Tender scones filled with the flavor of spicy cardamom and vibrant orange, plus a sweet glaze made with pure maple syrup!
In early spring in Vermont, we are feeling really excited for the warm weather and all the good things that are about to start growing. The reality, though, is that springtime in Vermont is notoriously unpredictable, with 70 degree days mixing inexplicably with snow shower days and early morning frost.
So even though some April days have us dreaming of fresh-picked strawberries, cherries, etc., the fact is we still have some waiting to do.
Luckily, two things are in abundance here in the early spring: oranges at the grocery store, and sweet, sweet 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.
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, and then topped with a sweet maple glaze.
Though they're delicious all on their own, the sweet maple glaze adds another layer of flavor and decadence.
🔪 How to make this recipe
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 flour mixture, 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, melted butter, and confectioner's sugar to make a thick glaze.
Step 8: Serve those scones!
Spoon glaze over warm or room temperature scones, 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, plus extra for brushing
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, plus extra to sprinkle over scones if you'd like
- 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
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
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!
- I was able to get enough zest and juice for this recipe from one, regular sized Cara Cara orange.
- 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 of maple syrup, but make sure you're using REAL maple syrup. No fake stuff!
- The scones are also delicious served warm with a little butter.