I've been making easy Fruit Cream Drop Scones for years now, and they are a family favorite. My blog readers have given them great reviews, too. I've been asked to adapt that recipe to one for orange scones, so this recipe was born in response to reader request. Turns out I love the orange scones from Panera and had always wanted to figure out how to make them. I was happy that with a few tweaks to my original recipe these turned out to have a similar taste and texture to the popular Panera version.
Cream drop scones are particularly easy to make, because unlike traditional scone recipes:
- This recipe uses cream for richness rather than butter; that means you don't have to worry about cutting in butter to the proper pea size and fret about working fast to keep it cold; instead pour in the cream and stir--easy!
- There is no need to pat or roll the dough and cut it into rounds or wedges with leftover dough bits to deal with; simply drop this scone batter in rustic rounds onto a baking sheet and bake it--no fuss!
Step-by-step photos for making
Cream Drop Scones
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- orange zest and juice
- cold heavy (whipping) cream
- 3 large navel oranges will yield enough zest and juice for the batter and glaze. It's easier if you zest the oranges before juicing them. (There will be leftover juice if you juice all 3 oranges.)
- view Microplane zester on Amazon
- DON'T HAVE HEAVY CREAM? No problem. I learned from King Arthur Baking Company that if you have milk and butter on hand, there's an easy substitution. In place of 1-cup of heavy cream, combine 1/2-cup 2% or whole milk with 1/2-cup butter (cut into 1/2-inch thick slices). Heat in the microwave (approx. 1 minute) just until there are a few unmelted bits; whisk with a fork until all the butter melts in. Do this first and let it cool a bit in the fridge while prepping the other ingredients. (It can be warm, but not hot--don't let the butter harden again.) Add the milk/butter mixture in the recipe where it calls for cream.
Step 2. Mix the batter. First, whisk the dry ingredients. Then add the orange zest and whisk, breaking up any clumps. Add the wet ingredients and stir gently just until there are no visible dry flour bits. (Don't overmix the batter or you'll end up with tough scones.) The batter will be very thick and sticky.
view on Amazon: wire whisk, mix-and-measure bowl, my favorite rubber spatula (for mixing and more)
Step 3. Scoop (or spoon) and drop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. A heaping large cookie scoop will yield 8 scones (a generous 1/3 cup each). You may need to redistribute the batter after scooping to have uniformly sized scones. 8 scones fit on a single 13x18 baking sheet, spaced 1-2 inches apart.
Use your fingers to slightly flatten the scones and smooth any shaggy stray bits. If the dough sticks to your hand, wet your fingers with water, shake off excess, and use dampened fingers to smooth scones.
view on Amazon: large scoop, 13x18 baking sheet (half sheet), parchment paper (precut to a perfect fit for half-sheet pans), economical set of silicone mats-- (in place of parchment paper)
Step 4. Bake scones until they are golden on the edges. Expect characteristic cracks on top. Rest 10 minutes and transfer the scones to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
view on Amazon: wire cooling rack -- it fits perfectly inside the 18x13 (half sheet) baking pan, so it can double as a baking rack when needed
Step 5. In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Add only 1 tablespoon of orange juice initially. If too thick, add more orange juice until you have a drizzling consistency. If you end up with a glaze that is too thin, whisk in more powdered sugar.
Step 6. Return the cooled scones to the parchment-covered baking sheet to catch glaze drips. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over each scone.
Allow glaze to dry completely before storing or stacking.
TO STORE UP TO 3 DAYS: Place scones inside a paper bag, covered cardboard box, or on a plate with a dish towel draped over the top --something breathable. Scones will get soggy in a sealed plastic or glass container. Don't refrigerate--they will stay fresher stored at room temperature.
TO REFRESH 1- to 3-DAY-OLD SCONES:
- Quickest method--Zap in the microwave for 15 seconds.
- Best method-- Place in 350-degree F oven or toaster oven for 8-10 minutes. They'll taste freshly baked!
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE (unbaked/unglazed): Place unbaked scones on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to an airtight plastic freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. May be frozen for up to one month. Bake frozen scones according to the recipe, adding approx. 5 minutes to the baking time.
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE (baked and glazed): Bake and glaze scones and leave out uncovered 1-2 hours until the glaze has dried. Freeze in a single layer in a sealed container for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove from container and thaw uncovered at room temperature. Glaze may look wet initially, but will re-harden as they reach room temperature--this may take 1-2 hours.
It's so easy to make these scones that they can be thrown together at the last minute. This scone with a cup of hot tea or latte is a mighty tasty treat.
If you like this recipe, don't forget to try my easy Fruit Cream Drop Scones.
Make it a Yummy day!
Cream Drop Scones - Orange
Servings: 8 scones
- FOR BATTER:
- 2 cups (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 large navel oranges)*
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice*
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- FOR GLAZE:
- 1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 large navel orange)*
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cream or milk
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh orange juice*
*3 large navel oranges will yield enough zest and juice for the batter and glaze. It's easier if you zest the oranges before juicing them. (There will be leftover juice if you juice all 3 oranges.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or 375 convection). Line a large baking sheet (13x18) with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add orange zest and whisk with flour mixture, breaking up any clumps. Add orange juice, cream, and vanilla. Stir gently just until no dry bits are visible. Don't over mix. Dough should be thick and sticky.
Drop in 8 equal portions, a generous 1/3-cup each, onto baking sheet. (A large scoop makes this task easier.) Flatten slightly with damp fingers and smooth out any shaggy, stray bits.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden on edges. Leave on baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
MIX AND GLAZE SCONES:
Whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, vanilla, cream, and 1 tablespoon orange juice. If too thick, add more orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled scones.
TO STORE 1-2 days: Place scones inside a paper bag or covered cardboard box--something breathable; or place on plate covered with dish towel. Do not store in sealed plastic or glass container to prevent sogginess. Don't refrigerate--they stay fresher stored at room temperature.
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE (unbaked/unglazed): Place unbaked scones on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to an airtight plastic freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. May be frozen for up to one month. Bake frozen scones according to the recipe, adding 5 or so minutes to baking time.
TO MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZE (baked and glazed): Bake and glaze scones and leave out uncovered 1-2 hours until glaze has hardened. Freeze in single layer in sealed container for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove from container and thaw at room temperature. Glaze may look wet initially, but will re-harden as they reach room temperature--this may take 1-2 hours.
This easy recipe is similar to Panera's popular orange scones. These get their richness from cream, so there's no butter to chill and cut in. No need to cut these into shapes; simply drop them in rustic rounds onto a baking sheet. From TheYummyLife.com #scones #creamscones #dropscones #orangescones #easy #makeahead #freezable #Britishinspired #breakfast #brunch #teatime