Cranberry Walnut Scones

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | March 3rd, 2022 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Recipes

The flavors of the holiday season in a scone.

cranberry walnut scones

Cranberry Walnut Scones

Michele Pesula Kuegler

It’s the flavors of the holiday in a scone!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Course Breakfast

Servings 8



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter diced
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



  • Preheat oven to 400◦F.
  • Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add butter.
  • Combine dry ingredients using a pastry blender (or two forks) until butter is reduced to the size of grains of rice.
  • Add walnuts and cranberries to flour mixture, tossing gently.
  • Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, and vanilla in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl.
  • Gradually add liquids to dry ingredients; mix until dough forms a ball. (You may not need to use all of the liquids.)
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into an 8-inch round.
  • Cut into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Transfer wedges to rimmed cookie sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are crusty on top and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Serve warm.


I’d highly recommend making some cinnamon sugar butter to top these scones.

Keyword scones

Here it is near Christmas, and I’m focusing on scones. I guess that’s not too surprising. Scones are probably the most requested dish from my kids. Since they’re all out of high school, this is the time of year that typically they’d come home and ask for something homemade. This year is different, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t bake and think about what I’ll make when we’re able to be together again.

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in December 2019, keep reading.

It’s not often that I finish a scone recipe with the suggestion of topping it with butter. (Get the recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Butter here.) If your scones has a glaze on it, like these Maple Bacon Scones, or is filled with white chocolate chips, like these Berry & White Chocolate Chip Scones, or have an indulgent frosting, like these Cinnamon Roll Scones, you really don’t need to add anything else.

That’s not to say that these cranberry walnut scones are plain. Not at all. They’ve got a delightful crunch from the walnuts. They have a tart sweetness from the dried cranberries. They have an extra hint of sweetness from the sugar topping. Yet, I felt they needed a bit more.

Maybe part of the reason for this is the time of year. I created this scone recipe with the holiday season in mind. These would be a wonderful start to Thanksgiving or Christmas and would also work well at a holiday brunch. Since it’s the holiday season, it’s the time for indulgence. So, why settle for a delicious scone when you can have a delicious scone that’s topped with butter?

For me, scones are the perfect breakfast on Christmas morning, no matter the situation. When the kids were younger and ready to open presents as soon as they could, I’d make the scones while they played with their new toys. Now that the kids are older and present opening happens much later, I make the scones before everyone gets up. If it’s a holiday for just my husband and me, I make them whenever we think it’s breakfast time.

Another handy note about these scones. You can make the scones the night before, place them on a prepared baking tray, and refrigerate, covered, overnight. In the morning, simply take the scones out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. They may need an extra minute or two in the oven, but that’s it.

Of course, don’t let all of this talk of the holiday season convince you that scones are only to be made this time of year. That’s just silly. There are many varieties of scones, begging to be made throughout the year. You can check out my scone archives here.

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