Looking for the softest, most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, creamy Orange Scones? You found them! Serve these delicious scones at your tea party and I betcha the White Rabbit will be on time.
Last year, we took a family vacation up North and stayed at this beautiful historic inn in the Redwoods. Every afternoon, they served tea and orange scones with currant. I have to admit those scones were a bit dryer, but still very delicious.
My version of them is softer, more tender, with a melt-in-your-mouth effect. The scones are flavored with lots of fresh orange zest. The dried raisins and apricot filling gives them another dimension of texture and flavor.
How to make the most tender Orange Scones
This orange scones recipe is made with both butter and cream, which gives the dough a creamy milky taste and a super tender texture.
- Start by mixing freshly grated orange zest with sugar to release the essential oil to flavor our scones.
- Sift together the rest of the dry ingredients and mix with the orange sugar.
- Add cubed butter to the flour mixture, make sure to use cold butter. Cut the butter into the flour until about pea size.
- Fold in the dried fruits, chop up any fruits that are too big into about ¼” pieces.
- Add cold heavy cream to the mixture.
- Fold with a spatula until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat it out into a rectangle, fold it over itself a few times. Finally, pat it into a square about 1” thick.
- Cut into 8 triangles. Brush with additional cream, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar before baking.
What other add-ins can I use?
I used a couple different varieties of raisins and dried apricot in the dough because I had leftover from other recipes. And wow, I loved the apricots in these, so we can just pretend this was totally planned out and not just a happy accident.
You can use any kind of dried fruits or a combination of these and you seriously won’t go wrong. These are some flavors that will go well with orange.
- Raisins (golden raisins, currant, all types)
- Dried apricots
- Dried strawberries
- Dried figs
- Dried cranberries (regular or orange flavor)
- Dried cherries
- Even chocolate chips, yogurt chips and nuts
If any of the add-ins are on the large size, chop them up so they aren’t too chunky when you’re working with the dough and it also helps distribute them more evenly.
Storing and reheating orange scones
These scones will keep at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped individually in plastic for 3 – 5 days.
They are best when still slightly warm straight from the oven, but you can serve them at room temperature the next day, or warm them up in the microwave for 15 – 20 seconds.
- These scones do spread because the dough is softer, but this is what keeps them tender. If you want your scones to spread less, freeze the dough before baking or make it thicker before cutting.
- If you don’t have cream, you could substitute buttermilk like in these buttermilk scones. The flavor won’t be quite the same but it will give you the same soft tender texture.
- If you actually like your scones on the drier side, I suggest using just cream and skip the butter like in these cream scones. You will need a tad more cream than what this recipe calls for when forming the dough so it’s not too dry. These will not spread as much without the butter in the dough.
- This recipe makes 8 fairly large scones, you can cut them smaller if you wish and make a batch of 12 mini scones. Be sure to adjust the baking time appropriately for smaller scones so they don’t burn, about 15 minutes instead of 20.
More citrusy scones you’ll love
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
- Zest of 1 large orange
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (63 g)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (260 g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter (cold & cubed, 113 g)
- ½ cup dried fruits (raisins & apricot, chopped)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream (153 g)
- Additional cream for brushing
- Turbinado sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add sugar and freshly grated orange zest to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together to release the essential oil, the sugar will turn a light orange color.
- Sift flour and baking powder into the orange sugar mixture, add kosher salt and whisk to combine.
- Add cold cubed butter to the flour mixture, work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until all the butter pieces are about pea and lima bean size. Fold in the chopped dried fruits.
- Add egg, cream and vanilla extract to a small bowl, whisk to combine. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Fold with a spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board or countertop, and pat the dough out about ½” thick. Fold the dough over itself and pat it out again, do this about 3 - 4 times. Then shape the dough into a square about 1” thick. Cut into 8 triangles.
- Place the scones on the parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the top and sides with extra cream, and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- This scone dough will spread, if you want it to be taller or spread less, you could freeze the dough after cutting it into 8 before baking or pat it out taller than 1”.
- This recipe makes 8 large scones, you can divide it into 12 smaller scones if you wish. Note that smaller scones will bake faster so you’ll need to adjust the baking time appropriately, about 15 minutes.
This post was originally published on 8/18/2015. The post and recipe have been updated and republished on 2/24/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips and process photos to help you in the kitchen.