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If you are looking for an easy and festive Christmas breakfast or dessert, these Gluten Free Chocolate Peppermint Donuts are sure to be a holiday delight! Baked chocolate donuts are dressed up for the season with a minty icing and bits of candy canes!
Baked Chocolate Peppermint Donuts – Gluten Free!
Happy December… and the start of the busiest season of the year. But I don’t want anyone to panic. I’m going to help you with a festive Christmas treat that does double duty as a rich dessert or even a special breakfast.
As soon as those iconic candy canes started showing up in stores this year, I’ve been excited to add them to some treats like Double Chocolate Peppermint Fudge and Peppermint Mocha Chocolate Bark. Nothing puts you more in the holiday mood than seeing classic red and white candy canes. So I decided it was time to make some Christmas donuts.
While I love fluffy Gluten Free Glazed Donuts, I truly think that peppermint is just begging to be paired with chocolate. That’s why I whipped up a batch of gluten free baked chocolate donuts that are super fudgy and moist. Then I added a nice thick peppermint icing and a sprinkle of candy cane bits to finish it off. They might just be as pretty as they are delicious.
As long as you have candy canes and peppermint extract in your collection of holiday baking supplies, you can easily make Christmas donuts with ingredients you probably keep in your pantry.
For the gluten free chocolate donuts:
- 1:1 gluten free flour. I usually use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
- Light brown sugar.
- Cocoa powder. No need for anything fancy. I just use Hershey’s.
- Baking powder. Make sure it is gluten free.
- Milk. Preferably whole milk.
- Vegetable or canola oil. Or your preferred another neutral oil
- Vanilla extract.
For the peppermint icing:
- Powdered sugar.
- Milk. You’ll need enough to get the frosting to the right consistency.
- Peppermint extract.
- Candy canes. Or peppermint candies, chopped or crushed into bits.
How to Make Baked Chocolate Donuts with Peppermint Glaze
Preparations: Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a standard-sized donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. This recipe makes 8 donuts, so you may need to use two pans since most have 6 wells. Or work in batches.
Make the batter: Whisk the gluten free flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk to form a smooth batter.
Fill the pans: Divide the batter between 8 wells of a donut pan, approximately 1/4 cup in each. You do not want to cover the middle that forms the donut hole. Tap the pan on the counter to help release some of the air bubbles.
Bake and cool: Bake the chocolate donuts for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the icing: Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon milk, and the peppermint extract to a small bowl and whisk until smooth, adding more milk if needed so that the icing is still very thick but spreadable.
Glaze the donuts: Spread the icing on cooled donuts and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and enjoy right away.
Tips for Success
Do not overfill the pan. If you cover the indentation in the middle, your donuts will not have holes. They will still taste delicious though, so if it happens, it is not a big deal.
Get rid of air bubbles. Tap the pan on the center a few times to release the air bubbles in the batter so that you end up with a nice smooth surface on your peppermint donuts.
Leave the icing fairly thick. Thinning it out too much will make it more like a glaze and soak into the donuts. If you prefer it that way, then go for it, but the candy canes won’t stick as well.
If you are going to need to store the donuts, then glaze them or at least hold off on adding the candy canes until right before serving or the candy cane bits will melt and bleed.
Once frosted and sprinkled with the candy canes, these chocolate peppermint donuts should be enjoyed right away, and not packaged in a container. The moisture will cause the candy cane pieces to melt and bleed. They will still taste fine if you do have leftovers, they just won’t look as nice.
The frosted (without the candy canes) or unfrosted donuts can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for a day or two and in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.
Unfrosted donuts can be frozen for up to 2 months. I recommend placing them in an airtight container and wrapping the container with plastic wrap or sealing it in a freezer storage bag. Or wrap the chocolate donuts in plastic wrap and place them in a storage bag, squeezing out any excess air.
The icing can be kept in the fridge overnight, but you will need to bring it to room temperature and perhaps thin it out with a bit more milk before spreading it on the donuts.
Shop the Recipe
I used this 2-pack of Wilton 6-Cavity Donut Pans and filled four in each since the recipe makes eight gluten free chocolate donuts. I did lightly spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, but then they slid out perfectly.
Gluten Free Chocolate Peppermint Donuts
For the Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts:
For the Peppermint Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2-1 Tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- crushed candy canes
For the Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a standard sized donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. This recipe makes 8 donuts, so you may need to use two pans or work in batches.
- In a large bowl, combine the gluten free flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together until combined. Then add the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk to form a smooth batter.
- Divide the batter between 8 wells of a donut pan, approximately 1/4 cup in each. You do not want to cover the middle that forms the donut hole. Tap the pan on the counter to help release some of the air bubbles.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Peppermint Icing:
- Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon milk, and the peppermint extract to a small bowl and whisk until smooth, adding more milk if needed so that the icing is still very thick but spreadable.
- Spread the icing on cooled donuts and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. You may have extra icing you can drizzle over cakes or spread on cookies.