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Cranberry Walnut Scones with Creamy Orange Glaze (Gluten Free)

These ultra tender and fluffy cranberry scones have a hint of warmth from cinnamon, a pop of brightness from cranberries and orange zest, and nutty crunch from walnuts. An easy orange glaze takes them over the top. The scones are a cinch to make and can easily be made gluten free! Using toasted nuts will give the scones a richer flavor (see below for how to toast the nuts—do this before making the dough). The scones freeze beautifully, making them perfect for last minute guests, easy breakfasts and the holidays. Take note that you'll need one small orange for this recipe (you'll need the zest for the scones and the juice for the glaze).
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry orange scones, cranberry scones, cranberry scones recipe
Servings: 8 scones

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups (296g) gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour) OR 2 cups regular all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (28g) almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) cold unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • ½ cup (105g) sugar
  • cup buttermilk (*see hack below)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

Orange glaze

  • ½ cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

Instructions

Make the scones

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the butter over the top of the dry mixture (alternatively, use a box grater to grate the butter onto a piece of wax or parchment paper, then transfer the butter to the bowl). Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  • In a small bowl, whisk one of the eggs with 1 teaspoon of water. Set aside (this will be the egg wash for later).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the sugar, buttermilk, orange zest and vanilla until smooth.
  • Take the bowl with the flour out of the freezer. Using your hands, toss the butter and flour until evenly incorporated. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients and add the cranberries and walnuts. Slowly work the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until mostly incorporated but still shaggy and floury (you’ll finish bringing it together in a minute).
  • Scrape the dough out onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Using your hands, gently bring the dough together and press it into a ½-inch-thick round (it should be about 8-inches in diameter). You want the dough to hold together, but you don’t want to overwork it. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 triangles (make sure you cut all the way through, but you don’t need to separate the triangles).
  • Brush the top of the scones lightly with the egg wash (you won’t need it all). Bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, separate the triangles into individual scones. Let the scones cool.

Make the glaze and serve

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the scones, then sprinkle the scones with turbinado sugar. The glaze will harden as the scones sit. Serve the scones on their own or with softened butter. SWOON!

Notes

Do Ahead: The scones can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze the scones in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. Defrost the scones at room temperature or in a microwave. We like to heat them slightly in a toaster oven before serving.
Tips:
 
  • For gluten free cranberry scones, use a GF all-purpose flour blend. I’ve tested them with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour, which both work great (you won’t be able to tell they’re gluten free!).
  • Using toasted nuts will give the scones a richer flavor. Toast the nuts in a 375˚F (190˚C) oven or toaster oven until they smell nutty and are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then chop.
  • You can swap out the walnuts for pecans. 
  • If you don’t have buttermilk you can use a mix of half yogurt and half milk (whisk them together), OR you can squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into whole milk. 
  • Using a rimless baking sheet makes it easy to form the scones, although you can use a regular rimmed sheet if that’s all you have. 
  • The cranberry scones are made using the same technique as these blueberry almond scones - check out the video above!