Cranberry Scones Recipe

Cranberry scones drizzled with white chocolate. Sorta sounds like an easy and arguably healthy Thanksgiving breakfast, doesn’t it?

Cranberry Scones Recipe

Cranberry scones. They’re easy, they’re quick, they’re arguably healthy, and they’re what you need in your life if you get a little crazy about cranberries come Thanksgiving—or any time of year, for that matter. The scones are made in the classic manner with cream to ensure a delicate flakiness. What’s not so classic about them is how the tart cranberries are perfectly offset by the chunks of sweet white chocolate. We’re not complaining.Angie Zoobkoff

Cranberry Scones Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 15 M

Ingredients

  • For the cranberry scones
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, preferably organic
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (99 grams) roughly chopped fresh cranberries or whole frozen cranberries, thawed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the white chocolate glaze (optional)
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, preferably organic, plus more to taste

Directions

  • Make the cranberry scones
  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Toss in the butter and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, blend everything until the butter is in pea-size crumbs. Add the fresh or frozen cranberries, dried cranberries, and white chocolate and toss to coat with the flour mixture.
  • 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir just until everything is moistened, taking care to not overmix the dough or your scones will turn out dense rather than delicate.
  • 4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it 4 times. No more than 4 times. No less than 4 times. Do not overwork the dough. Form the dough into a flat circle that measures 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in diameter. Cut the dough into 8 large wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) between scones. Bake the scones until they’re golden on the bottom, 16 to 18 minutes. If you’re uncertain if they’re done, break one open and it should have the same light and flaky consistency throughout. If it has any dense doughy spots in the center, return the pan to the oven for a couple more minutes. Place the scones on a wire rack and place the rack over the parchment-lined baking sheet to cool slightly.
  • Make the white chocolate glaze (optional)
  • 5. Just before serving the cranberry scones, combine the white chocolate and corn syrup in a small saucepan set over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts and then stir in the cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.
  • Serve the cranberry scones
  • 6. If using the white chocolate glaze, drizzle it glaze over the scones and wait a few minutes for the excess to drip onto the parchment paper below. Later you can just crumple the parchment paper on the baking sheet and toss it in the trash to make for easy cleanup. Serve the scones shortly after glazing.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Linda Christman

Nov 15, 2016

These cranberry scones melt in your mouth. I love cream scones for that reason. I was a little worried that the fresh cranberries would be too tart but that wasn’t the case. All the ingredients combined to deliver a perfect balance of not too sweet or tart. I wasn’t able to find fresh cranberries but I found frozen cranberries and they were perfect. I let them thaw for about an hour at room temperature and drained off the residual liquid. The only change I made was to pat the dough into a 9-inch square and cut it into 9 squares and then cut each square into a triangle resulting in 18 smaller scones. There was a nice crunch from the white chocolate chips that caramelized during baking. They are delicious and I’ll try this recipe with fresh and dried blueberries. The glaze recipe seemed a little stiff so I added another teaspoon of corn syrup. An alternative to the glaze would be to brush the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Again, just delicious! Perfect the for upcoming holidays.

Testers Choice
Susan Bingaman

Nov 15, 2016

I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, but I couldn’t resist these cranberry scones. You know, for science. They’re an absolute breeze to make—don’t let a bit of kneading scare you away. It’s literally 4 turns and you’re done. Plus the combination of flavors is killer. Who knew that cranberries, white chocolate, and lemon would be so good? A few things. If you have hot hands like I sometimes do, a pastry blender works just fine to work in the butter. I baked these guys for 17 minutes and cooled them right on the baking sheet. The amount of glaze was perfect for those 8 scones. The scones keep better if they aren’t glazed since the glaze gets a little sticky. But they do keep for a few days, which is great! They make a nice breakfast treat for workdays.

Testers Choice
Barb P.

Nov 15, 2016

This cranberry scones recipe produced an excellent scone with a good balance of sweet and tart. The scones are heavy with fruit and just enough batter to hold everything together. Unexpected encounters with bits of lemon zest added a little extra intrigue.

Testers Choice
Virginia L.

