Cranberry Shortcake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream


There is something magical about that cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving plate mixed in with all those savory turkey day flavors — those are bites I look forward to all year. We always have extra cranberry sauce stashed in the fridge. That was my inspiration for this seasonal dessert or a special breakfast treat if you have a house full of holiday guests.

fresh cranberries

Cranberries at the Fresh Market. How can you resist?

cranberry sauce

When paired with a sweet scone and fresh cinnamon whipped cream that cranberry sauce becomes a fall interpretation of summer’s strawberry shortcake. This recipe is great because it’s easy enough to make with your kids, but also has a sophisticated flavor that makes it adult worthy, too.

cranberry shortcake

Cinnamon whipped cream making.

The cream scones from The Essential New York Times Cookbook are the shortcake base of this beauty. I prefer the sweetness of a scone rather than using a biscuit, because of the way it compliments the tart cranberry sauce. If you like the scones at Jeannine’s Bakery then you’ll love this recipe — they bake up moist in the middle with a crunchy exterior.


Like most desserts on the blog, this is not overly sweet. I hope this finds its way into your Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy!

cranberry scone


scones oven

thanksgiving dessert

Cranberry Shortcake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Shortcake with Cranberries and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Serves 8

Note: For the scones you can use any type of citrus zest or omit completely. I like the tangerine zest because it layers the flavor of tangerines from my cranberry sauce.


Fresh Cranberry Tangerine Sauce or something similar


Whipped Cream:

Pipe the whipped cream from a piping bag for a nice finished look or simply dollop with a spoon for rustic beauty.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Whip the cream until it thickens. Add the sugar, cinnamon and sea salt and continue to beat until peaks form. You don’t want to over mix or it will get stiff and turn to butter!  Store in the fridge until ready to use.


Cream Scones:

From The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Makes 8

Note: These are also great if you make them into mini scones, making sixteen instead of eight.  If you go that route they’ll only need to bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

Preheat over to 400 degrees

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Zest of 2 small tangerines (optional)

Position a rack in the top third of the oven. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and zest in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture, add 1 1/4 cups cream, and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon. Work quickly, stirring as little as possible, until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Add more cream a tablespoon at a time if the dough seems too dry.

Divide the dough into 8 balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Space them so they have at least 2 inches between the scones. Brush the top of each with heavy cream, and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To serve: Slice the scone/shortcake in half and pour a few tablespoons of the cranberry sauce over the bottom. Top with the whipped cream and gently nestle the other half of the scone on top.