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Hummingbird Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Frosting

Imagine the beloved Hummingbird Cake as a scone...flaky, rich, fragrant pastry with bananas, nuts, coconut, pineapple, flavorful extracts, topped with a cream cheese frosting. Don't expect to have any of these left, they are too luscious to refuse!

Hummingbird Scones with Cream Cheese Frosting

Set oven to 425 degrees.


  • 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, fork sifted (I prefer King Arthur Unbleached flour)

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (prefer dark as it adds richer flavor, use light brown if you prefer)

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (may use less, depending on taste preference)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans, not toasted

  • 1/3 cup sweetened but untoasted flaked coconut, coarsley chopped

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces, or 1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon slices that are then cut in half

  • 3/4 cup full fat buttermilk (or 3/4 cup whole milk (less 1 tablespoon) with 1 tablespoon vinegar stirred in and allowed to thicken)

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple extract (optional, but I find it creates a beautiful depth of fragrance and flavor)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained

  • 1/4 cup cream, for brushing the tops of scones before baking

Coconut/Nut topping:

  • 1/3 cup coursely chopped walnuts or pecans

  • 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut  - combine nuts and coconut, toasting on stovetop (see below)

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk, half & half, or cream. Glaze will be very slightly thicker using cream, which I prefer.


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk or fork sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, finely chopped nuts, and chopped coconut until well combined.

  • Incorporate chilled butter into dry ingredients. I use a fork or a pastry blender, but you can also mix by using your fingers, incorporating the butter into the flour. With your preferred method, combine until the butter forms the texture of course crumbs. Do not overmix.

  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add in the buttermilk, vanilla/maple extracts, mashed bananas and pineapple. Mix with a large spoon until a dough forms and comes together – it may be sticky. The dough will come together as you sprinkle additional flour on top of it as needed, and coat your hands with flour before you handle the dough.

  • On a flour coated work surface, form the dough into a large ball, then divide the dough in half and pat each half into 6-inch rounds, approximately 1 inch thick, on the floured surface. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 6 - 8 wedges, cutting straight down with the knife, ensuring not to run the knife through the dough. Place each triangle on the parchment lined baking sheet and brush with cream. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown.

  • While the scones are baking, make the coconut/nut topping: Add chopped walnuts/pecans and flaked coconut to a nonstick pan on stovetop, set on low to medium heat, setting to 3-4 of 10. Stir consistently, lightly tossing and stirring the mixture for a few minutes until the coconut turns golden brown and the nuts give off a toasty aroma. Watch and stir regularly, being careful as ingredients can turn from golden brown to burnt quickly, especially with the sugar contained in the coconut. Remove ingredients from pan, letting cool to warm.

  • Bake the scones at 425 F for 13-15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool slightly on wire rack. Once they have cooled slightly, remove scones from pan and place on platter of choice.

  • Top the scones with the cream cheese glaze. Generously sprinkle the toasted walnuts (or pecans), and toasted coconut over the glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • Add the softened cream cheese to a large bowl and beat well on medium with a hand mixer until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and the milk/cream. Beat till creamy and smooth.  If the mixture seems too thick, add more milk, a few tablespoons at a time, blending well.  

Store leftover scones in a Tupperware type container with lid. They will stay fresh stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. Reheat on medium heat in microwave for approximately 10 seconds. Conversely, you can store and reheat plain scones, then top with glaze and coconut/nut mixture. 

Recipe makes 12 scones.

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