Get your skillet out! Spoil your family this week and make Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones for breakfast.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know about my weakness for this quick bread, because it’s so incredibly versatile. I rolled thousands of scones when I owned a bake shop, and still regularly make them for home. These buttery scones are bursting with cranberries and orange zest, and then glazed (twice for good measure) with a sweet orange glaze. I’ve really come to love baking a small batch in the skillet, and the presentation is simple and beautiful.
Often people mistakenly think that scones are bland, dense, and dry. I can assure you, these are not. The trick with scones, is to handle the dough as little as possible, use good quality frozen butter, and fresh buttermilk. A batch of scones is easily mixed in 20 minutes or less, is done by hand, and they can be prepared ahead of time, frozen and baked as needed. I know right? I can’t talk these things up any more, they sell themselves!
With the holidays approaching, I always, and I mean always, have a batch ready in the freezer. They are the perfect tea time treat when company arrives, make an excellent gift, and are a delicious addition to any holiday brunch table. I can also bake up a few in the morning, right from the freezer, for the kids before they head off to school.
I bet your kitchen is in full swing with holiday baking. I hope you might take a few minutes to mix up a batch of scones and have a much deserved coffee break!
Happy baking friends,
Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 415°
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and zest. Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.
2. In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, extract, sour cream and egg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in. Mix gently to incorporate.
3. Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times. The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold. As best you can, fold in the cranberries with your hands. Pat the dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into eight even wedges, but still keeping it in the circle shape. Place the scones into a well seasoned skillet (a circle of parchment on the bottom works well too). Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until dough is cooked and scones are golden.
4. While scones are baking, mix the powdered sugar and orange juice into a smooth glaze. Once scones are baked, drizzle with orange glaze while they are still warm.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have a skillet. You can use a round cake pan, lightly sprayed with baking spray, or bake the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
- Scones do very well in the freezer. Roll a batch and freeze on a cookie sheet (before baking). Simply bake from frozen, adding additional time as needed.
- This recipe doubles nicely. I usually make a double batch, baking one up and freezing the other for later.