Banana bread and donuts are combined to make banana donuts. Brown butter is used in the batter as well as the glaze for ultimate flavor.
Banana bread is my go-to recipe when I have brown bananas in the kitchen, but recently I’ve wanted a new go-to recipe that is just as delicious. Baked banana donuts are just the trick.
This recipe is an adaption of my banana bread recipe. The measurements are adjusted to yield a dozen baked donuts, then they are topped with a brown butter glaze.
Banana Bread Donuts Ingredients
Banana donuts call for the same ingredients as banana bread—flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and, of course, banana.
The secret ingredient, or step, however is to brown the butter. It adds a special nutty flavor that takes the donuts from good to irresistible. All it takes is a few extra minutes.
How to brown butter
Browning butter is rather simple. You will need butter and a light-colored pan so you can keep track of the color of the butter while it melts.
Over low heat, melt the butter and stir occasionally. It will start to foam and turn from yellow to golden to light brown. A nutty aroma will arise and that is your cue to remove the butter from the pan into a heat-safe bowl.
What are the specs in brown butter?
As the butter melts, the milk solids will separate and collect at the bottom. These are the specs you see! When the butter starts to brown, these fat particles will toast first. Keep stirring to keep them from burning on the bottom of the pan.
You can either add the brown specs to the batter or remove them in a fine mesh strain. I prefer to keep them for extra flavor, but some people aren’t fans of the toasty taste.
Baked donuts vs. Fried Donuts
Fried donuts are made with yeast so they rise, then cut into a donut shape and fried in oil (think of a Krispy Kreme donut). Baked donuts are made of a batter that uses baking powder to help them rise, then they are either fried or baked in a pan in the oven.
I prefer to bake donuts instead of fry them, especially since I’m working in a home kitchen. Not only are baked donuts slightly healthier, but they’re less work intensive than fried donuts. You can find a donut pan on Amazon or at a local baking supply shop.
Baked donuts have more of a cake-y consistency, which lends well for this banana bread version. They also beg for a glaze or icing in my opinion.
Brown butter glaze recipe
Brown butter glaze is made with brown butter, confectioners’ sugar and a little milk to reach the right consistency. Simply whisk the ingredients together and add milk as necessary until the icing is thin enough to coat donuts (or any other baked good you need a glaze for!)
More banana recipes
If you have overripe bananas in the house, I recommend giving these recipes a try…
- Best Banana Bread Recipe
- Banana Cinnamon Muffins
- Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting
- Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes
Brown Butter Banana Donuts
- 2/3 cup (84 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter
- 2 (200 g) brown bananas, mashed
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (whole or 2%)
- 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter
Baked Banana Donuts
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a donut tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium pan over low heat, melt the butter for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The butter will turn from yellow to golden to light brown. A nutty aroma will arise, which is the cue to remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Cool slightly.
In the bowl of a hand mixer (or using a hand mixer), mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, brown butter and mashed bananas.
Add the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to stir the batter just until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to find any flour pockets. Avoid over mixing.
Using a spoon, transfer the batter to prepared donut tin. Fill each donut cavity about three-quarters full. Bake at 350° F for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a donut comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Prepare glaze.
Brown Butter Glaze
Brown another 1/4 cup of butter, following the same steps for the donuts. Set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk together brown butter, powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Once the ingredients are combined, add more milk only if you would like a thinner consistency (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons).
Dip the top of a warm donut in the glaze and set on a plate. Dust with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired and serve!