Deliciously spiced and moist baked Banana Bread Donuts are made in the oven! Covered in a silky smooth brown butter frosting, they are soft, fluffy, warm and so delicious!
I have been baking my whole life the sweet banana flavor in these banana bread donuts make them one of my all-time favorite desserts for any time of the day! They are a great treat to pack for lunches, or enjoy them with a hot cup of Joe in the morning!
Other delicious donut recipes to try:
- Baked pumpkin donuts
- Baked strawberry donuts
- Baked eggnog donuts with candy cane buttercream frosting
- The best cinnamon apple baked donuts
- Easy banana bread donuts
Homemade donuts are surprisingly easy to make and they are a great alternative to banana bread if you are looking for a way to use up your overripe bananas. Baked donuts are one of my favorite things to make because they are insanely versatile and so simple. You throw them in a mold, bake them, and they’re ready in no time. They are a great treat to make with kids, as well!
Honestly, these donuts are great plain and I would eat them like that all day long, but you know I had to throw an extra special icing on top. Brown Butter Icing takes these banana baked donuts from an 8 to a 10! It is really simple and easy to make, but the icing tastes like you spent forever making it. You could also try topping these donuts with a chocolate glaze or maple glaze.
These moist, baked banana donuts are topped with a thick brown butter glaze. I especially love them in the morning with a hot cup of coffee.
Ingredients for Banana Bread Donuts
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking powder
Unsalted butter: In order to control the salt content of baked goods, it’s important to use unsalted butter as the salt content varies greatly from brand to brand. An overly salty baked good will result in a poor flavored product so if you are unable to use unsalted, be sure to reduce the added salt by ¼ teaspoon. Make sure you use melted butter.
Pure vanilla extract: Using a high-quality pure vanilla extract gives a subtle rich sweet flavor while also bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients in the batter.
Brown sugar: Feel free to use light or dark brown sugar. For this recipe, I found I prefer the slightly sweeter tastes of light brown but if you like the deeper, richer caramel flavors of dark brown use that type instead!
How to make Banana Bread Donuts
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease 2 donut pans. Set aside.
STEP TWO: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Set aside.
STEP THREE: In a separate bowl using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. This should take 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP FOUR: Slowly whisk in the egg and mashed bananas until combined. Create well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Fold together just until combined.
STEP FIVE: Spoon mixture into the prepared donut pans until almost full, but not filled past the top.
STEP SIX: Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the donut. Let them cool in a pan for 5 minutes and then gently remove them from molds and place on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before glazing.
Ingredients for Brown Butter Frosting
- Unsalted butter
- Cream or milk
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar
Milk: I find using whole or full fat milk is best for this recipe as it produces a creamy frosting that isn’t too heavy, but you can certainly replace it with low-fat or non dairy milk, just keep in mind that the texture will be slightly off.
Confectioners’ sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, in frostings this sugar behaves differently than granulated sugars. Confectioners’ sugar dissolves easily and provides that smooth, creamy consistency that is needed in a frosting or glaze.
How to make Brown Butter Frosting
STEP ONE: Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and then let it cook a little longer to brown the butter. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
STEP TWO: Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
STEP THREE: Add milk or cream to thin out the mixture into a frosting. If it’s too thick, add more, 1 tablespoon at a time. The mixture should be thick enough so it doesn’t drip down the donut.
STEP FOUR: Dip cooled donut into frosting. I find that the donuts look best when glazing the smooth side. Repeat with the rest of the donuts. Let them set for a few minutes or serve immediately.
How to store
Let the donuts cool completely on a cooling rack, and store any untopped doughnuts at room temperature for several days. Make sure you don’t wrap them too tightly in plastic but instead, store them on a plate covered with a cake cover if you can. Add the brown butter frosting right before serving.
What is the difference between baked donuts and fried donuts? Fried donuts are yeast-based, and they become light and airy when fried in oil. Baked donuts have a denser, more cake-like texture and rely on leaveners such as baking powder to provide some lift.
Can I make these banana bread donuts in a different pan? Yes! If you don’t have a donut pan and still want to make this cinnamon donut recipe, use a muffin pan instead!
Can you make this batter into donut holes? Of course! Instead of using a donut pan, you can portion the batter into a mini muffin pan or doughnut hole pan, filling the wells about three quarters full. A teaspoon cookie scoop works well here. After baking, let the donut holes cool for about 5 minutes. You can always dip them in the brown butter frosting!
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is unsalted butter that has been cooked down so the water in the butter evaporates and the milk solids in the butter turn brown. It gives the butter a nutty taste and smell. Adding brown butter to dishes in place of regular butter will amp up the flavor, and as a frosting it is the perfect topping to make these donuts that much more irresistible!
BBQ Bakers Tips & Tricks
- Make sure not to fill the donut molds too much, or else the doughnuts won’t be able to hold their round shape when baking.
- Do not over mix the donut batter or the donuts will be tough.
- Doughnuts must be completely cool to the touch before frosting, or else the frosting will melt right off the doughnut.
- To fill the molds neatly, I put the batter into a plastic storage bag and piped it in. Super clean and mess free!
- Don’t add all the cream/milk to the frosting at once. Remember – once you add it, you can’t take it back out! So add just one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. It should be thick like cake frosting but thin enough that you can dip the top of the doughnut and have it coat it evenly.
These banana bread donuts with brown butter frosting are a soft, light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious alternative to traditional banana bread!
Banana Bread Donuts with Brown Butter Frosting
Banana Bread Donuts
- ½ cup unsalted Butter melted
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup Bananas mashed
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
Brown Butter Frosting
- ¼ cup unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon cream or milk
Banana Bread Donuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 donut pans. Make sure all part of the mold is greased but don’t let the grease pool at the bottom. I like to do this just before putting the batter in so the grease doesn't pool at the bottom.
- In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and ½ tsp salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer with beat ½ cup butter and ½ cup brown sugar until creamy. This will take 1 to 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in 1 large egg and ½ cup mashed bananas until combined. Create well in dry ingredients and add to flour mixture. Fold together just until combined. Do not overmix or the donuts will be tough.
- Spoon mixture into prepare donut pans until almost full, but not filled past the top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into donut. Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes and then gently remove them from molds and place on cooling racks. Let them cool completely before glazing.
Make the Brown Butter Frosting
- Place butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Melt butter and then let it cook a little longer to brown the butter (see stories). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of cream to thin out the mixture into a frosting. If it's too thick, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. The mixture should be thick so it doesn't drip down the donut.
- Dip cooled donut into frosting. I find that the donuts look best when glazing the smooth side. Repeat with rest of the donuts. Let them set for a few minutes or serve immediately.
- Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the unglazed donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, warm up to your liking in the microwave, and top with glaze.
- Milk: For best taste and texture, use buttermilk or whole milk. You can use lower fat or nondairy milk in a pinch, but the donuts won’t taste as moist or rich.
- Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2 days.
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