During the spring of my freshman year of high school, my dad and I flew to Seattle for a special weekend trip. We arrived late Friday afternoon, and after checking into our hotel, we walked a few blocks west to the Pike Place Market to start our sightseeing. After browsing the multitude of food stalls, ranging from seasonal produce to fresh fish to artisan cheese and even a few bakeries, I decided I wanted to own one of the flower booths someday. So many sweet scents and brightly colored blooms!
We started the next day by walking in the other direction until we reached the Space Needle. After purchasing tickets, we rode over 500 feet to the top, where we snapped plenty of pictures of the views in every direction. The weather even cooperated that day, miraculously holding off any showers, so we could see for miles.
That afternoon, we walked two miles south of our hotel to the main event we traveled to Seattle to attend… The Mariners baseball game! If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you already know how big of a fan I am. My dad and I are in the process of visiting all 30 MLB stadiums together, and although we’ve already checked off 22 from our list, Safeco Field in Seattle was #8!
After a long evening of cheering and the brisk two-mile walk back to our hotel (I nearly had to jog to keep up with my dad!), we collapsed into bed. When we woke up the following morning, we rode the elevator down to the lobby to eat breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.
The hostess immediately seated us at a table, and once we had scanned the menus, Dad and I both settled on egg dishes. When our server set them down in front of us, I glanced down at the plate. I recognized the eggs, bacon, and hash browns, but… I had no idea what the circular pastry was!
Dad explained that it was a scone, and after tasting a few bites of everything else, I broke off a tiny piece to sample. Soft and tender on the inside, a crisp sugar-crusted outside, and bursting with sweet orange flavors and tangy cranberries… I almost forgot about everything else on my plate, and Dad even offered his to me when he saw how quickly I polished off mine!
Although I’ve baked and eaten plenty of scones since then, those first scones I ever tasted still hold a special place in my heart. And now, too many years later, I’ve finally created a healthier version of them: these Clean Cranberry Orange Scones! They have the same bright flavors and tender texture, but unlike the originals, they contain no heavy cream, refined flour or sugar—and nearly 5g of protein too!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CRANBERRY ORANGE SCONES
You’ll start by measuring out white whole wheat flour. I know… It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? White… Whole wheat?… But it’s actually made by finely grinding a special type of softer white wheat, whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat, but they both have the same health benefits. White whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture, similar to that of all-purpose, which is perfect for creating these scones’ absolutely irresistible tender insides!
Tip: I’ve included my favorite gluten free options in the Notes section, if you’d like to make your healthy cranberry orange scones gluten free instead!
Whereas the original scones probably included a full stick of butter (or two) and plenty of heavy cream, these lighter ones are the exact opposite! You just need 2 tablespoons of butter. That’s it! It’s extremely important that you use very cold butter, straight from the refrigerator. Really cold butter won’t heat up until you put the scones into the extremely hot oven, and it will create little air pockets and a very tender crumb when it melts.
Note: This is why I recommend against using coconut oil, if at all possible, because coconut oil has a much lower melting point than butter and will quickly turn to liquid once you begin mixing it into the dough.
With so little butter, the rest of the tender texture comes from one of my favorite ingredients in healthier baking… Greek yogurt! It adds the same moisture as extra butter for a fraction of the calories, and it gives your scones a protein boost too.
For those fresh fruity flavors, you’ll add in orange juice, orange zest, and fresh cranberries. Don’t skip the orange zest—it actually provides the majority of the citrus flavor! While it’s currently cranberry season and easy to find them in grocery stores, frozen cranberries would work as well.
Then brush the tops with a little milk to create a subtly crisp crust, pop the pan in the oven, and…
Hello breakfast bliss! I wonder if that restaurant would consider changing their recipe… My dad said these tasted even better! ♡ And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy cranberry orange scones!
Healthy Cranberry Orange Scones
- 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (7g) orange zest (about 1 large orange)
- 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
- 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (82g) fresh cranberries, diced
- 2 tsp nonfat milk
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold in the diced cranberries with a spatula.
- Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Bake at 425°F for 18-21 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Cranberry Orange Muffins
♡ Cranberry Orange Pecan Granola
♡ Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins
♡ Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake
♡ Whole Wheat Cranberry Sweet Rolls
♡ Cranberry Gingerbread Granola
♡ Whole Wheat Cranberry Banana Bread
♡ Dark Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies