Mix flour, baking powder, 1/2 t. orange zest, and the salt in mixing bowl. Pour in half-and-half and stir quickly to mix.
Combine cherries, 1 cup water, the sugar, orange juice, and remaining 1/2 t. orange zest in 10-inch skillet. Cover and heat to boiling.
Drop batter onto cherries, making 6 dumplings. Reduce heat to maintain steady simmer. Cover and cook until toothpick inserted into dumpling comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately, with cream, if desired.