I am so happy and excited to tell you about these scones. Partially because this is the first time I’ve made scones, and partially because I took them to an event that Birmingham Bloggers hosted over the weekend, which was such a blast! We had an Instagram Workshop Brunch (!!!), but I’ll get to that a little bit further down in the post.
This post’s alternate title is “What I learned when I made scones for the first time.” Because the first time I made them about a week ago, I misread the recipe, but I didn’t realize it until last Friday. I knew something hadn’t gone right because my scones came out pretty much like cake, and when I read the recipe again I realized I had used two sticks of butter instead of one. Which explains why they puffed up and grew into each other in the oven. #facepalm
My plan was to make them again on Friday for the brunch on Saturday, so I figured I knew what went wrong and it would be a cinch this time. I was EXTREMELY WRONG. The scones turned out perfectly, so that part was good, but they were MONSTEROUS. They were the biggest scones I have ever seen! They would have taken up the entire plates we were planning on serving them on! I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out though, so I kept them to use in these photos.
Reluctantly, I decided to make them again. This time, instead of forming the dough into a circle and cutting it into 8 wedges, I split the dough in half, cut it into wedges, and made 16 smaller scones. They were just the right size! BUT I didn’t mix the butter in well enough, and it basically melted right out of the scones in the oven. They were super flat, didn’t brown, and were overcooked around the edges.
I could have cried at this point because I was cleaning up dough off my counters at two in the morning. So I went to sleep. And then woke up at 5:30 to make them again. I just really wanted to nail these scones! I wanted them to be so good! Other people were going to eat these, you know? Thankfully they turned out wonderfully Saturday morning because I used my food processor. I don’t know why I didn’t use the first few times, but that’s my advice to you. Use your food processor. It is so much easier than using a pastry cutter and the whole thing goes so much quicker. Food processor is key.
So now let’s talk about this brunch. About a month ago, my friend Rachel and blogger behind Stupid Good Rachel, approached Meredith and I about an event for the Birmingham Bloggers. She wanted to have a brunch and cook all the food (so we were like, Uhh yeah okay!), and we decided to pair it with a photography workshop with an Instagram focus. As far as decor and menu, we settled on a citrus + winter white kind of theme. Rachel also works in the photography department at Cooking Light magazine, so she was able to give a lot of good insight into taking photos for Instagram.
Rachel was also able to bring us tons of props! After going over Instagram tips, there was a yogurt bar where everyone could build their own little yogurt parfaits. We had a million different toppings and tons of bowls and spoons to choose from. Then there was another table set up with a few different surfaces, and everyone got to snapping their Instagrams!
We hosted the even at The Nest, which was such a perfect location. Kristen, the owner and the commander in chief of Baking Bandits, had just the space we were looking for. We decided on 14 seats for this brunch, so we needed a smaller venue. The Nest also has floor to ceiling windows in the front, which was incredible for taking photos. As a baker and avid Instagrammer herself, Kristen totally understood our need for a space with tons of natural light.
Meredith, Rachel and I spent a majority of the event in the kitchen prepping food and washing dishes. But Rachel created such a killer menu, I still can’t even believe it. The yogurt parfaits became the first course, then there was a Super Green Salad with fresh satsumas and tahini dressing. For the main dish, Rachel made baked eggs with creamed spinach and crispy prosciutto. To go along with it, she made lemon zest home fries. Ugh, it all looked so good. Thankfully, Meredith and I were able to sneak some of the leftover home fries afterward! The last course was my scones, which Rachel plated with homemade whipped cream and grapefruit zest. Fanciest scones I’ve ever seen.
As a party favor, we ordered some macarons from Magic City Macarons. If there is one thing that people freak out over on Instagram, it is macarons. And Nancy makes some serious macarons, y’all. We ordered cinnamon orange to keep with our citrus theme, and funfetti because everyone loves funfetti.
Now, we are totally in love with The Nest. If you live in the Birmingham Area, Kristen will be creating a bakery in The Nest next year for Baking Bandits, so it will be doing double duty. I’m so excited to see what she does with the space, and y’all can definitely count on us having an event there again in the future!
This was the first time Meredith and I have ever planned anything like this, and while it was a lot of work, I am so, so excited about how it turned out. I’ve LOVED seeing everybody’s photos on Instagram and reading the recaps on blogs. It seems like everyone enjoyed the workshop and Rachel’s stupid good food!
Lastly before I finally move on to the recipe, I just want to say thanks to all the Birmingham Bloggers members who came to the event! When Meredith, Molly, and I first launched this group, we wanted to have events where bloggers could meet each other, have some in-person blog support, partner with local Birmingham businesses, and provide bloggers with beneficial information and experience. I hope you were all able to walk away with some of each!
And now, on to the Cardamom Orange Scones! I hope you don’t have to make them three times before you get to eat them. 🙂
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- ½ cup (ONE STICK) butter, cold
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tsp fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest. Pulse a couple times to mix, then cut the butter into chunks and add to the food processor. Process until butter is completely incorporated, and the mixture resembles the texture of slightly damp sand. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In another bowl, combine heavy cream, egg, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and fold until a dough forms.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Divide the scone dough in half, and form each half into flat round disks about half an inch thick. (You may need to use flour on your hands.) Slice each round of dough into 8 wedges, giving you a grand total of 16 wedges.
- Carefully transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheets, placing 8 on each. Space the wedges at least 2-3 inches apart because they will puff up in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. The scones should be golden brown and crisp on the outside. Let the scones cool before glazing.
- In a bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, and heavy cream. Whisk until completely combined. Drizzle glaze over scones and enjoy!