earl’s orange scones

Earl's orange scones on a wooden cutting board garnished with sliced oranges and a carafe of fresh berries.

My husband’s uncle shared his signature Earl’s orange scone recipe with me after we enjoyed a remarkable breakfast at his home. Now, if I host a morning gathering, my friends want to make sure Earl’s orange scones are part of the bargain. They are irresistible and worth the time it takes to prepare them. I like to measure and mix the dry ingredients the night before so as to save some prep time in the morning.

Earl's orange scones

Serves: 8
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes


  • Scones:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, chilled
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice



Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


To make the scones, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.


Cut the cold butter into ½-inch cubes; drop it into the flour mixture. Using your fingers, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the pecans and gently stir.


In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla.



Using a fork and working swiftly, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl to form into a ball. The dough will be sticky at first, but as you press, the dough will continue to hydrate and come together. (Note that you don’t want to knead the dough since that will make the scones tough. We’re going for flaky here!)


Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and pat it into a 7-inch circle that’s about ¾ inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut it into eight triangles; place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.


Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool for 10 minutes.


While the scones are baking, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice. Whisk until smooth. (You may need to add up to 2 tablespoons of warm water for the glaze to achieve dipping consistency.)


Dip the top of the scones into the glaze. Serve warm.


To make these vegan, substitute vegan butter and oat milk instead of real butter and buttermilk.

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