These cranberry yogurt scones are light, buttery and moist. The scone dough is fail proof, easy to handle and always bakes up perfect. Bonus! – Make your scone dough or cut rounds ahead of time and freeze. Simply pull out of the bag and bake when needed – no need to thaw.

Whether you’re making an easy family breakfast, a quick afternoon tea, or baking for the holiday season, these cranberry yogurt scones always rise to the occasion.

When baked just right to golden brown tops, these cranberry yogurt scones are moist, tender and hit the perfect sweet spot. They’re easy to pull off too, and all the more when you’ve got a tried and tested recipe to work with from the start.

Now, if there’s a scone recipe that always delivers and is a true workhorse, I promise you this one is it!

Easy cranberry yogurt scones

I’m about to drop an amazing scone dough recipe on you. Stick with me to the end and I promise, you’ll discover just how much of a good thing these delicious cranberry scones are.

In fact, these yogurt scones taste so amazing, you’ll want to double the recipe – they’re sure to disappear in a wink!

Burn this recipe into your memory, save it on your phone, email it to yourself and 10 other friends – do whatever you need to do to NOT lose this one. You’ll thank me later😉.

Why you’ll love these cranberry yogurt scones

  • crisp and crunchy at the edges – just like eating the best parts of a pie crust
  • moist and tender in the centres – thanks to yogurt, these scones stay moist!
  • buttery and flaky crumb
  • perfect sweetness – to complement the tart cranberries
  • juicy pops of cranberries – keeps the flavours bright and fresh!
setting a cranberry scone on a serving plate

I’m showing you how to make cranberry-filled scones but this recipe would work with many other fresh or dried berries and fruits like raisins and currants, as well as flavoured baking chips (chocolate, butterscotch, etc.)

Why use yogurt for scones?

This recipe is very similar to my best scone recipe, which makes extra rich and buttery scones as it uses heavy cream.

As much as I love my cream scones, cream is not something I usually keep stocked in the fridge and I’d usually have to make an extra grocery trip just to get it. I’m guessing you’re likely as well to have plenty of yogurt around, but no cream?

You’ll be happy to know that using yogurt in place of heavy cream or whole milk also makes some of the best scones.

For one, the creaminess and fat in full-fat yogurt helps keep these scones moist, and is lighter on calories compared to cream.

Second, yogurt also imparts a light, tangy flavour which helps balance the sweetness in these scones.

Most importantly, yogurt’s acidity helps to activate baking soda, setting off a chemical reaction that causes the scones to bake up light and fluffy😋.

Ingredients for cranberry yogurt scones

Here are the ingredients you need to make the scone dough:

ingredients to make cranberry scones
  • plain flour. Use all purpose flour or just regular plain flour. This provides the structure for the scone dough.
  • baking powder and baking soda. Leavens the dough and helps the scones rise during baking.
  • salt. Improves the flavour of other ingredients, balances the sweetness of the sugar and tartness of the cranberries.
  • sugar. Just enough to sweeten the scones (cranberries can be pretty tart!).
  • unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, remember to omit the extra salt.
  • vanilla extract (optional). Add a nice flavour but can be omitted.
  • eggs. Use large eggs, each weighing 60 – 63 grams (2 – 2.25 ounces) with its shell.
  • plain or whole-milk Greek yoghurt. Tenderises and moistens the dough. I would not recommend using non-fat as they contain added thickeners and stabilisers, so be sure to use full-fat or whole-milk for best flavour and texture.
  • fresh cranberries. Use fresh, frozen or dried cranberries. No need to thaw frozen cranberries – use right out of the freezer bag.

Step by step: How to make cranberry scones

If this is the first time you’re attempting to make scones, I highly recommend you read the do’s and don’ts of making scones in my best scone recipe post (also covered briefly in the section below). It will set you up for success and ensure your scones turn out as pictured.

Note: The ingredients and instructions are also written in detail in the recipe card at the end of this post – if you want to skip the step-by-step photos and go straight to the recipe card, scroll down to the bottom or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

