Today on Valentine’s Day, the reddest and pinkest of days, I give you orange.
Clearly I was not baking with Cupid in mind. That was yesterday, complete with plenty of pink.
Today is about using oranges to their fullest potential: inside donuts.
I had spare oranges and bananas I wanted to use, and it would have been tot easy to simply just eat them.
So instead, I started combining ingredients in a bowl, hoping that the finished product would be a productive use of my extra produce (product-productive, use-produce; there’s a rhyme there or something if I wasn’t sleep-deprived, but I digress).
Thankfully everything worked out and these little donuts brightened up the gray days we had over the weekend.
If you don’t have a donut pan (and I recommend springing the whopping $8 bucks for one if you haven’t already), you can make muffins rather than donuts with the batter. Or pour the batter into a standard bread loaf pan and make banana-orange bread instead.
Or make donuts just so you can
drink the glaze make a glaze.
Anytime I smell bananas baking I am transported back to my childhood and the scent of my grandma’s banana bread baking which is such a comforting memory.
Your cold, wintery, dark house will feel like a tropical island with the scent of coconut, bananas, and oranges wafting through it while the donuts are baking.
As donuts go, I’d call these “healthy” because they’re baked, not fried.
They contain bananas and oranges, and ust think of all that potassium and Vitamin C you’re getting when you’re eating dessert.
Rationalization is a beautiful thing.
Baked Orange Coconut Banana Donuts with Orange Coconut Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze (Inspired by Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze and Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze)
Makes 8 donuts in this Wilton doughtnut pan
1/4 cup banana, mashed (about 1/3 of a large banana)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk (you could use 1/2 cup regular milk/cream/nut/soy milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to mimic buttermilk if you don’t keep buttermilk on hand)
1 egg (or flax/chia egg or other egg replacer)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flakes (I used Tropical Traditions unsweetened shredded coconut. They are unsweetened and very fine flakes. If using Baker’s or grocery-store brand shredded coconut, increase to 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup + all-purpose flour* (Note: depending on the type of coconut flakes used and how “runny” your mashed banana is, you may need to add more flour. Batter should be fairly thick. Thicker than pancake or waffle batter, not as thick as cookie dough. Add enough flour to reach a fairly thick batter, possibly 1/4 cup more)
Pre-heat oven to 325F and spray the donut pan with cooking spray, very well. In a microwave-safe bowl, mash the banana and add the butter. Microwave the banana and butter for 20 seconds, or until butter begins to melt, and stir to combine. Add orange zest, sugars, cinnamon, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the coconut flakes, baking powder, and flour and stir until just combined. Neatly spoon batter into donut cavities (or pour batter into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner off and then pipe the batter into donut pan). Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until dough is set and spring back when touched. Watch for signs of browning as coconut flakes tend to burn easily and baking times will vary. Allow donuts to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.
Orange Coconut Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze
1 teaspoon+ orange zest (increase if you like more orange flavor)
1/2 cup+ powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon+ vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon+ shredded coconut
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream
While donuts are baking and cooling, make the frosting by combining all ingredients except for the cream. Note: All amounts are suggestions and add more or less of certain flavors, to taste and based on how thick or thin you prefer the glaze. Add cream slowly, whisking or stirring, until desired consistency is achieved. Spoon the glaze over cooled donuts or dip them in the glaze bowl. If you glaze the donuts while they are hot, the glaze will run more, and that’s okay, too. Add a final dusting of coconut flakes, orange zest, cinnamon-sugar mixture; sprinkles, or other extras over the top of the glazed donuts, if desired.
To make Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free flour blend. To make Vegan: Replace the buttermilk with full fat coconut milk or almond milk and add 1 teaspoon vinegar as noted in the recipe to mimic buttermilk; increase the amount of baking powder to 1.5 teaspoons. Use melted margarine or Earth Balance, use a flax/chia egg or other egg replacer rather than regular egg, use Tofutti instead of regular cream cheese.
These donuts are sweet, fruity, tropical-tasting, and the citrus burst from the orange zest really came through. I typically find that bananas, or coconut, tend to dominate the flavor in recipes when they’re used, but that’s not the case here.
Orange is the most pronounced flavor and although the banana and coconut flavors are still present, orange
takes the cake takes the donut.
The sweet orange glaze really soaked into each bite and doubled up the orange oomph, too.
Slightly warm donut bites, that are soft, incredibly moist, and soaked with orange glaze-infused make me very happy.
I never met a Vitamin C + dessert pairing I didn’t like:
Your RDA of Vitamin C can also come from Mango and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orange PushUp Smoothies remind me of the Orange PushUps I used to devour as a kid and still love.
Pineapple Banana & Coconut Cream Smoothie is packed with Vitamin C and fairly healthy, until you add the rum and turn it into a Valentine’s Day evening pina colada.
Do you like oranges?
Pineapple is my fave citrus fruit and then comes oranges. Mango is my favorite orange-colored fruit. Cantaloupe is my least. I hate it.
Do you bake with fruit?
I do and here are a few ideas:
Peanut Butter Banana Bread (vegan, gluten-free). I love baked bananas and pair them with peanut butter, even better.
Or dehydrated banana chips are a fun and easy snack.
Banana Nut Muffins (vegan, GF). A one bowl, mix-by-hand and 15 minutes later you have muffins kind of recipe.
Mixed Berry Clafoutis. Baked berries ‘n cream is as easy as making pancake batter and pouring it into a pan and baking, and with a little red in it, Cupid will be happy.
Last chance for the Cookbook Giveaway
Happy Valentine’s Day!