The Lamplighter’s Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

When late Fall temperatures drop, we add these buttery, orange infused scones to our first-course breakfast menu here at The Lamplighter Bed & Breakfast. They disappear quickly, and are so easy to make! After baking hundreds of batches of these cranberry and orange flecked treats, we’re ready to share our recipe – may it become a favorite around your Holiday table!

INGREDIENTS

For the Scones

  • 1 C cold whole milk (or half & half)
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 10 Tbsp very cold, unsalted butter (move from refrigerator to freezer while prepping other ingredients)

For the Filling

  • 2 Tbsp softened (NOT MELTED) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (from 1 large orange)
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C dried cranberries
  • Hot water 

For the glaze

  • 1 C sifted powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream (2-3 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of orange zest (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Prep

  1. Preheat over to 375° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place dried cranberries in small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave until plump.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk (or half & half), vanilla, sugar and sea salt and whisk until dissolved.

Make Dough

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/2 Tbsp orange zest.
  2. Cut in with a pastry cutter, or grate the *very cold butter into the dry ingredients. Blend until butter pieces are the size of peas.
  3. Add the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough, or you’ll end up with dense, tough scones. If dough seems dry, and more milk (1 Tbsp at a time).

Make Filling

  1. Zest orange(s) and add zest to the 1/3 C granulated sugar.
  2. Using your fingers or a small whisk, combine the two until the oils from the orange have released and the sugar is completely infused (will look and feel like wet sand).
  3. Drain the cranberries, spread on towel and blot dry.

Assemble

  1. Lightly flour your countertop. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 14″ x 8″ rectangle (ending so that the 14″ side is facing you). Spread the 2 Tbsp of softened butter over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with orange sugar. Evenly add the cranberries over the mixture and gently press them into place.
  2. Next, fold the dough in layers.
    • Start with the top third of the rectangle and fold it over to meet the center.
    • Take the remaining bottom third and fold it over the top portion (like you’d fold a letter — don’t over-think this!).
    • Finally, fold the entire rectangle in half, then use your rolling pin to GENTLY flatten the dough into an 8×4 inch rectangle.
  3. Cut the dough in half horizontally, then make 4 vertical cuts to create 8 squares.
  4. Put the squares 3 to 4 inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet, and place on the center oven rack. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  5. While the scones bake, make the glaze. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add more or less heavy cream to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over the scones once they’ve cooled slightly.

*Very cold butter is key to flaky scones. The cold butter creates pockets of steam during baking, which leads to the those tender, flaky layers everyone loves!

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