Perfectly Flaky Date Scones with Orange and Walnut

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These date scones are oh-so tender with just the right amount of sweetness! These simple yet delicious pastries are the perfect treat any time of day with a dollop of clotted cream or a cup of coffee!

plate of homemade date scones with walnuts.

As a kid, dates were always low on my list of tasty snacking fruits. But these days I have a greater appreciation for them, especially in baking!

Chopped dates help make these scones so tender and moist, and add a lovely chewy texture. I’ve also included walnuts in this easy recipe to add warmth and give these buttery scones a bit of crunch!

What are Date Scones?

Date scones are a type of dried fruit scones quite popular at teatime in Britain. I’ve taken inspiration from a classic English scone recipe to create these American-style scones. They’re more cake-like than British scones, as they’re made with both heavy cream and butter.

These scones are incredibly tender and flaky, thanks to the food processor. They’re a wonderful treat to serve at breakfast or brunch and are one of my favorite scones on the blog!

flaky date walnut scones on a white plate.

Why you’ll love this easy date scones recipe


  • FLAKY AND TENDER – The tenderness of these date walnut scones makes them easy to enjoy on their own without the need for butter or jam. That being said, they’re also good with both!
  • LOW IN SUGAR – The scone dough doesn’t contain any sugar; there’s just a little sprinkle on top. They’re delicious exactly as they are and you won’t get sugar rush first thing in the morning!
  • READY IN A HURRY – With the food processor, you can have your scone dough ready to bake in just moments. It’s very quick! I love making these for company or for a quick snack or breakfast.
flaky scones with dates and walnuts on a white plate.

Equipment

To make this easy date scone recipe, you’ll need these supplies:

  • Food processor
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Cooling rack
  • Medium mixing bowl
date scone ingredients

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – I recommend weighing your flour so your scones have the most accurate texture.
  • Baking powder – This will add lift and ensure your scones stay light and tender.
  • Salt – Salt reacts with baking powder to create lift. It’s also a natural flavor enhancer!
  • Sugar – A touch of sugar adds sweetness and brings out the flavor of the dates.
  • Butter – For the best scones, you want your butter very cold, ideally frozen. I use the butter I get from Azure Standard straight from the freezer.
  • Orange zest & juice – Adds a pop of acidity and brightens the overall flavor.
  • Heavy cream – Helps make these walnut and date scones tender, moist, and rich.
  • Dates – I used Medjool dates. They’re a sweeter variety of dates and work great in baked goods.
  • Walnuts – Chopped walnuts give these scones a satisfying crunch that complements the chewy dates.

How to Make Date Scones with Walnuts and Orange

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Chop dates and walnuts and zest the orange.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut very cold butter into cubes and add to food processor with the dry ingredients. Pulse 4-5 times. The flour mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
  5. Add the zest, orange juice, and half of the cream and pulse to combine. Add the walnut pieces, dates, and remainder of the cream. Pulse until the mixture pulls away from the sides and begins to come together.
  6. Pour the scone dough onto the prepared baking sheet and knead the mixture together until a dough forms. Press it into a circle about ½ in tall. Cut into 8-10 triangular pieces with a sharp floured knife.
  7. Separate the pieces so they have room to grow. Sprinkle the unbaked scones with sugar.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes until scones are a light golden brown color.
  9. Allow the scones to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for later.
Pulse the frozen butter until it becomes small crumbles.
At the end, your scone mixture should look like thick crumbles. Be careful not to overwork.

If using a silicone mat, cut your scones on a cutting board to avoid damaging your mat. Many of them contain fiberglass, which you do not want to get in your food.

It’s okay if your dough looks really crumbly! It’ll come together just fine.

