Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Nutmeg Glaze
These Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Nutmeg Glaze are full of warm, bright flavors that make them perfect for the holiday season.
An Easy Scone Recipe for the Holidays
Whether you’re looking for a holiday treat, a breakfast pastry to enjoy with a cup of coffee, or something to serve at your next brunch, these Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Nutmeg Glaze will fit the bill. They’re filled with bright orange zest and chewy dried cranberries, making them perfect for winter. The scones themselves are not especially sweet, with only 1/3 cup of brown sugar in the dough. But that’s where the powdered sugar glaze comes in, flavored with more fresh orange and the warmth of nutmeg. I drizzled the glaze in thin lines across these scones, but if you like even more sweetness, go ahead and slather them silly.
Scones can be found in a wide variety of shapes, but the method I return to most often is the pie-shaped one. I simply pat out the finished dough into a circle, cut it into wedges, and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. It’s a method that’s quick and easy, and it doesn’t leave scraps of leftover dough behind.
What You’ll Need
If you bake often, you’ll find that you have most of these ingredients on hand already!
For the Cranberry Orange Scones:
- Unsalted butter – Cold as can be! Chilled butter is the secret to perfectly flaky scones.
- All-purpose flour
- White whole wheat flour – This makes for a heartier scone without the overt earthiness of traditional whole wheat flour.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt – The crystals in kosher salt are larger than table salt, so if you’re using table salt as a substitute, you’ll have to use a bit less.
- Brown sugar
- Buttermilk – If you don’t want to buy buttermilk, you can combine a scant half-cup of whole milk with 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or vinegar.
- Freshly-squeezed orange juice – A bit of pulp is okay, but take out any seeds!
- Pure vanilla extract
- Egg – This should be at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge 30 to 45 minutes before you start the recipe.
- Dried cranberries – You could also use dried cherries instead for something different!
For the Orange Nutmeg Glaze:
- Powdered sugar
- Freshly-squeezed orange juice
- Orange zest – You don’t want big clumps of zest in your glaze, so make sure you grate the orange rind finely.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Fresh nutmeg – Fresh nutmeg is what makes this glaze so special. I highly recommend using fresh and not the ground nutmeg that comes in jars!
- Skip the glaze and sprinkle the scones with Demerara sugar before baking.
- Use juice from a blood orange to make the glaze a pretty shade of blush.
- Add some candied ginger or chopped walnuts along with the cranberries.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Nutmeg Glaze
If you’ve made biscuits before, scones are a similar process; the main difference is that you won’t need biscuit cutters for these scones.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Chill the butter. Cut the butter into small pieces and place them in a bowl. Cover and chill in the freezer for 5–10 minutes while you mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives to cut in the chilled butter. The mixture should resemble coarse meal, with some pea-sized pieces.
Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk, orange juice, vanilla, and beaten egg. Stir until just combined—it’s okay if you still have some streaks of flour in the dough. Fold in the cranberries.
Knead and shape the scones. Turn out the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Working quickly, knead the dough gently two or three times—just enough to help it come together. Pat the dough into a 7-inch circle and use a sharp knife to cut it into 8 wedges.
Bake the scones. Transfer the scones to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until the scones are puffed and golden brown.
Cool. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
Make the glaze. Whisk all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. If the glaze doesn’t seem pourable, add another teaspoon of orange juice.
Glaze the scones. Drizzle the glaze over the scones using a spoon. Let the icing set, then serve.
Tips for Success
Scones are easier to make than a lot of people expect, but there are still a few tricks to getting things right.
- Work quickly. This helps the butter in the dough stay as cold as possible. If the dough gets too warm, the scones will lose their shape in the oven and they won’t have flaky layers.
- Make cleanup easy. Before you’re about to glaze the scones, place the parchment-lined baking sheet under the cooling rack. This way, the parchment will catch any dripping glaze. Throw the parchment away when you’re done to make cleanup a breeze!
- Serve them fresh. Scones are best eaten on the day they are baked!
How to Store Leftovers
Store these Cranberry Orange Scones in an airtight container for a day or two. You can revive leftover scones a bit to bring back some of their flakiness; preheat a baking stone to 300°F in the oven, then place the scones on the stone and warm them for 5–10 minutes.
Can You Freeze Scones?
Yes, you can freeze scones. The best way to do it is to freeze the dough before baking, but if you have leftovers to freeze, you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. Cranberry Orange Scones will keep for up to 2 months; let them thaw at room temperature, then warm them up in the oven following the directions above.
Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Nutmeg Glaze
Sweet, chewy dried cranberries and orange zest make a festive addition to this easy scone recipe.
FOR THE SCONES:
- 1/2 c. Cold Unsalted Butter
- 1 c. All-purpose Flour
- 1 c. White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/3 c. Packed Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 2 Large Oranges, Zested
- 1/2 c. Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
- 2/3 c. Dried Cranberries
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 2 c. Powdered Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 Large Orange, Zested
- 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg (More If You're A Big Fan Of Nutmeg!)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut the butter into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sized pieces, place it in a covered bowl, and let chill in the freezer for 5–10 minutes while mixing the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest, breaking up any clumps of zest. With a rigid pastry blender or two knives, cut in the chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces. Make a well in the center, and then add buttermilk, orange juice, vanilla, and egg. Stir just until combined, taking care to not over mix. Gently fold in cranberries, just until barely combined. Try to work rather quickly, so the butter in the dough stays as cold as possible. If the dough gets too warm, the scones will lose their shape more easily in the oven and have a more relaxed appearance with less defined edges.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Working quickly, knead the dough gently two or three times to bring it all together. Do not over work the dough. Just make sure the dough is sticking together nicely. Pat dough into a 7-inch diameter circle and cut into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet. Bake until scones are puffed and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let scones sit on baking sheet for a couple minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
- While scones are still just slightly warm, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth. If the glaze is a bit stiff, add another teaspoon of freshly squeezed orange juice. Drizzle the orange nutmeg glaze over the scones using a spoon, as much as you desire. Allow icing to set completely, then serve.
For the cranberry orange scones:
For the orange nutmeg glaze:
Scones are best eaten on the day they are baked. To revive leftover scones' flaky texture the following day, preheat a baking stone to 300°F in the oven. Then place any number of scones on the stone and warm for 5–10 minutes. If you are planning to eat some of the scones the following day, wait to add glaze until after you have reheated them the next day.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 284mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 4gSugar: 51gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
I usually use cream in my scones, but I bet the buttermilk adds some delicious moistness, too! Love this flavor combo!
I really should try making some cream scones, have only used buttermilk. Thanks, Liz!
Love homemade scones as long as they aren’t dryer than dust. Do you know if I could use as all-purpose flour in this recipe?? I hate to buy whole wheat for a half cup. Let
Yes, go ahead and use all-purpose. Thanks, Wendy!
I’m right there with you on the scone obsession. I can’t get enough. There’s just something so perfect about a good scone and a cup of coffee to start the day. Beautifully done (loving the glaze!)