Hummingbird Cake is such a delightful dessert flavored with pineapple and banana and studded with crunchy pecans, that it simply begs to be turned into hummingbird cake scones.
Tender and flavorful with a crunchy raw sugar crust, these scones smell wonderful as they bake and are pure comfort served with whipped cream cheese and sweetened with real maple syrup.
They're a great way to use up overripe bananas and the tail end of a can of crushed pineapple, and, if you don't have any pecans on hand, they're just as nice with a handful of chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds.
How to Make Hummingbird Cake Scones
Although these can be made with one hundred percent white flour, they're especially nice with a mix of white and whole wheat. The whole wheat adds a lovely nuttiness and pairs really well with the banana, spices, and pecans, while the white flour keeps the scones light and tender.
Hummingbird cake is quite a sweet cake with pineapple, banana, and added sugar, so you can play around with sugar amounts if you want to reduce the sweetness.
Two tablespoons of brown sugar add a pleasant but not dessert-level sweetness to the scones, while 1/4 cup will bring it up to almost a cake-level sweetness. The smaller amount works well when serving the scones for breakfast, while the larger amount will make them sweet enough for afternoon tea.
Traditional hummingbird cake is spiced with ground cinnamon alone, but ground cardamom is a good addition that brings another level of flavor and fragrance. You could also try ground ginger or ground nutmeg, but cloves and star anise would be too strong for these scones.
What Else is in Hummingbird Cake Scones?
These hummingbird cake scones are laced with crushed pineapple, pieces of banana, and finely chopped pecans. You can use fresh pineapple if you have some on hand, but they work just as well using canned. Crushed pineapple will save you some work, but if you only have pineapple chunks or rings, just add them to the blender with the milk and let it do the chopping work for you.
Fresh bananas work well with this recipe, but frozen will do the trick too as long as you defrost them first. Defrosted bananas are rather limp and difficult to chop, so add them to the blender too and before you know it, you'll have a fragrant and delicious slurry ready to add to the flour mixture.
As mentioned above, pecans are the traditional nuts used in hummingbird cake, but walnuts are an excellent substitute.
Shaping and Serving the Scones
Light and quick is the key to making tender hummingbird cake scones. Depending on the liquid content of the bananas and pineapple, the dough can be either too dry or too wet. Keep a bit of milk and flour on hand to add to the mixture if it's going too far one way or the other. Mix gently just until there is no flour visible, then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, gently knead it just until it comes together in a mound.
Press it out into a circle about one inch thick, cut into eight equal triangles, and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet about two inches apart. Brush each scone with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar to give it a shimmery crunch after baking.
These scones are decadent served with sweetened cream cheese in homage to the frosting used on hummingbird cake, but they're also nice spread with salted butter or topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Choosing a tea accompaniment for hummingbird cake scones is easy. Simply choose a tea that celebrates one of the main ingredients such as banana, pineapple, or pecans.
If you're a banana lover, try our Banana Bread herbal tea, a honeybush tea base flavored with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, apple pieces, calendula, and banana and chestnut essences, for a cheery tropical tea serve our Pineapple Pop herbal tea made with green rooibos, pineapple, apple, mango, and apricot bits, rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, calendula, cornflowers, and pineapple essence.
For a nutty tea, our Maple Pecan black and oolong tea blend is an ideal choice blended with pecans and apples spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, safflower, and maple syrup extract. Also, available just for this month (February 2022) is our Hummingbird Cake dessert tea with familiar flavors—banana, pineapple, and pecan.
Hummingbird Cake Scones
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoon milk for brushing tops
- 2 tablespoon raw sugar for sprinkling tops
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In medium mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Stir in chopped nuts.
Place pineapple, banana, vanilla extract, and milk into bowl of blender and pulse until smooth. Add to dry mixture and toss gently with a fork until flour disappears.
Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and knead gently just until dough comes together. Press into a circle about 1-inch thick and cut into triangles.
Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart, brush with milk, sprinkle with raw sugar, then bake for 10-12 minutes until tops are golden.
Remove to cooling racks and cool until room temperature if serving right away, or cool completely and store in fridge or air-tight container. The scones are best the first day, but can be wrapped in foil and warmed the next.