Cranberry-Orange Scones

When I had a specialty-food store in East Hampton, NY, I learned lots of tricks for cooking and baking ahead. Every morning we made thousands[ of muffins and scones, and I discovered that we could make all the muffin batters the night before, refrigerate them and simply scoop them into muffin pans and bake them in the morning! I started using the same techniques at home: I love treating weekend guests to these cranberry-orange scones, but I also cherish the few mornings I get to sleep late, so I make the dough a day early, cut out the scones and refrigerate them. In the morning, all I do is throw them in the oven and then drizzle them with an orange glaze. Hot delicious scones for breakfast, and no stress!]

Total Time:
55 min
30 min
25 min

14 to 16 scones

  • 4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (2 oranges)
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add to the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough and mix on low speed until blended.

  • Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough just under 1 inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on the prepared sheet pan. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out and cut more circles.

  • Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes, then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the scones.

  • Photograph by Johnny Miller

Make-Ahead Plan:

Follow the recipe until the end of step 3; cover and refrigerate the unbaked scones on the sheet pan overnight. In the morning, brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar; bake and glaze as directed.

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Ultimate Baking Guide