These Cranberry-Orange Scones are lightly crisp on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, with little cranberry pops, a bright orange zing, and a blood orange glaze!
A lot of scone recipes out there direct you to form little wedge shapes, which is adorable, but I find that, deep inside, I’m a bit of a scone snob. I want to believe that there’s a little of the Brit in me 🇬🇧 and I want the shape of my scones to reflect that. A proper British Scone looks a lot like an American biscuit, but with a fluffy, soft interior that holds a hint of sweetness. In this recipe, I add a beaten egg to help achieve that fluffiness and mix in just a few tablespoons of zest infused sugar to bring sweetness without being cloying. And I shape mine like British scones. For fancy reasons.
Recipe makes ten 2-inch scones
Cranberry-Blood Orange Scones
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp blood orange zest (regular orange zest can be used)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
- 10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of milk, for egg wash
Blood Orange Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp blood orange juice
- Cranberries can be quite tart, so I find poaching and sugaring them to be a great way to keep their cranberry-ness, while adding sweetness. Also, they make pretty good snacking! Put 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and simmer until the sugar is completely melted. Take off the heat and add the cranberries. Allow mixture to cool completely. When cooled, strain the cranberries, and then lay them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for about an hour. Toss the cooled (and now sticky!) cranberries in granulated sugar to coat and put them on a rack over your baking sheet. Place in freezer until frozen, then transfer to a covered container or zipper top bag until ready to use.
Let’s Make Some Scones!
- Before you do anything else, add the orange zest to the granulated sugar and rub, rub, rub with your fingers to get all the oils from the zest incorporated into the sugar. You wouldn’t think this would make much of a difference over just adding the ingredients separately, but it really does infuse more of an orange flavor into every bite of the finished scone!
- In a food processor mix your two flours, the zest infused granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse briefly until the butter is the size of peas. I think I gave it 4-5 pulses.
- Pour the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and add your poached and sugared cranberries, tossing them around to coat in the flour. Make a well in the center with your fingers. Whisk together one egg and the heavy cream and pour into the well. Mix everything with a spatula until just blended. The dough will look lumpy and dryish. This is a good look for scone dough.
- Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gently press it into a ball. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll or press the dough to about 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 2-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Just cut straight down and up, with no twisting, to make sure the scones rise well. Place the cut scones on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps, gently press them out, and cut more circles. At this point, place the scones in the freezer for 15 minutes just to firm the butter back up. While that’s happening, preheat your oven to 400°.
- Whisk together your last egg with a tablespoon of milk. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes. The instinct is to just get pick one up and eat it, but scones are delicate creatures. Give them a minute to get themselves together. Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and blood orange juice to drizzle over the scones. Again, you can use regular oranges and orange juice, but the blood oranges give the glaze an amazing purply-pink color that makes me so happy 😁
- As a delightfully delicious alternative, add a dollop of blood orange curd (use my lemon curd recipe, but substitute with blood oranges) and a bit of Greek yogurt. This is my favorite way to eat scones cuz it also makes me feel so fancy.