Orange Cranberry Scones are a delicious, festive treat to enjoy this holiday season. This recipe is easy and quick with ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. A moist and buttery scone base modeled after our Vanilla Bean Scones is combined with sweet, tart cranberries, and vibrant orange zest for a tasty fall scone combination. This post is sponsored. All tasty views expressed are that of our own.
If you are looking for a sweet treat this holiday season, these orange cranberry scones made without heavy cream will be the perfect fit! The cranberries and orange zest add just enough sweetness to make your taste buds happy. It would not be the fall season without oranges, so here is our own little twist on tradition. We hope that you enjoy these scrumptious treats as much as we do!
These scones come together quickly and have an addictive orange flavor thanks to plenty of grated zest and fresh orange juice. They also include Cape Cod Select Cranberries which add a tart fruitiness that pairs well with the sweet orange juice glaze topping.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Scones
Making Cranberry Orange Scones requires a little more effort than most of our dessert recipes. The use of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment is super helpful in making these. But you could do it the old-fashioned way with a large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, and pastry cutter if need be.
The dough comes together in the stand mixer and will not be overly sticky. The cranberries will make it slightly wet, but that of play dough consistency. If it is too sticky, add one tablespoon of extra flour to the dough and with floured hands remove the dough from the stand mixer to form it. Place it on a well-floured work area and shape the dough into a circle that is about one inch thick– a little thicker is fine. These scones have ample baking powder which helps them to rise and puff out.
Cut the dough into 8 triangle pieces and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Scones will be puffy, but firm to the touch. Don’t worry–they will NOT be dry inside! The insides of these scones are moist and fluffy with juicy berries.
Preparation & Recipe Tips
Mixing the Dough: I used our KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mix the dough. It’s faster than mixing by hand. However, if you don’t own a stand mixer, you can combine all the ingredients with a mixing spoon and kneed by hand.
Cranberries: While you can use fresh or frozen cranberries, I prefer Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries since they are frozen at the peak of ripeness and are local to us here in New England. These cranberries are ideal for year-round use in smoothies, salads, and more! We will be sharing a cranberry salsa recipe soon that is perfect for anytime of the year!
Frozen “fresh” cranberries also stay fresher way longer than fresh refrigerated cranberries and can be used in recipes like this Cranberry Orange Loaf, or these Cranberry Orange Muffins. Since they are naturally tart, you can optionally mix your rough chopped berries with a small amount of sugar to help sweeten them. While whole cranberries are superior in this recipe, you can also use dried cranberries.
Baking: I always prefer to cut my scones with a floured pastry cutter and separate them before baking. This allows them to bake up fluffy without sticking to each other.
Glaze: These fall scones feature a simple fresh orange juice and confectionary sugar glaze. While I used freshly squeezed orange juice since I zested a large orange, you can also use store-bought variety. If you prefer to not use orange juice, a vanilla bean glaze is also a delicious option, as well as a simple sanding sugar topping. To use sanding sugar, simply sprinkle coarse sugar on each scone liberally before baking.
Freezing Cranberry Orange Scones
Make sure your scones are cool before freezing them. To ensure your frozen scones don’t stick together after being thawed out, freeze cooled scones on a baking sheet until solid. Then, individually wrap them in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and sticking. Store scones in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to one month for best taste.
To enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator until soft. Heat scone(s) for 30-45 seconds until warmed. Personally, I have frozen these both glazed and unglazed so either way works although they do soak up most of the glaze quickly. These taste good with a smear of butter too so if you want to skip the glaze, that is a great suggestion from the freezer.
More Scones Recipes
Looking for some additional scones recipes to try out? We have you covered! We love making scones around here, and they are anything but dry!
Super Moist Cranberry Orange Scones
- oven (adjusted to the center rack position)
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- Measuring Cups & spoons
- cutting board & knife
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons to flour the work surface
- ¼ cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon for mixing with cranberries
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup Cape Cod Select Cranberries defrosted, and rough chopped
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 cup confectionary sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Pre-heat oven to 425° F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Be sure to parchment paper is safe up to this temperature. If not, use a nonstick baking sheet or baking mat.
- Prepare a lightly floured work area. Coat your pastry cutter with flour as well.
- Using the paddle attachment, in a stand mixer, add the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar to the mixing bowl. Beat at a medium-low speed.
- Add the cubed butter, and mix until the dough forms tiny balls.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla, milk, and then add it to the mixer along with the rough chopped cranberries. The dough should come together and form a ball.
- Remove dough and transfer to your floured work area. Shape the dough into a 1" thick circle.
- Using your pastry cutter, divide dough into 8 pieces, and slightly separate them to give them space to bake. Bake for 12-14 mins or until golden brown edges form. Scones will feel firm on the outside and moist on the inside.
- Whisk the confectionary sugar, and orange juice together until thick and creamy. (similar to a honey consistency). Spoon over cooled scones and enjoy warm.