Cherry Scones

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These homemade Tart Cherry Scones are packed with dried tart cherries and a hint of almond flavor. Finish them off with a simple glaze. Yum!

Overhead image of Tart Cherry Scones with the glaze on top, ready to be eaten.

Tart Cherry Scones

Let me tell you, these Tart Cherry Scones are incredible. They’re crumbly, buttery, and speckled with plump bites of dried tart cherries. I also love how dense they are while still maintaining that “melt in your mouth” quality. And the simple glaze on top balances the slightly tart and buttery scone perfectly.

I’m happy to share how to make these scones and a few tips to ensure they come out perfectly every time. Make sure, though, that you’re using tart, not sweet, cherries for this recipe.


When you are in the produce section of the grocery store and you see bags of cherries, maybe called Bing or Ranier, those are sweet cherries. We love them uncooked, eaten straight off the stem, or incorporated into a salad.  However, tart cherries (also called sour or pie cherries), are so sour that you wouldn’t be very likely to eat one by itself. This is the type of cherry studied for its potential health benefits.  


Process shot of the scone dough being made, showing all the ingredients being mixed together and then shaped into a dough ball.

How to make Tart Cherry Scones

Above, I’ve broken up the steps for making these scones in picture form, and below is a description of what’s happening in each photo.

  • Picture 1-2: Massage freshly grated zest into the sugar until the sugar is fragrant and steeped in orange oil.
  • Picture 3: Add sugar to the other dry ingredients; mix.
  • Picture 4: Add small cubes of COLD butter to the center of the dry ingredients.
  • Picture 5: Cut butter cubes into the dry ingredients until butter is evenly dispersed and pea-sized.
  • Picture 6: Whisk together vanilla extract, almond extract, heavy cream, and egg in a small bowl and pour it into the dry ingredients/butter mixture.
  • Picture 7: Delicious dried tart cherries are the star of this recipe.
  • Picture 8: Add tart cherries; mix.
  • Picture 9: Gently form two 5-inch rounds of scone dough.
  • Picture 10: Cut in half with a sharp knife.

Process shots-- images of the scones being made, baked and glaze being added.

How to make Tart Cherry Scones, cont.

  • Picture 11: Cut dough halves into 4 wedges to get 8 scones per round (or 16 scones total).
  • Picture 12: Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Picture 13: Bake!
  • Picture 14: Spoon glaze over scones.

Image of the glaze being added to Tart Cherry Scones.

Baking tips

  • # 1 tip: Keep the butter and dough as cold as possible! I chill the flour, freeze the butter after cutting it, and take wet ingredients straight from the fridge. The colder your dough, the better your scones will be.
  • Go easy on the kneading: As soon as the dough comes together then STOP. A few bumps and lumps are good. Remember, we want to keep the dough as cold as possible, and the more you have your hands on the dough, the softer the butter becomes.
  • Don’t use a rolling pin: Doing this will flatten your scone dough too much; instead, use your hands to work the dough into two 5-inch rounds.
  • When cutting out these scones press a sharp knife straight down — don’t swivel, shimmy, or shake it! This is important for how they rise.
  • Let baked biscuits stand: Once you pull the scones from the oven, let them stand on the sheet pan for about 5 minutes. The residual heat and steam ensure the insides are fully baked.

Health benefits

I mentioned that tart cherries may have potential health benefits, and in fact, they are considered superfruits! They contain anthocyanins — a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive taste. Scientific research has examined the impact of tart cherries on exercise recovery, heart health, sleep and inflammation.

Unlike other superfruits, tart cherries come in a wide range of forms such as dried, frozen, canned, juice, or juice concentrate.

Overhead image of the read- to-eat Cherry scones.

More recipes using tart cherries

For something to drink, try this tart cherry spritzer, or this sparkling cherry apple cider.

