Combine banana bread and donuts to make these delicious baked banana donuts. They are soft, sweet and topped with a brown butter glaze. You will love how easy they are to make and that they’re ready in 30 minutes!

banana donuts with brown butter glaze and banana slices and chopped walnut as garnish.

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. The addition of brown butter adds a special nutty flavor that takes the donuts from good to irresistible. All it takes is a few extra minutes!

Why this recipe works

  • Perfect texture and flavor. These cake donuts turn out soft and fluffy while the glaze gives them a little extra sweetness.
  • Easy to make with simple ingredients. Plus, it’s a good use for overripe bananas!
  • Ready in 30 minutes! Who doesn’t love a quick 30 minute recipe?
  • Baked, not fried. This makes the donuts a little healthier while giving them a cake-y texture.
  • No mixer required! All you need are some mixing bowls for this recipe.

Ingredients

banana donuts ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Bananas provide lots of flavor! Make sure they are overripe and the peel is brown.
  • Butter is melted down and browned to add a subtle nutty taste. Use unsalted since salt is added separately to activate the baking powder.
  • Baking powder is used as a leavening agent to make the donuts fluffy. Make sure it is not expired otherwise the donuts won’t rise!
  • Brown sugar complements the brown butter flavor. I prefer light brown sugar in this recipe.
  • Confectioners’ sugar, also known as powdered sugar, is used to make the glaze.

Recipe variations

I love the glaze on these donuts, but if you prefer you can make a maple glaze instead! Omit the butter and replace with 1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup. You can also make a chocolate glaze using the recipe from my chocolate donuts.

If glaze isn’t your thing, add cinnamon sugar instead. Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush melted butter over the warm donuts and generously coat in cinnamon sugar. You can see how I do this in my pumpkin donuts recipe.

You can also make mini banana donuts using this recipe! Use a mini muffin tin and fill each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 8 minutes. Dip the tops in glaze and enjoy your donut holes!

How to make baked banana donuts

photo collage demonstrating how to make banana donuts in a mixing bowl and donut tin.
  1. Brown butter: Melt butter over low heat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter smells nutty. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Make the batter: Beat together wet ingredients including brown butter, then stir in the dry ingredients by hand.
  4. Bake the donuts: 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 in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Prepare glaze.
photo collage demonstrating how to make brown butter glaze for banana donuts.
  1. Make glaze: Brown another 1/4 cup of butter. Whisk together browned butter, confectioners’ sugar and milk.
  2. Garnish: Dip tops of warm donuts in the glaze. Add chopped nuts or sprinkle of cinnamon and serve.

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.

stack of three banana donuts with brown butter glaze and walnuts as garnish.

Expert tips

Weigh your ingredients for best results. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife. Never pack down flour. Use room temperature ingredients for easy mixing and a consistent batter.

Use ripe bananas that are well mashed. Brown bananas are softer and easier to mix. Try to get rid of any lumps when mashing so the batter is smooth.

Don’t over mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients otherwise the donuts will be dense and not fluffy. Mix just until combined.

Use a piping bag to transfer the batter to the donut tin. It’s quicker and makes perfectly round donuts! If you don’t have a piping bag, use a ziplock bag and cut the corner with scissors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to ripen bananas quickly

Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake the bananas with the peel for 15 to 20 minutes or until the peel is black. Cool completely and use in recipe.

Can I make these donuts ahead of time?

Yes, but they really are best when eaten the day they are baked. If making them ahead of time, I suggest waiting to add the glaze until you serve. Store the unfrosted donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can I use a muffin tin to make banana donuts?

You can make this recipe in a standard 12-cup muffin tin as well or you can buy the donut tin I own from Amazon. To make muffins, fill each cup 3/4 full and bake at 375° F for 15-18 minutes.

Can I freeze baked donuts?

Yes, after they have cooled, placed the unfrosted donuts in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and adding the glaze.

baked banana donut with brown butter glaze and fresh banana slices as garnish.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

banana donuts with brown butter glaze and banana slices and chopped walnut as garnish.

Brown Butter Banana Donuts

Banana bread and donuts are combined to make baked banana donuts. Brown butter is used in the batter as well as the glaze for best flavor.
5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

Baked Banana Donuts

  • cup (84 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 (200 g) brown bananas, mashed

Brown Butter Glaze

  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, (whole or 2%)
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter

Instructions 

Baked Banana Donuts

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a donut tin with nonstick cooking spray. 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 a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, brown butter and mashed bananas (you can also use a hand mixer). 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.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe batter into prepared donut tin. Alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the pan. Fill each donut cavity about three-quarters full.
  • Bake at 350° F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a donut comes out clean. Cool donuts 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!

Notes

Browning butter: This is a simple step that adds a subtle nutty flavor. If you prefer, you can use melted butter instead although the nutty flavor won’t be present.
Bananas: Use ripe bananas that are brown on the peel. They are sweeter and will add more flavor.
Muffin tin: If you don’t have a donut tin, use a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake at 375° F for 15 to 18 minutes.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Donuts are best when eaten the day they are baked.
Freeze unfrosted donuts in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and adding glaze.
Serving: 1donut, Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 86mg, Potassium: 192mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 407IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

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