Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

Any baked good that can double as both dessert and breakfast is one that I will hold near and dear to my heart. If I could send a Valentine to scones, I sure would. Not only are they perfectly acceptable to eat in the morning, afternoon and evening, but they require only one bowl, no mixer, and can be made start to finish in about 30 minutes. I love experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and some of my favorites to date have been Dark Chocolate Chip Scones, Quiche Lorraine Scones and Blueberry Buttermilk Scones. I love cranberries paired with citrus flavors, so a cranberry-orange scone was never far off.

Cranberry Orange Scones

I used a basic cream scone base for this recipe (super simple with very few ingredients) and added orange zest and dried cranberries. You’ll see in the recipe that the orange zest is worked into the sugar using your fingertips. It’s a technique that I picked up from a few of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes and it does a fabulous job of infusing the sugar with all of the flavor and juices that are packed into the zest. I do this anytime I use orange, lemon or lime zest in a recipe – I rub it into the sugar first, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

The cream scones are very tender and not too rich-tasting, with orange undertones and tons of soft, plump cranberries. I think they make a spectacular breakfast option, especially for house guests, and go great with a morning or afternoon cup of tea. And if you love desserts that aren’t over-the-top (I would not fall into this category, as the more rich and decadent a dessert is, the better for me!), this is a perfect night cap.

Cranberry Orange Scones

One year ago: Chunky Pecan Pie Bars
Two years ago: Pasta Fagioli
Three years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Cranberry Orange Scones

Yield: 8 scones

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons orange zest
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Place the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and, using your fingers, rub the orange zest and the granulated sugar together until the sugar is uniformly moistened with the orange zest.

3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together. Stir in the cranberries.

4. Pour in the cream and, using your fingers or a fork, stir together until combined. Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to bring dough together. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 triangles and place on baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the scones are just turning lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature.


22 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Scones”

  1. amanda @ fake ginger on July 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    YUM! Cranberry orange is my favorite scone flavor and yours look amazing! The cranberries you used look super plump and yummy!


  2. Taylor on July 15, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Cranberry and orange must be a popular combination right now…I just posted cranberry orange mini loaves. These scones look delicious!


  3. Anna on July 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Yummo! These will be made TODAY! 🙂


  4. Tina from PA on July 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I need one of these to go with my coffee, right now !


  5. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on July 15, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Yum!! I love citrus anything!


  6. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme on July 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The cranberry-orange combination is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve purchased bakery cranberry-orange scones and can’t imagine why I’ve never made them myself! No excuses now that I have your recipe. And I love the tip about infusing the sugar with the citrus rind! Wonderful technique. Reminds me of the classic preparation for crepes suzette where the sugar cube is rubbed against an orange so that it becomes saturated with the orange essence. Fabulous!


  7. Sweet Pea Chef on July 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Ok, you have sold me on scones. I’ve never made them before, but you make a really good argument: quick, easy clean-up PLUS a tasty anytime sweet snack. Sweet! Thanks!


  8. Kim (Liv Life) on July 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    My daughter has just discovered scones. She made her first batch last week and loved them! We will add these to our list. Love your pictures!


  9. Maria on July 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I am always up for scones and cranberry orange are my favorite!


  10. Alisa on July 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Those came out so picture perfect! I love having tea with scones on a Sunday – it has been too long!


  11. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on July 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    These look absolutely lovely! I’ve been on quite the scones kick lately, so I’ll be happy to give these a try!


  12. Heather @ (The Single Dish) on July 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Looks great, I love scones!


  13. Laura on July 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I’m a pretty avid (and adventurous) baker, but I tend to shy away from scones since my treats usually get shared with co-workers the day after baking. In your experience, do scones really need to be eaten the same day they’re baked, or do they keep without compromising the texture for a bit longer?


  14. Christine on July 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Yummy. These look delicious! I love the orange/cranberry flavour combination. I made a coffee cake with these fruits and it was soooo deliciously tart and refreshing.


  15. DessertForTwo on July 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Hi there, found you through My Kitchen Addiction and now I’m addicted to your website! I especially love your most popular coobooks and cookware post!

    I can’t wait to try some of your recipes 🙂


  16. Margo on July 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I do love the combination of orange and cranberry. And scones! I could write an ode to scones I love them so much! To make these into desserts, I just drizzle with a bit of orange glaze.


  17. Diane on July 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Phooey! I missed my chance at fame! I was planning to send you MY cranberry orange scone recipe, which I’m forever “perfecting,” but I wanted to test it once more and then…someday…get around to sending it. Oh well, I probably still will. When I get it just a bit better. =) Everyone else loves them, but I’m always in pursuit of something more.

    In the meantime, I’ll also try yours!


  18. Tiffany on October 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    These are the most amazing scones I have ever tasted, we Love them. My husband who does not like scones loves these, they are so moist and not to sweet. Perfect. Thank you so much.


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Tiffany, So glad you enjoyed these! Thanks for sharing your review!


  19. Astrid on November 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Is it okay if I use fresh cranberries?


    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Astrid, Yes, you can use fresh!


  20. GBTtown on July 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I love cranberries! For the last few years I have been making my own cranberry orange vodka. Being frugal, I could not see wasting the cranberries after their… bath. I started first with cranberry bread pudding. It turned out to be a big hit with all our friends. I then started making cranberry orange (using the same orange peel that was flavoring the vodka) and again, a great success.
    The old saw, “Want not, waste not” is alive and well!


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