Recipe: Lemon Cranberry Scones

My parents often make apricot coffee cake for Christmas morning, but this year no one thought about it until we’d already gone shopping. And we did not feel like tacking Wegmans again the day before Christmas… As a coffee cake alternative — though I could’ve made this — I thought scones would be a perfect accompaniment to present-opening and coffee-drinking around the Christmas tree. Double points because my mom loves scones so much. These days, when I need a foolproof recipe I turn to smitten kitchen. She does an amazing job; every recipe I or someone I know has tried from her blog has turned out really well.

Lo and behold, smitten kitchen has a delicious-looking recipe for lemon and fresh cranberry scones, for which we had all the ingredients (that was the important requirement) and which I could freeze the night before and bake the next morning. I followed the recipe exactly, except I substituted buttermilk for heavy cream.


The scones were a huge hit! This recipe makes ten good-sized scones, and by the day after Christmas only one is left. My mom, dad, and brother raved about them. They were easy to mix up and freeze, and they baked beautifully straight from the freezer on Christmas morning. I’ll definitely make these again.

Lemon Cranberry Scones (adapted from this recipe)


  • 1.5 tbsp lemon zest (or the zest of 1-2 lemons)
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1-1.5 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (I used 1.5 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • If baking the same day, preheat the oven to 400F and grease a baking sheet.
  • Set up your food processor and pulse the flour, sugar, powder, salt, butter, and zest. Move the mixture to a large bowl.
  • Pulse the cranberries in the vacated food processor until they are coarsely chopped. Add them to the flour mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg, yolk, and buttermilk. Add to the dry mixture and stir until just combined (the dough will be quite sticky).
  • Flour a flat surface and pat the dough into a 1″ think round. Cut out scones of your desired shape with a knife or spatula, and arrange them on a cookie sheet. If baking right away, bake them for 15-20′. If not, flash-freeze them on the cookie sheet and bake just out of the freezer for 20-25′.



6 thoughts on “Recipe: Lemon Cranberry Scones

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