Easy Glazed Fresh Orange Scones

My absolute favorite scone recipe, these mini orange scones use fresh orange zest and an orange juice glaze for an absolutely addictive bakery-style treat. With hints of vanilla and cardamom spice, these easy scones are flaky-crumbly, moist, and come together in just 30 minutes with minimal effort! You’ll swear these are better than Panera!

These scones use my Easy Plain Scones recipe as a base: perfectly flaky and crumbly while remaining moist and flavorful!

Three mini glazed orange scones stacked on a white plate.

This recipe was first published on October 8, 2016 and updated with helpful content and new photos April 1, 2022.

As an afternoon tea lover, I’m also a bit of a scone aficionado. While my chocolate chip scones are my husband’s favorite recipe, I think the best ones I’ve created are these easy glazed orange cardamom scones. Check out my other scone recipes to find your favorite!

While these scones rival (or, in my opinion, surpass) the orange scones from Panera, their inspiration was not, in fact, the popular chain restaurant. These were inspired by an orange cardamom ice cream I had at Kem CoBa on my honeymoon in Montreal. I loved the flavor combination so much I made it into a scone, and it’s absolute perfection!


  • FLAKY AND MOIST: These orange scones have all the flaky, crumbly goodness of a milk and butter scone with the moist richness of a cream scone. They flake apart easily for spreading with your favorite toppings!
  • QUICK AND EASY: Cutting in your butter is a cinch with a food processor (although if you don’t have one it’s okay!)
  • FRESH AND CITRUSY: Use fresh orange zest to flavor the dough and orange juice in the glaze for a crisp, citrusy finish.
  • GREAT ON THEIR OWN OR WITH TOPPINGS: These are moist and sweet enough to enjoy on their own, but aren’t too sweet to serve with a little jam or homemade lemon curd.

Every time I make these scones I remember why they’re my favorite! In just 30 minutes from start to finish, they can be on your table and IN YOUR MOUTH too and you can see if you agree with me! 

Overhead view of flaky orange scone with fresh orange zest split in half on a white plate.

Better than Panera’s orange scones!

This is not exactly a Panera copycat orange scone recipe, but I think they’re even better! Here are the differences I noticed:

  • These scones use butter and cream, giving them a flaky, moist interior and a rich flavor. Panera’s orange scones are cream-only scones, giving them a cakier texture. See the above photo for how nicely they flake apart!
  • These orange scones are lightly sweet, making them perfect to eat on their own but not too sweet to spread with jam or other toppings. Panera orange scones are a bit sweeter, so they’re best eaten on their own.
  • Panera’s orange scones are sweetened with sugar and corn syrup, while this recipe uses only granulated sugar.
  • This recipe makes mini scones, while Panera’s are larger. If you prefer a large scone, I’ve included instructions below on how to make that adaptation!
  • Panera’s scones are only flavored with orange, while these also include vanilla and cardamom for a more complex flavor. You may leave out the vanilla and cardamom if you want an orange-only scone.

Ingredients you need

These scones require mostly staples you should already have in your pantry!

Ingredients for fresh orange scones with cardamom and vanilla.
Ingredients for Orange Scones
Ingredients for fresh orange juice glaze for scones.
Ingredients for Orange Scone Glaze

For these fresh orange scones, you’ll need:

  • Dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder (be sure to use aluminum-free)
  • Butter: Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to add it!
  • Flavorings:
    Fresh orange zest: Use a rasp grater to zest your orange before cutting and juicing it!
    Cardamom: If you’re not familiar with cardamom, you might recognize it from its prominent role in the flavor of chai tea – and a little goes a long way (which is good, because it’s kinda pricey. Get yourself a jar and it will last for a long time.).While you can leave it out if you don’t have any, the cardamom in the scone dough adds just enough je ne se qua and earthiness to ground the fresh citrus and keep it interesting – but it’s very subtle and not overpowering.  
    Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste: Vanilla bean paste will add those delightful speckles to your dough but vanilla extract is great too!
  • Wet ingredients: Egg, heavy cream
  • Toppings: A little extra cream to add gloss and help with browning, and coarse sanding sugar for a little glitter and crunch!
  • Glaze: powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and fresh orange juice
Fresh orange scone dough cut into triangular mini scones.

