These perfect Cranberry Orange Scones are made with fresh cranberries, fresh oranges, and made with both sour cream and heavy cream. They have the perfect texture, the best flavor, and have an irresistible orange glaze on top.
Scone lovers and haters alike are going to love these super moist Cranberry Orange Scones with a fresh orange glaze on top. The perfect bite of the season, if I do say so myself.
I’ve loved scones since I was little. I don’t know, they just made me feel fancy.
And luckily for me, since I was one of the only people in my family to love them, there wasn’t much of a fight over who got to eat them.
It was me. Always me.
Those scones were always store bought, and always a little on the dry side. I’d usually warm them up and slather with some butter or cream and call it a day.
It wasn’t until I tried my hand at making scones from scratch that I realized scones don’t have to be covered in butter or cream to be moist or sweet, and I was on a mission to make all those who didn’t think they were a scone person, a scone person. 😉
Reasons Why I Love This Recipe:
- These are heavy cream and sour cream scones, which makes them incredibly tender, flaky and moist.
- The orange glaze is to die for. It’s the same glaze I use for these Orange Cream Scones (one of my most popular recipes!).
- These are made with fresh cranberries and fresh orange juice and zest. It makes all the difference!
- Plus, this scone recipe is EASY. If making scones from scratch intimidates you, try making these. You will be surprised at how quickly everything comes together!
The Best Cranberry Orange Scones Ingredients:
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder
- heavy cream: this gives the scones a nice rich texture
- sour cream: sour cream scones are always moist and have such great flavor.
- unsalted butter
- almond extract: Cranberries and almonds pair very well together, and the almond extract adds a really nice depth of flavor.
- orange zest + juice: don’t skip the zest! Your scones will not be nearly as flavorful or bright in flavor.
- fresh cranberries: you can substitute frozen cranberries if you can’t find fresh. You can actually put them directly into the scone dough frozen!
- fresh orange juice
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- unsalted butter
- orange zest
Tips on How to Make the Cranberry Orange Scones from Scratch!
Why Are My Scones Always Dry?
There are a few reasons why scones often come out dry and crumbly:
- Too much flour: Sometimes scones have too much flour to liquid ratio, which makes them very dry and crumbly.
- Not enough butter: If the scone dough doesn’t have enough butter, they won’t be tender or flaky. Butter transforms biscuits, scones, pie dough. Cold butter makes scones very flaky.
- Not enough sour cream or heavy cream: When it comes to scones, using a really thick cream like a sour cream or heavy whipping cream makes scones really moist and flaky.
- No glaze: A glaze is not 100% necessary, but a glaze will lock in moisture (and add extra flavor!)
Why Are My Scones Wet?
Instead of dry scones, sometimes scones come out too wet. This can happen for a few reasons:
- Too much liquid: If there is an excess amount of liquid and an absence of flour, the scones will be too wet. The texture will be somewhere between a muffin and a biscuit, and it’ll be weird.
- Warm butter: If the butter gets too warm, it will make for wet, flat scones. The butter will melt out the sides, instead of creating puffy, flaky layers.
- Dough over mixed: If the dough is over mixed, it’ll get tough and will warm the butter too much, which will make for flat, wet scones.
Orange Cranberry Scones Trouble Shooting aka How to Make Sure These Scones Are Moist and Fluffy:
- Cut butter into flour:
- Using cold butter, cut the butter into the flour and work it until coarse crumbs form. The pea-sized butter pieces will help the dough be extra flaky and tender.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream (or greek yogurt) is an integral part of the recipe, because it not only adds flavor and texture, it keeps the dough moist and makes for extra tender cranberry orange scones.
- Liquid: The heavy cream, egg, and orange juice keeps these very moist.
- Orange Glaze: The glaze not only adds a lot of sweet orange flavor, it helps makes these so moist. A glaze tends to lock in moisture, because it acts like a seal.
How To Make Recipe:
- Preheat oven first.
- Line your pan with parchment paper. You can spray your pan with baking spray as well, but parchment paper makes for such easy clean up!
- Sugar: Mix sugar and orange zest together. It really helps the fresh orange flavor to be in every single bite.
- Dry Ingredients: Mix all dry ingredients together.
- Cold Butter: Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with your mixer, a fork or pastry blender until the butter forms pea-sized coarse crumbs.
- Pour in egg, heavy cream, sour cream, and orange juice. Mix until the dough has just come together.
- Add in the fresh cranberries and mix until just combined.
- The dough might be a little crumbly, and that is okay. If the dough is worked too much, the scones will be dry.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and pat the dough into a circle. Cut into triangles and brush a little heavy cream on top of each scone (makes them extra golden brown).
- Whisk, melted butter, orange juice, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together. Add in zest, if desired. Drizzle over baked scones.
Should I Use Fresh Orange Juice?
- Yes. You need orange zest for this recipe anyway (do not skip the zest! It makes these Cran Orange Scones so bright in flavor) so definitely use fresh squeezed orange juice.
Can I Use Frozen Cranberries?
- Yes, you can use frozen cranberries. If you don’t have fresh cranberries, frozen will work fine. Add them to the dough frozen (don’t let them thaw first—they will be too wet).
Can I Use Dried Cranberries?
- No. This recipe is for fresh Cranberry Scones and dried cranberries will not be the same.
Can I Substitute Milk for the Heavy Cream?
- No. You need the thickness and richness of heavy cream to make homemade scones. Milk is too thin and the scone texture will be wrong.
Can I use Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream?
- Yes! Greek yogurt can be substituted. I would still suggest using full fat sour cream if you can, but Greek yogurt can work if necessary.
Final Few Tips & Tricks for Homemade Cranberry Cream Scones:
- Keep the butter cold! Cold butter makes very flaky scones. I like to cube the butter and keep it in the fridge until the last minute.
- I like to mix the sugar and the zest together first. This makes the sugar extra aromatic, and really incorporates the fresh orange flavor.
- Use heavy cream to brush the scones before they bake. It makes the scones nice and golden.
Other Cream Scone Recipes You Might Love:
Com’ere to me. 😍
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and cold
- 1 egg, large
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, plus more for brushing
- 2 Tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking spray).
- In a large bowl, mix granulated sugar and orange zest together.
- Next, add in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
- Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter (or using a standing mixer), until the dough resembles coarse crumbs (and the butter is about the size of peas). Set aside.
- Whisk egg, sour cream, heavy cream, orange juice, and almond extract together. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Add in the cranberries, and mix until combined.
- Turn the scone dough out onto a floured surface, and pat into a 1” thick circle. Cut the dough into 8 triangles.
- Place the scones on your baking tray, spacing them evenly apart.
- Brush the tops of each scone with a little heavy cream, and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown on top.
- While the scones are cooling, whisk together melted butter, vanilla extract, orange juice, and orange zest together. Next, whisk in powdered sugar, beginning with 1 cup. If the glaze seems too thin, add in the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
- Pour the glaze over the scones.
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