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An overhead shot of a tray of freshly baked cranberry snow scones.

Cranberry-Orange “Snow” Scones

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4.9 from 14 reviews


Adapted from Tartine’s most delicious recipe for blueberry scones and currant scones.

UPDATE: I recently re-wrote the recipe as a half recipe, because I found myself always making the half recipe, which yields a more manageable amount (8 to 9 as opposed to 16-18).

As always, for best results, use a digital scale to measure. 

Sugar: Pearl sugar can be hard to find. I often order it these days. As noted in the post, while pearl sugar is pretty, turbinado sugar makes for a tastier crust. 

To freeze: After you place the scones on a sheet pan, transfer them to the freezer. Freeze until solid; then transfer the scones to an airtight container or bag. When you are ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw them. Bake as directed below straight from the freezer. (Brust with butter and sprinkle with sugar before baking.) The scones shouldn’t take much longer to bake from frozen, but keep an eye on them at the 20-minute mark. 

To make your own buttermilk:

  1. Place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Fill cup with milk (2% or whole is best) until it reaches the 1-cup line.
  3. Let stand for five minutes. Use as directed.


  • 1 cup (102 g) fresh cranberries
  • 2 3/8 cups (304 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons (5 g) baking powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt 
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) grated orange zest, optional
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (130 g) cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 1.5 tablespoons melted butter
  • sugar for sprinkling: pearl sugar is pretty if you have it, but turbinado (or other) sugar is tastier, see notes above


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the cranberries briefly in a food processor: ten 1-second pulses should do it. Reference photo for size.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and orange zest (if using). Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and scatter the cubes over the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or the back of a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. When you are finished, the butter should be dispersed throughout the flour in pea-sized lumps.
  3. Add the buttermilk and the cranberries, and mix gently with a wooden spoon or spatula just until the dough holds together. If the mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon more buttermilk (or more as needed). If necessary, knead gently with your hands to help the dough come together.
  4. Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Using your hands, pat the dough into a rectangle about 1½ inches thick. Using a biscuit cutter or any round cutter (I use a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter), cut each disk into about 8 circles. Gather the scraps together and repeat. Transfer scones to prepared sheet pan. (I like to chill my scones for 20 minutes at this point before baking them; you also can freeze the scones at this point — see notes above.) Brush the top with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Note: You also can cut these into triangles, which is easier.
  5. I like to place the pan on another rimmed baking sheet because often the bottom of my scones burn, but if you don’t have issues with your baking sheets, just use one sheet. Bake until the tops of the scones are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool briefly, then serve with butter on the side.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Britisih