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Bakery Style Cranberry Lemon Scones

These cranberry lemon scones are light and fluffy, just like you’d expect from your favourite bakery. Topped with a lemon drizzle, these scones are perfect for breakfast or with a cup of afternoon tea.

Three cranberry scones in a stack, drizzled with icing.
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There is something special about a perfect scone. They are buttery and flaky and there are endless varieties.

These bakery-style cranberry lemon scones are one of my favourites.

These scones are loaded with fresh cranberries and lemon zest and then, to take them over the top, they are coated in a tangy lemon drizzle.

I like to make these as large wedges and I get eight scones out of a batch. If you don’t want large scones you can cut these smaller without any issues.

Why We Love This Recipe

Two cranberry scones on a counter with lemon wedges and a bowl of fresh cranberries beside them.

It is super easy to change things up in this recipe, using raspberries or blueberries instead of the cranberries, and if you don’t love lemon as I do, you could leave it out, or use oranges.

These scones are great served warm with some butter or preserves. I think they make a perfect breakfast, but they are also pretty good for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

Either way, you can’t go wrong.

HOW TO MAKE BAKERY STYLE CRANBERRY LEMON SCONES

The first thing to ensure your cranberry lemon scones are full of flavour is to make sure you are using fresh lemon and fresh cranberries.

Frozen cranberries are fine too, you just don’t want to use dried.

I use a rasp for zesting my lemon, then I juice the same lemon for use in the wet ingredients and the lemon drizzle.

My favourite type of juicer is the type with handles that you squeeze, like in the photo below. I find this type is the best at getting every last drop of juice out of the lemon, it does a great job on limes and oranges as well.

Once you’ve zested and juiced your lemon, add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the milk and set aside for a few minutes.

You are going to add the dry ingredients to a food processor, add the cold butter, then pulse until it looks like coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the butter in with a pastry blender.

Dump the contents of the food processor into a medium-sized bowl.

Next, add the sugar and lemon zest to the dry ingredients. Then make a well in the centre and add the liquid ingredients, stirring just until combined. Add the cranberries to the bowl and combine them with the dough.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you are using cold butter for this recipe. The cold butter will prevent the dough from becoming too sticky and the steam it creates while baking is what helps give these scones their flaky texture.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, or a large sheet of parchment paper. I like using the parchment paper because it makes cleaning up ridiculously easy.

Press the dough into a 9-inch circle, then cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Pro-Tip: Be careful not to overwork the dough when you are pressing it out. The overworked dough will create scones that are tough and chewy.

Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Next, mix the egg and 2 tsp of milk and brush on the scones.

Pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown.

Remove the scones to a cooling rack, allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then coat in the lemon drizzle.

Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

FAQS

Can I use whole wheat flour for scones?

Yes, you can. Whole wheat flour tends to be a bit drier than most white flours, so you may need to add a bit more liquid.

Can I reduce the sugar in my scones?

Yes, you can. However, because both cranberries and lemon are tart, the sugar helps to balance the flavours. If that doesn’t bother you, go ahead and reduce it.

Cranberry scones with icing drizzle on a cooling rack.

More Biscuits and Scones

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Flakey cheddar chive biscuits

Air Fryer Blueberry turnovers

Recipe

Three cranberry scones with icing drizzle in a stack.

Bakery Style Cranberry Lemon Scones

These bakery style cranberry lemon scones are finished with a tangy lemon drizzle. Perfect for breakfast or with a cup of afternoon tea.
4.89 from 59 votes
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Course: Biscuits & Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Scones
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Cups Flour All purpose
  • 1 Tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice fresh
  • 2 tsp Lemon zest zest from one medium lemon
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 2 tsp Milk

For the Lemon Drizzle

  • 1/2 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place flour, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Alternatively, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender. Dump the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Mix 3/4 cup of the milk and 2 tbsp lemon juice together in a small bowl or measuring cup and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the sugar to the dry ingredients, then stir in the lemon zest.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the 3/4 cup of the milk mixed with the lemon juice, stir just until combined. If there are any dry spots, add the remaining milk 1 tbsp at a time until the dough has come together. You are looking for a dough that is just slightly sticky, but not wet. Then fold in the cranberries.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. I like to put parchment paper down first as it makes cleaning up easy.
    Sprinkle the top of the dough with a bit of flour, then gently press the dough into a 9-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.  It is important not to handle the dough more than necessary or it will become tough.
    Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet with 1-inch of room between them.
  • Whisk the egg and 2 tsp of milk together and brush over scones.
  • Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove scones from the oven to a cooling rack.
  • Allow the scones to cool for about 10 minutes.  Then mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Drizzle over the scones and serve.

