Orange Cranberry Sourdough Biscotti

When I think of fall flavors, orange, cranberries, and pecans comes to mind (besides the obvious pumpkin). I wanted to make a sourdough biscotti recipe that had all of these flavors that can be served with the cozy beverages we love this time of year. These sourdough orange cranberry biscotti are crisp, dunkable, and have little extra crunch and nuttiness from the added pecans. 

These sourdough biscottis are actually quite easy to make, although they do require a double bake to achieve that crisp crunchiness they are known for. My recipe uses a generous amount of sourdough discard, which complements the tartness from the cranberries quite well. 

Cranberry orange sourdough biscotti on a serving platter surrounded by a cut orange.

These Italian cookies make a great treat to serve your Thanksgiving and Christmas guests with their coffee and tea. The best part? They can be made ahead of time. If you are a chocolate lover, I also have a sourdough chocolate biscotti recipe here.


All Purpose Flour: If you plan on substituting whole wheat flour, I would only substitute half of it and keep the other half regular white flour. Whole wheat flour has a tendency to dry out baked goods. 


Baking Powder

Melted Butter: Butter tastes better in biscotti but you can also substitute olive oil, which pairs well with the orange flavor. 

Sugar: We use regular white sugar for this recipe. 


Orange Zest: Use the zest from 1 large orange. This equates to approximately 1 tablespoon of orange zest, but it doesn’t have to be an exact measurement. 

Sourdough Discard: You can use active sourdough starter or unfed sourdough discard for this recipe. It should be close to 100% hydration for best results. 

Cranberries: I used Trader Joe’s sweetened dried cranberries for this recipe but you can use any dried cranberry. I have never tried making these with fresh cranberries but I suspect it would make the dough too wet once baked. 

Ingredients for sourdough cranberry orange biscotti measured out in individual bowls and cups.

How to Make Sourdough Orange Cranberry Biscotti

Make The Dough

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in medium bowl.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and melted butter. You can also do this with a stand mixer or a hand mixer.

Step 3: Add the eggs and whisk until light and slightly fluffy. 

Step 4: Add the orange zest and sourdough discard and mix until combined.

Step 5: If you are using a whisk, switch to a rubber spatula. Slowly pour in the dry ingredients and mix until almost, but not completely combined. Then, stir in the cranberries until just combined. 

Step by step instructions for making the orange cranberry sourdough biscotti. The upper left shows a fork whisking together the dry ingredients. The upper right shows the wet ingredients being whisked in a medium bowl. The bottom left shows the flour mixture being added to the wet ingredients. The bottom right shows the cranberries and pecans being stirred i

Shape the Dough

This part gets sticky. 

Turn the dough onto a liberally floured surface and cut into two equal sized pieces. 

Liberally flour your hands and shape each piece into a 12x3x1 inch rectangle and return to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Feel free to add more flour if you need to. 

There are two rectangles of biscotti dough side by side about 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

The First Bake

Bake the dough for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven. The dough will be mostly firm to the touch when done. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. 

Transfer each large biscotti to a cutting board and use a sharp serrated knife (like a bread knife) to cut the biscotti into 1 inch wide pieces. 

Line the cut biscotti, cut side up and closely spaced next to each other on the baking sheet. 

Orange cranberry sourdough biscotti cut into 1 inch pieces laid out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

The Second Bake

Return the biscotti to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, flipping halfway through the baking time. They should feel quite firm and crisp when they are done but it’s okay if there are some that are slightly soft in the centers. They will crisp up more as they cool. 


  • Substitute almonds, pistachios, or walnuts for the pecans
  • Melt white chocolate chips and drizzle over the tops of the finished biscotti
  • Use an alternative citrus fruit for the zest (blood orange, grapefruit or lemon zest)

How to Serve Orange Cranberry Sourdough Biscotti

It is essential to serve the biscotti with a beverage (usually a warm beverage like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate). The biscotti are very crisp and need the liquid to soften them. They are meant to be dipped into the warm liquid which quickly softens them and makes them easy to bite into. If you are looking for a healthier snack to have with your biscotti, I have some have a whole list compiled of healthy snacks to have with coffee here.

Cranberry orange sourdough biscotti on a serving platter surrounded by a cut orange, more dried cranberries in a bowl, and a cup of tea.

