Cranberry-Orange Scones

  • Yield: 6 pieces

According to The King Arthur Flour Cookbook, the name of this delicious relative of a biscuit is probably derived from the Gaelic sgonn, because scones are believed to have originated in Scotland. And Scone, Scotland, was the capital of a powerful kingdom in the Middle Ages. The ancient sgonns consisted merely of oat or barley flour, plus a bit of water, fried on a griddle.


1 1/2cups flour
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4cup sugar, plus extra for decorating tops of scones
2teaspoons grated orange peel (optional)
1/2cup dried cranberries
1/2cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
Orange juice (as needed)
1teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar, plus the orange peel, if desired. Stir in cranberries. Cut in butter with knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Put egg in a large measuring cup, and add enough orange juice to raise the level of liquid to 1/2 cup. Add vanilla and beat lightly. Pour into dry mixture, and stir just until blended.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured board, and (using floured hands) knead the mixture gently 8 to 10 times. Gently shape dough into a circle, and cut it into six pie-shaped wedges.
  4. Place scones on a greased cookie sheet, and sprinkle tops with additional sugar. Bake for 12 minutes, checking halfway through; if the bottoms appear brown, reduce heat to 400 degrees for remaining 6 minutes.

—Tinky Weisblat