How to Make Fresh Cardamom Orange Scones

These scones are so easy to make and can be ready in about 30 minutes! 

Step by step photos for making homemade glazed orange scones with a food processor.
  1. Mix the dry ingredients with the orange zest and cardamom.
  2. Cut in the cold butter with a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingertips (I love using my food processor for this!).
  3. Mix in wet ingredients and vanilla until a crumbly dough just starts to form. Do not overwork the dough!
  4. Shape and cut your scones. Brush with cream to add a subtle gloss and aid in browning, and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar for a nice glittery exterior.
  5. Make the glaze while your scones are baking.
  6. Dip the tops of the scones in the glaze and let them dry on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Hand holding freshly glazed homemade orange scone dripping into orange ramekin.

Expert Tips for Making Perfect Scones

  • Make sure to use an aluminum-free baking powder like Rumford. Some popular brands like Clabber Girl contain sodium aluminum sulfate, which can make your baked goods taste bitter or metallic. Your baking powder should be free from lumps and not older than 6 months to a year.
Hand showing texture of scone ingredients after cutting in cold butter with a food processor.
  • Keep your butter in the fridge until you’re ready to add it. Steam created during baking from the cold butter helps create the flaky layers of your scones. Leaving some larger pieces of butter up to the size of a pea when you cut it into the dry ingredients will make your scones extra flaky and delicious.
  • Don’t overwork the dough after you add your wet ingredients. This will develop a gluten network, which is great for sturdier baked goods like bread or pizza dough, but will make your scones tough. The dough will be pretty dry but minimize handling it — just enough for the dough to come together into a disk.
  • When cutting your dough into wedges or using a cookie cutter, use a straight down and up motion rather than sliding the knife across or twisting the cutter. Twisting or sliding will interfere with the way the scones rise on the edges.
  • Be sure to let the glaze harden completely before storing your scones, otherwise they will stay tacky forever.
Overhead shot of glazed orange scones with coarse sanding sugar on a white plate.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Wait for the glaze to dry completely before storing these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze before or after baking (see below for details).

Yup! You can freeze them before or after baking.

Freezing unbaked scones: You can freeze the unbaked scones after you brush them with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze them separately on a baking sheet for an hour or until they’re set, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months until you’re ready to bake.

To finish making the scones, remove from the freezer while you’re preheating the oven. Bake as instructed, adding a couple minutes to the baking time. Alternately, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for the normal amount of time. Glaze as instructed.

Freezing baked scones: You can also store baked scones in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. If you freeze them already glazed, thaw overnight and enjoy at room temperature. If they’re unglazed, you can reheat them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes and add the glaze afterwards.

 Here are some toppings that go great with fresh orange scones:

  • Clotted cream
  • Lemon curd
  • Orange, cherry, or cranberry preserves

While I love the speed and ease of using a food processor to cut in butter, you definitely don’t need one to make these scones! You can also cut in butter using a handheld pastry blender or just your fingertips! Just use a pinching motion on your butter chunks as you work it into the flour until you reach the right consistency. Avoid using the palms of your hands to cut in butter, as this will transfer too much heat to the butter — you want it to stay as cold as possible for the best flaky texture! I’ve also seen people grating their cold or frozen butter with a cheese grater and then mixing it into the flour.

Sure! Instead of making a 7-inch square, form the dough into a 7-inch round. Cut in half, and then cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges to make 6 or 8 scones. Bake for about 18-22 minutes instead of 15-18 minutes.

The culprit here is your leavener.  Either you accidentally used baking soda, or something is amiss with your baking powder. If your baking powder is clumpy, contains aluminum (like Clabber Girl), or is old or expired, it can cause a bitter, sour, or metallic taste in your baked goods. If you’re at a high altitude (over 3,500 feet) you will need to slightly reduce the amount of baking powder as well.

