Peppermint Mocha Donuts (Gluten & Dairy Free, Vegan)
Yes, Peppermint Mocha Donuts that are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and refined sugar free. You wouldn't even know it, they're so delicious. I’m not sure how Starbucks comes up with these iconic holiday flavor combinations, there is such a strong love for pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mocha lattes. Because of that, there are so many spin-offs of these favorites. Cakes, cookies…. I’ve never seen a donut spin-off, but I wanted to create one!
I’ve been watching holiday baking shows lately at night to unwind. I think after the election and the whole stress of that week, I need something mindless to watch. I’ve actually been enjoying them! There are so many talented bakers out there, and it’s amazing what some can create. But I’ve been using this show as holiday baking inspiration. They create so many innovative flavor combinations beyond the typical holiday flavors. A beautiful peppermint mocha cake was one of the latest creations I just witnessed, and the combination just sounded divine. So I decided to turn this idea into a donut because…. donuts.
These donuts are baked. I don't think they can be air fried, but is something I definitely would like to test out in the future. Baked donuts are similar to those cake donuts, and the iconic Hostess and Little Debbie mini donuts. That is what these remind me of. I tested this recipe twice, I found the first batch didn’t have enough flavor, sweetness, or chocolate. So I made sure the 2nd batch made up for that. I have to be honest, I didn’t LOVE these donuts right out of the oven. I just wasn't sure if I nailed it. But after they cooled and I dipped them in chocolate and topped with candy canes, they were game changing. They are SO good. They have a slight minty flavor, just enough to give you that holiday spirit.
A family tradition every year is to pick-up Dunkin Donuts early Christmas morning and eat donuts all morning until our gifts are open. Since I haven’t been able to participate in this in years, I’m so happy that I can make these on Christmas Eve and have my own healthy and gut-friendly donuts to eat on Christmas day. I am so thankful for homemade gluten free desserts! These are also safe on a low fodmap diet.
What is in these Peppermint Mocha Donuts?
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend: I’ve used both Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur 1:1 GF Flours here. Bob’s will give you a denser donut and King Arthur will give you a fluffier donut. Both came out great. I have not tried any grain free substitutes for this flour, yet. But you can try a paleo flour blend
Cacao or high quality cocoa powder: I always use cacao in my baking because of the high antioxidants and it’s pretty rich. If you choose to use cocoa, I suggest a dutch cocoa or another high quality cocoa powder. This will make a difference in your donut richness and flavor
Coconut Sugar: My go to in all my baking. It’s low glycemic, doesn’t mess with blood sugar levels and is safe on most diets. It does not taste like coconut! You can opt for cane sugar here as a replacement but I’d reduce the amount to 1/2 cup
Instant Coffee: Make sure this instant coffee and not coffee grinds!! Use 1 tbsp for a lighter coffee aftertaste or 2 tbsp for a stronger coffee flavor in your donuts
Sea Salt: This balances out the sweetness in baked goods
Baking Soda: This will help make your donuts rise
Baking Powder: This will work with the baking soda to make sure your donuts have a nice rise
Non Dairy Milk: You can use any milk of choice here
Coconut Oil: I suggest unrefined so there is no coconut flavor. You can sub this for vegan/ghee/butter
Egg: This is optional but I find it gives my donuts a nice texture and crumb. If you’re not intolerant to eggs or vegan I’d use it!
Peppermint Extract: A hint of peppermint flavor to the donuts the glaze
Chocolate Chips: I use paleo dark chocolate chips here, but any will work
Are these Peppermint Mocha Donuts easy to make?
Yes! This is easy level baking. You just need donut pans to make them into donuts. No other equipment is required. Just mixing up the ingredients, piping or spooning into the pans. After baking it’s an easy chocolate dip!
What special baking tools do you need?
2 donut pans
Optional piping bag or ziploc bag
2 cups of GF All Purpose Flour Blend*
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp of unsweetened cacao or good quality cocoa powder
1 cup of coconut sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of instant coffee*
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups of non-dairy milk
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, refined
1 egg (you can omit this but will add more rise and texture to your donuts)
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips, I use paleo/vegan chips
1 tbsp of coconut oil, refined
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (taste and add more if you like more minty!)
Crushed candy canes
Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray your donut pans with cooking spray or coconut oil. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, instant coffee (1 tbsp for a lighter coffee note, 2 tbsp for a stronger coffee flavor), salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well combined.
In another bowl, melted coconut oil (make sure it’s not hot), peppermint extract, egg. Warm your milk up to room temperature by placing in microwave for a few seconds. This is so it does not re-harden the coconut oil when mixed. Now add your slightly warmed milk to the rest and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined and smooth.
You have the option to either pipe your batter into the donut pans, or spoon them in. Piping them will make the tops more round and is a bit easier to get into the pan with no mess, but either way will work. I like to put my batter in a ziploc bag, seal, and trim off the corner of the bag. I use that as my alternative piping tool. You can just discard of the bag after.
Fill your donut cavities about 3/4 way up to the top. If you over fill, they may rise too much. If that happens you can just cut the holes back out once they are cooled.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until tops are risen, slightly cracked. You can also test with a toothpick to make sure the insides are done.
Remove from oven, let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and finish cooling on a cooling rack or flat surface
When the donuts are cooled, mix your chocolate glaze. Melt your chocolate with the coconut oil in a small shallow bowl until fully melted and smooth. I do this in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring frequently.
Hold each donut and dip them flat into the chocolate face down. Shake off excess chocolate and place back on cooling rack or onto a piece of parchment paper. Repeat until all donuts have been dipped.
If you have candy canes, these are the best part. Since the donuts are not too sweet, these add the little sweetness and crunch to finish them off. I pulsed my candy canes in a food processor until finely chopped and sprinkled over the top of my donuts while the chocolate was still wet.
Let set and chocolate harden, about 20-30 minutes. Then enjoy!
These are great fresh after they are baked, but I like them a lot better the next day. They get more dense, similar to a real cake donut, and the flavors are stronger and more blended!
These last 3-4 days in an airtight at room temp on the counter. After that, store in fridge for up to 7 days. These can also be frozen and defrosted at room temperature when ready to enjoy!
*I’ve used both Bob’s and King Arthur’s… Bob’s will be a bit more dense
*I’ve made these donuts with 1 tbsp of instant coffee and 2 tbsp. 1 tbsp leaves you a hint of coffee at the end, where 2 tbsp gives you a stronger coffee flavor. It’s up to you on how much coffee flavor you’d like. I found a happy medium for myself at 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp.
*Fill you donut cavities to just under the top of the donut pan, or they may rise too much and the donut hole may close up. If that happens, use a knife to cut the holes out.
*The egg is optional here. If you are vegan or intolerant to eggs, no need to replace it. Just omit it. I do suggest it though for a nice texture and crumb.
If you make these peppermint mocha donuts, I would love if you leave comments or questions below, and a star rating! This will help me and others with the recipe.
Tag me in your photos on Instagram @gutsy_baker and #gutsybakes!
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