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.

brown butter banana donuts with icing and sprinkle of nutmeg laid flat on parchment paper with banana slices

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.

Why you should try this recipe: This recipe is an adaption of my popular banana bread recipe. 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.

brown butter banana donuts three stack on parchment paper and cooling rack with bite taken from top donut

How to make brown butter banana donuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a donut tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Brown butter: Melt butter over low heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter smells nutty. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Make banana donut batter: Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. 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 cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Prepare glaze.
  5. Make glaze: Brown another 1/4 cup of butter. Whisk together browned butter, confectioners’ sugar and milk. Dip tops of warm donuts in the glaze and serve.

Don’t have a donut tin? You can make this recipe in a standard 12-cup muffin tin as well or you can buy the donut tin I own on Amazon.

photo collage demonstrating how to make banana donuts

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.

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…

brown butter banana donuts with banana slices and icing knife flat lay
brown butter banana donuts with banana slices and icing knife flat lay

Brown Butter Banana Donuts

5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

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

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