Homemade cranberry orange scones are buttery and flaky with the perfect balance of sweet and tart thanks to the sugar, cranberries, and orange zest. These scones are the perfect treat for breakfast or with afternoon tea and coffee!
I’ve been making scones for years and I always use the same base recipe whether it’s for these cranberry orange scones, chocolate chip scones, or any other combination I’m in the mood for.
The combination of cranberry and orange is perfect for Fall and the Christmas holiday season as well.
Cranberry orange scones make a great addition to any brunch table but are also a great grab-and-go breakfast or a treat to serve with afternoon coffee and tea.
Table of Contents
All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.
- Cranberries. Frozen cranberries are preferred since they hold up better during the dough making process and they help to keep the scone dough cold.
- Orange zest. Depending on the size of your orange, you can get anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons of zest, so plan to buy 1-2 oranges to get the 2 tablespoons of zest needed for this recipe.
- Vanilla. Use pure vanilla extract.
- Orange blossom water. This ingredient can be harder to find so if you can’t get it, don’t worry about it. While it has great orange flavor and is used in Italian baked goods, such as pastiera Napoletana, it’s optional for this orange cranberry scone recipe.
- Butter. Use frozen unsalted butter and grate using a box grater for optimal results.
- Sugar. Granulated sugar is used for the scone dough, while coarse turbinado sugar is used to top the scones after they’ve been brushed with heavy cream.
- Flour. All-purpose flour should be used for this recipe. Be sure to save some extra for bench flour and to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat the oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine 2 cups (240g) of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup (100g) of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (Photo #1).
- Using the large holes on a box grater, shred 8 tablespoons (113) grams of unsalted frozen butter. When you get to the end, use a knife to cut the remaining butter into small pieces (Photo #2).
- Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour until a coarse meal is formed (Photo #3).
- Add 1 1/4 cups (125g) of frozen cranberries and 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup (113g) of sour cream, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water, then add that mixture to flour mixture and mix gently with a fork to combine (Photo #4).
- Flour your hands and a flat surface and bring the dough together as best you can in the bowl, then transfer to the floured surface. Use your hands to bring the dough together and shape it into an 8-inch disc (Photo #5).
- Use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to slice the disc into 8 triangles (Photo #6).
- Move the scones to the baking sheet and place the scones in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour 2 tablespoons of heavy cream into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the tops of the scones. Using your fingers, sprinkle the turbinado sugar to the tops of the scones (Photo #7).
- Place the scones into the hot oven and bake for 17-20 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top is lightly browned. Allow the cranberry orange scones to rest for 5 minutes before serving (Photo #8). Enjoy!
- Don’t overmix. Scones are known for their flaky and crumbly texture. Overmixing can negatively affect the texture of the scones. Be sure to mix just enough to bring the dough together to form the 8-inch disc.
- Chilling. The scones need at least 15 minutes of chilling time in the refrigerator before baking. You can also chill them overnight and serve freshly baked scones in the morning for breakfast!
- Baking. Since all ovens can vary, it’s important to check for doneness at the 17-minute mark. Look for golden edges and lightly browned tops.
Scones can be stored for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I recommend using frozen or fresh cranberries for this recipe. If you buy fresh, you can pop them in the freezer for an hour before using them. If you can only find dried cranberries, place them in warm water for 15-20 minutes before using to rehydrate them.
More recipes you’ll love
If you love these orange cranberry scones, we think you’ll enjoy these other recipes as well!
- Cranberry sauce – with orange, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla. A must for Thanksgiving!
- Cranberry Mule – with vodka, ginger beer, lime, and cranberries.
- Cranberry Mimosa – perfect for holidays with a blend of cranberry and orange juice and prosecco.
- Chocolate chip scones – similar recipe to this one, but with chocolate chips.
- Pumpkin bread – another great one for fall with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
If you’ve enjoyed this cranberry orange scone recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.
Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour plus more for bench flour
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter frozen
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 1/4 cup (125g) cranberries frozen
- 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water optional
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream for brushing
- turbinado sugar optional, for topping
- Preheat your oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen butter and add it to the flour mixture.
- Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour until a coarse meal is formed.
- Add the frozen cranberries and orange zest to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, vanilla, and orange blossom water.
- Pour the sour cream mixture onto the flour and mix gently with a fork until large clumps form.
- Flour your hands and use them to shape the dough into a ball, then place the ball on a lightly floured surface and shape it into an 8-inch circle.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 8 triangles and place them on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove the scones from the refrigerator and brush each one with the heavy cream and if using the sugar, add a sprinkle of sugar to the top.
- Bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top is lightly browned.
- Allow the scones to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with butter and enjoy!
- The uncooked scones should chill for a minimum of 15 minutes in the refrigerator but can be chilled overnight.
- You won’t be able to grate the entire stick of butter so when you get near the end of the stick, cut the remaining part into small pieces.
- We used frozen cranberries because they hold up better than fresh during the dough-making process and are more widely available, especially outside of Fall. Dried or fresh cranberries can also be used.
- This recipe was written for a conventional oven. For convection ovens, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and begin checking for doneness at the 75% mark.
- Scones can be stored for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.