Lightly sweetened baked banana donuts are made using just one ripe banana and topped with a smooth dark chocolate glaze. No mixer needed for these easy healthier donuts that use up the last brown banana on the counter! Recipe makes 8 donuts.
A recipe using just one banana!
My favorite part about this baked banana donut recipe is that it uses just one ripe banana. I feel like I always have one spotty brown banana lying around that didn’t get eaten or used in another recipe. Most recipes require 2 or 3 bananas so I’m very excited to have developed a recipe that uses just 1 banana. I can’t be the only one who has this problem!
Why you’ll love this recipe
These donuts are delicately spiced and baked, not fried – meaning that you won’t have to be messing with super hot oil or feel guilty afterwards! They’re soft, fluffy, and definitely healthier than the fried variety. Plus, because I used a ripe banana for most of the sweetness in the recipe, the donuts are pretty low in added sugar! Win win, donuts for everyone.
Baked donuts tend to have more of a muffin texture, but it doesn’t make them any less delicious. Especially when they’re coated in a smooth and glossy dark chocolate glaze. I could drink that glaze.
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 money, I promise. Once you get on the baked donut train, there’s no getting off.
The ingredient list for these baked banana donuts is simple, just the way I like it.
- One ripe banana – this recipe uses up that one sad, spotty banana lingering on your counter!
- Melted butter
- Brown sugar
- Greek yogurt
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda and baking powder
- Cinnamon and nutmeg – cozy spices!
And for the dark chocolate glaze:
- Dark chocolate – use your favorite bar or even chocolate chips
- Heavy cream – you can sub half and half, or coconut cream
- Vanilla extract
- Espresso powder – optional, but really brings out the chocolate flavor
How to Make Baked Banana Donuts: Step by Step
Step 1: Make the donut batter.
Baking donuts is a lot like baking muffins. It’s essentially the same kind of batter – whisk together the wet ingredients, whisk together the dry ingredients, then fold them together with a spatula until just combined. 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 folding the dry ingredients into the wet, because you could overdevelop the gluten and have tough donuts. And nobody, nobody wants that.
Step 2: Spoon batter into donut pan.
You will need a donut pan for this recipe, and I promise it’s worth the few bucks. I have two pans and they are very easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and take up very little space in the cabinet!
Grease the donut cavities (a pastry brush is great for this) before adding the batter to ensure your donuts will pop right out of the pan.
The donut 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.
Step 3: Bake the donuts at 350ºF for 9-10 minutes
These baked banana donuts take VERY little time in the oven, only 9-10 minutes! After only a few minutes in the oven, these donuts are baked to raised perfection. No splattering oil, and no guilt.
Step 4: Make the Dark Chocolate Glaze
While the donuts are baking, whip up a simple chocolate ganache for our glaze. You could do it in a double boiler on the stove, or you could be lazy like me and use the microwave. It only takes a couple minutes and it’s so easy!
Just place the chopped chocolate, butter, heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Stir in your vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and the optional espresso powder if you have it. If not – no biggie, it just brings out the chocolate flavor.
Step 5: Dip baked donuts in the chocolate glaze.
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 one side of the donuts into the chocolate glaze and then lift and twist your wrist to catch the glaze. I like to glaze the the bottom side of the donuts, rather than the side that was up when they came out of the oven. The glaze adheres better to the bottom side. We all want maximum glaze.
Step 6: Devour
Halfway through the glazing process, you might have someone like my husband Brian waiting impatiently to grab a donut…
And I can’t really blame him. It’s a hazard of living with me.
I love how silky smooth and shiny the dark chocolate 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.
Baked donuts are best eaten the same day when they’re fresh, and they’re so quick to make that you could always make another batch the next day (heheh). If you need to store them for later, though, they will keep:
- Room temperature: up to 2 days, in a tall airtight tupperware that doesn’t touch the glazed tops.
- Refrigerator: up to 5 days, in a tall airtight tupperware that doesn’t touch the glazed tops.
- Freezer: up to 3 months. If freezing, freeze all donuts on a plate or flat surface in a single layer, then once fully frozen, wrap each donut individually in plastic and store in a freezer bag. Allow to thaw for 1-2 hours at room temperature or microwave for 30 seconds to reheat.
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.
More Baked Donut Recipes
Baked Banana Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze
- 2 6-cavity donut pans (or re-use 1 pan)
For the Baked Banana Donuts:
- 1 ripe banana, mashed (to equal about 1/2 cup mashed banana)
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons (40g) plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze:
- 1/2 cup (3 oz; 85g) chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half, or coconut cream)
- 1 Tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- Pinch salt
For the Baked Banana Donuts:
- In a large bowl, mash the banana and then whisk in melted butter, brown sugar, egg, Greek yogurt, and vanilla until well-combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.
- 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 now if you only have one pan.
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze:
- While the donuts are baking, make the glaze. Place chocolate, heavy cream, and butter 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, espresso powder (if using), and salt, until a smooth and glossy glaze forms.
- One by one, dip the bottom side of the cooled donuts into the glaze, then twist your wrist to flip them over without losing any glaze. Top with sprinkles or chopped nuts if desired!
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