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These Cranberry Orange Scones are perfect for the holiday season. They’re soft, fluffy, crispy on the outside, infused with orange flavor, and loaded with fresh cranberries. Gluten-free and refined sugar-free!
Gluten-Free Cranberry Scones with Orange Zest
In my opinion, cranberry and orange is one of the most underrated flavor combinations. Sweet citrus paired with the tangy sweetness of cranberries? They’re a match made in heaven!
These cranberry orange scones are one of my favorite holiday breakfasts. They’re packed with seasonal flavors like orange, cranberry, cinnamon, and maple (unless you use honey), and they’re so easy to make! They’re also gluten-free and refined sugar-free making them perfect for everyone.
If you love scones as much as I do, then check out my Gluten-Free Apple Scones or Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Scones.
- Almond Flour: The perfect base to keep these scones gluten-free.
- Himalayan Sea Salt: A pinch of salt enhances flavors and offsets the sweetness slightly.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder is the key to lighter, fluffier scones. Without it they will be dry and dense.
- Cinnamon: The warm sweetness of cinnamon rounds out the citrus and cranberry flavors.
- Egg: Binds everything together so the scones can hold their shape.
- Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce adds tons of moisture and provides a little extra natural sweetness.
- Sweetener: Pure maple syrup or raw honey both work. Use whatever you have on hand!
- Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor depth and warmth.
- Add-Ins: Our mix-ins include a touch of orange zest and fresh cranberries which provide a pop of tangy sweetness in each bite.
How to Make Orange Cranberry Scones
This cranberry orange scone recipe really is so easy to make. Here’s a quick summary of the recipe:
- Make the dough: In a bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet ingredients together until a dough forms, then fold in cranberries and orange zest.
- Roll and cut the dough: Roll the dough into a ball, place it onto a lined baking sheet, then flatten into a circle. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut into pizza-like slices. Separate the slices slightly, but leave in a circle.
- Bake: Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes, separate the scones further, then bake for another 5-7 minutes until cooked through.
How Do I Make My Scones More Moist?
There are a couple of ingredients contributing to the moist texture of these scones, but the key is the applesauce! It’s the perfect way to add extra fruity flavor and more moisture at the same time.
How Do I Get My Fruit Scones to Rise and Be Fluffy?
There are a couple of things you can do to make sure your orange cranberry scones don’t end up too dense:
- Use fresh baking powder: Double check that the baking powder you use is fresh. If it’s expired, it won’t serve its intended purpose which is to make the dough rise.
- Don’t over-mix: Mix everything up just until the dough comes together, but don’t mix past that. Over-mixing can result in a tough, dry texture.
- Make them sweeter: If you like a little extra sweetness, add an extra tablespoon of sweetener to the dough and/or sprinkle the top of the dough with sugar crystals before baking. This also adds a delicious crunchy finish to the top of the scones!
- Add nuts: Mix in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans for a nutty crunch.
- Top them off: Drizzle your baked and cooled scones with maple glaze or your favorite icing.
These scones are delicious on their own with your morning coffee or as a post-dinner dessert, but they also make a great addition to brunch.
Serve them alongside Baked Egg Cups, Loaded Breakfast Hash, Apple Sage Breakfast Sausage, or a Fall Hash Brown Breakfast Skillet for a well rounded way to start your day!
How to Store
I love to serve these scones warm out of the oven, but leftovers will last in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve, simply thaw at room temperature, then serve or warm slightly in the microwave.
More Cranberry Recipes You’ll Love
- Orange Cranberry Margarita
- Orange Cranberry Roasted Chicken
- Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash
- Orange Cranberry Overnight Oats
Watch The Video:
Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- In a bowl combine dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well until dough-like consistency.
- Fold in cranberries and orange zest.
- Roll the dough into a ball and place on lined baking sheet.
- Flatten lightly into a flat circle.
- *Optional: Sprinkle with organic sugar crystals.
- Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut into pizza-like slices, separating slightly but leave in round circle.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then separate scones so there is about 1 to 2 inch space in between them.
- And bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until scones are cooked through.
These are amazing! They are so tasty and very easy to make.
What a perfect holiday snack! I’m so going to enjoy this over the Christmas 🙂
thank you, love the consistency of scones, a nice change of texture for me from almost every other kind of baked thing, and love cranberries too for their tartness!
Hi! If I were to make these into half sizes for a work party, what would you say to do the cook time? Stay the same or decrease at all. Thanks in advance!!
Hi! Making these for the second time. The first time I made with flax egg and they turned out well. The only issue is the cooking time…. they were not done AT ALL close to the 20 mins, plus 8 more after scoring. Making them today in preparation for ROYAL WEDDING party (this time with egg), and am expecting to have to go over the indicated cooking time. Over all… great recipe, but I had to maybe cook 20 mins extra.
HI there- would white whole wheat flour work if gluten free is not necessary? Not sure if anything else would need to change… thanks!
I don’t eat wheat so I haven’t tested it that way. Let us know how it goes!
May I use an egg replacer to be vegan? Thanks!
That will probably work just fine!
Can dried cranberries be used if fresh are out of season?
I just made these! They are tasty! I flattened a little too much this time . And YES, 3 tbsp. orange zest IS necessary!? I was a little lazy and only put in 1! Thank you so much for this recipe! Peace and Grace to y’all!?❤️
Just made these last night and really love how they turned out. Scones are my absolute favorite pastry so this was a really nice, healthy treat. Thanks!
I am so happy! Enjoy!
What do you suggest in place of almond flour for those with nut allergies? I would love to make this for Christmas brunch but my son has a severe tree nut allergy.
Hi Lexi, I have a question about step 7 flatten lightly into a flat circle – do you mean roll it out with a rolling pin like a pizza? How thick or thin and how big is the circle?
I’ll update. If you look a the picture in oven, you just flatten slightly. About 1 to 1 1/2 inches high.