These Lemon Cranberry Scones make an appearance every year around October and live on repeat in my oven until Christmas has passed.
Cranberries are fresh in the Fall and start showing up in your local grocery store for a few months of holiday cooking and baking bliss.
Lemon Cranberry Scones
Cranberry Scones are sweet with a little tart kick from the fresh berries and lemon. They are fantastic with a cup of coffee or tea for a light breakfast in the morning.
Or in the case of the holiday season, they make a great pre-breakfast as people wake up and meander into the kitchen looking to nosh before sitting down to a big meal mid-morning. (What?! You don’t eat holiday pre-breakfast?)
Most of the cranberry scone recipes I see are either simply cranberry or they are cranberry orange scones. I love cranberries and orange together too (feel free to substitute orange zest and juice in this recipe instead of lemon.) But the lemon in this recipe gives everything a really fresh flavor that is so unique.
I love the lemon kick in these Lemon Blueberry Turnovers too!
How to Make Cranberry Scones
Scones are one of those foods that seem fussy and overly elegant. But it is all in the plating and delivery. They are actually far easier to make than biscuits, with no rolling or cutters involved.
Basically, you mix up the ingredients, turn them out of a floured surface, pat them into a circle and cut them into 4 triangles.
How to Store Scones for Freshness
Scones will stay fresh for a day or two sitting at room temperature. But the longer they sit, the more they lose their original texture and turn a bit soft.
If scones live that long in our house, we toss them in the oven and toast them for a couple of minutes to warm them up and regain some of the original texture. It is not perfect but it works well enough for us to enjoy them longer.
Store your scones in an airtight container with a paper towel on the bottom to soak up some of the moisture in the baked cranberry scones. My own unscientific observation is that freezer bags tend to make them go soft faster than an airtight container.
How to Freeze Scones
If you want to make scones ahead of a holiday of visiting guests, try freezing the dough after it has been cut into triangles. When you are ready to bake, place them frozen onto your baking sheet and add a few minutes to the total cook time to account for their temperature.
You can also freeze them after they have been baked. Make sure they are completely cooled before wrapping them tightly in foil and placing them in a freezer bag. If they are not completely cooled, they will be sticky when you thaw them.
Bake these Lemon Cranberry Scones with fresh cranberries this fall and winter!
- 2.5 Cups flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ Cup cold butter cubed
- ½ Cup sugar
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 medium lemon approx. 2 tsp
- ¾ Cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tsp milk
- ½ Cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles course crumbs. Alternatively, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender.
- Dump the mixture into a large bowl.
- Mix the milk and 2 tbsp lemon juice together and let stand 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar to the dry ingredients, then stir in the lemon zest.
- Make a well in the center and add the milk, stir just until combined, then fold in the cranberries.
- Turn out onto a floured surface or large sheet of parchment paper.
- Press out into a 9 inch circle, then cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife or pastry blender. Place wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet with 1 inch room between them.
- Mix egg and 2 tsp of milk and brush over scones.
- Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool about 10 minutes. Then mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Drizzle over the scones and serve.