baking tips | beurre noisette | breakfast | dough | doughnuts | general tips & tricks | glaze | icing | quick & easy | recipe | traditional with a twist | vanilla

Brown butter donuts? Vanilla bean glaze? YES.

February 17, 2014

WARNING: These donuts are CRAZY.

I wasn’t even going to post them. Not really. I made them for Jay’s partner who helped him out moving some stuff, and because they were so insane I decided I had to make them again & post them for you. Seriously.

I also upped the ante a bit.

Brown butter donuts with a thick vanilla bean glaze!

See… the first time I made them I made a regular vanilla bean glaze. Half a bean scraped into some milk & confectioner’s sugar. Bam. It was delicious. Jay’s partner loved ’em, we loved ’em.

But I knew that it could be BETTER.

Brown butter donuts with vanilla bean glaze. They're baked, so they're good for you. Right?

Side note: how cute is my great-grandma’s homemade crocheted pot holder?

Okay, so anyway, this time I made the glaze with heavy cream instead of milk. That just elevated it to a whole new level of amazingness. Mind-blowing. It’s thick, rich, and sweet without being too sweet (thanks, salt). It also nicely covers the pale part of the baked donuts without it looking too bizarre.

It’s basically insane. But, like, better for you ’cause their baked. Right?

BROWN BUTTER DONUTS with VANILLA BEAN GLAZE (donut recipe adapted from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from  Doughnuts)

makes 6 baked doughnuts, can be doubled


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (but we’ll only use 2 tablespoons of browned butter for the recipe)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla bean glaze:
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar (you’re only using as much as you need to get desired thickness- don’t worry you’re not using it all!)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts.  That’s the water melting out of the butter.  Once the water has evaporated the butter will quiet down and begin to brown.  Keep an eye on it, it browns quickly.  The butter will begin to smell nutty.  Remove from heat and immediately transfer browned butter (brown bits and all) to a small bowl.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Measure out 2 tablespoons of browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.
  5. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined.  Try not to overmix the batter.  That might create rubbery donuts.
  6. Use a small spoon to dollop batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut in the pan three-quarters full with batter.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. To make glaze: Sift 1 cup powdered sugar into a bowl and whisk in the salt. In a separate bowl, pour in the heavy cream & add the vanilla bean “caviar.” Whisk to combine. Small clumps of vanilla is ok, but if it bothers you just gently whisk to break them up.
  9. Add the heavy cream to the powdered sugar & whisk again. Add sugar in tablespoons until desired thickness is achieved.
  10. Once the donuts are completely cool, dip top-side-down into the chocolate glaze.  Return to the wire rack.  Icing will not really ever “set” so I’d avoid stacking, however if you refrigerate the donuts it might set. Donuts are best within 2 days.

If you’re like me, and either never remember to buy buttermilk or decide to make cupcakes/cakes/donuts at 3 a.m. when you have none, you should make your own. I’ve been doing it for years and I find it’s way easier and better. Just mix one cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice. I prefer using vinegar, and I usually make it 2 cups at a time & store it in a jar in the fridge. This way I’m never out of buttermilk! Just wait about 5 minutes after adding the vinegar to the milk before using, and give it a shake.

Baked brown butter donuts with a thick vanilla bean glaze.

Uhm, yeah.

There really isn’t much to say.

They’re the easiest donuts ever to make because they’re not fried. No nasty smells, no big cleanup, and yet they’re still soft & delicious. Can they compare to a fried donut? Not quite, no. But they definitely hold their own! Don’t be afraid to waste butter & flour on baked donuts… they really can be fantastic.

Easy baked brown butter donuts with a thick vanilla bean glaze.

And if you’ve never had brown butter before, then you need to get on that. Brown butter (or beurre noisette) is one of the best things in life.

Oh yeah- don’t ask why I filed these under breakfast. But hey, donuts are technically breakfast, right?

Sources & credits: Pyrex “Spring Blossom” mixing bowl; vintage, crocheted pot holder made by my great-grandmother.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebook Twitter Email

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never
    manage to get nearly anything done.

  2. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Bless you!

  4. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to and you’re just too great.
    I really like what you’ve obtained here, certainly like what you are stating and the best
    way through which you assert it. You’re making it entertaining and you continue to take care
    of to stay it wise. I cant wait to learn far more from you.
    This is really a tremendous website.

  5. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always exciting to read through articles from other authors and
    practice something from other sites.

  6. What you posted was very logical. However, think about this, suppose you composed a catchier post title?
    I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your
    website, however suppose you added something that grabbed people’s attention? I mean CUPCAKE REHAB | est.
    2007 is a little plain. You should glance at Yahoo’s front page and see how
    they create news titles to get people interested.
    You might add a related video or a related pic or two to grab people
    interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it would make your website a little livelier.

  7. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author. I will remember to
    bookmark your blog and definitely will come back someday.
    I want to encourage you continue your great work, have a nice day!

  8. Excellent goods from you, man. I have take note your stuff prior to and
    you are simply too fantastic. I actually like what you have
    acquired right here, really like what you’re saying and the way
    in which by which you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. That is really a terrific site.

  9. Hi there, I found your site by the use of Google while looking for a related topic,
    your web site got here up, it looks great. I’ve
    bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hi there, just turned into alert to your weblog through
    Google, and located that it’s really informative. I am
    gonna be careful for brussels. I will appreciate if you happen to continue this in future.
    Many folks will be benefited out of your writing.


  10. I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.

    Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m wanting to create my own personal blog and would like to
    learn where you got this from or what the theme is called.

  11. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never
    found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  12. I just like the valuable information you supply to your articles.

    I will bookmark your weblog and test once more here regularly.
    I am quite sure I’ll be informed many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  13. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a
    blog article or vice-versa? My site goes over
    a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  14. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you
    amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog
    web site? The account helped me a applicable deal.

    I were a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent concept

  15. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
    guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My site covers a lot of the same subjects as yours
    and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  16. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having
    a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  17. This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
    own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent
    job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

Comments are closed.