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Orange Scones

Orange Scones

I can't believe this is my 100th post. I've shared 100 recipes, 100 stories, and well over 100 photographs with you. It doesn't seem like it can be possible! I want to thank all of you for your advice, comments, and inspiration to keep finding new things to bake! Thanks for sticking around so long. You, dear reader, make sharing my life and recipes worthwhile.

To celebrate, I decided to tackle a pastry that has alluded me for a very long time—scones. I have never made a successful scone (this is my shameful secret). Some people are afraid of making macarons or croissants. I'm terrified of making scones. I tried to make chocolate chip scones (on more than one occasion), but they turned into inedible, tasteless rocks the second they popped out of the oven. I made pear scones that were so awful I could hardly stomach a bite. I tried buttermilk scones that were so dry even jam couldn't save them.

The list goes on.

Orange Scones

In my efforts to make an edible scone, I brushed up on the different types of recipes. I learned there are two different types of scones—the American scone and the English scone. The American scone tends to be larger, drier, and much sweeter than its European counterpart. The European scone is often light and flaky like a biscuit and barely sweetened. With my history of bone-dry scones, I thought the European method might be just the ticket for me.

I was right. This recipe right here produced my first successful scone. They aren't just edible; they taste fantastic. I've had two taste-testers ask me for the recipe already.

Consider my fear of scones conquered.

Orange Scones

These orange scones are bright and full of citrus flavor. The scone is moist, light, and flaky. I would say the texture is somewhere between a biscuit and American scone. The orange flavor really shines through on these scones. I would recommend glazing them because it helps to balance out the lightly sweetened scones. I think these scones are a little reminder that spring is on its way.

Orange Scones

Yields 12 2-inch round scones

Orange Scones
Adapted from Inside a Black Apple

1 3/4 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest, and salt. Add the butter using a pastry tool (or your hands) and mix until the mixture is crumbly with pea-sized chunks. Stir in the orange juice and sour cream until just blended. Do not overmix or it will result in tough scones.

Roll scones into a ball and flatten slightly on a cookie sheet to resemble 2 inch rounds. Whisk together the egg and milk and brush over the top of the scones. Let scones rest for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Cool until room temperature before glazing.

Orange Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. If too thick, add more orange juice until it is smooth. Drizzle lightly over scones.

Orange Scones

Reader Comments (36)

Congrats on 100 posts. I haven't seen all 100, but the ones I've caught since I found your blog have been beautiful. Hope you have many hundred more posts in you, because I'm looking forward to them!
These look amazing!!
Already the 100th post! That's amazing. It feels even better once you reach your first blogiversary. Keep up the good work!

I never thought of scones as difficult. As long you don't overwork the dough, it should be fine.
03.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVictor
congratulations on the 100th post!! i have only been following for a couple of months but i have to say that every recipe I see makes me happy!! I want to make them all!!. printing this one right now!! thanks for all the goodies!!
03.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina
Those look delicious! And congrats on 100 splendid posts!
03.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaya Marie
These scones look so delicious! My mouth is watering but alas I am too lazy to make them right now...adding to my recipes-to-try list :)
03.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSysha
Congrats on your 100th post and success at making scones!
Thanks for all of the information about scones, it was interesting. Your photos are gorgeous!
03.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat @ Cupcake Kat
Scones are among my life's greatest trials. Congrats on your triumph Kristin.
03.27.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbananastand
i enjoy your lovely blog and tasty recipes. happy 100th.
03.28.2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy t.
Congradulations on your 100th post, such an accomplishment!!
I've always wanted to make scones but I'm always too intimidated. I think I'll make some over this spring break, though. We don't have any oranges but man do these look amazing.
03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess
1/2 CUP (????) of freshly squeezed oj?? I think I might try this as a switch with Meyer Lemons; looks fabulous!
03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristy
Also congrats on the 100th post - those also look far classier than the scones I'm used to eating.
03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris
I just found your blog via Tasteologie, and I have to tell you that it is my new favorite! I'm living on a ship on "the other side of the world", and specialty ingredients are almost impossible for me to get my hands on. I am so disappointed with recipes that demand spelt, or quark, or rhubarb, cream cheese, goat cheese, most fresh fruits (oranges are an exception!), pecans . . . etc. etc. ad infinitum! I'm delighted with your recipes because so many of them are both unusual and accessible, even for me and my drastically limited resources! :-) So thanks for being creative with "normal" ingredients - for me it is fantastic!
On an unrelated note, you are totally fearless in your fruit/chocolate combinations - I love it! :-)
Keep up the good work!
03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
Kristy--Yes, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. Thanks for pointing that out!

