Banana Bread Doughnuts – Cakey baked doughnuts made of banana bread batter and dipped in a brown butter frosting and topped with chopped walnuts
Looking for some more easy back-to-school snacks for your kiddos? Well, look no further! Today’s recipe is kid-friendly and super simple to make for a fun afternoon snack.
Baked doughnuts have become my new go-to for doughnut recipes because they take virtually no time at all, especially when comparing to the time it takes to make classic fried doughnuts. Instead of frying the batter in hot oil, the doughnuts bake in preset molds that form the perfect round shape.
I’ve made a few different versions of baked doughnuts in the past, including:
I seem to have an affinity for fruity doughnuts, huh? I’m only adding to that theory with today’s recipe for Banana Bread Doughnuts. Made with a simple batter out of ripe bananas, flour, spices, and sugar, this doughnut has all the flavor of banana bread but with a little extra sweetness to make it a sweet treat perfect for afternoon snacks.
How is this doughnut made?
As I mentioned above, this doughnut is baked in a mold. Therefore, the process is much simpler than frying dougnuts:
- No rolling out dough
- No cutting dough into perfect circles
- No messy frying process
Instead, the process is similar to making banana bread, but then just filled into the doughnut mold.
First, you whisk the dry and wet ingredients separately. Then, they’re gently folded together to make the batter. No need for a mixer in this recipe. In fact, I almost warn against it because you’ll risk overmixing the batter, which will make the doughnuts tough in texture.
After the batter is made, it’s scooped into greased doughnut molds. They’re baked for 15 minutes or until they are no longer giggly.
After they’ve cooled down, they’re removed from the molds and ready for frosting.
Brown Butter Frosting
This frosting is slightly unique because it’s made with melted, browned butter instead of softened butter that’s been whipped with powdered sugar. To brown butter, all you do is melt it until the butter solids start to turn brown and the smell is wonderfully nutty and rich.
Once the butter has browned, sugar, vanilla, and cream are added to form the frosting. The doughnuts are then dunked into the frosting, top-down, to cover the top in creamy frosting. You can spread it on, as well, but it looks smoother and neater when you dunk them.
Finally, the doughnuts are finished with finely chopped walnuts.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure not to fill the doughnut molds too much, or else the doughnuts won’t be able to hold their round shape when baking.
- 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.
Banana Bread Doughnuts
For the banana bread doughnuts:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the brown butter frosting:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cream or milk
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
To make banana bread doughnuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 doughnut pans. Make sure all part of the mold is greased but don’t let the grease pool at the bottom. Set aside
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, mashed bananas, and melted butter until combined. Add to flour mixture and fold together just until combined. Do not overmix or the doughnuts will be tough.
- Spoon mixture into prepare doughnut 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 doughnut. Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes and then gently remove them from molds and place on cooling racks. I find a spoon helps to remove the doughnuts gently. Let them cool completely before glazing.
To glaze the doughnuts:
- Place butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Melt butter and then let it cook a little longer to brown the butter. 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 doughnut.
- Dip cooled doughnut into frosting. I find that the doughnuts look best when glazing the smooth side. Top with chopped walnuts. Repeat with rest of the doughnuts. Let them set for a few minutes or serve immediately.