If you like a fun breakfast, then this orange cranberry scones recipe is for you. The cheeriness of orange flavor studded with sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a delightful citrus glaze are the perfect way to wake up in the morning! All you need to go with them, is a hot cup of coffee.
I started making scones for my kids years ago when I realized that the simple act of adding fruit to biscuit dough made them feel like they were having a special breakfast without any added sugar.
At the time, we were all eating gluten-free for the benefit of my husband who has celiac disease, which you’ll see reflected in our gluten-free blueberry scones recipe.
Since then, the kids and I have switched back to mostly using wheat as some of us respond as poorly to some of the gluten-free ingredients (guar and xanthin gum particularly) as he does to wheat.
I will admit that move to making wheat for us, and gluten-free for him has complicated my life a little bit – now I have two batches of nearly everything to make.
And because of it, I find myself developing recipes that work well with both gluten-free and traditional flours to minimize what I have to think about when baking.
This is one of those recipes where you can swap between a good gluten-free flour mix, and wheat flour with just a few tweaks.
I love making scones based on what fruit is in season. I think we’re pretty much at the end of citrus season (is there a clear season? I’ve read conflicting information.), so we’re enjoying orange cranberry scones for now before moving on to gluten-free strawberry scones as soon as strawberries come back in season (soon!).
Orange Cranberry Scones
- Scone dough is very similar to biscuit dough, but the finished product is somewhat heavier, and without the flakiness you expect in biscuits. that’s part of the reason that while I wouldn’t recommend using a gluten-free baking powder biscuits recipe for regular wheat biscuits, but scones recipes are fairly interchangeable. (you can read more about the characteristics of scones on this Wikipedia article).
- This is a great dough to make ahead. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out and baking for a quick breakfast treat in the morning.
- Chopped fresh cranberries can be substituted for the dried cranberries. One of my favorite things is to stock up on and freeze fresh cranberries during the holiday season so I can use them in recipes like cranberry kuchen, and add them to our favorite Brussels sprouts side dish throughout the year. In this recipe, the dried cranberries make for a nice sweet flavor, but fresh cranberries, make for juicy pockets of tartness that are to die for.
- When making scones, I like to shortcut the process, by using my food processor to cut in the butter. If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry cutter, fork, or spatula, to cut it in. The result is essentially the same, it will just take longer.
Orange Cranberry Scones (With gluten-free instructions)
- 2 cups of flour, or gluten-free flour mix
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 4 Tablespoons orange juice
- zest from one orange
- 3/4 cup dried or fresh cranberries
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar, and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can do this using a food processor, pastry blender, or fork.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy
- Add in milk and 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and pour over dry ingredients
- Stir until just moistened
- Stir in cranberries, and all but 1 teaspoon of orange zest
- Mix until you have a cohesive dough, but do not over mix
- Turn dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and shape into a 1” thick circle with floured hands.
- Cut dough into 8 wedges. Optionally, you can use a spatula to slide the wedges away from each other so they don’t stick back together as that rise in the oven.
- Place in the middle of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- While the scones are baking, make glaze by combining remaining orange juice, and zest with melted butter and powdered sugar
- Remove scones from oven when they have begun to brown on the edges.
- Separate wedges, top with glaze, and serve
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