Storing

You can store these date scones in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

You can also keep these scones in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To protect them from freezer burn, you could seal them in plastic wrap or simply place them in a freezer bag.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to enjoy these delicious scones is fresh out of the oven with some butter! They can also be enjoyed:

  • With a drizzle of my Cinnamon Infused Honey or whipped honey for some added warmth and spice 
  • Sprinkle with vanilla sugar for an extra layer of flavor
  • For breakfast with your morning coffee
  • With some aged white cheddar
  • Alongside an afternoon cup of tea

Tips & Variations

  • Use more cream if needed – If your scone dough is too dry, mix in small amounts of heavy cream until the texture becomes soft and flaky.
  • Add an orange glaze – An orange glaze gives these delicious date scones a touch more sweetness. Add 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1 tbs orange juice, and a bit of zest to a small bowl. Whisk to combine, then drizzle the glaze on your cooled scones.
  • Mix the dough with a pastry blender – Overworking your dough can lead to tough, chewy scones. If you’re having trouble getting the right consistency, try mixing your dough with a pastry cutter. In a large bowl, cut your butter into the dry ingredients until just combined, then add your wet ingredients and repeat.
  • Don’t overmix – The secret to really flaky scones is lots of butter pieces! They should be very small, but visible in the dough.
  • Check for pits – If your dates aren’t pitted, slice them open from top to bottom and pull out the pit before chopping into pieces.
sheet pan with date scones with orange zest and walnuts.

FAQs

Should you chill scones before baking?

Super cold butter is how you get a flaky, tender scone. Since I used frozen butter in this recipe, there is no need to chill these scones.

If your dough starts to get really sticky, there’s a good chance it’s getting a little warm. It won’t hurt anything to refrigerate or even freeze the scones for 15-30 minutes to keep that butter really cold! Just place the whole tray in your freeer, if possible.

Why are my scones heavy and dense?

A good scone should be light, fluffy, and flaky. If your scones are heavy and dense, you may have overworked the dough or added too little baking powder.

What is the best type of dates for baking?

Although there are over a dozen varieties of dates, the most popular one for home bakers is Medjool. It has that classic sticky-sweet date flavor and pairs perfectly with fresh orange and walnuts in these dates scones.

In the United States, this variety is easy to find at Costco or grocery stores. You can also try using Deglet dates, but most varieties can’t compare with the natural sweetness found in Medjool.

Related Recipes

date walnut scones on a sheet pan.
plate with date scones with walnuts.

Date Scones with Orange and Walnut

Light and flaky with aromatic orange and crunchy walnut, these date and walnut scones are the perfect tea time pick-me-up or quick breakfast.
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, middle eastern
Servings 8 scones
Calories 319 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, very cold or frozen
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, very cold; plus 1-2 tablespoons as needed
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tbsp sugar, for sprinkling (feel free to use less)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Chop dates and walnuts and zest the orange.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cut very cold butter into cubes and add to food processor with the dry ingredients. Pulse 4-5 times. The flour mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
  • Add the zest, orange juice, and half of the cream and pulse to combine. Add the walnut pieces, dates, and remainder of the cream. Pulse until the mixture pulls away from the sides and begins to come together.
  • Pour the scone dough onto the prepared baking sheet and press it into a circle about ½ in tall. Cut into 8-10 triangular pieces with a sharp floured knife.
  • Separate the pieces so they have room to grow. Sprinkle the unbaked scones with sugar.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until scones are a light golden brown color.
  • Allow the scones to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for later.

Notes

Different types of flour will absorb more or less liquid. I find that I usually need 1/2 cup of cream plus 1-2 tablespoons. Your scone dough shouldn’t be wet, though. It should look crumbly and just start to pull away from the sides of your food processor.
These scones will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.

How to Make Date Scones without a Food Processor

Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and cut in the frozen butter with a pastry cutter until you have small crumbles. Gradually add the wet ingredients, continuing to blend with your pastry cutter. Form your crumbly dough into a ball, place it on a baking sheet, press it into a circle, and cut it into 8-10 pieces. Separate the pieces and bake. Allow the scones to cool fully on the pan before removing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sconeCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 321mgPotassium: 135mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 585IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg
Keyword date, date and walnut, date and walnut scones, easy date scones, fluffy, heavy cream, orange, scones, walnut and date scones
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2 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    These are very good but there is no amount listed for the sugar in the recipe. I added 2 tsp of sucanat. I think a bit more would be good. Could you please update the recipe to include the sugar? Thanks!

    1. Lori, Thanks for the question! I generally don’t measure and use just a small amount of sugar on each scone. Anywhere between 2 tsp to 1 tbs would be fair. I’ll add that to the recipe. Thanks!

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