Scones have always been one of my favorite treats for breakfast, brunch, or tea. They feel fancy but still cozy, and look impressive but are easy to make.
Growing up, my dad would make chocolate chip scones for holiday breakfasts, and berry scones in the summer. We would snatch them warm out of the oven while the chocolate was still melty and the berries were juicy, scalding pockets of flavor amidst the soft, buttery breakfast bread.
For Christmas breakfast this past year, my dad went out on a limb and tried an orange cranberry variation that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. This recreation of those delicious scones is perfect for citrus season. The fluffy, buttery scones taste so fresh and light with the addition of orange juice and orange zest, and the dried cranberries bring just the right amount of sweetness.
Drizzle them with honey and an extra pat of butter and you’ve got the dreamiest of breakfasts, or cover them with clotted cream and jam for the most elegant and delicious tea with friends. No matter how you serve them, orange cranberry scones will be the stars of the show. I made these over the snow days last week and have been nibbling on them every day. I get so excited each morning to come downstairs and toast one to have with my tea for what feels like such a fancy breakfast. :)
Orange cranberry scones are flaky, buttery, and moist with a fresh citrus flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness from dried cranberries.
Orange Cranberry Scones
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks), cold butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice (from 1 orange)
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons milk
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture using two knives, a pastry blender, or quick hands, until there are pea-sized clumps throughout the flour. Stir in the dried cranberries.
Combine the orange zest and orange juice and pour into the flour mixture. Add the milk and mix just until combined, being careful not to overwork the dough. If the dough is too dry, add additional milk, one tablespoon at a time.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a round or rectangle that is about 1 ½ to 2-inches thick. Cut into 6 to 8 pieces (6 for large scones, 8 for reasonable-sized scones ;)) and put each piece on a baking sheet a few inches apart from each other. Brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately.
Scones are best the day they are made, however, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them.