These cranberry orange scones are so light and tender, and perfectly sweetened!
Do you love a good scone as much as I do? I grew up in Utah, where “scones” are pieces of fried bread dough, usually topped with honey butter. I had never even tried a traditional scone until I was fully grown up, and it was a little strange to me that these crumbly little biscuit-like scones shared the same name as the fried bread of my childhood. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for real scones since then, and I try to make some variety of scone at least once or twice a month. They are such a joy with a cup of warm hot chocolate or tea, especially when it’s cold out. I’ve made a wide variety of scone flavors, from lemon poppyseed to peaches and cream, and I love them all. These cranberry orange scones are a new variation that I tried recently, now that fresh cranberries are in season, and they have quickly become a new favorite!
Cranberries are a great choice for scones because they add a lot of flavor, but don’t add a ton of moisture. I bumped up the sweetness in the scones a little to compensate for the tartness of the cranberries, and the flavors are so good together. There’s some citrusy sweetness from the orange, the bright and tart cranberry flavor, and the underlying sweet and tender scone dough. I like to brush them with cream before baking so they brown a little bit in the oven, and they’re crisp on top but still soft and tender in the middle.
To make these scones even more delicious, I drizzled a sweet orange glaze over the top to finish them. It’s not strictly necessary, but it does add a nice little boost of orange flavor! These scones are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or snacking any time. They’re the perfect blend of sweet and tart, and the texture is perfect!
Cranberry Orange SconesPrint Recipe
for the scones:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- zest of one orange
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter cold
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 cup fresh cranberries cut in half
- 2 tablespoons cream
- sparkling sugar
for the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons half and half
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together until fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture and toss to combine. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the half and half, eggs, and orange extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Gently fold in the cranberries, being careful not to crush them.
- Pat the dough out into a 8 inch square, being careful not to overwork it. Cut 9 circles out of the dough using a biscuit cutter, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the cream and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. To make the glaze, whisk the orange juice and powdered sugar together. Add the half and half as needed to make a glaze that’s easy to drizzle, but not too runny. Drizzle the glaze over the scones.