Tender treats filled with spice and citrus. Orange Cardamom Scones are sweet and vibrant, topped with a thick Maple Glaze.
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In early spring in Vermont, we're excited for warm weather and all the good things that are about to start growing.
The reality, though, is that springtime in Vermont is notoriously unpredictable: 70° days mixing inexplicably with days of snow showers and early morning frost.
Luckily, two things are in abundance here in the early spring: oranges at the grocery store, and sweet, pure Vermont maple syrup, boiled down from a fresh crop of sap.
Luckier still, orange and maple are remarkable flavors to pair, and I like to add a spicy note as well with some cardamom.
(Maple and blueberry are also delicious together, like in this easy Overnight French Toast Bake.)
Why you'll really love these scones
The beauty of scones is that they can be whipped up so quickly. That's especially helpful because scones taste the best within a day or two of when they're baked.
These scones have a tender texture, and they're lovely for breakfast or brunch, or to have with afternoon tea and coffee. They're filled with cardamom, vanilla, and orange for a robust taste, and then topped with a glaze - and there's maple syrup in the glaze!
Though they're delicious all on their own, the sweet glaze adds a layer of maple flavor and decadence to these scones.
🔪 How to make Orange Cardamom Scones with Maple Glaze
- Buttermilk: It adds moisture and tang to the scones
- Orange: Both zest and juice go into the batter
- All-Purpose Flour: My go-to brand is King Arthur Unbleached
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar in the batter
- Leaveners: Baking powder and baking soda react with the buttermilk
- Cardamom: This warm spice is beautiful with maple and citrus
- Salt: Just a pinch
- Egg: For the scones batter
- Vanilla Extract: Use good quality vanilla like Nielsen-Massey
- Butter: This is the fat that makes for tender scones
- Vermont Maple Syrup: Or a pure maple syrup from your local sugar makers
- Confectioner's Sugar: This is part of the glaze
Step 1: Combine the wet ingredients
Mix together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, orange juice, and orange zest.
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients
Whisk up the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and spices.
Step 3: Grate in the butter
Grate the butter into the large bowl of dry ingredients, and use a pastry blender to evenly blend in the butter pieces.
Step 4: Mix in the wet ingredients
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry mixture, and stir it together until it just comes together.
Step 5: Shape and chill the dough
Pour out the dough mixture and squeeze it into a craggy ball. Shape the dough into a flat round. Then pop the dough into the fridge to chill.
Step 6: Cut and bake the scones
Slice the dough round into wedges and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake the scones until they're golden brown.
Step 7: Make the Maple Glaze
Whisk together warm maple syrup and melted butter, then combine these with the sugar to make a thick glaze.
Step 8: Serve those scones!
Spoon glaze over warm or room temperature scones, sprinkle on a few pieces of orange zest, and dig on in.
The recipe for Orange Cardamom Scones with Maple Glaze is below. Try these baked, breakfasty treats, too!
💬 Tell me what you think of these tasty and tender scones! Leave comments and a star rating below.
Orange Cardamom Scones with Maple Glaze
For the scones:
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- Extra buttermilk for brushing
For the glaze:
- ½ cup pure Vermont maple syrup (I like Grade A Dark, which has a deep, almost brown sugar-like intensity, but feel free to use Grade A Golden or Amber.)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1½ cups confectioner's sugar
- Orange zest to sprinkle
Blend the liquid ingredients:
- Whisk together the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of orange zest and the orange juice. Hold this mixture aside.
Blend the dry ingredients and the butter:
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Use a grater to grate the cold butter over the dry mixture. Then, use a pastry blender or two forks to mix the butter in, so that no clumps remain.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures:
- Pour the egg-buttermilk mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients and butter. Use a large spoon to stir everything together, JUST until most of the dry ingredients are mixed in.
- Turn out this dough and any remaining dry bits onto a lightly floured surface. Squeeze and fold the dough a few times until you have a craggy ball of dough. (Don't overmix here.)
- Shape the dough into a round that's about 7 inches in diameter, and about 1½ to 2 inches thick.
Chill the dough:
- Place the dough round on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and loosely cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Place the pan in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Cut the dough:
- Use a sharp knife to slice the dough round into 8 even wedges. Space the wedges apart from each other on the baking sheet.
- Brush the tops of the scones with a little buttermilk.
Bake the scones:
- Pop the pan of scones into the oven, and bake them for 20 minutes. They should be browned and baked through.
Prepare the Maple Glaze:
- While the scones bake, warm up the maple syrup in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl in the microwave oven. Whisk it together with the melted butter.
- Blend in the confectioner's sugar using a handheld mixer, adding the sugar a ½ cup at a time. Whip the ingredients together until the glaze is smooth and thick.
Serve the scones:
- The scones can be served warm or at room temperature. Spoon Maple Glaze over the tops, and add a few pieces of orange zest as a colorful little flourish. Dig in!
- Scones have the best texture when the ingredients stay cold and the dough isn't overhandled. So stir and squeeze the dough just enough for ingredients to hang together.
- I love Grade A Dark pure Vermont maple syrup in the glaze, for the stronger and sweeter flavor. Feel free to try other grades, but make sure you're using REAL maple syrup. No fake stuff!
These look so delicious, Nancy--and your photographs of everything are so good (love the little orange guy!)
Haha, yes I like his cheery little face next to these scones! Thanks Heidi!! 🙂