Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Brown Butter Baked Pistachio Doughnuts

Brown Butter Baked Pistachio Doughnuts

That first bite of doughnut… that very first taste is success, surrender, satisfaction, joy, and celebration all wrapped up into one bite.  It’s the anticipation that makes it so great!  And the brown butter, obviously.

These doughnuts feel like an extra special treat because they’re topped (as all things should be, really…) with browned butter glaze and chopped salted pistachios.

Where brown butter and pistachios combine, the gates of Heaven open wide and welcome you in with open arms.  Not literally… but that sure is what it feels like!

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

It’s time to make an extra pot of coffee.  Call a friend.  Pull up a few chairs and relish in it all.  What a lovely life when doughnuts are fresh and pretty.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

The beginning works thusly:  flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, browned butter, and eggs.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

I always add a dashing dose of freshly grated nutmeg to my baked doughnuts.  Just enough to keep things interesting.   Nutmegs adds a lovely depth of flavor.

I also needed mucho many pistachios for this recipe.  I ate most of them during shelling.  Guilty.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Dry ingredients are stirred together in the foreground.  Eggs, browned butter, vanilla extract, and eventually buttermilk are whisked together in the background.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

I’m a fool for brown butter.  These perfect chocolate chip cookies are proof.

Brown Butter is simply (and gloriously) butter that has been melted long enough to brown the milk solids within the butter. The result is a wonderfully fragrant, nutty, deep golden brown butter that tastes toasty and delicious.  It adds the perfect depth to these simple cake doughnuts.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Wet meets dry with specks of pistachios and the smell of browned butter.  It’s very nice.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

The baked doughnut pan is the key to these tender little cakes.  Otherwise, they’re cupcakes and we’re sooooo over cupcakes, right?  The doughnuts bake up quickly and only need about 10 minutes in the oven.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Just enough time whisk together our brown butter glaze.  Brown butter, salt, powdered sugar, vanilla and a touch of milk!  Butter in glaze!  It’s perfect.

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Some doughnut glazes are for dipping doughnuts, others are for spreading.  This brown butter glaze situation is thick and spreadable!  Sprinkle pistachios on the doughnuts immediately after you frost them so the pistachios stick!

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

I’m pretty enthusiastic about my baked doughnuts.  They’re simple little cakes ready for virtually any flavor and topping you want to throw their way.  When frosted and topped, they’re little show-stoppers that I want to eat forever and ever.

The brown butter and pistachio flavors are sweet and nutty, with just a hint of salty intrigue.  I love the crunch that pistachios add to the top of the tender little cakes.  Little dreams!  I think you’ll love these!

In other baked doughnut news, these Brown Butter Baked Doughnuts kicked off my whole obsession.

These Apple Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts will be perfect once Fall rolls around (noooooo!).

Double Chocolate Baked Doughnuts.  Extra fudge-y for when chocolate is necessary!

Black and White Baked Doughnuts   for indecision.  It’s cool!

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

12 doughnuts

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts


    For the Doughnuts:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped and divided
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup / 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and browned (we’ll only use 4 tablespoons of browned butter for the doughnuts and 2 tablespoons for the glaze)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Brown Butter Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and 1/2 cup choppedpistachios. 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 medium bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Measure out 4 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 doughnuts.
  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. While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.
  9. To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar and salt. I didn’t sift my powdered sugar. I was able to whisk the lumps out. If you have stubborn powdered sugar, sifting before is best.
  10. Add 2 tablespoons brown butter, 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add more milk as necessary to create a thick but still spreadable glaze.
  11. Once the doughnuts are completely cool, use a butter knife to spread glaze onto each doughnut. Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Allow to set for about 30 minutes before stacking or serving. Doughnuts are best within 2 days.

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79 thoughts on “Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

  1. These look positively divine!! Do you think I could substitute some almond milk or coconut milk so I could make them for my son, who has a dairy allergy? Am also a new listener to your podcast. I often listen to it whilst paper crafting and working on my own blog!!

  2. It’s like you knew I had a jar of shelled pistachios in the pantry. And you knew that I haven’t had a donut in too long. I’m on it!

  3. I feel like I absolutely have to have a coffee get together and serve these donuts. Although I may have to pony up for shelled pistachios. I only like shelling those things when I’m sitting on the couch watching Orange is the New Black or some other form of entertainment. And then there will most definitely be none left for donut topping.

  4. If theses are not the most cheerful donuts I’ve seen then I don’t know what they are! This recipe and gorgeous photos promptly sent me to amazon to order a donut pan! Can’t wait.

  5. This is the best doughnut recipe ever seen. It makes me want to shove the computer (with doughnuts and pistachios and all) right into my mouth. P.S. Honoured to be the first to comment for the first time in my life!

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