And we’re obsessed with the fresh or frozen tart cherries in this tart cherry rhubarb crisp and spumoni ice cream bars

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Tart Cherry Scones

5 from 10 votes
Homemade Tart Cherry Scones packed with dried tart cherries, fresh orange zest, and a hint of almond flavor. These delicious scones are topped with a simple glaze.
Print Recipe

Tart Cherry Scones

5 from 10 votes
Homemade Tart Cherry Scones packed with dried tart cherries, fresh orange zest, and a hint of almond flavor. These delicious scones are topped with a simple glaze.
Course Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cherry scones
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Servings 16 miniature scones
Calories 270kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $4.78



  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and then freeze
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (from 1-2 large oranges)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups white, all-purpose flour (measure by spooning and leveling)
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or regular vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • Optional: sparkling/coarse sugar


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice


  • Number 1 tip: Keep all the ingredients as cold as possible! Chill the flour in the fridge ahead of time if possible (10-20 minutes). BUTTER: Start by cutting the butter into small cubes. Place in the freezer to chill until needed.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, combine the orange zest and sugar. Rub the two together with your fingers until the sugar is fully infused with the orange zest. Add in the baking powder, salt, and flour. Whisk until ingredients are combined.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of heavy cream, egg, vanilla paste or extract, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
  • ADD BUTTER: Add the frozen cubed butter into the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly dispersed and the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. With a wooden spoon, gently combine the ingredients until a dough begins to form. As soon as a dough forms, add in the dried cherries. Mix as little as possible -- just until everything is moistened and mostly combined.
  • FORM SCONES: Very lightly flour a surface and turn out the dough onto the surface. With lightly floured hands, gently work the dough into a ball(we want to handle the dough as little as possible while still getting it into a cohesive disc). If the dough is too sticky, add a tiny bit more flour; if it is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons additional cream. Press into a disc and cut exactly in half. Form each disc gently into a smaller disc about 5 inches wide. Chill the discs, wrapped tightly in plastic, for 10 minutes in the fridge. Remove and cut each disc into 8 equal wedges, using a very sharp knife. Try to cut each wedge in one decisive cut (don’t shimmy the knife through the wedge). Place wedges on a parchment paper (or Silpat) lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart from each other. Pour remaining 2 (3 if needed) tablespoons heavy cream into a small dish. Using a pastry brush, brush the cream over the scones. Sprinkle with sparkling/coarse sugar if desired.
  • REFRIGERATE: Refrigerate the pan with the scones on them for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • BAKE: Bake for 17-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Overbaking scones will make them less flavorful and a denser texture, so watch carefully (mine generally take right around 19-20 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet; Use a metal spatula to place scones a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • GLAZE: Whisk together the glaze ingredients -- the powdered sugar and orange juice. Add additional juice for a thinner glaze, as desired. Drizzle over the scones once they are COMPLETELY cooled. Let set and then enjoy.


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 519IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These scones are very good – more orange than cherry flavor. It took a while to make but very good for the holidays. Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Yes! I sliced and pitted my cherries which came out to one and a half cup. It was perfect! I mixed the cherries in after making the dough. Sprinkled flour in as I was stirring till it clumped together more into a ball, not a sticky mess no more.

  2. I’ve made and they’re delicious! I used cranberries instead of cherries because I didn’t have cherries. Sooooo good! Great with a cup of tea. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve ever made scones that actually turned out sconelike! Thank you for all the tips and the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Substituted almond extract in glaze on cherry scone. Used orange juice for the cranberry scone and lemon on the blueberry. 5 Star best recipe ever!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe as directed although I used fresh cherries. Had to add a little more flour to make less sticky from the moisture of the fresh fruit. Amazing!!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this recipe today…absolutely delicious. I used dried sour cherries from Aldi’s. My husband and I loved them. I will definitely make them again. Thanks for such a great

  7. 5 stars
    Made these this morning with dried cherries i bought this September in Door County. It was my first attempt at scones and they turned out fabulously delicious! Thanks for the detailed instructions.

  8. 5 stars
    THE BEST recipe! I made them last week and my coworkers loved them too. Today I used your basic recipe with lime and coconut. OMG! Thanks so much.

  9. I didn’t have that cherries. so I’m giving canned or cherries a go. I didn’t use the whole can. So I’m using the remainder in the glazing. I will let you know how it goes. Chilling them now.

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