A good scone should have a short, crumbly texture, more like a biscuit and less like a cake. Making a scone dough too wet can result in a dense or chewy final product, and prevents the pockets of cold butter from creating a super tender crumb. That’s why our cranberry orange scones use dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen ones; the dried fruit has all the cranberry flavor you need while letting the scone dough live its best life.

An added bonus: You can make this recipe in about 30 minutes, so if you’re at a loss when making breakfast for company, these are an easy option to turn to. Baking scones in cast iron ensures that you get a crisp crust on the bottom, and the skillet makes for a handsome serving dish as well.

Photo: Lauren V. Allen

Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Scones in Cast Iron

Yield: 8 scones



Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter the inside of a No.8 Field Skillet and set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter to the bowl of dry ingredients, and cut it into the flour mixture. Using either a pastry cutter or your hands, rub the butter into the flour, creating gradually smaller pieces. Stop once your butter is broken down into pea-size pieces. Stir the dried cranberries and orange zest into the flour-butter mixture, until evenly dispersed.


In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together one cup of cream and an egg until no streaks remain. Stir the cream mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Your dough will be fairly dry and a little crumbly, but that’s okay!


On a floured cutting board or a piece of parchment paper, pat your dough into a 1½-inch-thick circle. Since this is a pretty crumbly dough, make sure you pack it as firmly as you can without over-handling the dough.


Cut the dough into 8 equally sized wedges and transfer them to the buttered skillet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let the scones cool in the skillet.


While the scones cool, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and a small pinch of salt. Whisk until no clumps of confectioner’s sugar remain. Once scones have cooled a bit (they should be warm to the touch, but no longer hot), drizzle the glaze over the top and serve.


The scones will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days. You can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days, but they may dry out the longer they’re in there.

Seasoning Rating: Better

Recipes for baked goods often call for "buttering" the skillet beforehand, to help ensure that cakes, pies, scones, and more will slide right off the pan when sliced to serve. This butter (or oil) layer helps protect your hard-earned seasoning, but won't necessarily build new layers on its own.

For today's scones, our only word of caution has to do with storage. While they may look great served right in the pan, it's best to store baked goods elsewhere. Dense cakes and scones can trap moisture against the cooking surface when left in the pan overnight, especially in the fridge—and that moisture can lead to rust and other issues.

Clean your skillet following the Field Method, and just keep cooking.

Seasoning Ratings:

Best—These dishes are the best options for building resilient seasoning, and surefire choices for getting tricky pans back on track.

Better—The best way to keep your skillet in great shape is to cook frequently, and cast iron-friendly dishes like these are your bread and butter.

Safe—These recipes won't strip seasoning away from your pan, but won't really add any, either.

OK—Be sure to clean up promptly. Recipes with this rating might feature acidic ingredients which can affect seasoning if not washed soon after cooking.