Orange Cranberry Scones [Gluten-Free] and Half-Century Marriages

Orange Cranberry Scones–GF


Last weekend we attended another beautiful wedding for the daughter of our friends. All the usual festivities were in place with carefully selected music, scripted vows read from their electronic device of choice (that still got messed up when she said “to be my wife” instead of husband — oops!), cute as a button flower girls and ring bearers, dinner, toasting, dancing, etc. The sweetest moment of the evening was during the heritage dance, you know, the one were all the married couples are asked to take the dance floor and over the course of the song are eliminated based on the number of years married.

One of the couples married last month left the floor faster than a “Name That Tune” answer, but there were a number of us out there for more than half the song as the DJ rattled off 2-3 year time spans. We made our exit, along with several of our friends at the 25 years or less mark—we’ll hit that next year. Couples quickly dwindled after that, 30 years, 35 years, then three couples remained even after the 50-year mark … at this rate, we wondered if they’d have to start another song. They were so cute, well along in years (I’m more sensitive to using the “old couple” term now), shifting glances at each other thinking they had to be married the longest, but only one remained when “less than 60 years married” was called out.

The parents of the mother of the bride had celebrated 63 years of marriage; there was heartfelt applause as they finished out the song alone. They deserved the spotlight. Honestly, as much as I love being married, I can hardly wrap my head around being married that long, it is right up there with the 7 wonders of the world in my book. What an inspiring heritage to pass along within the family and among the friends of this young couple.

Over the years as friends have prepared for weddings, we have offered an extra pair of hands to help with food, set up, decorating, tear down, or any number of things to make the day special. This time, our friends asked for breakfast items to help them host out of town family staying with them. This is the same friend we had the gluten-free bridal shower for, so it was easy to recreate some of her favorite items for their family brunch. Cranberry Orange Scones [GF] were my contribution, other friends provided various delights. Nearly worn out from the wedding, it was a great relief to have the brunch already prepared and effortless. She was so blessed by it, she is committed to making sure the next wedding hosts in our group of friends will have the same luxury.

These Cranberry Orange Scones are gluten-free, but you wouldn’t know or care because they are so good. I like to bring the orange flavor forward by adding plenty of orange zest in addition to the orange extract (you’ll want to juice the naked orange when you’re done and put it to good use). Plump dried cranberries give it a tart-sweet balance, the texture is true to biscuit type scones. I prefer splitting the dough to create 16 smaller scones, especially when including them on a buffet. Scones just aren’t the same without clotted cream or jam—take your pick or serve with both and double the fun.

Orange Cranberry Scones [GF] and Half-Century Marriages
A sweet orange biscuit with plump dried cranberries, perfect for a gluten-free breakfast or brunch treat.
Serves / Yields: 16 scones
  • 1½ cups gluten-free flour mix -- King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar -- + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 6 tablespoons butter -- very cold
  • 1 whole orange -- zested
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup heavy cream -- less 2 tablespoons, set aside
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Using a pastry knife or a food processor, cut butter into dry ingredients until the butter is the size of small peas (using a processor will produce more fine pieces).
  3. Mix cranberries and orange zest into flour and butter until combined.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cream in a cup or small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining heavy cream, egg, vanilla, and orange extract just until egg is lightly beaten.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir to combine. The dough will begin to hold together and may be somewhat stiff, depending on the flour mix used. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cream and mix-in.
  6. Divide dough into two equal parts. Sprinkle a small amount of GF flour mix to lightly dust the counter and place half the dough on the flour. Lightly press and shape dough into a disc approximately 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick. If the dough is sticky, lightly flour hands to shape the dough. With a sharp knife, cut each circle into 8 equal pieces resembling the spokes of a wheel.
  7. To lift the dough off the counter, slice a pastry knife or sharp knife under each piece and place the dough pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush tops with reserved cream and bake for 8-10 minutes and light-golden browned.
Notes & Suggestions
Omit xanthan gum if it is included in the gluten-free flour mix.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Mom Trends Friday Food

Orange Cranberry Scones — Don’t forget the cream and jam!


  1. says

    What a great story of the heritage dance! I love it! Bobby and I celebrated our 38th last Friday, but I’m with you – I can’t imagine 60 years! It would be GREAT, but…That’s a LONG time! 🙂 Love the scones and of course the combination of orange and cranberries is one of my favorites!!!!

    • Judy says

      Congratulations, MJ, that is awesome! You would have been on the floor a while too. 🙂 Yes, the orange and cranberry are favorite flavors, for sure.

  2. says

    These scones have my favorite flavors…orange, almond and cranberries. I’ll bet they were heavenly and I’m sure everyone loved them. 63 years married! Unimaginable!

    • Judy says

      Betsy, they are good, the flavor combo is hard to beat. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see your comments more. Have a great week. 🙂

    • Judy says

      Thanks, Christina, that means a lot coming from you, you’re an amazing baker. 🙂 Yes, the dance can be a nice part of the reception, this was the first time I’ve seen that many out there that long. Good stuff.

  3. says

    What a sweet story! I also loved the scones which sound like a perfect way to start the day. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.Blessings…Mary

  4. says

    I have never heard of the heritage dance at a wedding and I have certainly been to a lot. I think it is a wonderful tradition for newlyweds to see couples with a lasting marriage. I think it was also nice to have contributed to the brunch for the out of town guests.

    • Judy says

      I was looking on line and evidently, it is more commonly referred to as the Anniversary Dance. I like the idea of calling it a heritage dance instead, honoring lasting marriages.

  5. says

    It’s amazing and sweet that the couples married long still hold hands even when they just take a walk…
    These cranberry scones look delectable.

  6. says

    I have never heard of a heritage dance – what a wonderful tradition! That is lovely that the bride’s parents were the couple married the longest!

    Your scones look so good. I love the orange / cranberry combination, and the fact they are gluten free too is a real bonus!

  7. says

    Your scones look amazing! I love the combination of oranges and cranberries. My in-laws are coming up on their 60th anniversary and since my husband and I have either hobbits or elves on our ancestral line we expect to reach that milestone too. 🙂
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    • says

      Hi Allie, I am so pleased you liked them! The addition of almond extract and white chocolate would be like an orange-cream flavor, sounds wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how they turned out for you, the feedback is so helpful and encouraging. 🙂

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