These Cranberry Orange Scones are the best fall scones you’ll ever have! This recipe yields tender, flaky, and ultra-moist scones.
Orange juice and orange zest add loads of flavor. Each bite is speckled with tart fresh cranberries. Serve these scones for breakfast with a warm cup of coffee.
Making Cranberry Orange Scones
Several months ago I made these peach almond scones. They had become my favorite summer scone.
Now that we are well into fall, I felt that I needed to add a fall scone recipe to my collection. I used my blueberry buttermilk scones recipe as a starting point and made a few changes to achieve the desired results for these cranberry orange scones.
When making scones it’s important to remember to use cold butter.
When the scones are baking the cold butter will melt inside, releasing steam which creates little pockets of air. This will make the scones light and airy on the inside while the outside remains crisp and flaky.
Handle the dough as little as possible. Avoid overworking the dough when mixing the ingredients together. You only want to mix until the mixture begins to stick together.
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Knead just enough
Knead the dough just a few times. If you over knead, gluten will develop. Gluten will make the scones tough. No one likes tough scones.
Shape gather the dough into a ball and press it together. Then you are ready to place it on your baking sheet and press it out into a 7-inch circle.
Remember to work fast to avoid warming the butter.
I topped the scones with a sweet orange glaze. This enhances the orange deliciousness.
I also topped them with coarse sugar just before baking. The sugar adds a slight crunch to the tops, a great contrast in texture.
More scone recipes you’ll love
Cranberry Orange Scones
For the scones
- 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup milk, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
For the glaze
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Make the scones
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest together. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the cranberries. Whisk the vanilla, orange juice, and milk together then gradually add it to the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together. You may not need all the orange juice mixture. Add a little at a time until the dough is moist but not too wet. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead four or five times. Pat the dough into a 7-inch round circle. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into four triangle shaped wedges. Arrange the scones 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Position the oven rack to the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and drizzle with glaze.
Make the glaze
- Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Make ahead tip
- You can refrigerate the dough overnight then simply shape the scones and bake them the next day.
- You can keep leftover scones for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
- Unglaze scones can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat and glaze before serving.
Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.