Guys, I've lost count of how many times I've made banana bread in the past couple months. With the family being home, I can make a few loaves for a quick breakfast or snack, and they're gone in no time. We always have bananas on hand for smoothies, but oftentimes they go beyond the point of no return. And, believe it or not, I found that it is possible to get bored with banana bread, no matter how many variations you make. Of course, overripe bananas can't just be tossed (They're perfect for baking!), and how many more bananas does one REALLY need in the freezer?
So I made these banana bread scones with espresso glaze one day, trying to use up one lone overripe banana. I'll admit, I'm a bit in over the top for these. They have the browned, crisp exterior and the flaky, moist, buttery interior texture of a scone with the flavor of banana bread. The espresso glaze adds sweetness and a coffee flavor that just *makes* these scones. The glaze might just be my favorite part.
About the Ingredients
Basic scone ingredients are used in this recipe, including flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and super cold butter. So what additions makes these scones so amazing?
- Brown Sugar: While very little sugar is used in my scone recipe - don't forget that there is sweetness is coming from the banana and glaze too - brown sugar is used instead of granulated sugar for a bit of that brown sugar caramel flavor and moistness that white sugar just can't provide.
- Bananas: You will need one large super ripe banana. The more ripe it is, the sweeter it is and better the flavor. You want your banana to browning, spotting and soft. I like to break up my bananas with a fork to really ensure that the bananas are smooth and there aren't any large lumps.
- Spices: Cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of nutmeg gives these scones that delicious banana bread flavor.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk provides extra moisture and tenderness to the scone, and a bit of that tangy flavor that buttermilk lends to baked goods to really make them amazing. Buttermilk also will result in a loftier scone because it reacts with the acid in the leavening agents.
- Pecans: I love the nutty, toasted crunch that pecans lend to the scones.
How to make banana bread scones
- Mix together the wet ingredients - the banana, vanilla and buttermilk
- Mix together all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Cut in the cold butter to the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry/butter mixture, followed by the pecans.
- Pat the dough into a circle and cut into wedges.
- Chill the dough.
- Brush the scones with cream and turbinado sugar.
- Bake - then drizzle with glaze.
Be sure to avoid overworking or warming up the dough when mixing and shaping it. Overworking the dough will make the scones tough and flat. Chilling the dough before baking allows the butter to firm back up, and all the ingredients to cool down which makes for flaky and tender scones. Brushing the chilled scones with cream is essential to the bake of the scone. It helps with the browning as well as helping to create the crispy exterior. The turbinado sugar adds additional sweetness and a bit of crunch.
A note about mixing methods
In the recipe, I have provided instructions on how to make the scones by hand. However, you can also make these in a food processor, like I did in my bacon, cheddar, cheddar and chive scones. Both of these methods will be produce perfectly delicious banana bread scones.
These scones get even BETTER with a drizzle of espresso glaze. It's always a bummer to get a scone coated with a flavorless glaze. This is the opportunity to add additional flavor to the scones, as well as sweetness. So I like to go with a super concentrated coffee flavor for the glaze. I like to use both espresso and espresso powder. Using both packs a concentrated espresso punch. Mix the espresso, espresso powder, confectioners glaze, and vanilla together until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the still warm scones.
This recipe makes a relatively small batch, only making 6 regular sized scones. This recipe doubles and triples well. You can also keep unbaked scones in the freezer and pop them into the oven in the morning for freshly baked scones. Unbaked scones can be covered and refrigerated overnight, or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month.
For more delicious breakfast treats, check out these recipes:
Banana Bread Scones with Espresso Glaze
- ½ cup (1 large, ripe banana) mashed banana
- ¼ cup (60ml) buttemilk, cold
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups (318g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (50g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, cold
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (48g), divided chopped, toasted pecans
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or half and half
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso
- 2 ½ teaspoons prepared espresso or water, hot
- ½ cup (57g) confectioner's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine the mashed banana, buttermilk, and vanilla into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk flour, brown sugar sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
- Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers (my preference) until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, followed by ⅓ cup of pecans and mix until everything is just moistened. You may have some straggly bits that aren't completely mixed in. That's ok. Don't overwork the dough.
- Scoop the dough onto the counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a flat ball shape. The dough should be sticky. If it seems too dry, and won't stick together well, add 1-2 more tablespoons buttermilk.
- Press and form the dough into an 6-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper cut into 6 equal wedges.
- Place the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the scones are chilling, heat the oven to 400F.
- Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top.
- Remove the scones from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes.
- While cooling, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the espresso powder, espresso, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar until combined.
- Drizzle the scones with the glaze and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of pecans over the scones. Serve warm.