Nov 15, 2016

These cranberry scones are perfect to make for brunch. They’re easy to put together and can be made early in the morning or even the night before. They have a light, fluffy texture along with a crunchy top. The combination of fresh and dried cranberries along with the lemon zest give a big dimension to the flavor and keep the scones from being too sweet. I used Ghirardelli white chocolate and white chocolate chips and Ocean Spray Craisins. They still tasted fresh the day after I made them.

Testers Choice
Olivia G.

Nov 15, 2016

What a delightful treat—beautiful, tart cranberries in a buttery, golden pastry. The combination of cranberry and lemon might sound a bit too sour, but they’re mellowed by the rich dough and nicely complemented by the sweet white chocolate. There are several important steps to remember to ensure that your scones result in the flakiest, most tender, and most moist treat possible. First is to not break down the butter too much when cutting it into the flour. Bigger pieces of butter=lighter and less dense scones. Second is don’t overmix the dough—this will also make the scones too dense. The dough will not be completely homogeneous so do not be concerned if there are random pieces of butter dotted throughout. Finally, the most important part is the baking time. Do not overbake the scones if you don’t want a dry pastry! All your work getting the butter just right will be for naught if the dough gets overbaked. Beginning about 14 minutes in, gently lift a scone or two to check the bottom. Once they are a light tan and the pastries spring back slightly when pressed, they will be perfect. I let them cool about an hour before glazing. I just melted the white chocolate and corn syrup on 70% power in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring halfway through. I scraped the glaze into a resealable plastic bag and snipped the corner to drizzle a design on the scones. It was slightly too runny to keep the shape of the design and the icing lines melted together and absorbed into the scones. It didn’t harden per se, but it did get gummier and dried on the surface. I might try slightly less heavy cream next time—it was useful to make the icing stir better, but I would have liked the presentation better if the glaze designs had held up.

Testers Choice
Amy B.

Nov 15, 2016

I have always wanted to try my hand at baking scones but I’ve been too nervous to even try. When I saw this recipe, I knew this was the absolute perfect opportunity! Another plus was I had most of the ingredients—including the fresh cranberries—on hand. As I started, the first hint that this recipe was a winner was the smell of the lemon, cranberries, and white chocolate combining. The second was how easily everything came together despite my misgivings about my limited experience. The third, of course, was the taste! Yummy from the first bite to the last. As I bit into the first scone, I wanted to run out and share the rest with someone. That is how good they tasted! For anyone who may be nervous like me about kneading and making scones, trust me, this recipe is foolproof. I will definitely make these again in the near future!

Testers Choice
Jan C.

Nov 15, 2016

I’m pretty much a purist when it comes to my food and will always choose something of few ingredients over something with many. So my first reaction to this recipe was that there’s too many ingredients—it would be better with cranberries OR white chocolate but both? No. But I do love a good scone so I decided to give it a try. It was sooo much better than I expected. The white chocolate blended beautifully with the cranberries and the tart and sweet combination is a winner. I tried one scone straight out of the oven and it was delicious. I then tried another one with the glaze. I think I liked them both equally well and in the future would make a double batch and glaze some and leave some naked. The recipe is tasty enough for the unglazed scones to stand on their own. There were no white chocolate chips to be found here so I used a white chocolate bar, froze it, and then smashed it with a wooden mallet. It worked. I have a heavy hand when it comes to vanilla so I used 1 1/2 teaspoons. Yum. I baked these at 7300 feet and didn’t adjust the baking powder because other scone recipes I use don’t require it. This recipe was much wetter than others I have used so I think at this altitude I would benefit by reducing the baking powder to 8 grams in addition to increasing the flour. The scones had to bake about 5 minutes longer (for altitude issues) so at 10 minutes I put an insulated cookie sheet under the scones so the bottoms wouldn’t burn before the they finished baking. Some of the frozen cranberries “popped” while baking so there was some running of juice that burned a bit on the baking sheet. It didn’t affect the final outcome but it just wasn’t pretty. The glaze came together very quickly BUT I didn’t think the zest came through enough so in the future I would add a little more zest in addition to some lemon juice.

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