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Dried Cranberry Scones

Golden brown on the outside, buttery and tender on the inside, these dried cranberry scones are bursting with festive flavor. Sweet cranberries and orange zest are mixed into the dough and make each bite taste like Christmas. Craisin scones are the perfect addition to a holiday breakfast or brunch.

Try our dried cranberry muffins, dried cranberry cookies, and cranberry bliss bars for more easy dried cranberry recipes.

close-up of dried cranberry scones with orange glaze.

Cranberry scones recipe with dried cranberries

Perfect for the holiday season, these dried cranberry scones are an absolute crowd-pleaser and won’t last long once you bake up a bunch.

The combination of cranberries, buttermilk, and orange is a flavor match made in heaven.

They taste buttery and moist, with crispy, crumbly edges, a crunchy sugar topping, and a creamy orange icing as a sweet finishing touch.

The recipe is a breeze to make with pantry staples, and you don’t need any fancy equipment.

If you have a mixing bowl and a bag of dried cranberries, you can make these delightful holiday craisin scones!

And if you’re looking for more Christmas breakfast recipes, check out our Pillsbury cinnamon roll casserole, eggnog muffins, and Christmas morning punch.

dried cranberry scone ingredients.

Ingredients

Please refer to the recipe card below for the exact ingredient quantities to make these dried cranberry scones.

  • Dried cranberries: Sweet-tart dried cranberries are the star of the show. 1/2 cup dried cranberries is a good starting point, but you can add 3/4 or even a whole cup if you just can’t get enough.
  • Orange zest gives the scones a bright, citrus flavor that complements the cranberries so well. Use a citrus zester or microplane to zest your orange.
  • All-purpose flour: You need 2 cups of all-purpose flour plus a little extra to dust your work surface and hands.
  • Baking powder gives the scones a lift and contributes to the tender texture.
  • Granulated sugar adds sweetness. Feel free to use light brown sugar for a hint of molasses.
  • Butter: You can use salted butter or unsalted butter + 1/2 teaspoon salt. Either way, make sure your butter is very cold to create flaky layers in the scones.
  • Egg: A large egg gives the cranberry scones structure.
  • Buttermilk helps to bind the dough together and adds richness. Heavy cream can be substituted.
  • Coarse sugar (optional): I like to sprinkle my craisins scones with coarse sugar before baking to create a beautiful golden brown, crunchy topping.

Orange icing

For the perfect finishing touch, I made an icing with powdered sugar and a splash of fresh orange juice.

The icing is optional, but it looks extra festive and enhances the flavors of the scones.

You could also decorate your cranberry buttermilk scones with a drizzle of melted white chocolate or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Your holiday brekkie isn’t complete without Christmas fruit salad, Christmas banana bread, and hot chocolate.

How to make dried cranberry scones

step 1 zest orange.

1. Zest orange

  • Pour the granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Zest the orange directly onto the sugar to catch the aromatic orange oils. With your fingertips, gently rub the orange zest into the sugar.
step 2 add dry ingredients and cranberries.

2. Add dry ingredients and cranberries

  • Stir the flour, baking powder, and dried cranberries into the orange sugar.
step 3 add butter.

3. Add butter

  • Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the dough until pea-sized crumbs of butter form.
step 4 combine buttermilk and egg.

4. Combine buttermilk and egg

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
step 5 form the dough.

5. Form the dough

  • Pour the buttermilk-egg mixture over the flour mixture.
  • Mix together with a silicone spatula until moistened.
step 6 knead dough.

6. Knead dough

  • Turn the dough on a floured work surface. Gently knead the dough to form a dough ball. With floured hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch circle.
step 7 cut into wedges.

7. Cut into wedges

  • Using a sharp, floured knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough disk into 8 triangles.
step 8 freeze scones.

8. Freeze scones

  • Put the scone wedges on a small, lined baking sheet and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes.
step 9 brush scones.

9. Brush scones

  • Place the scone onto a lined baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Lightly brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
step 10 bake cranberry scones.

10. Bake

  • Bake the cranberry orange scones for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown.
  • Remove the scones from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
step 11 glaze cranberry scones.

11. Mix the glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones. Enjoy!

Baker’s tips

Follow these tips and tricks for perfect dried cranberry scones!

