Let’s be honest, the last thing we want to think about at the start of the week is work. I mean sure, we have work that needs to get done, and to-do’s that need to get crossed off, but let’s put those out of our minds just for a second. We have way more important things to think about, like doughnuts for instance. Doughnuts make Mondays worth living and make Fridays appear closer than they really are. Whether you stop by your local shop on your way to work and pick up a doughnut or two for the drive, or if you make your own, doughnuts need to make a weekly appearance in your life. In all of our lives. Don’t you agree? Lucky for us all, these Banana Doughnuts rolled around in cinnamon sugar and served with salted caramel for dipping are here to save the day. It’s a good way to use up those ripe bananas on the counter that continue to call out your name. You can make banana bread any other day. Today is about these doughnuts with salted caramel.
You know what else is here to save the day? Sliders. Yeah, you read that right. Sliders. Speaking of tiny hamburgers (smooth unexpected transition there, Jonathan) did you know that I wrote a book all about sliders?! I did! And just in case you were living under a rock and missed my big announcement last week, my first cookbook The Slider Effect is now up for preorder! You can read all about it here in last week’s cookbook update post! If you preorder now, for a limited time, you’ll receive an exclusive e-book with 5 recipes not included in the book! All you have to do is forward your order confirmation or a screenshot of your confirmation to email@example.com. The ebook has three slider recipes, one bun recipe and one sauce recipe. It’s a great preview of what’s to come from the actual book on June 28th! This is my very first cookbook, and so I’m very excited to share this ride with you all. Thank you for all of your support and for continuing to listen to me going on and on about it! These doughnuts though, am I right?! Woof.
Let’s start by warming up the milk and melting the butter in a saucepan, over low heat. Make sure to keep an eye on it and do not let it bubble over. You want the mixture to be around 165 degrees F.
**Note: It’s important to have the milk and butter be at the right temperature because if it’s too hot, it’ll kill the yeast, and if it’s not warm enough, it won’t proof properly. Use a candy thermometer to make sure you know when it’s the right temperature.**
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon until evenly incorporated.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Whisk until evenly combined.
**Note: Make sure to use ripe bananas for this recipe. The more ripe the banana, the better flavor you’ll get in your doughnuts. You definitely don’t want to use bright yellow-greenish bananas. The blacker the better.**
Add to the dry ingredients and stir for about 2 to 4 minutes. Then add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
Knead on high until the dough comes together, about 7 minutes. Keep in mind that the dough will be very sticky. Transfer to a well floured work surface and knead for 1 minute to smooth it out a bit. Transfer to a well greased bowl.
Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, after it has rested, and transfer to a well floured work surface. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds using a round cookie cutter. You can punch out a hole in the center if you wish, but I like these just as circles.
**Tip: The top of the refrigerator would be great, or you can place it in an oven that is turned off. That’s what I do!**
Cover the cutouts loosely with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. In the meantime, let’s make the salted caramel. For an in depth tutorial on how to make salted caramel, check out these Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies!
Fill a dutch oven about halfway up with vegetable or canola oil and bring up to about 360 degrees F. Fry the doughnuts in batches for about 2 minutes, flipping over once halfway through, or until golden brown. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
**Note: I like using any flavorless oil, like vegetable, canola or peanut oil, to fry. They don’t burn over high temperatures and don’t give the doughnuts any weird flavor.**
In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, ground cinnamon and fresh nutmeg. While the doughnuts are still warm, roll them around in the spiced cinnamon sugar and transfer to a baking sheet.
Serve the banana doughnuts with the salted caramel we made earlier, on the side for dipping and dunking.
**Note: If you don’t have time to make the salted caramel at home, you can most definitely just but caramel from the store. Or try using melted chocolate for dipping instead!**
These doughnuts would also be great with a spiced cinnamon powdered sugar glaze instead of the sugar coating. Just mix together the powdered sugar, with butter, vanilla and a tiny bit of milk until smooth and pourable. Dip, dunk or roll the doughnuts around in the glaze.
Much like with anything that is fried, these doughnuts are best when eaten the day of. At most, one day is the limit. Even then, the doughnuts won’t be as soft or tasty the next day. Anything longer isn’t worth it because they’ll get super stale and not what we’re after.
Because homemade doughnuts are so fickle and require a lot of attention, what I end up doing is just making them every so often when my family least expect them. Random doughnut days are my favorite types of days. Make your family happy by whipping up a batch of these amazing doughnuts. You’ll be glad you did.
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 5½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 packages (4½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and butter and warm over low heat until about 125 degrees F, and the butter has melted.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1½ cups flour, sugar, yeast and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the warmed milk and melted butter, bananas, eggs, yolks and vanilla extract. With the dough hook, mix for about 2 minutes. Add in 3½ cups flour, half cup at a time, and stir until it comes together. Dough will be sticky, but that's okay. Transfer to a greased bowl, and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down, and transfer to a well floured work surface. Knead a few times and then roll out to a large rectangle about ⅜ of an inch thick. Cut into circles using a 3-inch cookie doughnut cutter. Place cutouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Fill a dutch oven halfway up with oil and bring up to 365 degrees F. Fry the doughnuts in batches, for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once halfway through. Remove with slotted spoon, draining off any excess oil and transfer to a wire rack. Continue frying the remaining doughnuts.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until evenly combined. Roll the warm doughnuts around in the sugar and serve with caramel for dipping. Enjoy!