This quick and easy cranberry orange scones recipe is easy and quick to make! Step-by-step photos teach you how to make these vibrant sones bursting with tart cranberry goodness!
Scones are something I grew up with my mom always making. I have a recipe on classic English scones that we use all the time. So I tweaked the recipe to include some fresh orange zest and cranberries. They are the perfect breakfast for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.
The ingredient list is short for these, one of the reasons I love whipping up a batch of scones on a whim! You'll need:
- All-Purpose Flour. When measuring your flour I highly suggest a scale, it's the only way to get a truly accurate measurement. If you must use cups then make sure to use a spoon to scoop the flour into the cup and use a knife to remove the excess flour to make it a level cup.
- Salted Butter. I prefer using salted butter for the flavor but you can most certainly use unsalted too. The butter needs to be cold!
- Granulated Sugar. Just a little sweetness these scones up nicely!
- Baking Powder. This is what gives the scones that beautiful height when baking.
- Large Eggs. Unlike a lot of other baking recipes you actually want your eggs cold for making the scones. The butter needs to stay cold for the scones to bake up properly. So cold ingredients help!
- Whole Milk. I like to use whole milk but you can use 2% in a pinch.
- Cranberries. We are not using dried cranberries here, fresh or frozen. Since the scones need to stay cold I actually like using frozen since it helps keep the dough nice and chilled.
- Fresh Orange Zest. Don't skimp on zesting the orange, this is what packs the orange flavoring!
If you want you can make a simple orange glaze to drizzle on top of the scones. All you do is mix together confectioner's sugar and orange juice, simple but oh so delicious.
I personally prefer to skip the glaze and have my scones with jam and cream, but you do you! If you aren't going to have jam and cream then the glaze adds a nice sweet flavor.
The oven must be properly heated for the scones to rise properly. So make sure you give your oven plenty of time to preheat the oven to 410F/210C. Then, line a baking tray with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sugar.
Then, add your cold butter, and using clean hands quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix until the butter is just combined—as in, the mixture still looks pretty dry but there are not large chunks of butter. You can use a pastry cutter for this as well but my mom always used her hands so I prefer this method.
Set a medium bowl on a scale, add your eggs, and add enough milk to make 10oz. You may not need all 10oz of liquid for the batter. Every batter is a little different.
Add half of the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently. Continue to add until you have a cohesive scone batter; you want your scone batter to be pretty dry so it holds its shape.
Stir in the orange zest and cranberries, mix until just combined. You don't want to overwork the batter, that will cause tough scones! Now, on a large clean surface or large liner, sprinkle some flour and add your scone batter.
Knead a few times, then roll out to about 1 inch thick on the floured surface. Use a 2-inch cutter to make your individual scones. As you can see below you'll need to take the scraps and pat them together to make another 1-inch thick circle to make more scones, just be careful not to overwork the batter which will again create tougher scones.
You can also cut the scones into wedges but my mom always made them into circles so I love them that way.
Place 8 scones on a baking tray, and brush the tops with an egg wash (I just use the leftover milk and egg mixture, if I have some). Store the scones in the fridge or freezer until the oven is heated. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8-10 minutes. You want golden brown scones, so keep an eye on the oven.
Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Scones are best served the day of; store any leftovers in an air-tight container
Now if you want to drizzle a glaze on then mix together the powdered sugar and orange juice then drizzle on top.
How to freeze
To freeze baked scones place them in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. When you want to enjoy them let them come to room temp for a couple of hours and even pop them in the oven or microwave for a couple of minutes to warm up.
You can also freeze unbaked scones, prepare them up to just before the egg wash, it's best to do that right before baking. I like to place the baking sheet of scones in the freezer for an hour or two to flash freeze the scones then place them in a freezer safe container for the long freeze. When ready to bake transfer directly to a baking tray and immediatley put them in the oven no need to thaw.
Can you double
You can definitely double the recipe. Just make sure to keep the scones chilled while you are rotating baking trays. And make sure your baking tray cools completely before putting more unbaked scones on it.
More English recipes
One of the desserts my nan always made us when we were in England was baked rice pudding, the thick skin on top is my favorite part!
Another breakfast-time favorite is homemade crumpets they are surprisingly easy to make! The little holes to soak up the butter are the best part!
Nothing beats warm bread and butter pudding with a big serving of custard on top!
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 16oz (457 Grams/ 3 cups+ ½ heaping cup) All-Purpose Flour
- 4oz (1 Stick/ 8 Tablespoons) Salted Butter
- 4oz (120 Grams/ ½ heaping cup) Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 2 Large Eggs
- 8oz (1 Cup) Whole Milk
- 6oz Cranberries, Fresh or Frozen
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Zest
Optional Orange Glaze
- 1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
- Preheat oven to 410F/210C. Line a baking tray with a liner or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Then, add your cold butter. Mix until the butter is just combined—as in, the mixture still looks pretty dry but there are not large chunks of butter.
- Set a medium bowl on a scale, add your eggs, and add enough milk to make 10oz. You may not need all 10oz of liquid for the batter. Every batter is a little different.
- Add half of the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently. Continue to add until you have a cohesive scone batter; you want your scone batter to be pretty dry so it holds its shape. Add in the orange zest and cranberries. Then, on a large clean surface or large liner, sprinkle some flour and add your scone batter. Knead a few times, then roll out to about 1 inch thick. Use a 2.5-inch cutter to make your individual scones. Combine scraps to form another 1-inch piece to cut more 2.5 inch scones out. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Place 8 scones to a baking tray, and brush the tops with an egg wash (I just use the leftover milk and egg mixture). Store the scones in the fridge until the oven is heated. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8-10 minutes. You want golden brown scones, so keep an eye on the oven.
- Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Best served the day of; store in an air-tight container.
- To make glaze whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice then use a spoon to drizzle on top of the cooled scones.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: English
Keywords: christmas scones, orange cranberry scones
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