I’ve always had a sort of love-hate thing about scones. In theory, I love them and really, what’s not to love? A delicious, airy, lightly sweetened or sometimes savory pastry made with lots of butter. But most of the time, the scones I’ve eaten have been too dry and too heavy – a total disappointment.
And then this recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones came into my life. My sister-in-law Pam made these scones one time when our family was visiting, and one bite into it – I knew that we had struck gold. They were tender and almost flaky, moist, perfectly sweetened, and warm out of the oven…the scones I had always dreamed of!
We’ve made these scones with dried cranberries and a little orange zest but the recipe can actually be varied based on what you have in your pantry – raisins, currants, chocolate chips, etc.
I should note that this batter is very dense and sticky, so a powerful stand mixer works best. If you are using a hand mixer, as you get toward the final steps in mixing the ingredients, you might need to finish mixing by hand.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (about 1 large orange)
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt (do not use fat-free yogurt if possible)
- ½ cup dried cranberries (or raisins, currants, chocolate chips, berries, etc)
- Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes on high until pale and fluffy.
- Add orange zest and mix until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Slowly add the flour and baking powder mixture into the egg mixture and mix until blended.
- Then add yogurt, again mixing until blended. Add cranberries and mix until blended throughout the dough.
- Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. (This recipe may be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.)
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Filling a ⅓ cup measuring cup, make scones and form into round balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for 10-13 minutes more until lightly golden.