• Banana & Custard Donuts

Banana & Custard Donuts

Hungry Hubby has a soft spot for bananas in custard. His mum isn’t a baker but this was a dessert she’d make for him when he was a tot. It is traditionally made with [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BHFF4MG” locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]Bird’s Custard powder[/easyazon_link], which was created by Mr Bird in the 1800s for his egg-allergic wife.

It is a simple mix of cornflour, almond extract and a little yellow food colouring which you whisk into hot milk and cook until it thickens, rather than the cream and egg version creme Anglaise. It’s much more akin to American “pudding” if this were served warm and before it sets and us Brits are rather sentimental about it’s comforting, nursery sweetness.

Me, I have a total love-hate relationship with bananas. Especially when used in baking. I love to eat a banana when they have not one hint of green remaining and barely a brown freckle or two – any sooner, and they are just too unripe for me, hard and tangy.

Any later and they are overly sweet and the gloopy texture makes me gag. But! I do so love the flavour, that when I discovered freeze dried banana powder, a light bulb went off over my head and a whole new world of baking with bananas was opened to me! Enter my Banana & Custard Donuts.

Banana & Custard Donuts

Oh these fill me full of nostalgia. I was totally addicted to banana yogurts growing up and still  buy Longley Farm ones as a little treat, rather than the Munch Bunch ones I would have way back when in the 80s, undoubtedly full of food colouring and added sugar!

Both me and Hungry Hubby love pouring a canary yellow puddle of Bird’s custard over a hot steamed or baked pudding; even school dinners seemed delicious when followed up with pudding and this custard! As I am a tad precious about banana in my baking, rest assured, that if you too have similar issues with the icky texture from overly ripe ‘nanas, these donuts are the ones for you. The freeze dried banana powder retains the flavour of the fruit but also a little tang. I add it to both the dough and the custard and whilst it is present, the flavour is subtle and will suit the fussiest of banana eaters out there!

Prove your shaped donuts overnight in the fridge in a large tupperware box to speed up the process! Click To Tweet

When it comes to making donuts, I must admit that I think it is one of the few “bakes” which is for the confident baker. I make my dough like a light brioche with butter beaten into the yeasted dough and it is much looser in texture than most bread doughs. It needs slow proving in the fridge so you can shape it. But if you follow my method, you can make the dough after work on a Friday night and by mid-morning on Saturday, you will be tucking into the lightest, fluffiest, custard filled donuts you have ever had.

It’s so worth the effort, just don’t be discouraged if your first attempts come out a little wonky (shhh, I usually get at least one rogue shaped one per batch even now!). Also, note that during the two cold prove stages, the dough won’t grow significantly. But once you pop the room temperature shaped balls of dough into the hot oil, stand back and watch them puff up magically and beautifully! It gives me immense pleasure to watch this happen 😀

Banana & Custard Donuts

I have made my fair share of donuts in a large cast-iron casserole using my trusty [easyazon_link identifier=”B005YZUWLS” locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]Thermapen[/easyazon_link] to monitor the temperature, but it always made me extremely nervous safety-wise so I have got myself a deep fat fryer. The one I bought is this [easyazon_link identifier=”B00J21XKBY” locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]Breville Easy Clean one[/easyazon_link] which has a large capacity (go big or go home, my foodie friends Brian & Jen told me when I asked which to buy!) plus crucially, you can remove the inner pot so pouring the cold, used oil out so much easier.

Cheaper models don’t have this feature so you have to pick the whole thing up to get rid of the oil. Plus using a dedicated fryer means handing over control of the cooking temperature to the machine – I found that my electric hob heats in an exponential fashion so it goes from stone cold to volcanic in a heartbeat (frightening stuff when dealing with a vat of oil). Which in turn means your donuts cook beautifully evenly, no more burning the first one! Although, these Banana & Custard Donuts are to die for, even if a few are a little too brown 😉


5 from 11 votes
Banana & Custard Donuts
Banana & Custard Donuts

Light and fluffy donuts filled with banana flavoured custard, made with freeze dried banana. No artificial ingredients here! 

Servings: 10 donuts
: 308 kcal
Author: Just Jo
For the dough
  • 250 g strong bread flour
  • 3 tbsp freeze dried banana powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 7 g dried fast action yeast
  • 7 g sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 g buttermilk
  • 60 g soft butter, cubed
  • 1-2 litres vegetable oil to fry with
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar to toss the donuts in when cooked
For the custard filling
  • 2 egg yolks from medium eggs
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp freeze dried banana powder
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 150 g double cream
  1. Mix together the flour, banana powder, sugar, yeast and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the eggs and buttermilk together then pour it into the flour in a slow, steady stream until you have a soft not sticky dough. 

  2. Knead on medium speed for 5-10 minutes until the dough comes together into a smooth ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Beat in the butter, one cube at a time until all incorporated. The dough will look more like a very thick batter at this stage, so don't worry - that's meant to happen! Cover the bowl and chill for 2-4 hours until just about doubled in size. 

  3. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 10 equal sized pieces. You shouldn't need any extra flour or oil to shape them into balls using a cupped hand, applying firm pressure to force it into a smooth, spherical ball. Try to get it as smooth as possible so the donuts are shaped nicely when fried.

  4. Cut 10 small squares of baking parchment out (about 3-4 inches square), dust well with flour then sit the shaped donuts on them. I transfer them to a large plastic box with a lid (use a few smaller ones if you don't have a big one or it wont fit in your fridge), spacing them out well to allow for rising and pop the lid on before putting in the fridge overnight. 

  5. Make the custard by whisking the egg yolks, sugar, banana powder and flour together to a thick paste. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to the boil then pour in a thin steady stream over this paste, whisking constantly. Once all of it is incorporated, return to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly until it thickens. This will happen rapidly once it reaches the right temperature. Take off the heat, pass through a sieve if worried about lumps then scrape into a piping bag and leave until cold before refrigerating overnight. 

  6. Next morning, take the dough balls out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature - this is crucial to ensure they are cooked through as fridge cold dough will reduce the temp of the oil too much and may leave them doughy in the middle. 

  7. Heat the oil to 180˚C - I really recommend using a deep fat fryer as it is much easier to control the temp and feels a lot safer than having to monitor the temp with a thermometer whilst cooking. When up to temp, pick up each dough ball on the paper then flip onto a slotted spoon and lower into the fat. I can cook 5 at a time in my fryer without overcrowding the pan. Donuts should flip themselves over after 3-4 minutes of cooking but use tongs to hold them under the oil if they are being stubborn! 

  8. Drain the donuts on kitchen paper briefly then toss in the caster sugar, before transferring to a plate to cool. When all of them are cooked, turn off the deep fat fryer or carefully take the oil off the heat, leaving for several hours until cold before disposing of it. Poke a hole in the side of each donut with a chopstick, before cutting a small opening about a 1/4 inch wide off the piping bag and with it's tip inside the donut, pipe in the custard until you see it about to come out around the piping bag. Eat with joy in your heart! 

Recipe Notes

Donuts are best when eaten soon after cooking and filling but these ones are certainly more than good enough to eat 24 hours later. 

A delicious little variation would be to add a tsp of cinnamon to the caster sugar you roll the cooked donuts in. 


This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a little commission if you chose to buy items I’ve advertised, helping me to bring you all these recipes for free

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Get the freeze dried banana powder from The Spice Mountain – a fabulous little company who has top quality freeze dried fruits and vegetables at very reasonable prices. Plus they are lovely people (I met them in Borough Market, London, on my last trip there) and they ship worldwide!


  1. Christine 28th January 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    These donuts looks so good! I also prefer bananas to be ripe. What a delicious treat these donuts would be with tea or coffee!

    • Just Jo 28th January 2017 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christine! I love them with a big tall cold glass of milk 😀

  2. Willow | Will Cook For Friends 28th January 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    These sound amazing! And I think you’ve convinced me I need to invest in a deep fryer. I’ve always done it the cast-iron-pot-on-the-stove method, but it does require a lot of careful attention to keep the temperature right.

    Using freeze-dried banana powder in these is pure genius, too. I wondered how you’d get the custard to taste like banana without a weird, brown, slimy effect happening. So smart!

    • Just Jo 29th January 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Yes! It feels really risky, doing it in a big pot doesn’t it Willow? Of course, it doesn’t remove all risk but I can relax a lot with a fryer.
      And yep – freeze dried banana is the way forward here! Although it has the lovely pale canary yellow that the whole fruit does, it also has the grey tinge so photographing it was a challenge! Am very glad it worked out well enough from a reader perspective, thank you! 😀

  3. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food 28th January 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Well, THESE just made me hangry. The donuts look absolutely delish. My kids will love them!

    • Just Jo 29th January 2017 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Lol don’t get hangry, get these donuts Michelle haha 😉

  4. Sandra Shaffer 28th January 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    The custard in these donuts looks scrumptious! These would make a lovely addition to a brunch menu, but I’m certain I would need to make extra. I love the idea of add freeze dried banana powder to enhance the flavor!

    • Just Jo 29th January 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Thank you Sandra. It’s an easy recipe to double – actually, I deliberately made them small and half the usual stated amounts for donut recipes to “be good” lol 😉 #deluded

  5. Jessica (Swanky Recipes) 28th January 2017 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I’ve been craving custard donuts all week and we always go to a quiet place out of town to get them. This is just what I need to get me through the weekend! Now, I just need to get freeze dried bananas!

    • Just Jo 29th January 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

      You can get it on amazon UK Jessica, fingers crossed you can find it on the US site 😀

  6. valmg @ From Val's Kitchen 30th January 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I love that you made these as donut holes. My Mom loves bananas and would go nuts if she saw these on the table.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      Donut holes is so cute – it’s not a common name in the UK but I do like it!
      Glad you like the look of them Valma 😀

  7. Vanessa Price 30th January 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Banana is a favorite of mine! I would not be able to stop myself from eating way too many of these.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      That is the problem – even as a fussy pants banana eater such as me, I struggle to stop with these babies lol 😉

  8. Sarah @ Champagne Tastes 30th January 2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I’m not a confident baker at all– in fact, I’m a TERRIBLE baker lol. Fortunately, the husband is a pretty decent baker! (He’s better at following the recipe exactly than I am!) Maybe he will make these for me haha. And I’m in the ‘still kind of green’ banana camp! Once the dark spots appear– forget about it! Lol.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Aw yeah – get your hubs to make these for you, they are fun to make! A little tricky but certainly not impossible 😀

  9. linda spiker 30th January 2017 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! You are taking me back to my childhood here!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Food really does really have the power to transport us back to times gone by 😀

  10. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ 30th January 2017 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I love the flavor of bananas also but don’t often just eat one alone as a snack. I like to incorporate them into recipes. These sound really good with the custard.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      I go through phases of eating tons of them in the raw, then I make these donuts and can’t stop at just one lol!

  11. Megan Marlowe 30th January 2017 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I use to hate bananas and then a few years ago, BAM, I loved them! I love a good banana cream pie, banana toast and banana bread but these banana donuts seriously have me swooing!!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      So glad to have reached another banana dessert lover!

  12. Thanh @ Eat, Little Bird 30th January 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Freeze-dried banana powder … now that’s an ingredient you don’t hear of too often! 😉 I bought a deep-fryer a few years ago after watching every contestant on a cooking show use one and I thought, “I definitely NEED one of those”. It must have been my pregnancy hormones at the time because 2 years has passed, and I still haven’t removed it from the box! I ought to christen it with a batch of donuts. I will definitely give your recipe a try 🙂

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Ha oh you must dust that box off and get frying Thanh – I am really quite sure you would love this! Freeze dried fruits got popular with the bake off over here a few years back so you can get them on Amazon and in store like Spice Mountain (which is very reasonable and ships worldwide… Hint hint 😉 )

  13. Manila Spoon 31st January 2017 at 3:04 am - Reply

    My kids will totally go crazy for these yummy donuts assuming I don’t beat them in eating these! That custard sounds so delicious!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Lol, best double the batch then Manila 😉

  14. Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day 31st January 2017 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Your photos are beautiful! And the donuts look delicious. I’ve never tried making anything like this before, but that may have to change!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Aw thank yo Amy, so glad you like the photos. I do hope you give them a try!

  15. Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago 31st January 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I’m not always the biggest banana fan but think I could definitely make an exception for these! Adding to my Sunday brunch menu list!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Believe me Kathryn, I am *extremely* fussy about bananas and banana flavoured things but I get very greedy around these donuts! I hope you can bring yourself to try them, they really are so good 😀

  16. Byron Thomas 31st January 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    If your custard filling tastes as good as the Bird’s Custard brand, I’m sold! 🙂 My mom used to make custard dishes regularly when we were kids, so I can completely understand how your Hungry Hubby feels about custard desserts. These look light and fluffy and full of deliciousness. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Aw no way! I can’t believe Bird’s made it all the way to Canada – I normally have to explain it to everyone but the Brits and expats lol. This custard filling is definitely a contender for Bird’s custard 😉

  17. linda spiker 31st January 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    These are a big step up from the donut holes we made when I was a girl. That custard looks fantastic!

  18. Kylee from Kylee Cooks 31st January 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    I keep seeing these on my social media (you’re doing a great job!) and I want to grab one through the screen and devour it.

    Heck, I really want to grab 6.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Lol, I love the idea of being followed by custard filled donuts lol! I’ll make a fresh batcha nd send them your way Kylee 😉

  19. Ashley - Forking Up 31st January 2017 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, these are SO COOL! All my favorite flavors all in one!

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      I hope you give them a try then Ashlee!

  20. Anne Murphy 31st January 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Freeze dried banana powder? I can see so many things I could do with that, and I’ve never seen it here in the US – I have to look for it, now!

    And with or without it, those doughnuts look luscious.

    • Just Jo 31st January 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      It really fabulous in milkshakes and yogurts, well worth searching some out Anne! I can’t believe we have it in the UK if you don’t in the US lol!

  21. Tara 31st January 2017 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I’ve never seen freeze dried banana powder here in the States, but oh the possibilities! These doughnuts look fabulous – I’ll have to try them.

    • Just Jo 1st February 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      I hope you can find some Tara – it’s a brilliant flavour conveyor 😀

  22. Oana@AdoreFoods 1st February 2017 at 1:29 am - Reply

    What a delicious amazingly looking treats these donuts are! The banana and custard combination is perfect and for sure I won’t be able to stop from devouring them all!

    • Just Jo 1st February 2017 at 6:42 am - Reply

      They are addictive little treats for sure 😉

  23. Sarah | Away From the Box 1st February 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh! I am exactly the same way with bananas, can’t have any green and once there’s a single freckle the texture is just all off! I need to try this freeze dried banana powder. This recipe sounds fantastic.

    • Just Jo 1st February 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah – I hope you get to try them 😀

  24. Sandhya Ramakrishnan 2nd February 2017 at 12:19 am - Reply

    I have never seen freeze dried bananas and this sounds like such a fun recipe to make. I am almost tempted not to find them as I might end up making a large batch of these donuts and also eat them myself. Love the flavors.

    • Just Jo 2nd February 2017 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Lol oh you have more self control that me Sandhya, ha! I like your style 😉

  25. Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery 2nd February 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    We are on opposite ends of the banana spectrum – I like mine still green. Once they’re yellow, I think they’re too sweet! And definitely not spotted – that texture is way too soft! I love that you call it “proving” dough – I love words that changed just so slightly when they became Americanized English. Your doughnuts sound delicious!

    • Just Jo 2nd February 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      What would you call proving then Julie? I wasn’t aware that that word wasn’t used in America!

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