This basic scone dough uses simple ingredients and comes together in a few easy steps:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) together into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combined.
  2. To rub the butter in, cut the cold butter right out of the chiller into thin slices. Even better, use grated frozen butter, if you can.
  1. Rub the cold butter pieces into the flour mixture with your fingers or with a pastry blender. Stop once you get a sandy mixture with pea-sized clumps of butter remaining. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine wet ingredients (eggs, yogurt and vanilla extract) together.
  1. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture in the large mixing bowl to gently combine. Once the dough starts to clump, tip in the cranberries. Continue by folding the dough over itself and patting down gently until a rough dough forms. Important! – Do not knead or over mix!
    Note: The dough should be quite wet and sticky, and somewhat loose. This is ideal! A drier dough will not benefit from a good rise and result in dense scones. If the dough is a bit dry, add more milk or yogurt 2 – 3 teaspoons at a time, until the dough is lightly moistened.
  2. Tip out the rough dough onto a lightly floured surface. It will be a bit messy at first, but don’t worry, it’ll come together well enough. Using flour-dusted hands, gather the loose bits together and gently fold the dough over itself to get it to stick together. Do this no more than 2 – 3 times – again, don’t over-mix. Chill the dough for 15 minutes.
  1. Gently pat down the dough tor use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1½” (3 cm) thickness. Grease the inside of a 2″(5 cm) scone cutter with softened butter and dip in flour to coat.
    Note: Do not pat down the dough too thin. Ideally, between 1¼ 1½” (2.5 – 3 cm) thickness is perfect for tall scones.
  2. Cut down into the dough – DO NOT TWIST. Lift up and release the scone onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet or pan. Dip the cutter in flour each time before cutting the next round. Space the cut rounds about 1 inch (2 cm) apart on the pan.
    Note: Take care to place each round on the sheet pan exactly where you want it. Once placed on the pan, do not touch the sides of the cut rounds with your fingers (doing so effectively seals the sides preventing the scone from rising nicely). If you need to move them around, use an offset spatula and gently lift them from the bottom to nudge them into position.
  1. Brush the tops with milk or a simple egg wash (take care to avoid dripping down the sides) and sprinkle coarse sugar on top, if desired.
  2. Bake in the middle position in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, and let them sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve and enjoy while still warm and toasty.

Scones: Important Do’s and Don’ts

  • Sift the dry ingredients. Helps distribute the leavening agents evenly to ensure the scones rise well.
  • Work with cold ingredients {importantly, butter, eggs, and yogurt}. Using chilled ingredients helps keep the butter in the dough cold. This way, the butter melts and converts to steam when heated in the oven, creating flaky layers in the crumb.
  • Mix – don’t knead – the dough. Stirring, folding and patting down the dough minimises gluten development and ensures a tender crumb!
  • Don’t make the dough too thin. A thin dough bakes up short scones with domed tops (think cupcakes – not what we want). For tall scones, an ideal thickness is about 1.5”/3 cm.
  • Don’t use too much flour. Sprinkle flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the baking sheet or worktop. Dust the surface of the dough too if it gets too sticky to handle, but sparingly
  • Grease and flour the scone cutter. Grease the inside of the cutter with softened butter and dip in flour. This facilitates cutting into and releasing the rounds onto the baking tray.
  • NEVER twist the cutter. Push the cutter down firmly into the dough, bang it if you have to, and lift it straight up – do not turn or twist.
  • Do not handle the cut rounds. Touching the sides effectively ‘seals’ the flaky layers, so your scones won’t rise evenly and may end up lop-sided. They might look wonky, but will still bake up delicious.
  • Brush milk on the tops, never the sides. Brushing the sides of the scones will ‘glue’ the sides, preventing the scones from puffing up tall. For the same reason, take care to avoid milk dripping down the sides as well.

Variations

  • cranberry orange scones – add 2 teaspoons of grated orange zest (about 1 orange) to the dry ingredients, and replace 2 teaspoons of the yogurt with 2 teaspoons of orange juice.
  • cranberry lemon scones – add 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest to the dry ingredients, and replace 2 teaspoons of the yogurt with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  • cranberry white chocolate scones – add ¼ cup (40 grams) of white chocolate chips together with the fresh/frozen/dried cranberries. Slightly reduce the amount of sugar as white chocolate chips can be a tad sweet.
  • cranberry cinnamon scones – add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder) to the dry ingredients and sift together.

Note: The ingredients amounts listed to make each variation apply to one batch of scone dough (1x) which makes 6 large scones. Remember to adjust the amounts up (2x) or down (0.5x) depending on the scale (0.5x, 1x, 2x) you select in the recipe card below.

How to serve scones

Scones are best eaten fresh baked out of the oven, when they’ve cooled a bit but are still warm and toasty. If taking scones right of the chiller, you should toast or re-heat the scones. To crisp the tops and edges, re-heat them in a moderately warm oven (150°C/300°F) for 15 – 20 minutes.

To take the flavour of these cranberry scones up a couple of notches, prepare a refreshing lemon glaze or a more decadent orange cream cheese glaze and drizzle over before serving.