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5 from 1 vote

Easy Glazed Fresh Orange Scones

My absolute favorite scone recipe, these mini orange scones use fresh orange zest and an orange juice glaze for an absolutely addictive bakery-style treat. With hints of vanilla and cardamom spice, these easy scones are flaky-crumbly, moist, and come together in just 30 minutes with minimal effort! You’ll swear these are better than Panera!
Print Recipe
Course: Afternoon tea, baked goods, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 small scones
Calories: 168kcal
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream plus a little extra for brushing the tops of the scones
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • Coarse sanding sugar

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cream
  • 2 tbsp juice from an orange

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and orange zest.
  • Add cold butter cubes and pulse in the food processor until mixture has the texture of wet sand. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips to cut in the butter. Don't use the palms of your hands because that will transfer too much heat to the butter.
  • Beat egg, cream, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Pour into food processor bowl and pulse with flour mixture until just combined.
  • Pat mixture into a ball and shape into a 7 inch square. Cut into a 9-square grid, then cut each square diagonally to make 18 triangle-shaped mini scones. Arrange scones about an inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with cream and shake on coarse sanding sugar liberally.
  • Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until you can see golden brown around the bottoms of the scones.

For the icing

  • Mix the ingredients for the icing in a small bowl until smooth.
  • After cooling the baked scones for a few minutes, flip the scones top-side down and dip the tops into the icing. Let excess icing drip off before putting right-side up on a wire rack. For easier cleanup, put wire rack on top of a baking sheet to catch drips.
  • Let dry completely before storing. (If they are not completely cool and dry when you store them, the icing will be gooey instead of hard and shiny tomorrow!) Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to a week. See notes for freezing instructions.
  • Enjoy on their own or with clotted cream, homemade lemon curd, or orange, cherry, or cranberry preserves!

Notes

Freezing unbaked scones: You can freeze the unbaked scones after you brush them with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze them separately on a baking sheet for an hour or until they’re set, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months until you’re ready to bake.
To finish making the scones, remove from the freezer while you’re preheating the oven. Bake as instructed, adding a couple minutes to the baking time. Alternately, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for the normal amount of time. Glaze as instructed.
Freezing baked scones: You can also store baked scones in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. If you freeze them already glazed, thaw overnight and enjoy at room temperature. If they’re unglazed, you can reheat them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes and add the glaze afterwards.
Tried this recipe?Mention @pinchmeimeating or tag #pinchmeimeating on Instagram!

Nutrition

Sodium: 169mg | Calcium: 43mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 278IU | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 32mg | Cholesterol: 31mg | Calories: 168kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Fat: 8g | Protein: 2g | Carbohydrates: 22g | Iron: 1mg

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12 Comments

  1. Caroline, so refreshing to see a young homemaker that does not use a bunch of prepared ingredients. After 74 years, I am still cooking in the same farm/ranch house kitchen I learned in from my mother and grandmother. My daughters and granddaughter join in to help cook for the seasonal harvest and cow working crew. I followed your recipe for scones to a “tea” My teachers always pressed the issue, treat dough as if it were a china egg. Chill and grate your butter when it is used. That was the only thing I did differently . The scones were delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these this morning because I needed some cheering up. Great texture. I didn’t have any cream, but whole milk worked just fine. I’ve already eaten six! LOL!

  3. 5 stars
    It was a wet and soggy day in Oregon yesterday. Wanted to try a cardamon orange combination sweet. Found your recipe and made a batch this morning. Oh my, they are tasty! Thanks for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    These are to die for. Soft, fragrant, light and just the right amount of sweet. I’m a sucker for anything with cardamom, but these are definitely a new favorite. There’s a fresh batch sitting on my counter right now, and no one else is home, so it’s taking everything I’ve got not to finish the lot.

    1. Thanks so much, Emily!! Cardamom is one of those under-appreciated spices that adds SO MUCH to a recipe. I need to make these again soon. I’m thrilled that you loved these!

  5. I just saw that you were “marked safe” from hurricane Mathew. So glad to hear that! … The scones look amazing! I just had the worst maple glazed scone in the world when I was traveling with Patricia in Denver. Maybe I need to make a batch of these to make up for it… How could anything with orange and cardamom be bad?

    1. We had a cappuccino scone or something at the Chocolate Iguana when we were in Tucson and it was terrible! I love that place but the scone was dry and SO SWEET. You definitely need a batch of these to redeem your bad scone experience. Thanks for your thoughts during the hurricane! We are headed back tomorrow. It doesn’t look bad at our house from the photos our neighbor sent. Hoping no trees fall that might be leaning now.

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