Lightly sweetened baked banana donuts are topped with a smooth dark chocolate glaze for a fabulous breakfast. (Jump to Recipe)
I can’t believe we’ve been friends for this long, and I haven’t shared a donut recipe yet.
Question: is it donut, or doughnut? I think both are technically correct, and it’s a matter of preference. The Huffington Post tells me doughnut is the preferred spelling in the literary world, but in the world of the internets, donut reigns. Good enough for me. Whichever way you spell it, you won’t see me turning one down anytime soon.
The problem (if you can call it that) really is that we have an abundance of doughnut/donut shops here in Chicago. Nearly every corner, it seems, you come upon the wafting scent of fried dough. There are also trucks parked on the street serving donuts. We’re literally surrounded by them, and let me tell you, they’re hard to resist. Maybe I’ll do a post sometime about my favorites. The thing is, however, that all of these donuts are of the deep fried variety, and that’s usually what stops me (not always).
So, let me preface this by saying that there will be no deep frying here – it’s just not my style. For this recipe, you’ll need a donut pan because we’ll be baking these little guys. I know it seems like yet another baking accessory you don’t need, but it’s totally worth the $8, I promise. Once you get on the baked donut train, there’s no getting off.
Baking donuts is a lot like baking muffins. It’s essentially the same kind of batter – flour, egg, sugar, a little butter. We’re using a banana too because I like them. The only tools required are a bowl, a whisk, a spatula, and some arm muscles. The most important thing, as with muffins or quick breads, is not to over-stir when you’re whisking everything together, because then you’ll have tough donuts. And nobody, nobody wants that.
The batter is thick, and I either use a couple spoons to arrange it in the pan, or a gallon-size storage bag with a corner snipped off to pipe it. If you choose the latter, put the bag inside a drinking glass first and then scoop the batter in. It’s way easier than trying to hold it, I promise.
After only a few minutes in the oven, these donuts are baked to raised perfection. No splattering oil, and no guilt.
While they’re baking, whip up a simple chocolate ganache for our glaze. It contains ingredients we all know and love: chopped chocolate, coconut oil, heavy cream, vanilla, pinch of salt. Optional espresso powder if you have it. If not – no biggie, it just brings out the chocolate flavor. You could do it on the stove, or be lazy like me and use the microwave.
I recommend waiting until the donuts have mostly cooled before glazing – they are less likely to fall apart. But as with many things in life, you can choose your own adventure.
Dip and lift. I like to use the smooth under-side of the donuts when glazing, rather than the side that was up when they came out of the oven. The glaze adheres better. We all want maximum glaze.
Halfway through the process, you might have someone like Brian waiting impatiently to grab one…
And I can’t really blame him. It’s a hazard of living with me.
I love how silky smooth and shiny the glaze is on these donuts! The glaze sets as they cool, but if you eat one with warm melty glaze on it, I’m willing to bet there aren’t many things on this earth that are better.
I added some sprinkles for decoration, but they’re totally not necessary if you’re not in the mood, or not in the habit of waiting long enough for such pleasantries.
The great thing about these baked donuts is the fairly low sugar content, since we used a banana for most of the sweetness – it pairs so well with the dark chocolate glaze. You won’t even miss the fryer, I promise.
I think these baked banana donuts would be a welcome addition to your office breakfast meeting (I know they would be at mine), or to your weekend brunch rotation, or even just to a Tuesday. They bake up so quick that it’s totally weekday-doable. Plus they keep for a couple days, so you can spread out the happiness. If they make it that long.
Baked Banana Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze
For the Baked Banana Donuts:
- 1 medium-sized ripe banana, mashed (to equal about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze:
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
For the Baked Banana Donuts:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6-cup donut pans (or one, you'll just have to re-use it for the last couple donuts).
- In a large bowl, whisk together mashed banana, brown sugar, egg, Greek yogurt, and vanilla until well-combined. Slowly pour in melted butter or coconut oil and whisk until fully combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients - flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir to combine with a large spoon or spatula. Stir until the ingredients are just combined, with no big patches of flour. Do not over mix - if you do, the donuts will be tough, and no one wants that.
- Spoon the batter into the donut cavities, or pipe them in by filling a gallon-sized bag with the batter, then snipping off a corner for a makeshift pastry bag. Fill each cavity about 2/3 of the way full, or else your donuts won't have holes in the middle! The recipe yields 8 donuts, so if you only have one donut pan, you'll have to bake the first 6 and then the other 2 afterwards.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, until risen and browned on the edges. Set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack set over parchment paper or a baking sheet. Bake the remaining two donuts if you only have one pan.
For the Glaze:
- While the donuts are baking, make the glaze. Place chocolate, coconut oil, heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate melts. Whisk it all together and then whisk in the vanilla and espresso powder, if using, until a smooth and glossy glaze forms.
- One by one, dip cooled donuts (you should be able to handle them easily), smooth side down, into the glaze. Top with sprinkles if desired!
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