Baby Banana Coconut Donuts

Something has happened to me over the last couple of years. Something involving sleep…and I’m not happy about it.

Seriously, I love to sleep. A lot. I don’t sleep a lot, I love it a lot. It’s definitely one of my top five favorite activities. I don’t care if that makes me sound like a lazy slug, it’s true. I love to sleep.

For the majority of my life, sleep and I were working under the understanding that I need nine hours of sleep to function properly. If I wasn’t going to be able to get nine hours of sleep, I was fully aware that I would be sluggish, and maybe even grouchy, the next day. If I absolutely had to get by on less sleep, the minimum really was seven hours. That was pushing it, but I could manage. Less than seven hours, though, and forget it. I wouldn’t be a normal, functioning human being the next day. I would be something more closely resembling a cross between a shuffling, unfed zombie, and a sloth on NyQuil.

It sounds pretty sad, really, but some people need gallons of coffee to function, others need chocolate. I need sleep. And chocolate, but that’s another story.

Over the last year and a half or so, though, something drastic and unpleasant has been happening. I need less sleep. In fact, my body refuses extra sleep. I offer up an extra hour here, a nap there. What does my body do? Fidgets. Then it gets my brain in on the action, and it’s hopeless. Once my brain decides to start thinking about something, anything, there’s no shutting it down until I’ve worked my way out of the friggin fun house maze of thought that it builds for me.

Am I getting by just fine on less sleep? Yes. But I’m not happy about it. We’re only talking about a reduction of about two hours each night. No big deal, really. But I miss sleeping more.

Then I made these donuts, though, and I decided that I didn’t care how much or how little sleep I got, as long as I had donuts waiting for me in the morning.

Of course…I realized that I have to be the one to make the donuts every morning, but still…donuts are always good, and these are so easy that I don’t mind making them anytime.

These simple, simple, simple donuts are really just a modified banana bread. In fact, you could totally double this and pour it into a 9 x 5 bread pan and make a loaf of tasty banana coconut bread, and they are really good. To make them, you’ll need sugar, cake flour, buttermilk, coconut (flaked, sweetened), walnuts (toasted and finely chopped), unsalted butter (at room temperature), vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and an egg. If you like, you can toast the coconut with walnuts. It brings out the flavor of the coconut a lot more, but you don’t have to, and it’s still delicious.

You’ll also need a coupe of banana, of course. A couple of older,sad looking, on-their-way-out bananas. These particular bananas came from my yard. Crazy.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. You can also use a blender or food processor, but I like the lumpier mashing that you get with a fork.

You’re only going to use a good half cup of the mashed bananas, so you’ll have about this much leftover to use for something else. Or you could just toss it (which, thanks to commenter Rachel, I do NOT recommend…who knew bananas were so expensive?!?!). I used my remaining banana mash in another recipe as an egg substitute (just like you can do with applesauce).

Fill a decorating, or zip top, bag with the batter and snip of the end, or a corner. Be sure to snip the end big enough to allow the little chunks of walnuts, coconut, and banana to get through without clogging the hole.

When you fill the donut pan, you only need to put in one ring of batter. I thought I might need to go around twice, but those donuts were slightly too full and the hole closed on some of them.

One ring of batter in each donut mold, though, produced perfect, fluffy, incredibly fragrant, cute little banana donuts.

Then I went and put a pretty golden yellow (vanilla) glaze (recipe below) and chocolate jimmies on them and they got even cuter!

I was very tempted to make the glaze coconut flavored, and I think it would have tasted incredible if i had, but I only had artificial flavoring, so I chose to skip it. I had the opportunity to use natural food coloring, and I didn’t want to mar them by adding artificial flavors. For the most part, I’ll use them when I have to, but I really prefer not too. These are so good without it, why ruin them?

If you have access to coconut flavoring (artificial or whatevs), though, I really do recommend trying it out in the glaze. I have a feeling it would be quite good.

Every time I have donuts, I always think of Homer Simpson. XD These are a far cry from generic, pink frosted donuts, though. They’re super super easy, incredibly speedy, and truly delicious. Even if you’re not a huge fan of bananas or coconut, you’ll probably still like these. Admittedly, I don’t like bananas or coconut, but I still thoroughly enjoyed these donuts! Plus, they stayed fresh for days. I think the hubster was still nibbling on them after four days, and they were still just as good.

If you have a donut pan, you need these donuts in your life. If you don’t have a donuts pan, well…good news: these convert into excellent muffins and delicious banana bread! Enjoy!

Banana Coconut Donuts [Printable Version]
Makes 3 dozen mini donuts *Double recipe for a full loaf of banana bread*


2 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (120 grams) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts* (optional)
1/4 cup flaked, sweetened coconut (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Lightly spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork. Measure out 1/2 cup of the bananas and reserve the remaining bananas for another use, or throw them out (there is very little extra left over). Stir the buttermilk and vanilla into the 1/2 cup of mashed bananas and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy. Add the egg, mixing until combined and scraping the bowl as needed.

Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix on low until barely combined. Add half of the banana mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixtures, alternating them and ending with flour. Scrape the bowl and fold the coconut and walnuts into the mixture gently by hand.

Place the batter in a decorating, or zip top, bag. Snip the end off, creating a whole large enough for chunks of walnut, coconut, or banana to fit through (at least 1/2-inch wide). Pipe a ring of batter into each donut mold, being sure not to overfill them. Bake for 10 minutes, until donuts are puffy and edges are golden. Transfer to a wire coolong rack. Cool completely before glazing.

*To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Vanilla Donut Glaze [Printable Recipes]


1/2 cup confectioner’ s sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavoring, such as coconut)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

In small bowl, combine the sugar, 1 teaspoon of milk, and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add more milk, if necessary, until desired consistency is reached. Add food coloring.  Immediately glaze donuts by dipping the tops of the donuts into the glaze and allowing the excess to drip off. Add sprinkles, if desired.

Donuts by Darla, glaze adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Leave a comment


  1. rachel says

    bananas are currently $4.50 each in western australia, your comment about just tossing the leftovers nearly made me cry! and the ‘bananas in my backyard’ wah! floods/cyclones are causing me to buy frozen banana puree, and i dont wanna do that to make your yummy looking donuts, so if you could send funds so that I can make these, that would be wonderful! thankyou!

    • says

      Eek!! That’s terrible! I’m happy to say that I personally kept my extra puree and used it similarly to applesauce in another recipe (in place of an egg). I definitely now recommend NOT tossing them! I’m blown away that they’re soooo pricey for you. If I could send you some of mine, I would, and I wouldn’t charge you a penny! 🙂

  2. says

    Can we trade? My body is doing the exact opposite. I use to function on 5 or 6 hours in college and now I need 8 or so. I don’t like it… one bit.

    Ok, I’ve fallen in love with your blog. Not only are your captivating but you take gorgeous photos and and I am loving all these recipes! These doughnuts look incredible. I love the flavors here and they look super cute.

  3. says

    Hi Darla! Our hubbies used to work together in Maine. Maine, remember? That lovely place with the lobsters and the ocean? I guess you still have both (lucky!), but I’m stuck in Michigan! Luckily I’ve embraced tailgating food 🙂 I’m loving your blog so much! This recipe is right up my alley – coconut, wanuts, and bananas – my favorites! And not everybody likes those things either! Hope we meet again someday!

    • says

      Of course, I remember! 🙂 So good to hear from you! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoy the blog…I have a lot of fun writing it, but it means a lot when I hear that people like it.

      I hope all is well in Michigan and say hello to your hubs for us. 🙂

  4. says

    Im a freak for my sleep. Not sure why, but I have to have it. I keep trying to convince myself I am young and could survive fine on less sleep but I never actually go for it. These donuts though – yeah, I could go for these! I love banana in baked goods 😀

  5. bttrflybabydoll says

    Yay! I just bought some donut pans too. I put them away until I move though. I will be trying these out as soon as I get my house!

  6. Tracey says

    Had some super-ripe bananas and a hankering for buttermilk donuts. Google led me here. I changed it up a bit – dark chocolate chips and oatmeal instead of walnuts and coconut – but they turned out fantastic. I’m eating them now. So tender! There might not be any left for the hubby or kids. Yum!