Serve scones with an array of spreads, usually strawberry jam and clotted cream or whipped heavy cream. And of course, accompanied by a hot pot of tea or your favourite cuppa!

How to eat scones two ways

We love eating our scones with sweet as well as savoury accompaniments. But I have to admit, we like to keep with the English on this aspect. Warm and toasty, sliced in half, spread with fruit jam and heaped over with clotted cream. Simply divine!

Though, I have to say it’s a little hard to get our hands on good clotted cream here. However, I find whipped cream to be an easy and delicious substitute, and just as delish too. If you haven’t had scones this way, I cannot recommend it enough.

Cranberry yogurt scones studded with fresh cranberries, stacked on a tea cloth

Scones – jam or cream first?

Speaking of English tea, an understanding of basic scone etiquette is worthwhile if you’re going to savour a very English treat.

For starters, how do you tuck into a scone, and more importantly, which spread comes first – cream or jam?

The answer to the first is straightforward. Typically, you break the scone with your fingers or slice it horizontally into two halves with a knife.

This way, you get to enjoy the toasty crusts on the TOP AND BOTTOM too, and get a larger crumb surface – oooh, I love that!

However, the answer to whether cream or jam comes first is … well, highly debatable and historically contentious.

In a nutshell, Devonshire cream tea tradition dictates that one spreads cream followed by jam, while in Cornwall, jam is spread first followed by cream.

Cranberry yogurt scones stacked on a serving plate

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. I do it the Cornish way, only because I find it more sensible and easier to spread the cream over jam, than vice versa.

Imagine how thrilled I was to find out recently that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth also spread her scones this way. I’d regard her example as good as gold, anytime.

Some scone experts go as far as to say that there is an ideal ratio of scone: jam: cream to ensure you have the most delicious experience.

This ideal ratio is 2: 1: 1. Basically, the jam and cream together are as thick as each half of the scone.

Whichever way you eat your scones, serious scone enthusiasts will agree on one thing – you should never eat a scone as a sandwich (at least, don’t be seen doing so in public – it’s considered highly inappropriate and even embarrassing).

Not forgetting as well, the tea in cream tea, Devon or Cornish, is regarded as the essential accompaniment to wash down the scones with.

Just because scones are very much an English tea custom, you don’t need to stick with traditional teas like English Breakfast. These days, flavoured teas are all the rage and make a good cup to moisten delicious crumbs with.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can cranberry scones keep?

Scones, no matter which variety, are best eaten on the day they are baked. However, due to the fruit and dairy content in these cranberry yogurt scones, these scones are best moved into the chiller the day after they are baked.

Once cooled, wrap each scone tightly in plastic wrap and seal them in a Ziplock bag or airtight container to retain maximum freshness. Store in the chiller for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Can the scones be made ahead and refrigerated?

If you’re in for a busy morning the next day, you can make the dough the evening before, up to the point when you’ve got all your cut rounds (instead of leaving the dough uncut) and on a baking sheet or lined baking tray. Do not brush the tops until the next morning when you’re ready to bake.

Place the scones uncovered in the chiller overnight. This actually benefits the dough as the extra chilling time allows the dough to absorb the liquids and gives the butter time to become solid.

Can I freeze this cranberry yogurt scone dough?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze scone dough. Wrap the scone dough in a double layer of plastic wrap. Place into a freezer bag and seal tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Pull them from the freezer bag into the chiller to thaw overnight or for 45 minutes at room temperature. Once they’re soft enough but still cold, cut the rounds and bake.

Alternatively, you can make the scone dough up to the step when you’ve cut the rounds and placed them on the baking sheet. Freeze the cut rounds, uncovered, until solid. Slide the frozen rounds off the tray into the freezer bag and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready, simply pull the frozen scones out of the bag – no thawing required – onto a lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and bake at the stated temperature, adding 5 minutes to the total baking time.

Can I use milk in place of yogurt?

Milk is of a thinner consistency than yogurt. Milk can replace yogurt 1:1, but do not add all at once.

Start by mixing ¾ of the milk with the eggs, and stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. If the dough looks too dry, add more milk (2 – 3 teaspoons at a time) until just enough to moisten the dough.

When replacing yogurt with milk, omit the baking soda and double the amount of baking powder.

How to make these scones dairy-free?

Replace yogurt with unsweetened oat milk, rice milk, almond milk or soy milk. Do be aware that the flavour of some kinds of milk can come through in the baked scones. Please read the above question on how to use milk in place of yogurt for the best results.

