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Cranberry Orange Scones | Christmas Morning Scones

These Cranberry Orange scones are an easy treat to make for breakfast. The cranberries and pistachios add a festive touch, add a drizzle of icing and it is indeed a treat on a special day! Vegetarian | Egg Free

Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones for  breakfast  has  become a  Christmas  tradition over the past few years, followed by binge watching Star Wars if it is too cold to step outside. This  year  we  watched The last  Jedi few  days  before, leaving us with just the hunger for scones :-). 

Our favorite is this Christmas Morning Scones, so called because of its bright fresh flavors and colors. Orange, cranberries, and pistachios flavor these scones. Easy to make, and  easier to share.

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What are Scones

Scones are individual sized baked goodies. These are similar to quick breads and usually lightly sweetened. When scones have a slightly crumbly texture. A well made  scone is crumbles in the mouth and is a perfect companion for that morning cup  of  joe.

Why Make Scones

To me scones  are one of the  easiest bakes. Making scones does not take much prep  work and they the same goes for baking time as well. I can make these beauties at home in less than the time it takes for me to go to the store and buy a box.  

Breakfast scones usually are lightly sweetened. Butter, jam, honey etc are served along on the side. But Christmas calls for little indulgence, so there are little sweeter than usual.

The scone are not overly sweet, but the orange glaze drizzled over is sweet;-) .  The   wonderful  flecks of red  from  the  cranberries  and  the  green  from the  pistachios  adds to the  festive  touch. Now  you know  why I call it  Christmas Morning Scone !

Cranberry Orange Scones

Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Scones

Flour, butter, sugar, milk/cream, and eggs are the typical ingredients for a scone. This one does not have eggs. It happened accidentally – and the texture was right! So we continued making it without eggs.

This version adds dried cranberries and chopped pistachios in the dough for specks for red and green. Orange zest and orange icing gives the scones a touch of fresh flavors.


I make these scones with all-purpose flour. Often times I make scones with  part  whole wheat flour. The recipe works well with partial substitutions – up to 50%. If you You may have to add 1 to 2 Tbsp extra liquid to bind everything together.  For Christmas  I make it with all  white  flour (All purpose) . Though I don’t recommend a specific brand for this recipe, the flour I use as re  always unbleached and  un-bromated, and whenever possible organic.

Making the Christmas Morning Scones

This is an easy morning bake. Mix  everything  scoop on to a  baking sheet and  bake. No shaping , resting, or waiting. No distractions from unwrapping and enjoying the  presents 🙂  or curl up and  finish reading that  book –  which currently in my case happens to be one on  WordPress!

Making Cranberry Orange Scones

Unlike  cakes  and  breads  the  dough for  scones is  not  homogeneous and  smooth.  The dough has small pieces of butter is distributed more or less uniformly throughout. The butter melts when baking, creating the characteristic crumbly texture.

The  fastest  way to achieve this is  to add all the dry ingredients to a  food  processor  along  with  chopped  cold  butter  and  pulse a  few times.  In 4 to 5  pulses the mix turns to a  coarse bread  crumb texture. If needed do it in batches, making sure that the flour to butter ratio stays same in each batch.

Transfer the crumbly mix to a large bowl and  fold  in the fruits, zest, and nuts. All the flavor for the cranberry orange scones are in the dough now. All it needs now is a binder.

Stir in the liquid (milk) and gently mix. Mix until all the flour is evenly moist. Be careful at this step, you can use your hands or a spatula. I prefer a spatula as the dough tends to be sticky and a silicon spatula does the job really well.

Do not  overwork the  dough.

Baking Scones

Bake the scones in a hot oven – about 400℉ (200 – 210℃). Preheat the oven as you start before you make the dough. Just scoop the dough using an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

To Ice or Not

Cool the scones on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. At this point you have the option to ice or not. My preference is to ice as I usually serve these plain with coffee/tea. Also the orange flavored icing and chopped cranberries are a festive touch.

Another option will be to brush some cream/egg wash on top of the scones and sprinkle sparking sugar just before baking.

Prep Ahead

You can make the ahead  in the  dry form , i.e.  without  adding  milk,  and chilled in the  fridge overnight.  In the  morning  pre-heat  the  oven, take  out  the  mix  and  fold  in the  cold milk when ready to bake.

Cranberry Orange Scones on a cooling rack

Cranberry Orange Scones

By Syama
These cranberry orange scones are easy to make and add a festive touch. Orange zest and the orange flavored glaze add fresh flavors while the cranberries and pistachios add a pop of color.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Servings 10 to 12 scones


  • AP Flour – 2 C
  • Baking Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Sugar – 3/4 C
  • Salt – A pinch
  • Butter – 1/2 C Cold
  • Chopped Dried Cranberries – 1/3 C
  • Chopped Pistachios – 1/3 C
  • Orange Zest – 1 Tbsp
  • Milk – 3/4 C

For Glaze

  • Orange Juice – 4 Tbsp
  • Icing Sugar – 1 C
  • Fine Orange Zest – 2 Tsp
  • Vanilla extract – 2 Drops
  • Finely chopped Pistachios – 2 Tbsp


  • Start with all cold ingredients. Pre-heat oven to 400°F (210°C)
  • Place the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt, in the jar of a food processor. Pulse twice to combine evenly. Chop the cold butter into half inch cubes and add to the flour mix. Add the sugar. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the mix looks like coarse bread crumbs. Turn out into a mixing bowl. Alternately you could cut the butter into the flour sugar mix in a bowl using a pastry cutter or 2 forks.
  • Add the cranberries, the chopped pistachios, and the orange zest. Use a spatula and gently mix everything. Drizzle the cold milk and stir again with the spatula until all the flour is moist. Do not knead or work the dough more. The dough should just hold together when scooped up .
  • Using an ice cream scoop transfer the dough in batches to a cookie sheet. Place each scoop about 2 to 3 inches apart from each other. Do not flatten.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops begin to turn golden .
  • Remove from the oven, cool in pan for a minute and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool for at least 10 minutes before icing.


  • Take the icing sugar in a bowl. add the orange zest and vanilla extract . Pour enough of the orange juice to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over the cooled scones . Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top.


  • I prefer not to make this dough by hand as the body heat is enough to soften the butter.
  • You can substitute  up to 50% of  the  flour  with  whole  wheat flour for a  healthier version. In this  case  increase  the  liquids  by one  to 2  tablespoons.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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