  • Cold ingredients are key: The butter, egg, and heavy cream must be super cold. The butter must be cold as the scones go in the oven. The butter will melt during baking, creating flaky layers and crumbly outside.
  • Measure the flour correctly: If you add too much flour, the dough becomes dry, and the cranberry scones won’t be tender and moist after baking. The best way is to measure the flour with a scale. Alternatively, fluff up the flour in the bag, then spoon it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • Don’t overwork the dough: Overmixing will form gluten, which will lead to dense, chewy scones. I like to combine the dry ingredients and butter by hand and then stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula. You could use a food processor, but it often overworks the dough.
  • Flour everything: Scone dough is sticky. Make sure to dust the work surface, your hands, and the knife or bench scraper with flour to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Freeze the dough: The dough must be cold to avoid over-spreading and achieve a tender center and crumbly exterior. I highly recommend freezing the shaped scones for 20 to 30 minutes before baking. After that, bake the scones until risen and golden brown.
  • Adjust the consistency of the glaze: The orange glaze should have a drizzling consistency. You can thin it out with more orange juice or thicken it with more powdered sugar.
dried cranberry oranges scones on a wooden board.

Variations

My dried cranberry scone recipe tastes delicious as is, but you can customize the flavor with mix-ins or ingredient swaps:

  • Spices: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or gingerbread spice to the scone dough for an extra festive taste.
  • Chopped nuts: Stir 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts into the dough.
  • White chocolate chips: Fold 1 cup white chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Lemon zest: Substitute the orange zest with lemon zest for lemon cranberry scones.
  • Other dried fruit: Swap dried cranberries for other dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, dried cherries, blueberries, or chopped Turkish apricots.
  • Fresh cranberries: Replace the dried cranberries with 1 cup of fresh cranberries. Handle the dough gently so as not to squish the berries.
cranberry orange buttermilk scones on a white plate.

Storage instructions

How to store dried cranberry scones

  • Store: Dried cranberry orange cranberry scones will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: Microwave a scone for 20 to 30 seconds or place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely with tin foil, and bake for 10 minutes at 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.

Freeze dried cranberry scones

Dried cranberry scones can be frozen baked or unbaked.

To freeze them unbaked, prepare and shape the scones. Then freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer the scones into a freezer bag and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

You can bake the unbaked scones from frozen. The baking time will be closer to 30 minutes.

To freeze baked scones, let them cool completely. Then, freeze in a freezer-friendly container or bag for up to 3 months.

Allow to thaw on the counter for a couple of hours before eating.

Make cranberry orange buttermilk scones ahead

If you want to serve freshly baked craisin scones the next day, prepare the recipe all the way through step 7.

Then, cover the baking sheet and store the unbaked scones in the refrigerator overnight.

The morning of, bake the chilled scones directly from the refrigerator.

More holiday breakfast recipes

dried cranberry scones.

Dried Cranberry Scones Recipe

Yield: 8 scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Golden brown on the outside, buttery and tender on the inside, these dried cranberry scones are bursting with festive flavor. Sweet cranberries and orange zest are mixed into the dough and make each bite taste like Christmas. Craisin scones are the perfect addition to a holiday breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups / 240 g / 8.5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup / 65 g / 2.3 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup / 115 g / 4 oz cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup / 130 g / 4.6 oz dried cranberries (craisins)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml / 4 fl oz cold buttermilk, plus 2 tbsp to brush the top
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup / 120 g / 4.2 oz powdered (confectioners’/icing) sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

Instructions

  1. Zest orange. Pour the granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl. Zest the orange directly onto the sugar to catch the aromatic orange oils. With your fingertips, gently rub the orange zest into the sugar.
  2. Add dry ingredients and cranberries. Stir the flour, baking powder, and dried cranberries into the orange sugar.
  3. Add butter. Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the dough until pea-sized crumbs of butter form.
  4. Combine buttermilk and egg. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
  5. Form the dough. Pour the buttermilk-egg mixture over the flour mixture. Mix together with a silicone spatula until moistened. It’s okay if the dough is a little crumbly. If the dough seems too wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry, incorporate another tablespoon of buttermilk.
  6. Knead dough. Turn the dough on a floured work surface. Gently knead the dough to form a dough ball. With floured hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch / 20 cm wide circle (about 1 inch / 2.5 cm tall).
  7. Cut into wedges. Using a sharp, floured knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough disk into 8 wedges. Try to cut down straight without making a saw motion.
  8. Freeze scones. Put the scone wedges on a small, lined baking sheet and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200° C / gas mark 6 while the scones freeze.
  10. Brush scones. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Place the scone onto the baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches / 5 cm apart. Lightly brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  11. Bake. Bake the cranberry orange scones for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown. Remove the scones from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Mix the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 231mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

Marilyn

Friday 2nd of February 2024

Quel blog magnifique ! Je viens de trouver votre blog et je suis vraiment enthousiasmée ! J'espère recevoir prochainement vos nouvelles parutions et j'ai vraiment envie, grace à mon mail que je vous laisse ci-dessous... Recevez toute mon amitié de puis la France et Merci beaucoup... Marilyn

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