Learn the process of how to make cranberry orange scones that are soft, fluffy, and moist! These cranberry scones are tender and flavorful and topped with a tangy orange glaze! Pin it for Later »

Cranberry Orange Scones with glaze

Cranberry Orange Scones Overview

What are Scones?

Scones fall into the category of baking known as quick breads. Quick breads are bread like products that are leavened with baking soda and/or baking powder instead of yeast, meaning they can be made quickly.

Cranberry Orange Scones with glaze lined up on a tray

Scones are very similar in texture to American style butter biscuits. Biscuits and scones have the same mixing method and similar ingredient.

The main difference between biscuits and scones are that scones include an egg and often a little bit of sugar. Scones tend to be slightly less flaky in texture than biscuits and often include sweet add-ins like raisins or blueberries.

Cranberry Orange Scones Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

  • One of the most important part of making the best cranberry orange scones that are flaky in texture is to use very cold butter and cream. This helps the scones puff up in the oven.
  • It is also very important to mix as little as possible to keep the scones soft and fluffy. If you mix too much you can overdevelop the gluten and create dense and dry scones.
  • These cranberry orange are made with my basic scone recipe. This recipe can be used to make any flavor of scones including lemon scones, blueberry scones, or chocolate chip scones.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry orange scones ingredients

Cranberry scones are quite easy to make. The mixing method used to make scones that are fluffy, tender, and moist is the biscuit mixing method. If you follow this method, you will not have dense or dry scones.

Step 1: Combine All of the Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients for blueberry scones

Place all of the dry ingredients for the cranberry scones in a large mixing bowl and whisk them all together. This recipe has a large quantity of baking powder, which will help keep the scones very tender.

Step 2: Cut the Butter Into the Dry Ingredients

It is very important that your butter is very cold for your scones. This will create the flakiness in the scones.

Cube the cold butter and then use a pastry cutter, or a fork, to cut the fat into the dry ingredients for the scones. You want to cut the fat in until it is the texture of coarse meal.

Step 3: Add the Cranberries

Cranberries being mixed into dough for cranberry orange scones

Stir the cranberries into the scone mixture until evenly distributed. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for your scones or even dried cranberries.

I prefer to use frozen cranberries in my cranberry scones because it helps keep the scone dough very cold. This helps keep the scones light and fluffy.

Step 4: Mix in the Liquid Ingredients

Add the cold cream into the bowl and stir the ingredients together until just combined. You want to be careful to not stir too much here or you will overdevelop the gluten and create dense and tough scones.

The batter dough will look shaggy and sticky. That’s okay! Stir only a few times until everything is just starting to come together.

Step 5: Lightly Knead the Dough

Cranberry orange scone dough patted out into a thick round disc

Lightly knead the dough just about 4 turns. This will help build a little structure in the scones and will help bring the dough together.

Be gentle here so you don’t pop all of the cranberries. A few of them will likely pop, which will give your dough a few pretty red streaks. But you don’t want them all to pop.

Step 6: Form the Dough

Scone dough cut into 8 triangles

Lightly flour your hands and pat the cranberry orange scone dough out to about 1″ thick circle. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 triangles.

Step 6: Bake the Cranberry Orange Scones

Scone triangles brushed with cream before being baked

Transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with a little more cream. You can also sprinkle a little sanding sugar over the top if desired. Bake the scones until golden brown.

Cranberry Orange Scone FAQ

  • Can you make cranberry orange scones with buttermilk?: Yes! You can use either heavy cream, half and half, or buttermilk for these cranberry orange scones. 
  • Can you freeze cranberry scones?: Yes, you can freeze cranberry scones! Once the scones have cooled completely, place them in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To refresh, warm in a 300 F (148 C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Can I use fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries cranberry orange scones?: Yes! You can use fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries in your cranberry scones. I prefer to use frozen cranberries because they keep the dough very cold, creating the best and flakiest cranberry scones!
Cranberry Orange Scones with glaze
Yield: 8 Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

These cranberry orange scones are topped with a tangy orange glaze and are soft, tender, and incredibly fluffy!


For the Cranberry Orange Scone Dough

  • 2 cups (240 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 112 gr) very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1/2 cup very cold heavy cream, half and half, or buttermilk (plus more for brushing the tops)
  • 1 TBSP (15 ml) orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup (150 gr) fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries
  • turbinado sugar or sanding sugar (optional)

For the Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup (120 gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP grated orange zest
  • 2-4 TBSP (30-59 ml) orange juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, until well combined.
  3. Add the pieces of cold butter into the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or a fork until the texture or coarse meal. Toss your cranberries throughout the mixture at this point.
  4. Lightly whisk together the heavy cream (or half and half or buttermilk), the egg, orange zest and orange juice together. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  5. Lay the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead with a lightly floured hand about 4 times. Be gentle so that you do not pop all of the cranberries. It is unavoidable that a few will pop. Pat the dough out to an 8 or 9 inch circle (about 1 inch thick) and cut into 8 triangle shaped pieces.
  6. Gently transfer the scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar or sanding sugar, if desired.
  7. Bake at 425 F (220 C) for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Allow the scones to cool completely before glazing.
  8. To make the orange glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and orange zest with the orange juice little by little until you have a thick but pour-able consistency.
  9. Store leftovers completely cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 days. OR wrap cooled scones in plastic wrap or in a ziplock freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Refresh in the oven at 300F (150C) until warmed through


This recipe is an adaptation of my Basic Scone Recipe