Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free

I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow morning! A warm, jammed and buttered scone filled with dried cranberries and scented with orange peel is the perfect way to start Christmas Day. You will love how easy these are to put together while everyone wakes up and makes their way to the table.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Happy Christmas Eve morning everyone! Today is the beginning of my family’s festivities and we will continue through tomorrow with Chris’s family lunch and dinner. We are lucky to be surrounded by so much love and joy at this special time of year. Before Chris and I travel to his family for lunch and dinner tomorrow we will be gathering around the table with my family for Christmas morning breakfast. I am so fond of sharing special breakfasts, and Christmas morning breakfast has to be one of my favourites. Everyone gathered around the table in their pyjamas with sleep-tousled hair and eyes that have been awakened to the new day with carefully selected gifts. It’s the one time of the year that my little sister eats chocolate before she has her breakfast (stocking sweets are totally on the breakfast menu).

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese buttery scones are scented with orange peel, and spiked with dried cranberries before being topped with a crunchy coating of raw sugar crystals. They are wonderful plain when freshly pulled from the oven, but pair them with a smidge of butter and generous lathering of jam for a truly festive breakfast.

You have to know a few things about this recipe. Firstly, the dough is quite a bit wetter than other scone doughs. Gluten free flours are often greedy for moisture, and the wetness of this dough means you don’t end up with a crumbly, dry outcome after they are pulled from the oven. Secondly, they will not puff quite as much as a wheat based scone, but the crumb is not dense and glue-like, rather moist and close and filled with the scent of oranges. Thirdly, you must not leave out the ground chia seed. Chia provides the structure to the dough that when coupled with the moisture, binds together your dough to create scone perfection. Fourthly, (that word always looks weird to me) please, please freeze your butter – it makes incorporating it into your dough so much easier! Especially when you are fighting against 35C (95F) weather, or central heating. Just place a block of butter in your freezer at least an hour before you are going to make these, or if you are like me you can keep one in there permanently for spontaneous scone baking sessions (they happen).

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ve been scared to attempt gluten free scones (even more than gluten free pastry, and that’s working out okay at the moment) because my Mum makes the best scones in the world (according to my CWA raised, ex-cook Dad, so that’s saying something). But after watching her delicately turn out fluffy, beautiful scones last weekend, I just knew I had to attempt a gluten free version. I missed my long summer afternoon teas on my parent’s verandah. Sitting in a chair positioned to just catch the breeze with a jam and cream heaped scone in one hand and cup of sweet Irish breakfast tea in the other. Those are my Christmas memories, and I am glad to say that this scone recipe brings all that rushing back.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCranberry Orange Scones

Gluten Free | Makes 8 wedges, easily doubled | Best eaten on the day they are made, but can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute.

Note: Chia seeds are best kept in the refrigerator. Grind them as you need them as this will ensure their freshness. You can use a spice or coffee grinder, or even a mortar and pestle (if you’re old school/ can’t find your coffee grinder like me). Frozen butter is easy to grate using a box grater, just watch your fingers! Grate first, and then weigh the amount required.


  • 60 grams buckwheat flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 60 grams white rice flour
  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 75 grams grated frozen butter
  • Finely grated zest one orange
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup cold buttermilk + 2 tablespoons extra
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C (430F). (A hot oven means a happy scone says Mum.) Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and set aside until required.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together buckwheat, sorghum, white rice, brown rice, caster sugar, ground chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add frozen butter, whisk lightly with a fork, and then use your fingertips to gently ‘rub’ the butter into the flour mix until incorporated and the mix resembles large rough breadcrumbs.
  4. Mix grated orange zest and cranberries through the flour and create a well in the middle.
  5. Add 2/3 cup of buttermilk to the flour mix and stir from the middle to the outside to create a wet shaggy dough. If the dough still appears too dry to come together into a ball, you can add the remaining buttermilk up to 3/4 cup.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and place onto the lined cookie sheet. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch (2.5cm) thick.
  7. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and separate the wedges so that the hot air can circulate and bake the scones properly.
  8. Brush the tops with the reserved buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  9. Place scones into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven) or until scones are risen and the tops are golden.
  10. Remove and serve with jam, cream, and butter.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life


5 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free

  1. I am an absolute sucker for orange and cranberry. I want to make some orange poppyseed scones here shortly! Scones are just so good! Dessert disguised as breakfast… I mean, it can’t get a whole lot better than that.

  2. Pingback: Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Fifty-Two | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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