If you're looking for a fun spin to put on boring ol' banana bread, try this super easy baked donut recipe! All you need is some protein pancake mix and a handful of other pantry staples to use up those spotty, over-ripe chiquitas languishing on your countertop. Healthy (ish) pastries, you say? These Baked Maple Walnut Banana Bread Donuts are a breakfast dream come true.
While I'm a big fan of glazed old fashioned donuts, they pack quite a caloric punch and threaten a big sugar crash at the end. Fried donuts are also a pain in the butt to make. These baked banana doughnuts couldn't be further from that reality. They're quick to make, a delight to eat, and are much healthier than what you'd get from your local donut shop.
About This Recipe
Now that the weather is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, I'm back to my baking roots. I couldn't wait to whip up a new make-ahead breakfast for Joe and I, and these delicious baked donuts were the result. They will continue to be on my roster for the foreseeable future, because they are AWESOME. Why, you ask? Let me count the ways:
First, the ingredient list is short. All you need are some spotty bananas, a few pantry staples, plus one of my favorite kitchen powerhouses: protein pancake mix. Y'all know I love a good store-bought hack, and protein pancake mix is one of my favorites of all time. Whatever Bisquick can do, protein pancake mix can do - except with more protein!
I've used this stuff for everything from these baked donuts to muffins and waffles, scones and biscuits. I've used it for breads, breading fish and chicken, and making homemade pizza dough. Oh, and remember my fruit cobbler? It works for that, too. So if you're on the fence about buying a ridiculous Costco sized box of Kodiak Powercakes Mix? I can say from experience that it's a good investment, even for our little family of two.
Second, the prep time is pretty negligible. All it takes is about 10 minutes, and that includes doing the dishes. The equipment needed is also minimal - just grab a large mixing bowl and a fork, plus some non-stick donut pans. Easy peasy!
I also love that these little buddies are already portioned out and ready to grab and go. I'm definitely not a morning person (despite my best efforts!), so having an easy breakfast to take with me on my way out the door is a godsend.
Finally, baked donuts are about a gazillion times less guilt inducing than regular fried donuts. Even with the addition of brown sugar and a delightful maple glaze, these little fellas have about 100 fewer calories and 10 grams less of saturated fat than a donut store version, PLUS they have an extra 4 grams of protein to keep you full till lunchtime.
Are you sold yet? Let me repeat: these are Maple Walnut Banana DONUTS, people. You're gonna love 'em. Now let's get to it.
How to Make
This is decidedly not rocket science. You're going to flip when you see how easy these baked donuts are to make!
Step 0: Prep. First, preheat the oven to 350F and spray your donut pans with some non-stick cooking spray.
Step 1: Mash Bananas. Add the bananas to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
Step 2: Wet Ingredients. Next, add the eggs, sugar, milk, oil and extract. Mix well.
Step 3: Dry Ingredients. Tip in the pancake mix, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until just combined.
Step 4: Nuts. Stir in nuts.
Step 5: Spoon & Bake. Spoon the mixture into the prepared donut pan, keeping them as even as possible.
Bake for 22-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: If you are working ahead of time, stop here. The baked donuts will keep (unglazed) for up to a week in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer. To eat, allow to defrost, then toast for a few minutes in a toaster oven to warm through and crisp up the edges.
While the donuts cool, feel free to whip up the optional glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, maple extract and milk in a bowl wide enough to dip the donuts into. Make sure there are no lumps.
When the baked donuts are entirely cool, dip one side into the glaze to coat halfway. Shake off any excess glaze, then return to the cooling rack with the glazed side up. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes, then dig in!
Any leftovers will keep covered at room temp for up to 3 days.
In my world, the combination of maple, walnut and banana all mashed up into one delightful baked donut is basically all I could ask for. That said, there are plenty of ways to customize these bad boys for your own pleasure:
- Swap out bananas for another starchy fruit. Pumpkin, mashed sweet potato or even mashed butternut squash will work.
- Change up the flavoring. I personally LOVE maple flavored things, especially at this time of year. If it isn't your favorite or you don't have any on hand, feel free to swap in vanilla instead.
- Can't find maple sugar? Don't fret! Feel free to use brown sugar instead. Other options include coconut sugar or a cup-for-cup sugar replacement (e.g. swerve).