Video

Notes

Fresh or frozen cranberries may be used.  If using frozen cranberries you may need to add a bit of extra flour to the counter and to the top of the scones as you press them out.  As the cranberries thaw they can release a bit of water making the dough a bit stickier.
If the scone wedges feel sticky on the bottom after cutting them it can help to use a pie lifter to move them to the baking sheet.
When zesting the lemon be careful not to go too deep.  You want to use only the bright yellow part of the lemon, the white part (pith) will make the flavour bitter.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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LJ

Saturday 9th of April 2022

Sadly this recipe did not work for me either. The dough seemed really wet to me where my usual recipe is drier and more of a firm dough. These just melted flat then started to slightly puff at the end of baking. My usual recipe does not have baking soda and its half the milk this recipe calls for. Flavour was good so I will try this again using less milk and see what happens.

Carmen

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

I made these Dec. 21st as I wanted to included in the baskets I distribute over the holidays. the batter was really really wet - and while baking the scones all merged into 1. Yes, they were 1" apart. they taste okay (not alot of lemon taste) - texture certainly wasn't what I would consider a "scone". I an also from Canada - don't think the US/CAD measurements are different (ie: 1 cup is 1 cup in both countries). I see others had issues and add flour to the counter - I placed on parchment paper to divide the scones. Recipe calls for 2.5 cups of flour - which I presume is 2-1/2 cups of flour. Any assistance would be great as I think these would make a great "base" recipe such that I can swap blueberries, or cherries, instead of the cranberries.

Carmen

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

@Deanna, thanks so much for the prompt reply. It's a head scratcher - my girlfriend and I also discussed and determined to either (1) increase flour (which I don't want to do), or (2) reduce the quantity of milk. I used parchment paper as opposed to spreading on the counter but I will try "generously" flouring the top of the dough when I press it out. Looking forward to the next batch....Merry Christmas; stay safe & keep well.

Deanna

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Sorry you had trouble with the recipe. As I sit here scratching my head about what could be going wrong for some people, and talking it out with friends, I'm left to wonder if perhaps elevation is playing a part in it. I'm at sea level and am wondering if those having trouble are at a much higher elevation, as I make these several times a month exactly as written. And it continues to be the recipe that I'm tagged in the most on social media with successful photos. Regardless, I want to help you solve this as it is a great base recipe for so many flavours, my husband's favourite is blueberry. Aside from making sure the butter is cold and the berries (if frozen) haven't been allowed to sweat, my suggestion for next time would be to try reducing the liquid by 1/4 cup. And yes, 2-1/2 cups flour. Then make sure to generously flour the counter and top of the dough when you press it out. This should be a slightly sticky dough, but it shouldn't be soggy. Let me know if you try again! Merry Christmas.

Susan Lancaster

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Wow- these were SUCH a hit at my ladies brunch. I had so many people ask me for the recipe. Loved the tip about using a processor as that is a great suggestion to really get that flour butter mixture crumbly while preventing over mixing. Excellent scone recipe and you can adapt for pretty much any other fruit that compliments lemon.

Susan

Saturday 16th of October 2021

These are delicious! Have made them twice. The dough is very wet when I try and cut the scones…it doesn’t look like that in the video. Do I need to adjust the amount of flour for Canadian measurements?

Gail

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

@Susan, use a bench scraper to cut and lift off the counter.

Susan

Sunday 17th of October 2021

@Deanna, thanks. They still came out incredibly delicious and beautiful, it was just hard to get them onto the pan to bake. Last time I floured the counter, this time I tried just cutting them on the parchment but had trouble separating the pieces. And I did use frozen berries. Figured a little flour would do it, appreciate the reply.

Deanna

Saturday 16th of October 2021

Glad you are enjoying them! I'm actually Canadian myself and make them exactly per the recipe. I have noticed that sometimes if you are using frozen berries and they've been allowed to thaw before adding them they can cause the dough to be a bit wetter. You should be able to resolve that by just by sprinkling the counter well with flour as well as at the top as you press them into the circle. Good luck!

Meagan

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

I have made these scones at least 5-6 times. They are now my go to recipe. They turn out perfect and fluffy every single time. Using the food processor is definitely a key step. It keeps the butter cold and reduces the rick of warming/melting the butter in the dough by overworking with your hands.

Thank you again for sharing this recipe. I have gotten so many compliments on them and they really are perfect.

Deanna

Friday 1st of October 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you, and everyone you make them for, enjoy them!

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