Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones

Fresh cranberry season may just be one of my favorite seasons. I love tart cranberries in pie, in sauce and in these cranberry orange sourdough scones. This sourdough scone recipe is the perfect blend of sweet orange zest and tart cranberries all baked up into a flaky and delicious scone. I add cold sourdough discard which keeps the dough chilled, and the result is flaky sourdough scone layers with an orange glaze drizzled on top. Talk about delicious. Bring sourdough scones to your next brunch or get-together. They are the best!

Important Ingredients in Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones

  • Sourdough DiscardIn order to avoid a stronger sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe. Use discard cold from the fridge for best results.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is what gives the scones their beautiful rise. It activates from the moisture and heat when baked, giving a beautiful rise.
  • All-Purpose FlourScones work best with an all-purpose flour or flour with a lower protein content. In a scone recipe, the less gluten that develops, the better. This results in a more tender scone.
  • Cranberries: I love the tartness from fresh cranberries in this scone recipe. Pulsing the cranberries in a blender until they are roughly chopped is one of the keys to this recipe. It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
  • Orange: You will need two large oranges for this recipe. Fresh orange juice and orange zest are the keys to the orange flavor in these delicious cranberry orange sourdough scones.
  • Unsalted Butter:  I always use unsalted butter in baking. You can control the flavor much better when you use unsalted butter. Salt content varies between brands of salted butter, and your baked goods may come out too salty when using salted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, decrease the salt a little bit in the recipe. Use cold, chilled butter for best results.
  • Sugar: White, granulated sugar is used to sweeten the scone dough, but the scones themselves are not overly sweet. The sweetness comes through from the glaze which uses powdered sugar.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones

Grate Cold Butter

When it comes to making pastry, scones, or biscuits, one of my favorite tips is to grate the butter into the flour mixture. This works best with butter straight from the freezer or fridge. Simply grate it into a pile and add the small shreds of butter to the flour mixture. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter to achieve pea-sized pieces of butter throughout the flour mixture.

Mix Scone Ingredients

Dry Ingredients: Use all-purpose flour or flour with a low protein content (8-10%) and whisk it with sugar, baking powder, and salt. Grate in cold butter and toss everything together. Pulse the cranberries in a blender until they are roughly chopped and add them to the flour mixture. Fluff together with a fork until combined.

Liquid Ingredients: Whisk together the cold sourdough discard (straight from the fridge) with the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla extract and juice from an orange. Once the ingredients are incorporated, add in the zest from one orange. Whisk again until combined.

Mix Together: Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Use a fork to combine until the dough is moistened throughout. Knead the dough a couple of times, being careful not to work the gluten too much, just until the flour is completely incorporated. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a splash of milk or cream.

Shape Scone Dough

Pat the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Shape into a round disc, about 8 inches in diameter. Using a pastry cutter, cut the disc into quarters. Then cut each quarter again until you have 8 large scones. Separate the scones, spreading them out on the parchment paper, and place the parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Note: If you prefer making 16 scones instead of 8, shape the dough into a square and cut scones into 16 smaller squares.

Bake Cranberry Orange Scones

Baking scones at a high heat activates the baking powder for a beautiful rise and turns chilled butter into steamy air pockets that make the scone light and airy. Preheat the oven to 425ºF before baking these scones. Bake for 12-15 minutes until puffed up, flaky and baked all the way through. If you notice the scones are browning too quickly on the bottom, decrease the heat or place a baking stone on the rack below the scones.

Mix the Orange Glaze

While the scones are baking, mix up this quick orange glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream, juice from the orange and orange zest. The zest is what gives it the bright orangey flavor that makes these scones so delicious! After the scones have cooled about 5 minutes, drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones, being sure to completely cover each scone with glaze. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover scones?

Leftover scones are best eaten warm or within 24 hours of baking. To store for longer I stick them in an airtight bag and freeze them for up to a month. Defrost and warm up a bit to enjoy.

Can I freeze scone dough?

Yes! I like to cut my scone dough and then freeze the dough. This dough can be wrapped or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, pull them out from the freezer and bake from frozen. Add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

My scone dough was very sticky. Should I add more flour?

Depending on the water content in your cranberries, eggs and sourdough discard, it is possible that your scone dough could be a little sticky and need a little extra flour. You can add a little extra, a few Tablespoons at a time if needed. I prefer a more moist texture to my scones, so this dough is a little more wet than a pie crust.

Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones

Amy
Cranberry orange sourdough scones are the perfect blend of sweet orange zest and tart cranberries all baked up into a flaky and delicious scone. Using cold sourdough discard makes them extra flaky and delicious. Drizzle on a sweet orange glaze and you'll have scones for breakfast in no time!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Cranberry Orange Scones

  • 380 grams all-purpose flour about 2 1/2 cups
  • 65 grams granulated sugar about 1/3 cup
  • 13 grams baking powder about 1 Tablespoon
  • 4 grams salt about 1 teaspoon
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, cold 8 Tablespoons
  • 100 grams fresh cranberries about 1 cup, roughly chopped in a blender
  • 120 grams sourdough discard about 1/2 cup
  • 2 large eggs about 100 grams
  • 60 grams heavy cream about 1/4 cup
  • 40 grams milk about 3 Tablespoons
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • zest from one large orange reserve a little for the glaze if desired
  • 4 grams orange juice from the large zested, orange

Glaze

  • 130 grams powdered sugar about 1 cup
  • 15 grams heavy cream
  • 30 grams orange juice from one orange
  • zest from an orange about 1 teaspoon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Grate the cold butter and whisk into the flour mixture until the little pieces of butter are spread throughout and coated with flour. Alternatively you can use a pastry cutter.
  • Pulse the cranberries in a blender until they are roughly chopped. Add the cranberries to the flour mixture and whisk together with a fork.
  • To a separate bowl whisk together the sourdough discard, eggs, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest until smooth and incorporated.
  • Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork or spoon until moistened and sticking together. If you have a lot of flour leftover in the bowl, add a little extra cream a teaspoon or so at a time until it comes together. Scone dough will resemble pie dough more than cookie dough. The key is to not overmix it.
  • Pull out a sheet of parchment paper and flour it. Turn the dough out and pat into a circular shape, about 1 inch thick.
  • Using a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the scones into eight triangular slices.
  • Place the parchment paper with the scones on it on top of a baking sheet. Separate the scones so they aren't touching and bake the scones for 12-15 minutes (depending on how crispy you want the edges). 
  • While the scones are baking, whip up the simple glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, orange juice and orange zest. Add a little more cream if you want a thinner consistency.
  • Once scones are finished baking, pull them out of the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before pouring on the glaze. Enjoy!

Notes

Make-ahead option: Freeze the scones before baking and keep frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven and bake, adding a few extra minutes to the bake time. 
Sourdough DiscardIn order to avoid a stronger sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe.
Keyword cranberry orange scones, cranberry orange sourdough scones, sourdough cranberry orange scones, sourdough scone recipe, sourdough scones
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7 Comments

  1. These are soooo good! The recipe is very easy. I made it exactly as written. Turned out perfectly. Great way to use the fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving.

  2. Our family rates these scones an 8/10! The flavour is beautiful as the orange gives it a lovely tangy sweetness ❤️ I gifted these to my friend for her birthday and she loved them too. Great, easy to follow recipe.

    1. You should be able to. As the cranberries defrost them may add more moisture to the dough, so you may need to add a little extra flour depending on how quickly you work.