Baking Breakfast Brunch Citrus Winter

Fresh Tangerine Scones

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fresh tangerine scones with dripping glaze

Fresh Tangerine Scones are buttery, tender, and bursting with citrus thanks to layers of tangerine flavor built right into these flakey pastries.  This orange scone recipe will upgrade your breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea.

a stack of fresh tangerine scones with tangerine segments

Take advantage of high tangerine season with these swoon worthy tangerine scones!

I must be in the right business because I get so excited about every little shift in the seasonal food calendar.  It’s not just ‘citrus’ season in winter, it breaks down into so many delicious micro-seasons.  And the good news is, you don’t even have to keep track of the details…just take the cue from your supermarket produce section ~ when you see that big pile of tangelos on sale, that’s when they’re at their best.  Right now I’m obsessing over gorgeous tangerines with their intense color and that loose rind that peels away so easily, so let’s get cooking!

Peeling a tangerine


Tangerines have a unique flavor profile

Fresh tangerine zest and juice add their unique flavor to my citrus themed scones.  It’s hard to describe the difference between plain orange and tangerine, but you know it immediately when you taste (or smell) it.  

tangerines compared to oranges:

  • tangerines are less astringent
  • tangerines are sweeter
  • tangerines have a stronger flavor

peeling a fresh tangerine 2

How to make perfect scones in a food processor

I think this is the best method for making scones, and it also happens to be the easiest!

  • Put your dry ingredients (usually flour, sugar, and salt) in the food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Add cubes of cold butter and pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly, about 20 pulses.
  • Add the liquid ingredients through the top while the machine is running.  Run the machine briefly just until the dough comes together in a lump.
  • Empty out onto a floured surface to bring the dough together into a flat disk for patting or rolling.

making tangerine scones

You’ll smell the fresh tangerine aroma throughout the baking process, it’s wonderful on a winter morning.

tangerine scones just out of the oven, on a baking sheet

I make the glaze with powdered sugar and tangerine juice, which adds another layer of citrus to these scones.  The scones themselves aren’t super sweet, so I think they really benefit from the extra sweetness the glaze provides.  

You can dip, spread, or drizzle, but don’t skip the glaze!

Tangerine scones glazed on a cooling rack

Yes, you can make these scones with other citrus fruit as well

Other tangerine varieties are clementines (Cuties) and tangelos, which would both work.  You could use regular navel oranges, pink Cara Cara oranges, or even blood oranges.

tangerine scone with knife and tangerine segments

These are GOOD ~ please give them a try, I’m sure you’ll love them.  There are so many great tangerines flooding into the market right now, they’re in high season right through to February.  Grab them while they’re around, there’s no other citrus quite like them.

tangerine scone with an unpeeled tangerine

Did I mention I love tangerines?

tangerine scone with an unpeeled tangerine
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4.38 from 16 votes

Tangerine Scones

Fresh Tangerine Scones are buttery, tender, and bursting with citrus thanks to layers of tangerine flavor built right into these flakey pastries.  They'll upgrade your breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 8 scones


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one tangerine, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler. Just the colored part, no white pith!
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp tangerine oil or extract (optional)


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • tangerine juice, to thin the glaze
  • grated tangerine zest


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Put the sugar and tangerine zest in a food processor and process until the tangerine zest is finely ground and the sugar is pale orange.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the machine and pulse to combine.
  • Drop in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 20-25 times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • With the machine running, pour in the buttermilk and extract, and run the machine just until the dough comes together.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands until there is no dry flour left. Pat the dough into a flat round, about 1 1/2 inches thick (thicker if you like,) and cut out 8 scones with a 3 inch biscuit cutter. You will have to reform the dough once or twice.
  • Put the scones 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking pan and put the pan in the fridge while you clean up, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Bake the scones for about 20 minutes until just barely starting to turn golden, but don't over bake. They will still be quite pale when done.


  • Mix the confectioner's sugar with enough tangerine juice to make a thick glaze. Whisk or stir well, and let the glaze sit for a few minutes to dissolve any lumps in the sugar. Dip the cooled scones into the glaze and flip them over to dry on a rack. Sprinkle immediately with tangerine zest while the glaze is still wet.

fresh tangerine scones pin


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  • Reply
    Lee Hernandez
    April 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    I have made these scones twice now. They are a BIG hit! I use oranges because they are easier to work with and still taste great. I have a tip for you that you will like; whenever I use citrus with my juicer, I collect the empty halves in the freezer. They nestle into each other in the bag. When I need fresh zest, I take a half out of the freezer and grate it. They hold up well to this method and I always have some handy. When I made the batch today, they fell apart when I picked them up to dunk into the glaze. I had to spoon it on, but no problem. I sure enjoy your posts and recipes.

    • Reply
      April 28, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      Fabulous tip!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    5 stars
    These are delicious! And the recipe is foolproof. I’ve never made scones in a food processor, but it made it so much easier! These have a perfect, biscuity texture, and I’m thinking I may try to use the basic recipe without the tangerine and make some savory ones with bacon, cheese, chives, etc.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 11:46 am

    5 stars
    we got a shipment of tangerines from our local farmer and this was a perfect recipe to use!

    I had to cut the baking time down a bit around 16 minutes. Overall delicious and I am so excited to enjoy this with my tea. Thank you!

    Next time I will go out and buy some tangerine/orange extract to add more flavor to the scones themselves… and perhaps add some dark chocolate… … maybe a dark chocolate orange ganache drizzle with the tangerine glaze??? OH MAN! Thank you Sue!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2020 at 8:07 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely perfect!

    • Reply
      January 21, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Gotta love tangerines 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephania Hattie
    January 6, 2020 at 11:10 am

    These sound fabulous – can they be made ahead and frozen?
    Really enjoy raiding you column.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks Stephanie, and yes, scones are super good frozen. You can freeze them baked or unbaked, but I would glaze after thawing them, if you decide to freeze them baked.