And there you have it – my easy cranberry yogurt scones! I hope you’ll try these and let me know how you got on with this recipe, and it’d be fun to know what you did differently to make it your own.

If you haven’t yet emailed this recipe to yourself and 10 other people you know, don’t wait! This scone recipe is a keeper 🤗!

You may also like:

Easy Cranberry Yogurt Scones

setting a cranberry scone on a serving plate
5 from 3 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time (Optional): 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
These cranberry scones are light, buttery and moist. The scone dough is easy to handle and always bakes up perfect.

Ingredients

  • 240 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 65 g sugar
  • 113 g butter (cold or frozen)
  • 1 egg cold
  • 120 g full-fat plain or Greek yogurt cold
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 50 g cranberries (fresh or frozen – no need to thaw)
  • 1 tbsp milk for brushing the tops
  • Some coarse sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F) with top and bottom heating mode. Line a sheet pan or baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until well combined.
  • Cut the cold butter right out of the chiller into thin slices or grate frozen butter.
  • Rub the butter into the dry mixture with your fingers (or cut into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter). Stop once you get a sandy mixture with pea-sized clumps of butter remaining.
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (eggs, yogurt and vanilla extract) together.
  • Stir the wet mixture into the dry to gently combine. Once the dough starts to clump, tip in the cranberries. Continue by folding the dough over itself and patting down gently until the dough comes together in a ball. Important! – Do not knead or over mix!
    Note: The dough should be quite wet and sticky, and somewhat loose. This is ideal! A drier dough will not benefit from a good rise and result in dense scones. If the dough is a bit dry, add more yogurt or milk, 2 – 3 teaspoons at a time, until the dough is lightly moistened.
  • Tip out the rough dough onto a floured worktop. Using flour-dusted hands, gather the loose bits together and gently fold the dough over itself to get it to stick together. Do this no more than 2 – 3 times – again, don’t over-mix. Chill the dough for 15 minutes (optional but highly recommended).
  • Gently pat down the dough to 1½″ (3 cm) thickness. Grease the inside of a 2″(5-cm) scone butter with softened butter and dip in flour to coat. 
    Note: Do not pat down the dough too thin. Ideally, 1¼ – 1½ “(2.5 – 3 cm) thickness is perfect to get tall scones.
  • Cut down into the dough – DO NOT TWIST. Lift up and release the scone onto the prepared pan. Dip the cutter in flour each time before cutting the next round. Space the cut rounds on the baking sheet about 1 inch (2 cm) apart.
    Note: Take care to place each round on the pan exactly where you want it. Once placed on the baking sheet, do not handle the rounds with your fingers (doing so effectively seals the sides preventing the scone from rising nicely). If you need to move them around, use an offset spatula and gently lift them from the bottom to nudge them into position.
  • Brush the tops with milk (take care to avoid milk dripping down the sides) and sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops turn golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven, and let the baked scones sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve and enjoy the scones while warm and toasty.

Notes

Yogurt substitutes

  • Milk: Milk can replace yogurt 1:1, but do not add all at once. Start by mixing ¾ of the milk with the eggs, and stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. If the dough looks too dry, add more milk (2 – 3 teaspoons at a time) until just enough to moisten the dough. In addition, omit the baking soda and double the amount of baking powder.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk can replace yogurt 1:1. As with milk, do not add all at once. Start by mixing ¾ of the buttermilk with the eggs, and stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. If the dough looks too dry, add more buttermilk (2 – 3 teaspoons at a time) until just enough to moisten the dough.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream can replace yogurt 1:1.

Variations

  • Cranberry orange scones: Add 2 teaspoons of grated orange zest (about 1 orange) to the dry ingredients, and replace 2 teaspoons of the yogurt with 2 teaspoons of orange juice.
  • Cranberry lemon scones: Add 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon) to the dry ingredients, and replace 2 teaspoons of the yogurt with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  • Cranberry white chocolate scones: Add ¼ cup (40 grams) of white chocolate chips together with the fresh/frozen/dried cranberries. Slightly reduce the amount of sugar as white chocolate chips can be a tad sweet.
  • Cranberry cinnamon scones: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder) to the dry ingredients and sift together.
Note: The ingredients amounts listed to make each variation apply to one batch of scone dough (1x) which makes 6 large scones. Remember to adjust the amounts up (2x) or down (0.5x) depending on the scale (0.5x, 1x, 2x) you select in the recipe card above.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 354mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 81IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 98mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: English, Western
Course: Breakfast, Tea
Author: Celia Lim
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and tag @foodelicacy on Instagram and hashtag it #foodelicacy so I can see!