both) and quickly mix with a fork, until most of it is moistened.
  9. Add the cranberries and mix a few times. The dough should come together if pressed but appear lumpy. 
  10. Dump this shaggy mass onto the kitchen counter or smooth surface and quickly give it a few turns to avoid very dry spots. Some dry parts might remain and that is OK. The more you touch it and mix it, the tougher the baked scones will be.
  11. Pat the mixture into a round, about 1-inch high.
  12. With a kitchen knife or dough scraper, cut scones into 6 triangles and arrange them on the baking sheet. For smaller scones, cut each half in four for a total of 8 wedges. 
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and risen.
  14. Eat warm or let cool completely and drizzle with orange glaze.
  15. You can freeze the unbaked triangles and bake them directly from the freezer.  

For the glaze:

  1. Mix sugar and juice in a small bowl until smooth. If you want it thinner, add a teaspoon of juice at a time, or more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze. 
  2. Drizzle over cold scones and sprinkle with orange zest. Let it dry before eating. 


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Very cold ingredients. I measure but leave the ingredients in the fridge until it's time to use them. Don't take the cream for half an hour before mixing the scones. Butter, milk cream and other wet ingredients belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them.
  • Handle the dough lightly. Don't overwork the dough. It needs to remain cold so the butter doesn't start to melt. It's the way to get soft, tender scones that rise well. 
  • Very cold dough before baking. Pop them in the freezer for 15 minutes after shaping them and before baking them. That ensures that they bake and rise as much as they can.
  • A rather high oven. They need that extra heat to rise however they can despite all that butter and cream. And if you forgot to turn the oven on before you start mixing, please don't leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter. Put them in the fridge or freezer for the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature. 
  • If not glazing them, brush the top with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar before baking. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Freezing time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Scones & Biscuits
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/6
  • Calories: 449
  • Sugar: 15.3 g
  • Sodium: 44.2 mg
  • Fat: 24.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 63 mg