I make this wonderful Cranberry Orange Scones recipe every year during the winter holiday. These hearty scones are not strictly seasonal treats but I crave the zesty yet comforting flavors of cranberry and orange baked into pillowy pastries during the colder months. So now, these delicious treats are part of my holiday baking tradition. Similar in texture to biscuits, these Cranberry Orange Scones are tender and moist, not too sweet and go perfectly with a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you have guests dropping by, these are scrumptious little treats to have ready to serve. They will adore these Cranberry Orange Scones and will ask you for this recipe!
Notes on the Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe, Tips and Tricks
I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s Cranberry Orange Scones recipe. Overall, her recipe is wonderful and I made a few adjustments.
The orange zest is my favorite ingredient in this recipe. Go for navel oranges because they have wonderfully plump and aromatic skin. Using a zester, remove just the bright orange skin. Don’t zest into the pith, the white portion of the skin, as it can be bitter. Two oranges yield about 1 heaping tablespoon zest. Often I’ll zest an extra orange because I just adore the essence!
I reduce the butter in half. Ina’s recipe uses 3/4 pound butter and the scones are rich. I’ve made the scones with varying amounts of butter and like it with just 6 ounces of butter. If you like the buttery richness, go ahead and use 3/4 pound.
I increased the all-purpose flour by another 1/4 cup. I find the dough stickier due to less butter. Adding a bit more flour helps the dough not stick when rolling and cutting.
I cut the dough into triangles using a pizza wheel. The triangles aren’t perfectly uniform but they are scones and can be more rustic. 🙂 If you would like evenly-shaped scones, use a 3 inch square cutter to cut the dough and then cut into two triangles. Optionally, use a 3 inch round biscuit cutter.
The part of the recipe that may be a bit confusing “Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients and mix on Low speed until mostly incorporated. The butter should be the size of peas or smaller” can be best explained with a photo. The pic below is the desired end-result of mixing the cold butter and flour. The diced butter should break down into pea-sized bits. The butter does not have to be completely incorporated and bits of butter in the dough is normal.
The glaze is enough to top all the scones but I always double the recipe so I have extra to serve my sugar-loving guests. An easy recipe variation I’ve done in past years is to use condensed milk instead of the powdered sugar and orange juice glaze. To make up for the lack of orange flavor, I add orange zest to the condensed milk. If you love condensed milk, give this recipe variation a try. It’s delicious!
Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberry Orange Scones
I make this wonderful Cranberry Orange Scones * recipe every year during the winter holiday. These hearty scones are not strictly seasonal treats but I crave the zesty yet comforting flavors of cranberry and orange baked into pillowy pastries during the colder months. So now, these delicious treats are part of my holiday baking tradition. Similar in texture to biscuits, these Cranberry Orange Scones are tender and moist, not too sweet and go perfectly with a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you have guests dropping by, these are scrumptious little treats to have ready to serve. They will adore these Cranberry Orange Scones and will ask you for this recipe!
*Adapted from recipe by Ina Garten
- 2 medium navel oranges
- 6 oz unsalted butter , cold
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , divided
- 1/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp (25 g) for sprinkling
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream , cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour , for coating work surface
- 1 whole egg
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 2 Tbsp (15 g)
- 4 tsp orange juice , using 1 orange above
Making the Scones
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
Use a zester to remove the orange peel and then juice just 1 orange. Strain the orange juice to remove the pulp and seeds. Set aside 4 teaspoons orange juice for the glaze.
Dice the cold butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest on Low speed for 30 seconds.
Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients and mix on Low speed until mostly incorporated. The butter should be the size of peas or smaller. (This step takes approximately 3-4 minutes.)
In a large measuring cup, add the 4 eggs and lightly beat. Add the heavy cream and combine together. With the mixer on Low speed, slowly pour the egg and cream mixture into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended, approximately 2 minutes. The dough will look lumpy and a bit wet. Add the dried cranberries and remaining 1/2 cup flour to the dough. Mix on Low speed until well-blended, approximately 2 more minutes.
Generously flour the work surface. Transfer the dough onto the surface. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a rough ball.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough 1/2 inch thick. Dust a pizza wheel or knife. Cut the dough into 3" triangles.
Transfer the scones onto baking pans lined with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.
Collect the dough scraps, roll them out, and cut more triangles. Continue until all the dough is used, making 24 scones.
To make the egg wash, in a small bowl add the egg and milk and mix together.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. (Use as much or as little of the 2 Tbsp as you'd like.)
Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the tops are golden. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the scones to a wire rack and let cool for 10 more minutes.
Making the Glaze
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until the glaze is smooth.
Using a small spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Enjoy!
Store the Cranberry Orange Scones in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 3 months. To enjoy again, reheat in the microwave using Low power or in the toaster oven until just warm.
Notes, Tips & Tricks
- Make sure the butter is cold. This will make it easier to dice.
- For uniform scones, use a 3 inch square cutter to cut the dough and then cut in half to make two triangles. Optionally, make round scones using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter.
- Double the glaze recipe if you'd like extra glaze to serve on the side or for dipping.
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