It’s fall out there, the temperature has finally started to feel more like the end of September, and yesterday morning I woke up to a chilling wind blowing all over Washington DC. The weather called for baking something good and sweet to crawl in the couch with, while watching TV series or reading a good book. So I ended up mixing banana bread and donuts – aka two of my favourite things – for what essentially came out to be a magnified comfort food operation.
I really like donuts (honestly, who does not), but I don’t eat them often because they are not exactly healthy and I don’t particularly enjoy eating fried things too much. So I recently bought a donuts pan, which is essentially a tool to make baked donuts. Baked donuts are the cake-y cousins of traditional yeast donuts. They work out of baking soda/powder rather than yeast, and they can be baked rather than fried. Some people would probably argue that baked donuts are not a real thing, but I have to disagree. I really do like them for various reasons – not just the fact that I can eat many without the feeling of being murdering my cholesterol values.
One of the thing I like about baked donuts is that they offer a lot of room for experimenting with flavours. This version, for example, is based on my go-to banana bread recipe, adapted to yield a good texture for a baked donut. It yields donuts that have all the good thing of a banana bread, from the strong flavour to the moist crumb.
As for regular donuts, baked donuts are nothing without a serious icing. I have currently three preferred options for icing these banana bread ones. First, a classic and quick cinnamon sugar coating, which pairs quite well with banana and with the moist spongy crumb of these donuts. Second, I also very much like a kefir (or greek yoghurt) glaze, which is basically a slightly more acid version of a regular white powder sugar glaze. Bananas are sweet, and the tanginess of kefir works well with them. Last, you have the option of a properly decadent powder sugar and Nutella glaze. If you have never tried the banana-Nutella combo – which would shock me! – this is definitely what you should do.
Ingredients (6 donuts)
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Kefir (or yogurt, add a splash of milk if using thick yogurt)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- see below for icing options!
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and grease a donut cake pan.
Smash the bananas (it’s better to almost liquefy them, if possible). Add egg, oil, kefir and spices and mix well. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated (don’t over mix). The batter should be rather liquid so if you are using thick yogurt (such as greek one) instead of kefir, you probably want to add 1 or 2 tablespoons milk.
Spoon or pipe the batter into the donuts pan, up until 3/4 of their depth. Bake for 15-18 minutes, then et rest for 5 minutes in the pan before unmolding.
Three possible options for icing the banana bread donuts:
- Cinnamon sugar coat: Wait until the donuts are tepid. Mix cinnamon and sugar to your preferred ratio and roll in the donuts coating them well.
- Kefir (or yogurt) glaze: Mix 3/4 cup powder sugar with 3 tablespoon kefir or yoghurt to make a running glaze. Wait until the donuts are cold and ice them.
- Nutella glaze: Mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons Nutella, and 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream. Wait until the donuts are cold and ice them.