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).
This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to. —Genius Recipes
Test Kitchen Notes
If you’re like us and wish every baked good had crispy-crunchy edges and ends, these scones are for you. They’re the banana bread equivalent of the brownies made in one of those maze-like pans (just Google it, you'll be glad you did.) They have all the fruitiness of banana bread, with the crunch and crumble of perfect bakery scones. Food stylist and cookbook author Samantha Seneviratne’s Genius recipe is done in about half the time a normal loaf of banana bread takes, which means you can make this recipe any time of day (or night) a craving strikes.
Another reason to love these scones? They only require one banana, as opposed to the three or four called for in most banana bread recipes. And doesn't there’s alway seem to be one lonely speckled banana left slowly dying on the counter? This is a more than adequate way to do that sad counter-banana justice!
For a twist, try using chopped dark chocolate in lieu of chips, and substitute walnuts for hazelnuts as a nod to everyone's favorite scone-like Levain cookies. Just be sure to pile lots of the crunchy turbinado sugar on top and maybe a sprinkle of flaky salt too. Serve the scones warm, slathered with butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, or your favorite nut butter. These are best fresh, and freeze any leftovers past the second day, although chances are they won't last that long. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 22 minutes
- Makes 8 scones
extra-large, extra-ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
heavy cream, plus more for brushing
large egg, lightly beaten
pure vanilla extract
packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons
(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)
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).