Banana Bread Scones From Samantha Seneviratne

April 28, 2020
37 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Ali Slagle. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
Author Notes

For those bananas getting speckled on the counter (or falling at your feet every time you open the freezer door), I’ve found a happy new home. Think: all the comforts of banana bread, with more crunchy-sweet edges and fluffy, chocolate-spiked middles—and ready in, oh, about half the time.

As Samantha Seneviratne writes in The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life, “These scones are the perfect breakfast when you’re rich in overripe bananas but don’t have the time or patience for banana bread. They bake up fast and don’t need to cool before being eaten. Some of the butter might ooze out a little while they bake, but don’t worry. That just helps get the bottom extra crunchy.”

A few tips: If you'd like to use frozen bananas, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or under warm running water. Mash any extra banana liquid back into the bananas and be sure to measure out 1/2 cup to keep the dough from being too wet and sticky. To peel the hazelnuts, just toast them in a 325°F oven until they smell toasty and are golden throughout (break one open to check), about 10 minutes. Let them cool wrapped in a clean kitchen towel (the trapped steam helps loosen the skins), then rub any loose skins off with the towel. Don't worry about any skins that don't come off. If you don't have hazelnuts or don't want to use them, feel free to swap in a different nut or leave them out. Feel free to swap in another kind of chocolate (Samantha used chopped chocolate chips in the video below) or leave it out, too.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life (Running Press, October 2019).

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Watch This Recipe
Banana Bread Scones From Samantha Seneviratne
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 22 minutes
  • Makes 8 scones
  • 1 extra-large, extra-ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling (or turbinado or granulated)
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the banana, cream, egg, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or 2 knives used like scissors, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces. (You can use your fingers if you work fast enough that the butter stays cold.) Toss in the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.
  3. Drizzle in the banana mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and moistened, but stop before you’ve mixed it into a uniform batter. Tip out the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat it into a craggy, 6-inch circle. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the circle into 8 equal triangles. (At this point, you could freeze the triangles well-wrapped on their sheet for another day. Bake them from frozen.) Spread the triangles a good couple inches apart and brush the tops with the cream. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  4. Bake until the scones are golden brown and set, about 18 to 22 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a scone should come out clean. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or room temperature. Scones are best the day they’re made, but any leftovers can be frozen (or stale ones can be split in half and toasted in butter in a skillet to revive them).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • frosenthal
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    Gabriele Monnett Farjadi
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    Faith Kaltenbach
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Recipe by: Genius Recipes

    79 Reviews

    Lemonshmallow January 19, 2021
    Many thanks. It's simply a perfect recipe in my book. I have been making this recipe at least once a month since it has been made available by food52 and it's definitely one of my favourite ways of using bananas (even when not overripe it still works fine if anything less sweet). The temp suggested works well in my oven so I never needed to adjust that. I always use frozen, grated butter and leave the scones to rest either in the fridge or freezer before shaping and then baking them. I also swap the brown sugar for cane sugar bc thats what I always have at home (and it's a cheaper alternative where I live) it works very well too.
    abartrem December 1, 2020
    These are terrific! To save time and ease, I just use a cookie scoop and drop them onto the cookie sheet. They turned out great and store well in a Tupperware container
    MBV October 19, 2020
    I gave this recipe a try today and the scones turned out quite nicely. I like that the recipe uses easy to find ingredients and the scones are not super sweet. The only thing I didn't like was that the dough comes out incredibly sticky (like other reviewers have said). I found it hard to move them onto the baking sheet once the dough had been divided. The next time I make them, I think I will put them in the fridge after forming the dough into a round circle and that might help with the stickiness. I took the advice of one of the reviewers and turned down the oven to 350F once the scones went in. Mine were done on a light sheet pan after 23 mins. The tops were golden and crunchy and the bottoms were not burnt - the granulated sugar I had sprinkled on top had disappeared as I expected it would (I didn't have any turbinado sugar on hand).
    Woo.Rankin October 10, 2020
    First time making scones and this recipe was easier then I imagined. Followed the recipe exactly, and substituted with pecans and chocolate semi-sweet morsels, since I had those ingredients in my pantry, and the scones came out perfect!! So delicious! Nice and crisp top; and nicely browned on the bottom;, and perfectly cooked inside, not too moist; and not too dry. It was just like a muffin top, and that's always the best part of a muffin. This scone recipe is the BEST!
    Boopy99 September 9, 2020
    We love love love these scones! Saw some of other reviews and I always use more than 1/2 cup of mashed banana -- could there be a blip in the recipe?
    feliciak August 2, 2020
    These scones are truly a quarantine blessing! I've made them 10 times so far and make small adjustments each time- like using coconut sugar and roasting the walnuts the night before so they are cool. At first I found the sticky dough tricky, but now I have the hang of it using a combo butcher knife to cut and small spatula to move. Normally, I bake them at 425 for 20 min (with a Wolf oven), but on a high rack or double sheet. Everyone who tastes them is wowed. So divine!
    feliciak August 9, 2020
    Even though I've made these according to the directions many times, today I spaced out and accidentally added the heavy cream to the dry ingredients! Eek. But, weirdly this misstep made final dough much less sticky and easier to handle. I was able to shape them perfectly without struggling to keep the dough from sticking to my fingers or the utensils. I might try the method again!
    frosenthal July 9, 2020
    I'm very in to these scones. I've been having one for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea since I discovered the recipe a couple of weeks ago. It's perfect comfort food during this pandemic! For me, 14 minutes is the right timing.
    Gabriele M. July 3, 2020
    Just made them. Used 3 smallish bananas. So, so delicious 😋. Will become a staple in our house. Thank you for providing this recipe.
    Elise M. June 25, 2020
    Quarantine banana bread bored me REAL fast, so I'm thrilled this recipe came into my life. I followed the recipe as-is except I left out the nuts and chocolate to indulge in the pure banana flavor instead. I recently discovered that coconut cream can be used as a 1:1 plant-based substitute for heavy cream (I try to limit my dairy to just some 2% in my coffee). I've made this recipe twice now with canned coconut cream from Trader Joe's and it's lovely! You barely taste the coconut flavor.

