Banana Nut Scones with Maple Glaze
A completely spur of the moment recipe, these banana nut scones came to life over the weekend. I loved them so much but wanted to change a couple things, so I made them again on Monday when my mom visited. I’ve never made banana scones before because I’ve been afraid they’d just taste like a banana muffin. Obviously not a bad thing! But why not just make a banana muffin then?
Because a banana muffin doesn’t have that crackly top, those irresistible crispy crumbles, or nooks and crannies for major glaze absorption. A banana muffin doesn’t have the same golden brown crunchy exterior and uber flaky center. A banana muffin… will never be a banana scone.
After a couple tweaks (we’ll chat about them in a sec!), I’m more than satisfied. In fact, I’m totally blown away. These banana nut scones turned out 19385x better than I dreamed and have instantly climbed to the tippy top of my fave scone list. Admittedly, I have about 11 favorite scones and they’re all right here.
OH! And the cinnamon. And the walnuts! Nuts definitely have a time and a place, but that time is NOW and that place has to be banana scones. And the maple glaze, which sets after a couple hours, absolutely pushes these banana nut scones into the “I can’t believe I crafted something this good” category.
Best performance award goes to these 3 ingredients: ripe mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, and frozen butter.
Make sure your bananas are all sorts of spotty brown. You’ll need 2 large, which should yield about 1 cup mashed. The most efficient way to mash those bananas up? Use a hand mixer. You want barely any lumps. When mixed with the other wet ingredients in the recipe, it should look like the picture above. Smooth and thick!
The first time I made these banana scones, I used heavy cream– my usual sidekick in scone making. The scones were good, but they spread all over baking sheet into awkward lumps. Even though I increased the flour in the scone recipe (to make up for the added wet ingredient – bananas), the scones needed some major help staying compact. Rather than add more flavorless flour, I swamped the cream for thick Greek yogurt. And bonus! That’s a hefty kick of protein in an otherwise not-so-innocent treat. And the yogurt helps keep them moist, a far cry from the cardboard scones we’ve all tasted before.
Not just cold butter, but frozen butter. And grated. I SWEAR BY THIS. Why? It’s important to use cold butter in scone baking. When the little bits and pieces of butter melt as the scone bakes, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the scones a little airy on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside. You want the butter to melt in the oven, not before the scones even hit the oven. Frozen butter is easy to grate. And grated butter is easy to cut into the dry ingredients. Win and win. Done and done.
The scone dough will be a little craggily and sticky. Like biscuits, avoid overmixing and overworking the dough. I decided to create drop scones from this dough, but you can absolutely make scone wedges instead. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to drop the dough, which yielded about 12 palm-sized scones from the batch.
Before baking– and I swear by this too— brush the scones with milk, heavy cream, buttercream, whichever you have on hand. This layer of liquid sets on top of the scones and drizzles down the sides when they’re in the hot oven, creating an even crispier scone exterior.
The scones taste even better after they cool down. They’re a little cakey right out of the oven, so I urge you to wait a little before digging in. Tall order because your kitchen will smell h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y. Stay busy and make the glaze as you wait though! Warm maple glaze pushes the banana scones into dessert zone, nothing we should complain about of course. 3 ingredients: butter, maple syrup, confectioners’ sugar.
Spoon that deliciously thick maple blanket on top of each. (Everything is better blanketed with maple.)
(side note: can we talk about how difficult it is to shoot one dimensional brown on brown? I had such a hard time with these and was about to switch to a white vanilla glaze!)
Such a unique texture! Not quite a banana muffin, but everything you crave with your latte. Get those bananas brownin’ on your counter because these scones are a treat you’ve gotta try at least once!
Banana Nut Scones with Maple Glaze
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large ripe bananas)
- 1/2 cup (120g) plain Greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt or sour cream)
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (60g) butter, frozen
- 1 cup (125g) Diamond of California chopped walnuts
- for brushing: 3 Tablespoons (45ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the mashed bananas, yogurt, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater to grate it; a food processor also works for grating - here is the one I own and love). Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- Drizzle wet ingredients over flour mixture, add the walnuts, and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. Dough will be a little wet. Drop scones, 1/4 cup of dough each, at least 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with milk.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool as you make the glaze.
- Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners' sugar. Drizzle over scones.
Make ahead tip: Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days. Unglazed scones freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before glazing and enjoying.
- I love LOTS of cinnamon flavor. Feel free to reduce to 1 or 1.5 teaspoons instead.
Adapted from chocolate chip scones
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In partnership with Diamond of California.