We all know a good scone right? They’re tender and soft, yet crumbly and are amazing spread with butter or cream and jam. These White Chocolate Cranberry Scones need nothing more than some butter to make them a delicious and simple Christmas brunch or brekky.
My parents are English, and although I grew up in Australia, from time to time they would take us out for ‘Devonshire Tea’. For those who haven’t heard of it, Devonshire Tea is an English tradition of a morning or afternoon tea which consists of scones, jam and cream, often washed down with an actual tea.
Point being, I’ve eaten lots of scones in my time so it was inevitable I was going to add loads of recipes here. It started with my Herb Cheddar Scones and I’ve since added Lime and Coconut Scones (which get a lot of love), Blood Orange Scones (my personal favourite) and Chocolate Scones (these make a great Easter or Fathers Day brunch).
My father-in-law makes wonderful scones. He’s known for how good his scones are and they will often come out at a get together and be promptly devoured. All of this to say, the pressure was on for me to create good scones. If they’re mediocre, people will know. Well, I did it. These went down a treat and everyone loved them.
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones – Officially in-law approved 🙂
What makes Christmas Scones so Christmassy?
I chose the classic combo of white chocolate and cranberries for these scones. I use dried cranberries since we don’t really get fresh ones here but you can certainly use fresh if you prefer – just note, they might ‘bleed’ a little colour.
I also added just a small amount of orange zest. Orange and cranberries compliment each other perfectly and, while I’ve just added the zest from 1/2 an orange for a background hint, you can certainly add the zest from a whole orange for a stronger flavour.
How to make perfect scones
So, if you want to know how to make perfect scones, you’ll be glad to know they are actually very simple but for anything simple to be really good, there are often a few golden rules. This is totally the case for scones.
- Grate the butter: Doing this allows you to incorporated it into the dough quicker, without it melting in your hands. The large side of a box grater is perfect.
- The butter should be very cold: The colder your butter, the more flaky and light the scones will turn out. Once grated, place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Work quickly but gently. Light and tender scones comes from not overworking the dough and not melting the butter in. The traditional method (and the one I grew up watching my mum do) is to use a knife to cut the butter into the dough.
- Don’t play with the dough too much or the warmth from your hands will melt the butter before they make it to the oven. So, no kneading, just make sure the ingredients are combined.
- When flattening the dough out, don’t add too much flour. The dough should remain slightly sticky.
- Cook them until just starting to turn golden and generally around the 16-18 minute mark, they’re ready
That’s a really long winded way to say move quickly with light hands. That makes scones one of the easiest things you can bake.
Variations and Substitutions
- Cranberries: Swap them for any dried fruits you like. Many traditional scones have sultanas or raisins which is a lovely touch. You can also use fresh cranberries but they may ‘bleed’ a little colour.
- White Chocolate: Swap it for milk or dark chips or leave it out altogether.
Can scones be made in advance
Scones are best served fresh, and luckily they are so quick to throw together, you shouldn’t need to make them ahead of time.
If you really need to make them ahead, make the dough ahead and store only overnight in the fridge or for up to 1 month in the freezer, in an airtight container. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight then bake right before you want them.
If you have leftover scones, they’re best kept stored in an airtight container in the fridge and warmed slightly before eating them. If you think there may be leftovers, hold back the glaze as they are best reheated without it.
Can you freeze leftover scones
Yes. Again, they are best served fresh but you can make them and freeze them without the glaze. Wrap each one in plastic wrap then store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Reheat them in the oven before serving and add the glaze (if you want it) right before serving.
So there you have it! These White Chocolate Cranberry Scones are a simple Christmas brunch idea that you can make in a hurry – you know, just to tide everyone over until lunch 🙂 Merry Christmas all.
More sweet breakfast recipes you’ll love
- Earl Grey Scones
- Lime Coconut Scones
- Blood Orange Scones
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Chocolate Scones
- Blueberry Orange Muffins
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For the scones
- 325 g plain (all purp) flour (2 ½ cups / 11.4oz)
- 35 g icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar (¼ cup / 1.2oz)
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 75 g unsalted butter, cold and grated (3 oz / ¾ stick)
- zest of half an orange
- ½ cup white chocolate chips (90g / 3.2oz)
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries (85g / 3oz)
- 1 cup cold milk (put aside 2 teaspoons) (250ml)
- 1 egg yolk, from a large egg
For the Glaze
- 130 g icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar (1 cup / 4.6oz)
- 3 teaspoons milk
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, icing sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.
- Add the cold grated butter and using either your fingertips, a knife or pastry cutter, gently blend the butter into the flour until only small pieces remain.
- Reserve 2 teaspoons of milk, then use a spoon to stir the rest through the dry mixture, along with the chocolate chips and cranberries until you have a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out into a sheet of baking paper and gently pull together then flatten the dough into a disk about 1 inch high.
- Mix together the reserved milk and egg yolk, then brush over the tops of the triangles.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden on top. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
For the glaze
- Mix the icing sugar and extra milk together. Once the scones have cooled a little, drizzle the glaze and. You can let it set a little before serving if you like or serve immediately.
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