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Sourdough Discard Cranberry Orange Scones with fresh orange wedges and cranberries on a baking sheet

Sourdough Discard Cranberry Orange Scones

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  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rest Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast & Brunch, Breads
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Sourdough Discard Cranberry Orange Scones with Brown Butter Orange Icing utilize my seemingly-neverending supply of sourdough discard to create a seriously delicious fall and winter bake! These cozy sourdough scones are flavored with dried sweetened cranberries, orange zest, warm cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla. After baking, they’re drizzled with a sweet brown butter orange icing for an extra burst of citrus. Pair these cranberry orange scones with a warm mug of tea or coffee on a cold morning for brunch!



For the cranberry orange scones:

  • 400 g (about 3 cups + 3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp) all-purpose flour, plus more to lightly flour your work surface
  • 132 g bout 2/3 cup) white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tbsp)
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 250 g (about 1 cup, stirred down) 100% hydration cold sourdough discard
  • 60 g (about 1/4 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 g (about 3/4 cup) dried sweetened cranberries*
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream

For the brown butter orange icing**:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 90 g (about 3/4 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1-2 tbsp orange juice


To make the cranberry orange scones:

  1. Line a baker’s half sheet with parchment paper and reserve to the side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest until well-mixed.
  3. Using a standard cheese grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients just until the mixture is uneven and crumbly. It’s okay if some chunks of butter are unincorporated. Transfer the bowl to the freezer to keep cold while you prepare the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sourdough discard, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix together with a sturdy wooden spoon until fully combined.
  5. Remove the four and butter mixture from the freezer and transfer the remaining wet ingredients to the flour mixture as well as the dried cranberries. Using a sturdy spatula or a dough scraper, combine the ingredients until roughly combined. I prefer to transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface at this point and finish combining by hand but you can continue combining in the bowl if it’s more comfortable for you. You’ll want to work the dough until just combined and there aren’t any huge streaks of flour; some small flour streaks may remain and that’s totally okay.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, gently work the dough into an 8-inch flat circle. Using a bench knife or chef’s knife, slice the circle in half, then into fourths, then into eighths until you have 8 wedges.
  7. Transfer each wedge to your reserved baking sheet, equally spaced across the sheet so the scones aren’t touching.
  8. Using a basting brush, brush the tops of each scone with heavy cream.
  9. Transfer the sheet of scones to the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. I prefer to make the dough and freeze the scones the day before (or the night before) baking and bake the following day.
  10. When ready to bake, pull the scones from the freezer and allow the tray to rest on the counter while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F / 220 C. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until the scones are lightly brown on top and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F / 94 C.

To make the brown butter orange icing:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, stirring regularly. The butter will foam at first, then as the foam dissipates it will begin to turn golden and eventually brown and nutty-scented. Watch the butter closely because it can quickly turn from brown to burnt. Once golden, pour the butter into a heat-proof glass bowl.
  2. Set a sieve/fine-mesh strainer over the top of the bowl and sift the powdered sugar into the mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add 1 tbsp heavy cream to thin and whisk again. Then add the orange zest and 1 tbsp orange juice and whisk to combine. If needed, you can thin with an additional 1 tbsp orange juice until it reaches your preferred consistency -- However, be careful not to add too much or the icing will never set.
  4. Drizzle icing over the scones and allow to set. Store the scones in an airtight container in the fridge so they don’t dry out. The scones should keep this way for up to 5 days.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

Once frozen, you can also transfer the unbaked frozen scones to an airtight container or bag lined with parchment paper between each layer and continue freezing for up to 3 months, baking one or two scones at a time as desired.

* Personally, I find fresh cranberries in these scones to be a bit too tart for my liking and instead prefer to use sweetened dried cranberries. However, if you prefer the tartness of fresh, you can certainly use them instead. I like to start with frozen fruit if I'm using fresh so that they keep the dough as cold as possible from the start, but they'll work well even if they aren't frozen. If you prefer to use another berry, these scones are also gorgeous with dried or fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or a combination of multiple types of berries for a mixed berry blend. The orange zest also pairs really well with alternative berries varieties, so no need to omit it.

** Alternatively to icing, you can sprinkle 3-4 tbsp of turbinado sugar on top of the scones prior to baking (after brushing with heavy cream) if you prefer.


  • Serving Size: 1 scone
  • Calories: 552
  • Sugar: 34 g
  • Sodium: 272 mg
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 92 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg