Feeling festive? Try your hand at these Healthy Cranberry Orange Scones – They’re surprisingly simple to make! I’m sharing how to make them flaky, buttery, and light with a beautiful orange vanilla glaze.
Believe it or not…
I never made scones before these Healthy Cranberry Orange Scones came into my life. Always kinda kept my distance, thinking they were dry and flavorless (some coffee shops did me dirty!).
Plus it was my impression that scones were an expert-level baking project. AKA: hard to make.
But I was wrong-o! Scones are super simple to make. There’s no need to use yeast to let them rise — and you can add all sorts of flavorful toppings.
PLUS, the benefit of their elevated reputation is that you get major brownie points (or scone points) for making them. I’ll take ’em!
This recipe makes moist and flavorful scones with a beautiful crisp and flakey exterior. And you get to enjoy them without all the added sugar and high-calorie ingredients. The orange vanilla glaze is something I’m very proud of, too.
Let’s get baking, shall we?
Do Scones Have A Lot Of Sugar In Them?
Yes, typical American scone recipes contain a lot of *gasp* refined sugar. They’re also usually high in calories which is why they’re not the best option for clean or weight loss-friendly desserts.
But don’t let that stop you from enjoying scones! Read on further to see how we’ve revamped this delicious treat to make these healthy cranberry orange scones clean-approved.
What Makes This Recipe Healthy?
This recipe has been revamped into a clean-eating, lower-calorie version by simply replacing the high-sugar and high-calorie ingredients for lighter and nutrient-dense alternatives.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made to make this scone recipe healthy:
- Whole wheat pastry flour (instead of white all-purpose flour): White flour is very limited in nutritional value! I love using whole wheat flour as a healthy flour substitute because it’s high in protein and fiber.
- Use coconut sugar (instead of white granulated sugar): Coconut sugar is unrefined but has the granular texture of refined sugar, making it simple to measure. It also contains iron and calcium! Check out this post for more examples of healthy sweeteners!
- Use plain Greek yogurt (instead of heavy cream): Heavy cream contains a high amount of fat and calories. Greek yogurt cuts the calories and gives you a big whack of protein. Way better. I wrote about the many benefits of Greek yogurt here if you wanna learn more.
- Use unsalted butter (instead of salted butter): Less sodium here!
How Many Calories Are In A Cranberry Orange Scone?
A typical Cranberry Orange Scone can contain around 400 to 450 calories per scone!
Thankfully, with this clean and lower-calorie version I’ve made, you can enjoy 1 scone for only 206 calories. Awesome!
How Do I Make My Scones More Moist?
To make your scones moist and soft on the inside, make sure to use chilled butter and dice it into small pieces for your dough mixture.
The cold butter is what helps create the airy pockets inside your scones and adding an egg gives that rich and soft texture.
What’s In These Healthy Cranberry Orange Scones?
Here’s the full list of all you need for these healthy cranberry orange scones…
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- Coconut sugar: The inulin in coconut sugar is known to slow glucose absorption, which makes it an excellent choice as a clean-eating sweetener.
- Baking powder: This will help add a little lift.
- Sea salt: An extra dimension of flavor.
- Unsalted butter (chilled and diced): Butter provides that famous flakiness, flavor, and crispy edges to these scones.
- Dried unsweetened cranberries: Rich in antioxidants and will add a vivacious fruity burst. Also makes these a great recipe to have around the holidays (because they’re red I guess?).
- Orange (for zest and freshly squeezed juice): Can’t beat citrus with cranberry!
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Eggs (divided): This means we’ll be using these eggs in two different stages in the recipe. This doesn’t mean separating the egg whites from the yolks.
- Milk: Nothing wrong with full fat dairy in my opinion.
For The Glaze (Optional)
- Plain greek yogurt (full fat): If you needed more convincing that I love Greek yogurt, here’s 35 recipes!
- Pure maple syrup: Maple syrup contains antioxidants and nutrients plus anti-inflammatory properties!
- Orange juice (freshly squeezed): Use the same orange we used for the zest.
- Vanilla extract: We want to avoid sugar-loaded syrups with artificial flavors and sweeteners! Always use the real thing.
What Are Some Tips While Making Scones?
To make the best flaky, moist, and buttery scones, here are some tips you can apply.
What you should do:
- Make sure your butter is cold. Yes, I’m repeating this because chilled butter is the key to making beautiful scones y’all! Your butter will melt into the flour as they bake to release steam and create the air pockets required for a flaky and moist interior.
- Make sure your dough is a bit sticky and wet. This will help rise your scones up to the heavens.
- Use greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. This will give it richness, tasty flavor, and more nutritional value.
- Add toppings! Aside from the wonderful glaze in this recipe, you can try my keto whipped cream or use jam for a change.
What you should avoid:
- Don’t overdo your dough. Too much kneading won’t give it that flakiness you’re looking for.
- Don’t put too much butter. You’ll lose the light and flaky texture.
- Don’t mix all your ingredients at the same time. Something about the alchemical nature of baking! There’s a sequence to adhere to.
How Do I Add Glaze To A Scone?
For this recipe, the glaze runs on the thicker side and is easy to pipe using a piping bag. A ziplock with the end cut-off would work too (although we are making an effort to be more environmentally friendly around here).
How To Store?
To store your tasty scones, cover them with foil, or place them inside an airtight container. This helps prevent them from drying out and maximizes their shelf life.
If properly stored, they should last for about 1 to 2 days at normal room temperature. If you keep them any longer they could become dry and stale.
More Tasty Dessert Recipes
Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting overwhelmed with a bang of refined sugar? I’ve got you covered. Check out some of my fave healthy desserts:
- Healthy Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup!)
- Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
- Mini No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe (That You’d Never Know Was Vegan!)
- Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour plus more for kneading
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter chilled and diced
- 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 1 medium orange for zest and 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed juice
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 eggs divided
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 1/4 cups full fat plain greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, baking powder and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Add chilled butter and cut into flour mixture until butter resembles pea-sized pieces.
In a small bowl, combine dried cranberries, orange zest from 1 medium orange and 1/4 cup flour. Stir until cranberries are well coated with the flour, then add to flour and butter mixture and stir to combine.
In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together yogurt and one egg until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once all ingredients are combined, knead dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is well-formed, about 1 minute.
Divide dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion into two 6-inch circles at about 3/4-inch thickness. Cut each circle into 6 equal pieces/wedges. Place wedges on 1-2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, separated by about 1-2 inches. Beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp. milk in small bowl and lightly brush over the tops of the scones right before placing into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool scones on cooling rack.
Drizzle with glaze if desired. To make the glaze, combine the greek yogurt, syrup, orange juice and extracts in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine.