today’s taste: coconut-covered brown butter donuts

all recipes, donuts | August 23, 2015 | By


It all started with a donut pan. Now, a donut pan is not an essential part of a kitchen; in fact, the majority of kitchens in America – the most donut-loving country in the world – probably don’t have a donut pan. (We’re comfortable admitting this because we don’t sell donut pans.) And yet, for some inexplicable reason, we wanted one. We would probably even argue that we needed one. We had stumbled across a baked donut recipe that required a pan and, ignoring the pan’s very, very limited uses, our overfull kitchen cabinets (seven girls in one house means a lot of kitchenware), and our “analyst” salaries, we bought one. (Quick note: we are not always impulsive buyers. When we read about a workout that requires a particular piece of equipment, we just pick a different workout – or call it a day.)

Two days later, the donut pan arrived. We tried one batch and thought the sprinkles tasted strange; we tried another batch and thought the glaze tasted boring; we tried a third batch and thought the whole donut, topping and all, tasted delicious. And then our housemates told us we were crazy. We did a little soul-searching (over donuts and coffee) and realized that they might have a point. For Morgan, what’s the worst part about traveling for work? Losing four nights of kitchen access. For Emily, what does Amazon think you do for a living? Own a restaurant. For the pair of us, what is our favorite place to shop? The grocery store. We failed our own diagnostic test with flying colors.

Regardless of our questionable mental health (or perhaps because of it), we realized that the donuts were too pretty to not snap a few pictures; and if we were going to take pictures, we might as well Instagram. (If you give a mouse a cookie…) That was when the jokes began – the “what if we had a food blog” jokes that somehow weren’t quite ridiculous enough to be jokes. We had a list of recipes, a camera, and a small army of taste-testers (also known as housemates). A little ridiculous, maybe, but we had – forgive the pun – the right ingredients. And, as our friend Ginny Weasley said, “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

Nerve isn’t the secret ingredient to these donuts, though; almond extract is. The recipes we had followed all called for nutmeg, which added a pleasant fall-ish taste; however, we found the amount a bit overwhelming. Craving a slightly sweeter but still nutty flavor, we reduced the nutmeg and added a splash of almond extract. This pair, combined with the toasted coconut (watch it carefully – it browns before you know it!), created a lovely range of nuttiness: from bitter to intense to sweet.

You may think we’re a little nutty now, too, but trust us on this. The donuts are worth the pan. And, if you don’t think we’re too nutty – or even if you do – this blog is worth the follow. We promise to entertain you with tasty experiments, silly musings, embarrassing mistakes, and mouthwatering pictures. More coming soon!


coconut-covered brown butter donuts
Yields 6
baked donuts topped with homemade chocolate glaze and toasted coconut
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
for the donuts
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  6. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  7. ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  8. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. ½ cup buttermilk
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the topping
  1. 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  2. 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 4 tablespoons milk
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup sweetened coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 6-donut pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar.
  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 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; this makes the donuts rubbery).
  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. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the oven on.
  8. While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.
  9. To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  10. Add milk and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  11. Once the doughnuts are completely cool, dip top-side-down into the chocolate glaze. Return to the wire rack.
  12. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  13. Sprinkle the coconut on glazed donuts and allow to set for about 30 minutes before stacking or serving.
  1. We love the flavor the coconut gives these donuts, but it can be substituted with walnuts, sprinkles, or whatever you have on hand!
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Adapted from Joy the Baker
honey dukes homemade

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  1. Leave a Reply

    August 24, 2015

    These look fantastic and I love this first post!! Do you work in comms or something, Emily?

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jay Howard
    August 2, 2015

    These donuts are amazing! If you’re feeling particularly sinful, you can substitute the milk for heavy whipping cream

  1. brown butter bourbon blondies - […] you’re finished with these, if you’re still craving more brown butter goodness, check out our coconut-covered brown butter donuts…

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