Jessie--I'm glad these recipes are so accessible for you! I live in a small town in the Midwest so my ingredient options are limited too. I just hate when I find a recipe that calls for something I can't get or, better yet, I've never heard of.
03.28.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I recently stumbled upon your blog and must say you are one of the best food writers out there. Very poetic, evocative writing that makes me want to reach through my monitor and pluck out your luscious pastries. I can almost taste your words. And as a recovering academic myself, I share your enthusiasm for taking charge of your life -- and your kitchen! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and writing.
03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice Harper
These look amazing! I adore scones but I haven't made them in ones sound especially good!
03.29.2011 | Unregistered Commentersara
Looks good! They are in the oven as we speak! Just wanted to mention that although you have listed orange zest as an ingredient you mention *lemon* zest in the directions. I used orange...
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
I found this recipe (and your blog) through foodgawker, and it made absolutely delicious scones! Thank you so much!
04.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
I just found your blog and am so excited to look through all of your recipes!! I will definitely be making this tomorrow with some honey butter for Mother's Day!! Looks delish.
05.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
This my first time reading one of your posts. Beautifully done!! I made the scones tonight and they are orange scone perfection!! I'm sure I will be making these again and again :-)
05.8.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
Tracy-- I hope these orange scones turned out well for you! Honey butter on these would just be divine.

Jessica-- Thank you! I love to hear when a recipe works well for someone.
05.8.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I made these this afternoon, and they were WONDERFUL! Thank you for such a perfect, easy recipe. What a positively lovely blog! <3
09.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy
I just made these. They are also so wonderful. Thank you. Now I don't have to search for store bought!
01.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
made these orange scones today for my family and we loved them! Light and fluffy, and an easy recipe :)
01.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDianna
Great recipe!
04.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterShiloh Barkley
I looked at the original recipe you linked up; good call with the drizzle of frosting. They look fresh out the bakery case! Embarking on making some right now!
04.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmandA
I would give these 4 out of 5 stars. They are easy to make and turned out well. I prefer a stronger citrus flavor though; these were more a subtle aftertaste. I would also glaze the entire top with the icing next time, rather than just a drizzle, as a sweeter option.

Overall though, a pretty good recipe :)
05.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I agree with your assessment of American vs English scones. I solved the dry problem by adding 1/2 cup of sour cream or yogurt to the batter of American scone recipes. It makes all the difference and solved the dry problem. I use sour cream in a lot of batter that can turn dry.
07.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis Sliss
Let me start by saying how much I love your blog - truly an inspiration, a beautiful combination of creative baking and exquisite aesthetics.
However, your scone recipes are the only bone I have to pick. I understand the difference between an American and an Englsh scone, but your delicious interpretations are no english scones. I know this because I am English, and because I have eaten English scones ever since I came off pureed peas. An English scone is fluffy not flakey, and when you bite into it, the glorious not quite bread, not quite muffin, consistency is a warm, buttery mouthful of heaven. It can be savoury or sweet (the best salty ones I have ever had were rosemary and walnut), but the ultimate is the classic plain scone (with perhaps a few raisins thrown in) that you smother with clotted cream, jam and fresh strawberries. They should be round and tall enough so that you can slice them width-ways to give two fluffy halves. I have tried your scone recipes and LOVED them, but I hope soon you will honour the true, humble English scone.
08.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjlg
I found this site yesterday when I made the jam jar rice pudding. Today I've made these scones with Gluten Free flour and they are fantastic. You're on my bookmarks bar!
12.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBev
Iv wanted to try and make scones for some time now but I'm scared they won't come out right. I have a tun of tangelo.. Do u think it would ok to substitute the orange for tangelo? Lol
03.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
I just made these scones and they are delicious! thank you for sharing, I will be making these for a long time to come :)
03.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenni
Can you use bottled orange juice instead of fresh orange juuce? I don't have any fresh oranges on hand.
05.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBabel
Babel-- Absolutely! While fresh is preferred, it's no worries if you don't have any in the house.
05.19.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
LOVED this recipe. First attempt at making scones. I had one orange in my veggie bin that was very useful. I wasn't able to squeeze enough juice (I don't have any type of gadget to help it along) - I think I was only able to get a little over 1/4 of a cup. I added a 1/4 c of lemon juice I had in my fridge to bring it to 1/2 c. I also used about 1/3 c of plain, non-fat greek yogurt instead of the sour cream to save me some calories and fat. They are so good! I actually used my food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients and worked like a charm. I will modify this recipe to make lemon poppyseed scones next!
02.16.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarahK
I made these yesterday for brunch. I am completely addicted to Panera Bread Orange Scones so I have been searching for a copycat recipe. I was really hopeful about this one. The scones came out of the oven very fragrant and beautifully golden brown. I could hardly wait for them to cool to room temperature so I could glaze them. Sadly, from the first bite, all I could taste was baking powder. I guess my search continues.
03.24.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDianne

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