- Make them vegan by opting for non-dairy milk and swapping in flax eggs. To make, take 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal and mix with 6 tablespoons of water. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes until thick. Proceed with recipe as written.
- Make them nut free! I know not everyone can do nuts. Feel free to omit the walnuts entirely, or swap in pine nuts (not actually a nut!), pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead.
- Use chocolate instead of (or in addition to) nuts! If you're feeling like going all out for your breakfast, I would not argue against using mini chocolate chips instead of (or in addition to) the chopped nuts. Chocolate walnut banana?? Yes please. Oh, and if you go that route, feel free to add a few teaspoons of cacao to the glaze for solidarity.
- Use regular pancake mix. If you don't do the protein variety, regular ol' bisquick will do the trick, too. I just try to get the healthiest option possible whenever I reach for a cheat, and some extra protein is a good way to keep me more full until lunchtime. Oh, and feel free to use another flavor of pancake mix, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Treat them like you would a regular quickbread or cake and stick them with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, they're cooked all the way through.
It depends on how quickly you plan on eating them. These will keep well covered at room temperature for about 3 days. You can also refrigerate them for up to a week, or pop them in the freezer for up to a month.
One note about refrigeration and freezing, though: don't dip the donuts in their glaze until you're closer to wanting to eat them. The baked donuts tend to become a bit more moist after spending time in the cooler, so I like to give them a little toast in the toaster oven to restore their glory. Once toasted, feel free to dip, dunk or frost at will.
Yes, with a caveat: so long as the donuts aren't glazed, they'll do well in the freezer for up to a month. To eat, defrost and then toast in the toaster oven for a few minutes until warmed through at the exterior is crisped up. Once toasted, all glazing bets are off - go hog wild!
I'm no dietician, but here's how I see it: Considering the first donut that pops up on Dunkin's website clocks in at 360 calories, 23 grams of fat (11 of which are saturated), and has just 4 grams of protein, I'd say that's a big HELL YES.
These banana baked donuts have a savings of nearly 100 calories and 9 grams of fat (but 10 grams of saturated fat), plus have nearly double the protein of their fried brethren. That sounds like a win to me.
Ooops! Sounds like you might've overcooked them a bit. First, I recommend that you invest in an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is actually set to the temperature that you want. Secondly, I'd recommend checking the doneness of the donuts on the earlier side of the time spectrum (i.e. check at 22 minutes instead of 25).
However, this doesn't help you salvage the donuts you have already baked. If you want to make your current batch taste a little better, there are a few things you can do:
1. Brush them with a bit of simple syrup or the milk of your choice.
2. DEFINITELY opt to use the optional glaze.
3. Keep them in the fridge for a few days. Refrigerators are notoriously humid, and after a day or two in there, the banana donuts ought to soften considerably.
More Fall Breakfast Recipes
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Maple Walnut Banana Bread Baked Donuts
- Donut Pans
- ½ C Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Maple Extract
- 2-3 teaspoon Milk of Choice
- Preheat the oven to 350F and spray donut pans with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the bananas to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Next, add the eggs, sugar, milk, oil and extract. Mix well.
- Tip in the pancake mix, cinnamon, salt and nuts. Mix until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared donut pan, keeping them as even as possible. Bake for 22-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. NOTE: If you are working ahead of time, stop here. The baked donuts will keep (unglazed) for up to a week in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer. To eat, allow to defrost, then toast for a few minutes in a toaster oven to warm through and crisp up the edges.
- While the donuts cool, make the optional glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, maple extract and milk in a bowl wide enough to dip the donuts into. Make sure there are no lumps.
- When the baked donuts are entirely cool, dip one side into the glaze to coat halfway. Shake off any excess glaze, then return to the cooling rack with the glazed side up. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes, then dig in!
- To make these vegan, simply swap in 2 flax eggs. To make, take 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal and mix with 6 tablespoons of water. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes until thick. Proceed with recipe as written.
- There are lots of brands of protein pancake mix out there. I used Kodiak Buttermilk Powercakes Mix, but have also made these using the Aldi brand to excellent results.
- To make these a bit healthier, feel free to omit the glazed topping. You can also swap in your favorite cup-for-cup non-sugar sweetener.
- Any leftovers will keep covered at room temp for up to 3 days.