Wild Thistle Kitchen: Cara Cara Orange Scones

Can you imagine winter without citrus? I can’t. Just the smell of an orange being peeled immediately transports me to my childhood Christmases. This Cara Cara Orange Scone Recipe is a celebration of one of my favorite winter citrus fruits – the Cara Cara navel orange.

My love of winter citrus fruit is firmly planted in my psyche undoubtedly because Santa always left oranges in our stockings (Thanks, Santa!) I think this used to be a bigger tradition than it is now, although I did have a chat with a super-friendly produce lady at Wegmans one day who said she also used to get oranges in her stocking. So maybe it wasn’t just my family? Anyway, I walked away from that conversation with a big box of satsuma oranges, still with their pretty green leaves attached. I’m a sucker for those seasonal beauties! And for Cara Caras, which are the star of this Cara Cara Orange Scone recipe.

When you live in the Northeast like we do, there’s really no such thing as fresh fruit in the winter months. Sure, you can find fruit at the store, but do you really want to eat those crunchy strawberries? No. You don’t. Lucky for all of us, there’s always a nice selection of various citrus fruits, and Cara Caras are one of my favorites. With the prettiest, peachy-hued flesh, they are so sweet with just enough tartness and always so juicy.

My Cara Cara Orange Scone Recipe:

I really wanted to showcase the loveliness of Cara Cara Oranges in a baking recipe and since I’ve been on a bit of a scone bender lately, these Cara Cara Orange Scones were happily born.

These scones use a basic cream scone recipe which I modified just slightly by adding zest and juice to amp up the orange flavor. A cream scone is unique in that it does not use butter (I know; who am I??) or eggs. It is a lovely, simple, blank canvas.

I added some cream cheese to my basic scone glaze along with some orange zest and juice to really push them over the top. They are so good. If you loved/love Orange Julius or dreamsicles (creamsicles?) you will love these.

The vanilla is also a key player here in the scone and the glaze. It pairs so well with the orange flavor. If you can, use vanilla bean paste for those little flecks you know I adore! Oh, and I feel I must mention —  if you wanted to add some cranberries that would be really good. Or some chopped fresh rosemary. Or both.

This Cara Cara Orange Scone recipe is perfect for chasing those winter blues away. Add it to your weekend or snowy day baking list and let me know if you make them!

Happy scone baking! xo – Anita

Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 25 minutes 

Total Time: 45 minutes 

Yield: 12 scones 1


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cupcake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling tops of scones before baking
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream or whipping cream (I’ve used half and half in a pinch), plus more for brushing on scones before baking
  • 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup fresh Cara Cara orange juice with as many pulpy bits as you can squelch out
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • zest from one(clean) Cara Cara orange (save a little for the glaze)


  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Cara Cara orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Cara Cara orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 12 tablespoons milk (just enough to make a smooth, pourable glaze)

For full recipe and instructions go to https://wildthistlekitchen.com/cara-cara-orange-scones/.







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