Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

My nephew was over at our house a few days ago and I was asking him if he usually ate lunch in the school cafeteria or if he usually went home. He said that most often he’ll go home and make his signature dish; 3 crispy on the bottom, silky smooth on the top sunny side up eggs, then head back to school. That’s his #1 signature dish and his #2 is our family’s classic Brown Sugar Biscuits. I hadn’t had or thought about those in years, so when he brought them up, I instantly knew I needed them right away!

Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange SwirlBrown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange SwirlBrown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

Here in Austin, I’m still trying to adjust to the fact that it’s 80 degrees outside, I’m sitting inside our air-conditioned home, and what I’ve experienced in the past of Autumn is most likely not going to happen here. Granted, that didn’t stop me from listening to the Pentatonix Christmas album yesterday to get in the holiday spirit, but still, it’s just going to be a different kind of season for me. I’m slowly transitioning into more cozy foods and these biscuits were a definite leap in that direction.

Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

Growing up, we would make these brown sugar biscuits once every week or two. They’re so mystifying because they’re a perfect mixture of a quick biscuit and a yeast cinnamon roll. No yeast is involved, but the 4 teaspoons of baking powder allows the dough to rise to a delicate puffy biscuit. I added the cranberries and orange zest to add some fall flare, but normally we just eat these with brown sugar and cinnamon. When I was blending up the cranberries, I was tempted to throw in some apple or pear or pumpkin (the possibilities are endless!!!), but I’m glad I just stuck with the cranberry/orange combo. The tang of both of those fruits really help to balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

How gorgeous are these little morsels?? I may have only cooked 11 of these instead of 12 because I may have eaten 1 raw… Maybe not the best decision, but after staring at these beauties, I couldn’t help myself! One tip for you; don’t wait too long before getting them out of the pan. When the brown sugar mixture cools down, you’ll have a heck of a time getting the biscuits off the pan and onto a plate if you spend too much time gawking at them like I did.

Are you in love with these yet?

Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

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Brown Sugar Biscuits with a Cranberry Orange Swirl

  • Author: Kitschen Cat
  • Yield: 12 Biscuits 1x


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup softened butter (affiliate) or shortening
  • ⅔ cup milk

Cranberry Orange Swirl

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • ½ cup chopped cranberries
  • ¼ cup melted butter (affiliate)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar (affiliate)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (affiliate)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, white sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt). Add in softened butter. Work with a pastry blender or your hands until butter is incorporated into the flour mixture. You should have a soft, almost sandy texture.
  3. Add milk. Start with ½ cup and slowly add remainder until dough is soft, but not sticky. You may not use the full ⅔ cup. Mix dough until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and a ball starts to form.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out with a rolling pin until you have a rectangle about 13 x 9 inches.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, stir together  chopped cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  6. Brush melted butter onto dough, followed by brown sugar and the cranberry mixture.
  7. Starting on the long end, roll up into a log. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 biscuits.
  8. In 9 x 13 pan or 2 cake pans, coat with cooking spray. Place cut biscuits into the pan.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

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