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Close up of cranberry orange sourdough starter scones on a sheet pan.

Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones Recipe

*Advance prep required - you'll need sourdough discard from a Sourdough Starter*
A little crunch on the outside, tender and flaky on the inside, sourdough discard scones are such a treat! Make ahead and freeze for later, these scones go from freezer to oven for ultimate easy. Studded with dried sweet cranberries and scented with orange and vanilla, this recipe is simple to make and fabulous for sharing.
*See recipe notes to make this recipe dairy free.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Sourdough Discard Scones, Sourdough Scones, Sourdough Starter Scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rest Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 Scones
Calories 415kcal
Author Traci York


Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (140 grams) Sourdough Discard 100% hydration stirred down
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Large Eggs one for the scones, the other for egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Zest from about 2 large or three small oranges
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Juice fresh squeezed

Dry Ingredients

For Finishing


  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and make room in the freezer for the pan. You can use two small pans if needed. Set aside.

Mix the Wet Ingredients

  • In a large spouted measuring cup, whisk the discard, cream, one egg, vanilla, orange zest and juice until smooth. Set aside.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Mix the Scones

  • To the flour mixture, grate in the cold butter (just from the fridge) using the largest holes on a grater. Toss the butter with the flour just to coat the butter. To the butter and flour mixture, add the cranberries and toss until evenly distributed.
    The butter should remain cold and pliable throughout the mixing process. If the butter starts getting melty, pop the whole bowl in the freezer (before adding any liquid) for about 10 minutes.
  • Working quickly, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir the mixture until the flour is just moistened. There still should be some dry patches of flour.
    Use your hand to scoop the dough up and fold it over on top of itself. Do this 10-12 times (this helps build layers). The dough will be a shaggy mess.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead/press the dough together to form a disk. Work gently, but quickly as the dough needs to stay cold.
    Roll the dough out to 3/4 - 1 inch (1.9 -2.54 cm) thick disk (7 1/2 - 8 inches wide / 19-20cm) and cut into eight wedges using a knife in one quick motion down. No sawing here.
  • Arrange the scones evenly apart on the parchment lined sheet pan(s), and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
    Make Ahead: At this point, scones may be frozen solid for a quick bake in the morning or for longer storage. If freezing for next day or longer be sure to store frozen scones in a container or freezer bag.

Bake the Scones

  • Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit (218 Celsius).
    Just before baking, crack the remaining egg in a small bowl and whisk with a tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the scones with the egg wash then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake the scones at 425 Fahrenheight for five minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 Fahrenheight (190 Celsius) and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more. The internal temperature will be between 200-205 Fahrenheight when done (93-96 Celsius).
    Cool slightly, then share warm simply or with orange marmalade or clotted cream.
    Tip: For a dryer scone, turn the oven off, leave the scones in the oven, and prop the oven door open for about 10 minutes.

Store the Scones

  • Store covered at room temperature for up to two days.
    To Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scones individually on a sheet pan, then transfer to a freezer bag or storage container for up to two weeks. Frozen scones can go straight from freezer to oven baking a few minutes longer if needed.
    To Freeze After Baking: Allow scones to cool completely before freezing. Freeze scones individually on a sheet pan, then transfer to a freezer bag or storage container for up to two weeks.
    To Rewarm: Thaw at room temperature, then rewarm scones in a 350 Fahrenheight oven for about 10-15 minutes.


Kitchen Tools: I recommend an oven thermometer with an oven air probe, food thermometer and weighing your ingredients using a digital kitchen scale for best outcome. Use the scoop and sweep method for volume measurements if a scale is unavailable. 
*To Make This Recipe Dairy Free: The images taken in this blog post were from scones made with dairy butter. Dairy free butter scones will be a little less golden. 
  • Substitute Earth Balance Unsalted Butter for dairy butter.
  • Substitute full fat coconut milk (from a can stirred down) for the whipping cream. 
**PRO TIP: If your cranberries seem dry, simply rehydrate them in some very hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry before using them in the recipe.
This recipe is adapted from my Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Scone recipe. 


Serving: 1scone | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg