Baked banana donuts with brown sugar glaze are irresistibly good. Baked donuts are better for you and easier to make than their deep-fried cousins.
Why you’ll love it: Baked donuts are super cute and really good!
How long it takes: 45 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: donut baking pan, mixing bowl, sauce pan, wire cooling rack
Servings: 12 donuts
Banana donuts with a sticky brown sugar glaze are a perfect breakfast treat. But who am I kidding? These baked donuts are good any time of the day. My kids went gaga when they came home from school and I had a batch of these donuts cooling on the counter. Let’s just say that the donuts disappeared in a hurry! I may have helped the cause a bit too.
We make a lot of muffins in my household and everyone loves them. I think the most popular recipe right now is Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins but Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins run a close second. I almost always have a loaf of Whole Wheat Banana Bread around for snacking.
But a glazed donut? It’s kind of a treat, right? A donut seems more special than a muffin. Maybe it’s the hole in the center, or maybe it’s the “frosting”!
If you’re like me, trips to the bakery are far and few between particularly since my kids have severe nut allergies. There are too many nuts in a bakery setting to be safe for us, making a home-baked donut really a special treat.
About These Banana Donuts
As you may have guessed, baked doughnuts are healthier than a deep-fried donut. It doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out why. All that grease is eliminated!
There’s still plenty of sugar in the recipe but no hydrogenated anything, just wholesome healthy ingredients from your own kitchen. The mashed bananas actually add a lot of natural sweetness.
If you’re a nut about nuts, please feel free to sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on the glaze. I would, if I were you. I’ll try to be content with allergy-free sprinkles.
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you a few extra helpful hints.
As always, look for the printable recipe card with complete instructions and nutrition information near the end of the post.
What You’ll Need
- Ripe Bananas: You’ll need about two medium-sized bananas. The riper they are, the sweeter they’ll taste. It’s perfectly fine if they have lots of brown speckles or are even completely brown. Do you have a couple “over-the-hill” bananas languishing on your counter right now? That’s a perfect reason to make donuts!
- Sugar: There’s actually three kinds of sugar in this recipe. Don’t panic, it’s not a ton of sugar. The donuts themselves are made with granulated white sugar (just a 1/2 cup). The glaze contains both dark brown sugar for flavor and confectioner’s sugar for spreadability.
- Eggs: You’ll need a couple of large eggs.
- Butter: Again, butter is in both the doughnuts and the glaze, 5 tablespoons total.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: If you want to change things up a bit, maple or bourbon extract are good, too.
- Flour, Baking Powder, Salt: Pretty normal stuff in baked goods.
- Cinnamon: My kids love cinnamon, I think they would add it to pizza.
- Whole Milk: Just a bit for the glaze, other types of milk work too.
How To Make These Donuts
The process is much like making muffins. Turn on the oven to preheat. You’ll need a mixing bowl and measuring utensils.
Begin by mashing a couple of bananas in a large bowl. I always use my pastry cutter to mash bananas but a fork or potato masher works fine, too. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter.
Measure out the flour by spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling it out with a knife. Add the flour to the bowl, along with cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients lightly right on top of the banana mixture, then combine everything. Don’t over mix the batter. Stir just until the flour mixture is mixed into the wet ingredients.
Spray the donut pan lightly with cooking spray. There are two ways to put the batter in the pan. You can scrape it all into a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut off) and squeeze it into the little circles. This is a little neater and faster. Or, carefully spoon the batter into the molds. It’s not very difficult to do that either. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. As the donuts bake, they rise and fill right in.
While the donuts are baking (just 15 minutes!), make the glaze. You’ll need a small saucepan. Combine the brown sugar and milk in the pan, bringing it to a boil. Let it boil for one or two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring quickly and thoroughly until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the powdered sugar.
Pour the glaze into a shallow bowl for dipping.
Once the donuts have cooled for five minutes, remove them from the donut pan, and immediately dip the tops into the glaze. Let the excess drip off and set the donut on a wire rack to cool completely.
P.S. If you’re adding nuts or sprinkles, remember that the glaze hardens really quickly. Once you dip the donut in the glaze, immediately top that donut with the nuts or sprinkles. Otherwise, they’ll just bounce right off. Trust me, I know this from experience.
Serve the donuts with a tall glass of cold milk for the kids and a cinnamon dolce latte for yourself. Take a little time to savor the donuts and have some great conversation. Make memories with brown sugar glazed banana donut delights!
Chiquita has all the answers for you! And they are certainly the experts. To ripen bananas quickly, put them in a warm spot. It helps to put them in a paper bag with another piece of very ripe fruit.
If you want ripe bananas just for baking, put unpeeled bananas on parchment paper in a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 300°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are completely black. Once they’ve cooled, you can scoop the soft banana pulp out and use it for baking.
Even if the banana peel is completely black, you can use it for baking. The riper the banana, the sweeter the taste. If you happen to have an abundance of slightly over the hill bananas, freeze them to use later in recipes like these banana doughnuts, banana bread, banana muffins, or smoothies (how to freeze bananas).
However, if you notice mold or a rotten odor, discard the banana.
A donut pan certainly makes the job a lot easier. Some bakers pipe the batter in circles on parchment paper. Others use muffin tins with a ball of tin foil in the center. Some recipes use a donut dough with yeast that is rolled out and cut with a biscuit cutter.
Make It Your Own
Honestly, I can’t think of too many ways to change these little gems up. Maybe you’ll have some ideas to send my way.
- Make a different kind of glaze if you like (or omit it entirely). A plain powdered sugar glaze is good on most anything and you could garnish it with chopped nuts, sprinkles, or sugar crystals. Instead of the vanilla extract, try a maple flavored extract or go in a completely different direction with a lemon flavored glaze.
- Substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose or use a combination. If you’re looking for gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten free flour. Note: I haven’t tested either of these ideas.
- Make muffins instead. Use the same batter but fill muffin tins instead of a doughnut pan. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your muffin cups, the yield will be eight to ten muffins. Drizzle with glaze after removing the muffins from the pan, if you like, or dip in glaze.
Like most bakery items, these donuts are best eaten the same day they are baked. If you have some leftover, make sure they are completely cool before storing them in an airtight container on the counter. They’ll keep for a day or two, but keep in mind that the glaze tends to soak into the donuts, so their appearance will change. If you want them to last a bit longer, refrigerate them for up to a week.
More Baked Treats
Everyone loves a baked goodie whether for breakfast, snack, or in the lunchbox. There’s a couple of muffin monsters in my family that clamor for more … how about yours? Here’s a few of our favorites:
- Mini Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cider-Rum Glaze
- Healthy Carrot Raisin Muffins
- Blueberry Strawberry Muffins
- Pumpkin Streusel Bread Recipe
- Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Streusel
- Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips
- Air Fryer Apple Fritters with Apple Cider Glaze
- Whole Wheat Applesauce Bread with Walnuts
- Cranberry Oatmeal Energy Balls (nut-free), these goodies are not baked.
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup sifted powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, egg, banana, vanilla, and melted butter until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, mix until just combined.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the donut pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden and firm.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
- While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze.
- In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar and milk to a boil, boil one to two minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla and whisk until butter melts. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Pour glaze into shallow bowl.
- Immediately dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze to coat. If desired, sprinkle with nuts immediately after glazing (one at a time, the glaze hardens quickly).
- Return to cooling rack. Allow at least 10 minutes for glaze to set.
- Nutrition information is for one glazed donut but does not include optional nuts.
- If desired, omit glaze for plain banana donuts.
- Donuts are best eaten the same day that they are glazed.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.