Ina Garten’s Cranberry Orange Scones Are the Perfect Make-Ahead Brunch Idea

Ina Garten has an easy trick for sleeping in on the weekends but still enjoying fresh-baked scones for brunch. The Barefoot Contessa star shared how her scones recipe can be made ahead of time and then baked when you’re ready to eat them.

Ina Garten wears a blue shirt and shrugs during an appearance on the 'Today' show
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten shared her easy secret for making scones

Garten learned a thing or two when she owned the Barefoot Contessa specialty store and she shared one of her easy pro-tips about fresh baked goodies.

“When I had a specialty-food store in East Hampton, NY, I learned lots of tricks for cooking and baking ahead,” she wrote in the introduction of her cranberry orange scones recipe.

Garten continued, “Every morning we made thousands of muffins and scones and I discovered that we could make all the muffin batters the night before, refrigerate them and simply scoop them into muffin pans and bake them in the morning!”

Of course, that translates to baking at home, too. “I started using the same techniques at home: I love treating weekend guests to these cranberry-orange scones, but I also cherish the few mornings I get to sleep late, so I make the dough a day early, cut out the scones and refrigerate them,” Garten explained.

“In the morning, all I do is throw them in the oven and then drizzle them with an orange glaze,” the Food Network host added. “Hot delicious scones for breakfast, and no stress!”

How to make Ina Garten’s cranberry orange scones recipe

Garten’s cranberry orange scones recipe is easy to make ahead of time. She combines flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a stand mixer. Then Garten adds cold diced butter and mixes everything at the lowest speed until the butter is pea-sized.

She combines eggs and heavy cream in another bowl then adds the mixture to the flour and butter while running the mixer at low speed. “The dough will look lumpy!” her recipe explains.

On her Barefoot Contessa website, Garten explains that this is the key to fluffy scones. “The two secrets to light and fluffy scones are the same as for making flaky pastry — use very cold butter and don’t mix the butter into the dough completely.”

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star adds the easiest glaze to her scones

Garten tosses cranberries with flour then adds it to the dough, mixing everything on low speed until blended.

She places the dough on a floured surface and kneads it into a ball. Then she rolls it out to under an inch thick and cuts out circles with a plain or fluted cutter. Garten places the scones on a parchment-lined sheet pan, brushes them with egg wash, and sprinkles them with sugar.

Then she bakes the scones in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 to 25 minutes. After the scones cool for 15 minutes, she drizzles a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and orange juice over the tops.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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