How to Store Sourdough Biscotti

Store the biscotti in a jar with lid, an airtight container, or plastic ziplock bag. You can also keep them on a plate covered with plastic wrap, but this tends to let more air in and can make them lose their freshness faster. 

One of the key benefits of biscotti is that they tend to keep fresh for much longer than regular cookies or baked goods. This is because of the process of double baking them. The second bake removes most of the moisture, allowing them to stay fresh longer. 

Can You Freeze Biscotti?

You can freeze the dough ahead of time if you are not ready to make the biscotti yet but I do recommend using it within 1 month for best results. When you are ready to make the biscotti, pull the dough out from the freezer the day before you expect to bake it so it can defrost in the fridge completely.  This will make it easier to work with. 

Does the Biscotti Dough Need to Chill in the Fridge?

You do not need to refrigerate the dough but you can. If you need to make them dough ahead of time or if you want to develop a more sour flavor, let the dough chill up to 24 hours. 

Why Do My Biscotti Crumble When I Cut Them?

It is normal for there to be a few crumbs when you cut the biscotti but they should not completely crumble. If you notice they are crumbling a lot, try these things:

  • Make sure you allowed them to cool down after the first bake. They will be easier to cut the cooler they are so if they are crumbling, give them 10-15 more minutes to cool down.
  • Use the right knife. Use either a very sharp large kitchen knife or a serrated knife, such as bread knife. 
  • Cut the biscotti with a sawing motion rather than by pressing down too hard on the biscotti. If you press down too much, you will crush it, resulting in more crumbs. 

Why Are My Biscotti Not Crunchy?

The most common reason biscotti are not crunchy is that they were not baked long enough. If you pull the biscotti from the oven, they should feel mostly firm, although they may have a bit of give in the centers. If they are soft even along the edges of the biscotti, return them to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. 

The second most common reason your biscotti are not crunchy is due to improper storage. Biscotti should not be stored with other baked goods. If biscotti are stored next to a softer baked good, such as bread or soft cookies, they will absorb some of their moisture. Likewise, they will also dry out the baked goods that you want to be soft. Moral of the story is that you should store biscotti separately in an airtight container. 

Cranberry orange sourdough biscotti on a serving platter surrounded by a cut orange, more dried cranberries in a bowl, and a cup of tea.

Orange Cranberry Sourdough Biscotti

These cranberry orange sourdough biscotti are the perfect combination of fall and christmas flavors. They are a delicious, drinkable treat to have with your coffee or tea and can be made ahead of time.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine Italian


  • 2 medium mixing bowls (or 1 bowl and 1 stand mixer)
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 Rubber Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Large Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • 1 sharp kitchen knife
  • 1 cutting board


  • cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • zest from 1 large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ cup sourdough discard (100% hydration)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, orange zest, sourdough discard, and eggs.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until mostly combined.
  • Add the chopped pecans and cranberries and stir in until just fully combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a liberally floured surface and cut into two roughly equal size pieces. Lightly sprinkle flour over each half of dough.
  • With floured hands, shape each dough ball into a rectangle that is approximately 12 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 1 inch thick.
  • Transfer both rectangles of dough to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the biscotti feels firm to the touch.
  • Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
  • Place each large uncut biscotti on a cutting board and use large sharp kitchen knife or serrated bread knife to cut into 1 inch wide biscotti pieces.
  • Return each cut biscotti, closely spaced next to each other, to the baking sheet, cut side up.
  • Bake again for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through the baking time. They should feel mostly crisp and firm although the centers may be slightly soft to the touch. They will continue to crisp up as they cool down.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving.
Keyword Cookies, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Please, is it possible to use grams etc when sharing recipes? The internet is world wide and even cups are differing weights in US and Europe. This recipe looks great and I plan to give it a try but first I’ll need to convert the weights and volumes or risk spoiling the biscotti.

    1. Hi Merrilyn,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I will see if I can make the recipe card show both units of measurements so everyone can enjoy these 🙂

  2. Hi Jessica,

    These scones are the bomb! I had someone tell me they were the best scones they’ve had! Thank you for a deliciously delightful recipe!

    1. Hi Ilana!
      Yes I think that would be fine. The main reason to let them rest for 30 minutes is to allow them to cool down so they don’t burn you or crumble as much. They are typically completely baked after the first bake and the second bake is just to get them crisp. I hope that helps!

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