Holidays Muffins + Scones Winter

Panettone Scones

panettone scones on parchment paper

This post was created in partnership with Icelandic Provisions.

Scones have always been a favorite baked good, and I love both making and eating them. Over the years I’ve made a plethora of them – every shape and kind you can think of. These maple oatmeal scones are a reader favorite, as well as my autumn inspired pumpkin scones.

I usually make the base of my scones with crème fraîche or sour cream, but I was happy to discover that skyr works just as well. I made these Panettone scones with Icelandic Provisions Plain Skyr and orange juice (replacing the crème fraîche and heavy cream) and they were absolutely delicious. A mix of dried cherries, apricots, cranberries, pineapple, or candied orange peels (whatever you have in the pantry) are added, along with almond paste for traditional panettone flavors.

What is Skyr?

Skyr is similar to yogurt but because of the heirloom Icelandic cultures used to make it, it has a different texture. It takes nearly four cups of milk to make one cup of skyr, making it thicker, and creamier than yogurt. I’ve been using it often in my baking, substituting skyr for yogurt or sour cream, and have been very happy with the results.

“A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones, when there came – a loud knock.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I make scones for every possible occasion, and I especially love them around the holidays, as the can be shaped ahead of time and frozen, then pulled out and baked as needed. This panettone version actually comes from my new cookbook, Baking for the Holidays. And while knocks at the door typically don’t result in dragon adventures like Bilbo’s above, I have found them to result in very happy guests when warm scones emerge from the oven.

More Scones Recipes:

panettone scones on parchment paper

Panettone Scones

Servings: 8 scones
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inspired by an Italian sweet bread, these soft and tender scones are made with dried fruit and almond paste. Perfect for a holiday breakfast, or a winter baking session.
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup [65 g] granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 ¼ cups [320 g] all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup [120 g] Icelandic Skyr or sour cream
  • ¼ cup [60 g] heavy cream, plus more for brushing (you can also use ¼ cup [60 g] orange juice instead of the heavy cream for more orange flavor)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons [1 ½ sticks or 170 g] unsalted butter cold, cut into ½ in [12 mm] pieces
  • ½ cup [70 g] dried fruit (cherries, apricots, cranberries, pineapple, or candied orange peels are all good options)
  • 8 oz [226 g] almond paste

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Stack two sheet pans on top of each other and line the top sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the sugar and orange zest, rubbing the orange into the sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the Skyr, heavy cream, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  • Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas. Add the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add the dry fruit, gently folding it into the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead four to six times, until it comes together, adding flour as necessary, as the dough will be sticky. Pat the dough gently into a square and roll it into a 12 in [30.5 cm] square (again, dusting with flour as necessary). Fold the dough in thirds, similar to a business letter. Fold the short ends of the dough in thirds again, making a square. Transfer it to a floured sheet pan or plate and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. While the dough is chilling, roll the almond paste into a square, roughly 12 in [30.5 cm], using a little flour if needed (see note). Return the dough to the floured surface, roll it into a 12 in [30.5 cm] square, and place the rolled almond paste on top. Fold the dough in thirds. Place the dough seam-side down and gently roll the dough into a 12 by 4 in [30.5 by 10 cm] rectangle. (For a visual on how to fold the scones, see this post.)
  • With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough crosswise into four equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally into two triangles. Transfer the triangles to the prepared sheet pan. Brush the tops of the triangles with a little heavy cream, making sure it doesn’t drip down the sides, and sprinkle the tops generously with sugar. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the tops and bottoms are light golden brown. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack and let the scones cool for 10 minutes before serving. Scones are best eaten the same day they are made.

Notes

*Rolling the almond flour can be a little tricky, I use a tiny bit of flour to help it not to stick to the surface. It may crack a little as you roll – this is okay! It is going to be folded into the dough, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. You just want a very thin piece to lay over the top of the dough. 
*Scones can also be cut into other shapes (squares, circles with a biscuit cutter) instead of making triangles. I find triangles to be the easiest method, and then I don’t have to re-roll the dough. 
*I stack two sheet pans when baking the scones to keep the bottoms from browning too quickly. 
 
  • Reply
    Timothy Woods
    Monday, February 7, 2022 at 12:36 am

    5 stars
    This is the only panettone scones recipe that I have seen, and it’s nothing short of amazing. The dough is moist and flavorful, the flavor combinations are delicious, and it’s just as easy as any other scones recipe. I can’t wait to try some different flavor combos with this one!

  • Reply
    Chris
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    5 stars
    A clever vehicle for the magical combination of classic panettone ingredients. Well done!

  • Reply
    Kate Mills
    Friday, December 31, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    5 stars
    These scones are really good! The dried apricots and candied orange peel I had planned to use looked old and discolored, so I discarded them and went with what I had on hand: 35g dried cranberries, 35g crystallized ginger, and then ½ cup mini chocolate chips for good measure. I used the low fat sour cream and orange juice options for the mix. The dough came together fine and was easy enough to handle with a bit of flour. The almond paste is a nice touch that gives the scones that something extra. It also sweetens them up more than a traditional scone, but I usually glaze scones for my family’s sweet tooth, so I liked that I could skip a glaze. I made the dough last night, rolled the dough into a 16-in x 3-in rectangle to get 12 smaller scones (cut rectangle into 6 squares and then each square into two triangles), and then froze them before baking from frozen this morning. One other note: I generally use weights instead of volumes for baking and noticed that the 2-1/4 cups flour was shown as 320 grams. Most flour food labels show ¼ cup equals 30g, so that would come out to 270g. But that left the dough too sticky, so I did end up using 320 grams.

  • Reply
    Jenny Rosenberger
    Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Quick question about adding the almond paste: should I have done one set of folds, like a letter, or added a second set of folding to make a square again? I just folded in to thirds and it didn’t seem to incorporate the almond paste as much as I expected. Absolutely delicious but when they baked up the almond paste layer kind of stood out and I wasn’t expecting that. I will make this again and again, regardless, but was just curious!

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, the almond paste is supposed to stick out/stand out – some Christmas breads have chopped almond paste within it and I was trying to mimic that texture. If you aren’t crazy about it you can omit the paste, and add a little almond extract 1/2 teaspoon or so) instead along with vanilla extract.

  • Reply
    Jdb
    Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 10:45 am

    What’s the best way to freeze these? And how to bake from the freezer? Directly into the oven?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 6:26 pm

      Freeze them unbaked on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. I bake them directly from the freezer, adding a little time to the bake time.

  • Reply
    Shari Noda
    Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shari Noda
    Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 11:49 am

    5 stars
    Can you leave out the almond paste altogether for just a good tasting scone? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      Yes, you can make these without the almond paste! You’ll still have a great result.

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