Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
If using the buttermilk substitute, combine the skim milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt,and zest.
Cut in the butter and mix it in using a pastry blender or by hand. If your butter happens to be frozen, try using a cheese grater instead of cutting it.
Combine the buttermilk, applesauce, and honey in a medium sized bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the dough has come together. Do not over mix. If the dough is still very sticky, add some more flour.
Gently fold in the cranberries.
Turn out half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a circle, roughly six inches in diameter.
Using a floured butter knife, cut the circle into 12 portions. Place each scone on the baking sheet.
Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until they turn slightly golden. Test them with a toothpick when you suspect they are ready. If it comes out clean, they are ready. Then place them on a cooling rack.