Indulge in the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors with these Cast Iron Skillet Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Biscuits. These delicious biscuits, loaded with dried cranberries and zesty orange zest, are baked to golden perfection in a cast iron skillet. With a simple 2 ingredient orange glaze to top them off, they're a delightful treat for breakfast or brunch!
Orange and cranberry buttermilk biscuits just scream that it is holiday time! All things fall and Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the magical things! The combo of sweet dried cranberries and the vibrant zest of orange creates the perfect combination that is a fun holiday twist on the traditional southern buttermilk biscuit. These biscuits are not just a treat; they're a flavor-packed experience that you can enjoy at any meal - especially breakfast and brunch!
The best part is they’re so easy to make! With a few simple steps, you'll have these cranberry biscuits ready to devour. First, you'll mix together the dry ingredients and cut in cold, cubed butter. Then, gently fold in buttermilk, dried cranberries, and that fragrant orange zest. Roll out the dough, cut out your biscuits, and nestle them into a well-greased cast iron skillet. A quick 15 minutes in the oven, and voila! You'll have a batch of golden biscuits to enjoy.
Since fresh cranberries can usually only be found during the holiday season, I used dried cranberries to make this easier to enjoy year-round.
These cranberry orange biscuits are perfect for so many occasions. Serve them up as an addition to your weekend brunch spread, or enjoy them as a warm with some butter and a comforting side dish for dinner. And you know I am all about prepping ahead and saving time, and you can freeze both unbaked and baked biscuits, so you can always have this treat on hand for unexpected guests, busy mornings, or whenever the Southern food craving strikes!
How To Make Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Biscuits
Prepare the oven: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your ingredients.
Cut in cold butter: Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter*, cut in the cold butter until the dough has small pea-sized clumps in it and is crumbly.
Mix in cranberries and orange zest: Add in the buttermilk, cranberries, and orange zest - gently mix until the dough has just come together. Do not over-mix!
FUN FACT - I rarely buy buttermilk. When I need buttermilk for a recipe I usually only need a cup or so and they don't sell it in small enough containers that it would just go bad before I use it - because again I don't use it but for a couple of baking recipes. But we usually have whole milk on hand and we always have white vinegar - so there is no need to buy actual buttermilk from the store. 99% of the time I just make my own buttermilk at home in just 5 minutes (the recipe is in the link!).
Shape the biscuits: Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently bring it together in a ball or round disk. With a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough until it is about ½-3/4" inches tall. With a round biscuit or cookie cutter*, cut straight down into the dough and lift up. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
Prepare the cast iron skillet: To grease the cast iron skillet, put a little bit of shortening, lard, or butter on a paper towel and spread around the skillet until the bottom and sides are lightly covered.
Arrange the biscuits: Place the cut biscuits into a greased cast iron skillet. The biscuits can be close together and touch. With the remaining dough, gently bring it together and pat it out into a disk again. Cut out more biscuits and place them in the skillet. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used - being careful not to overwork the dough during this process.
Bake the biscuits: Place the cast iron skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Make the orange glaze: While the biscuits are baking, mix the powdered sugar, orange zest and orange juice in a bowl and whisk until no clumps remain.
Glaze and serve: Remove from the oven. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the biscuits. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!
- Ensure your butter is cold when incorporating it into the dry ingredients. This will help create those coveted buttery layers in your biscuits.
- This recipe is made with dried cranberries. They can be made with fresh ones when in season - but they are hard to find when not around the holidays, so using dried makes this recipe easier.
- You can use a food processor to mix in the cold butter into the dry ingredients instead of using a pastry cutter - both work just fine - just make sure the butter is a small pea-sized shape, and the mixture looks crumbly (not big butter chunks remaining) - move to a large bowl to finish the mix.
- When rolling out the dough, be gentle. Aim for a thickness of about ½ to ¾ inches to achieve tender and fluffy biscuits.
- Use a sharp biscuit or cookie cutter to cut straight down into the dough without twisting. Twisting the cutter can seal the edges and hinder the biscuits from rising properly.
- Whether you use bacon grease or butter, generously grease your cast iron skillet to prevent sticking and achieve a beautifully golden crust.
- Don't worry about spacing the biscuits too far apart in the skillet; they can be placed close together and rise and bake just fine.
- When drizzling the orange glaze over the biscuits, do so while they're still slightly warm. This allows the glaze to seep into the biscuits for extra flavor.
Storing & Freezing
Storage: Leftover biscuits can be stored in a zip-top bag or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To maintain their freshness, reheat them gently in the microwave for about 10 seconds before enjoying.
Freezing: To freeze unbaked biscuits, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flash freeze for 30 minutes. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe airtight bag or container and store them for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, place frozen biscuits in a greased cast iron skillet and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-20 minutes.
For baked biscuits, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to flash freeze. Then, store the frozen baked biscuits in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, sealed airtight, for up to 6 months. To thaw, move them to the fridge for 24 hours before use, and reheat them in the oven to revive their freshness.
Yes, you can use fresh cranberries when they're in season. Roughly chop so that you will get smaller bites in the biscuit.
While a cast iron skillet is ideal for achieving that golden crust, you can use a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The biscuits may not have the same crispy bottom, but they'll still taste delicious.
Yes, you can prepare the dough in advance, cut out the biscuits, and refrigerate them for a few hours before baking. Alternatively, you can freeze the unbaked biscuits and bake them straight from the freezer, just adjust the baking time slightly.