Melt in your mouth delicious and so easy, these Banana Bread Scones with a fabulous brown butter icing are super moist and tender inside and have a wonderful sweet-crunchy exterior.
If you've been afraid to try scones because they sounded a little too fancy or too complicated, this Banana Bread Scone recipe is the perfect place to start. You won't believe how easy it is until you try it, then you'll be sold! (And your family/friends will be requesting them again and again!)
This Banana Bread Scones recipe arrived in my inbox one day from the Splendid Table website. The scones looked amazing and I decided to try my ridiculously easy scone technique instead of following their more traditional directions. It worked like a charm and I knew, after the first bite, that I'd have to be sharing this recipe with you!
A proven winner!
If you've been hanging around The Café for a while, you may have tried one or more of our other ridiculously easy scone recipes like these Maple Pecan Scones, these Sugar Top Scones or maybe even these Orange Cranberry Scones which were wildly popular this past holiday season.
From the numerous comments and emails I've received, it seems that everyone who tries our ridiculously easy scones becomes a believer. It's the crazy easy technique that surprises and convinces even the doubting-est Thomas!
Ridiculously Easy Scone Technique
What is this technique that's earned the name ridiculously easy? To understand, we need to discuss the classic method for making scones first, the technique that gives good scones (and biscuits) their incredibly flaky, tender texture and the layers of buttery, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
The classic or traditional method is to combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then "cut in" butter (with a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers) to create tiny lumps of butter. These individual lumps of butter create pockets of steam in the finished product which gives that wonderful flaky, buttery consistency everyone loves. Then the liquid ingredients are mixed in and the dough is either scooped up or turned out onto a work surface, rolled out and cut.
The part that can be time-consuming and/or intimidating is the "cutting in" process. Some recipes try to make things easy by "grating" in frozen butter instead of "cutting" it in. Still, kind of a messy process.
But what if you could eliminate all of that fussing? That's where the ridiculously easy method comes in. You simply melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool a bit. While the butter's cooling, put the liquid ingredients (heavy cream for scones) in the freezer for 10 minutes to get it icy cold.
In the meantime, combine the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a nice big bowl. When the cream is nice and cold, remove it from the freezer and add the melted butter. Stir with a fork and... (drum roll)... voila! Little lumps of butter all suspended in the cream. No cutting or grating involved!
Shape and bake
Once the dough is mixed, with these banana bread scones (and all of our other scone recipes) the rest is easy or super easy. The easy way to shape scones is to turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a round disk and cut the disk into traditional-shaped scone wedges.
The super-easy way is to scoop the dough up with a spoon or cookie scooper right onto the baking sheet. The finished scones are pretty little mounds instead of the classic triangle shape. You choose, whichever you like better or have the time for. I made a batch of each for this photoshoot, just to show you the two options.
These banana bread scones are wonderful on their own, served with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of cold milk. They're melt-in-your-mouth moist and delicious and have a super crunchy exterior, thanks to a sprinkle of raw or crystallized sugar. BUT I would be quite negligent if I didn't tell you how amazing the simple drizzle of the brown butter icing is.
The creamy, super-delicious icing is definitely the crowning glory, as it pairs so perfectly with the flavors of banana, walnuts and the crunchy sugar topping. You choose though, either way, these scones will receive rave reviews!
Café Tips for making these Ridiculously Easy Banana Bread Scones
- This batter is quite thick. You’ll want a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to stir it. I really like these silicone spatulas with wooden handles. At first, it might seem like all the flour mixture will not be incorporated, but keep going. All of a sudden it will be all mixed in. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid.
- This recipe calls for one medium-size ripe banana which will equal about ½ cup mashed banana. Don't try to use more. The proportions will be off and the scones will spread out too much and won't rise properly. If your mashed banana is slightly less than ½ cup, it's okay, just add enough cream in step 3 to equal a total of one cup.
- I use a 2-ounce (4-tablespoon) cookie scoop for these banana bread scones and get a yield of 9-10 round scones. A retractable cookie scoop (aka ice cream scooper) is super useful for making uniform-shaped, cookies, biscuits, scones, etc.
- I like to spray my scoop with cooking spray before starting to scoop out my scones. It makes them almost slide right out of the scooper onto the sheet pan!
- I like to refrigerate my scones for at least 10-15 minutes before baking. This helps them to keep their shape in the oven. If you want to make them farther in advance, that’s fine too. They can be refrigerated for several hours before baking. Any longer than that, I would pop them in the freezer.
- These scones can be mixed up, shaped and then frozen. To bake, just place on a cookie sheet (or sheet pan) and pop in the oven without thawing. Give them a couple of extra minutes to bake.
- Scones are really best on the day that they're made. However, if you have one or two left over, just pop them (one at a time) in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. They will be almost like fresh out of the oven.
- I LOVE these pre-cut parchment paper sheets. They come in a nice flat box, last forever and save a bunch of time if you enjoy baking.
- One little trick I wanted to share with you. Both the scone and the icing recipes call for melting butter in the microwave. If you've ever melted butter in the microwave, you know that it can spatter and make a mess. It helps to cover the bowl with a paper towel but often, when you open the microwave, you'll discover that the fan or the motion (if you have a turntable) has blown the paper towel off and there's still a mess. If you simply wet your hands and dry them on the paper towel before using it in the microwave, the dampness will keep it in place and your microwave will stay sparkling clean!
- Oh, and by the way, we have lots of other Ridiculously Easy recipes, not just scones. You can read more about our Ridiculously Easy recipes in this Easy Focaccia Bread recipe, but, in a nutshell, they are recipes that make you look like a cooking rock star with minimal effort! We LOVE these kinds of recipes and so do many of our readers!
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 medium-size very ripe banana
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup about heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- raw turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Mash banana with a fork until fairly smooth and no lumps are left. Add ½ cup of the banana to a 2-cup measuring cup. Add the egg to the cup with the banana and whisk with a fork until well combined.
Add enough heavy cream to reach the 1-cup measuring line. (the total amount for the banana, egg and cream will be 1 cup). Add the vanilla and stir well with the fork. Place the cup in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Cook on high power for 50-60 seconds or just until melted. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool a bit.
In a medium-large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and walnuts. Make a well in the center.
After the cream has been in the freezer for 10 minutes remove and add the butter to the cream mixture, stirring with a fork until the mixture is lumpy.
Pour the banana mixture into the well in the flour bowl. Stir from the bottom up, with a sturdy spatula or large spoon, just until all of the flour is mixed in. The dough with be a little crumbly and a bit stiff.
For traditional-shaped scones, tip out the mixture onto a work surface knead it 2-3 times to bring it together. Pat the dough into a 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. Then bake them from frozen.)
Place the triangles onto the prepared sheet pan, spacing them with several inches in between. Brush the tops with the cream and sprinkle with sanding (or raw or turbinado) sugar.
Place scones in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 375˚F. Bake until the scones are golden brown and set- about 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a scone should come out clean.
Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with the Brown Butter Icing, if desired before serving.
Place butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel then place a plate (that will cover the top of the bowl) on top of the paper towel.
Microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Continue to cook for 30-second intervals until butter is beginning to turn a medium golden brown color. This will take anywhere from 3 ½ to 6 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
Using a potholder or oven mitt (mixture will be HOT!) remove the bowl from the microwave and set it on a heat-safe surface. Remove the plate and paper towel and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a heat-safe surface.a
Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla to the butter and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Drizzle over the scones as desired. You may have extra icing.
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed tips and instructions.
Adapted from The Splendid Table.
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