It’s time to grab a bag or two of fresh cranberries and get baking! I love this recipe for orange cranberry scones, which are full of the pop of sour cranberries and then glazed with white chocolate for a luxurious finish. They are great for a weekend breakfast, a snack with tea, or a holiday brunch.
Hey, it’s November! Wow, it feels like this year has been soooo long. I can barely remember last month. And it was yesterday. 🙂
Anyway, we are getting into the countdown for Thanksgiving. Scary! But it doesn’t have to be and I’m going to help you out with some great recipes.
I have a couple of pie related roundup posts coming up. And I’ll see if I can put together a nice timeline post + recipes to keep you organized. At the very least you should check out my Thanksgiving tag. Lots of great ideas there!
Right now I have I great idea for Thanksgiving breakfast, holiday brunches, Christmas morning or any time you need a treat. I absolutely cannot resist buying bags of fresh cranberries this time of year and doing some baking. Two years ago I made soft, tender fresh cranberry cookies, which totally belong on your holiday cookie tray. Last year, I came up with fresh cranberry cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Yum!
And this year I have orange cranberry scones all drizzled with a white chocolate glaze. These are based on my previous recipe for strawberry and dark chocolate scones. It’s a great recipe and up for all sorts of flavor change-ups!
What do you need?
- Dry Ingredients – The basics: flour, leavener, sugar, salt.
- Butter – Super cold for the flakiest pastries.
- Buttermilk – Tang and moisture.
- Cranberries – Fresh berries all chopped up.
- Orange Zest – Just a little, but it makes a big impact!
- White Chocolate Glaze – Chocolate, cream, and butter melted together.
Tip: No buttermilk? For a substitute use whole milk, take out a tablespoon from the measuring cup and add a tablespoon of lemon juice.
How to make this
To make orange cranberry scones mix together flour, sugar, butter, cranberries, orange zest, and buttermilk to make a sticky dough. Then shape the dough into rounds or wedges and bake until browned and fluffy. Drizzle with white chocolate glaze.
- Cut the butter into the flour and sugar mixture until you have the texture of cornmeal.
- Add cranberries, orange zest and buttermilk. Mix to make a dough.
- Turn out onto a floured board and pat into a 3/4 inch high circle.
- Punch out rounds and put them in the freezer to chill.
- Bake the scones until browned.
- Make the glaze and drizzle over the top of each.
1. Make the flour mixture
Chop up the butter into cubes and then pop it in the freezer to get a little extra chill.
Scoop out the flour, or use a kitchen scale, and then sweep off the excess from your measuring cup and put the flour into the food processor. Add the sugar, leaveners, and salt. Mix it up and then add in the butter. Pulse until you have no big chunks of butter, then stop.
Put the flour mixture into a bowl and then into the fridge to keep cold.
2. Prep Mix ins
Measure out and wash the cranberries. Check for bad ones then put them into the now empty food processor. Pulse everything a few times until the cranberries are chopped but not pureed.
Wash your orange with warm water and dish soap to remove the wax. (And then rinse it well! Just say no to soapy oranges. 🙂 ) Using a microplane, or similar, zester, zest the orange.
3. Make the Dough and Shape
Add the cranberries, orange zest, and buttermilk to the flour mixture. Mix in with a large silicone spatula until you have a sticky dough and no dry flour. If need be, get your hands in there to get everything mixed in.
Now move the dough to a floured board and pat it out. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter, punch out rounds and move them to a baking sheet. You can use a larger or smaller cutter, note though that the number of scones you get will vary with the size of the cutter.
To keep things very chilled and make sure your scones are all flaky, put the baking sheet in the freezer for a bit. I generally freeze them for anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat your oven to 375F while your scones are chilling. Then bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they are cooked through and lightly browned.
Once your scones are all baked, let them cool, and then make the glaze. This is totally optional! They are awesome without it, but the glaze is fun and great if you are serving them to company.
Tip: If you want to make them even more festive looking, dust the scones with red sanding sugar right after you glaze them.
To make the glaze, finely chop up a 4-oz bar of white chocolate.
Just make sure you are using actual white chocolate! Check the label for cocoa butter and stay away from brands using other fats like palm oil. If you can find real white chocolate chips (not the fake ones), you can use those instead of the bar.
Heat up your cream in the bowl of double boiler until it’s simmering. Add the chocolate and mix it in. Once your chocolate is all melted, stir in the butter. Then set the glaze (also known as a ganache) aside to cool a little.
Right now the glaze is very warm and thin. Once it cools it will have enough thickness to stay on the scones.
When the glaze is ready, drizzle it over the scones.
If you try my recipe for Orange Cranberry Scones, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Orange Cranberry Scones with White Chocolate Glaze
- 2 cups (10 oz) cake flour, or all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 8 tbsp COLD unsalted butter (4 oz), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
- zest from one orange
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) heavy cream
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In in the bowl of food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal and there aren't any large chunks of butter, about 10 1-second pulses. Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl and put it in the refrigerator.
- Add the cranberries to the now empty bowl of the food processor and pulse them until they are a mix of finely and coarsely chopped.
- Into the bowl with flour, add the chopped cranberries, orange zest, and buttermilk. Fold everything into the flour until you have a rather wet dough no dry flour. (You may need to use your hands to get everything mixed in.)
- Turn out the dough onto a well floured board. Pat into a rough circle about 3/4 inch thick.
- Grease and flour a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Using your biscuit cutter, punch out scones. Go straight down and don't twist the cutter. Reform the dough scraps and continue cutting. You will get 11-12 scones.
- Place the scones on the baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake the scones for 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Add the cream to the top of a double boiler and bring to a simmer.
- Take the double boiler off the heat and add the white chocolate. (The top bowl of the boiler will still be over the hot water.) Wait 30 seconds and then begin whisking in the white chocolate until it is melted.
- Remove the bowl to the counter and whisk in the butter.
- Let the white chocolate glaze cool for about 15 minutes, or until it's about body temperature. Drizzle the glaze over the scones.
- Flour: I use cake flour here for lighter, fluffier scones since my usual King Arthur flour is high protein. If you are using a low protein Southern flour, like White Lily, no need to switch to cake flour.
- Measuring the Flour: Use the scoop and sweep method of measuring. Dip the measuring cup into the flour, scoop up flour, and sweep off the excess. Or use a kitchen scale.
- White Chocolate: Make sure the chocolate you are using contains cocoa butter and not palm oil or other non-chocolate oils. Many brands of white chocolate chips are not actually cocoa butter. I often use a 4-oz bar instead of chips for that reason. If you can find actual white chocolate chips, feel free to use them.