    I've had the same issues with the bottoms getting too dark/browned with both batches, so I'll need to test some of the review notes with the cooking temperatures. Dough is definitely sticky. I pour my dough onto floured parchment on the baking sheet to shape, then leave the dough circle in the fridge overnight to stiffen before cutting and baking in the morning.
    amey C. June 16, 2020
    I have made these a million times and each time I try something new or mix them more or less and they come out differently. If you want more of a sconey scone then adhere to her directions of mixing so it’s just kind of shaggy- don’t let it get too wet. If you want a prettier and cakier scone then mix it a bit more. It will be more uniform just not as easy to cut. I also prefer chopped pecans to hazelnuts. Love these!!!!
    Julie May 24, 2020
    This is such a great recipe that I've made them twice already! I used a food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients and it seems to work well. They come out soooo fluffy and delicious!
    Yvonne May 19, 2020
    I tried these on a Sunday morning and I used walnuts, it’s what I had. I had to refrigerate the dough before cutting it, it was getting hard to handle, it was so sticky. After cutting them I decided to bake 3 and froze the rest. I found they were browning very quickly but I still cooked them the required time. I thought I may have overcooked them, they were really dark and looked burnt on the bottom, turns out they were perfect! I tried to hold out but I ate all three by the end of the day. I love knowing I have them in the freezer and can bake them at anytime. This is a great recipe. Thank you!
    mimolette May 17, 2020
    Delicious, but oven temp and timing is way off. Took frozen ones and cooked them at 375 for 25 minutes. Perfect.
    Faith K. May 15, 2020
    Made these this morning with granulated sugar (out of brown) and no nuts or chocolate chips. Dough was very sticky and hard to handle. They came out just delicious, soft inside, crunchy outside. I am always suspicious of baking new recipes at 5700 feet but this one worked.
    Note for those who need to use up a lot of overripe bananas: this recipe does not use up bananas at the rate that conventional banana bread does.
    Leslie V. July 5, 2020
    Thanks I am 4000' so your mention of HA helped me.
    Kiran May 15, 2020
    I made them twice today, First time followed the recipe exactly. DInt like that the butter leached and they were browning too fast and insides undercooked. Second time round I made minor changes as follows.

    I froze all the ingredients and utensils except banana.

    Decreased the butter by 2 tablespoons.

    Heated the oven to recommended temperature and as soon as the scones went into it, I immediately dialed down the temp to 350 and baked for 23 minutes. Beautiful golden scones emerged and they were delicious.

    Very forgiving recipe. Thank you Samantha for creating it and Kristen for sharing it.
    Diane May 12, 2020
    These were delicious, but I found the dough sticky and difficult to cut and move before baking. Should I have limited the cream a bit? Also, could I substitute plain yogurt for the cream ? Thank you.
    Lisa L. May 12, 2020
    I've made them twice now, the first time following the recipe to the letter. They were sticky & very difficult to cut & move &, at 22 minutes, the bottoms were dark. I loved them. Made them yesterday & I had no cream so I used part whole milk & part buttermilk & slightly more banana. Brushed the tops w/milk. They were even harder to cut & move, but this recipe is incredibly forgiving. I used 2 pans, as suggested, to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark, & only baked for 18 minutes b/c the tops looked done & a skewer came out clean. I didn't like them as well although everyone else loved them. I like the longer, darker bake which makes them more crumbly so I'm going back to the recipe next time, as written. Obviously, the stickiness & difficulty cutting have virtually no bearing on the finished product. My friend subbed blueberries for the chocolate & said her family preferred them that way.
    Trisha D. May 10, 2020
    I made these with my 13 year old son and he had a fun time mashing the bananas and blending the butter into the dry ingredients. It was our first time making scones and they turned out perfect! Thank you for such a great recipe!
    Theresa May 6, 2020
    Great results, I substituted chopped pecans and large flame raisins. Delicious scone texture and flavors. My new way to use up overripe bananas around our house.
    Kaitlin M. May 5, 2020
    I wanted to love these, but they just didn't turn out well for me. I read the other reviews about burning, so I already reduced the temperature to 400F, but they were over-browned for my taste at 22 minutes. I think next time I will use granulated sugar rather than brown. I may need to lower my oven temperature again as well. Most scone recipes I've used call for 375F and turn out beautifully tender.
    Mike E. May 3, 2020
    Could easily be the best scones I've ever made/eaten. Perfect balance of crispy outer crunch and fluffy, moist interior. Other than using toasted walnuts instead of hazelnuts, didn't change a thing and they came out beautifully. Can't believe just one ripe banana did the trick.