These grain-free chocolate peppermint donuts are gluten-free, dairy-free, and contain no refined sugars! Best of all, these cake donuts have a hint of peppermint flavor and are a welcome treat during the holiday season.
With the holidays come holiday flavors and none are more prominent this time of year than peppermint and chocolate. From those bright red Starbucks cups to local shops selling chocolate peppermint fudge.
As a wellness expert, I’m fully aware of how great peppermint and chocolate can be for you, so I LOVE the idea of pairing them. Peppermint is known for its calming effect and chocolate has tons of antioxidants. The issue is that most peppermint chocolate treats come packed with unnecessary refined sugar and gluten.
Enter these grain-free chocolate peppermint donuts! Of all my dessert recipes, I think I’m most proud of these. I mean making a grain-free donut is not the simplest task I’ve ever attempted. But, I did numerous rounds of testing and friends and family to make sure this chocolate cake donut was the perfect texture and that they were bursting with chocolate pepper flavor.
And the extra good news is that I have quite a few delicious and healthy chocolate recipes on my site, like:
Why You Should Make This Delicious Donut Recipe
Flavor: First off, these donuts are packed with delicious chocolate peppermint flavor. You can use peppermint extract, but I decided to use pure peppermint essential oil for authentic peppermint flavor.
Texture: These delectable peppermint treats have a cake-like texture that makes them stand out and stand apart.
Gluten-free donuts: This is a naturally grain-free and gluten-free recipe. No adaptations are needed.
Refined sugar-free: One bite of these donuts and you won’t believe that there are no refined sugars. Believe me, you can’t even tell. Instead, I rely on Medjool dates for just the right amount of natural sweetness.
Dairy-free: This donut recipe is dairy-free. Use almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk.
Vegan: Another surprise is that donuts are naturally vegan. While this wasn’t intentional, it’s a great plus for an all-inclusive holiday recipe.
So now that you are probably so in love with these donuts that you might start dreaming of them, I better show you how to make them!
- Medjool dates (pitted): Adds natural sweetness without any refined sugars
- almond milk: Use unsweetened almond milk or any dairy-free milk
- almond butter: Not only are these donuts a healthy treat, but they are also protein-packed. If you want to avoid almond butter or if there is a nut allergy in your home, any other seed butter can be used
- peppermint essential oils: Adds true peppermint flavor
- cacao powder: true chocolate flavor without any added sugar or artificial ingredients. This is different than cocoa powder and has a much richer flavor that’s closer to dark chocolate.
- baking soda
- *coconut oil: for greasing the donut pan – if you use a silicone donut pan you might not need this but always better to be safe than to have donuts that get stuck.
- dairy-free chocolate chips
- coconut oil: melted coconut oil has a very cool effect that when it sets back up it has a beautiful sheen, similar to tempered chocolate.
- crushed candy cane pieces: dye-free candy canes are highly recommended. Here’s the brand I use.
- donut baking pan
- a large mixing bowl for the donut batter & a small bowl for the glaze
- high-speed blender
- cooling rack
How to Make These Doughnuts
(Printable recipe with exact quantities and instructions can be found further down below.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil the donut pan with coconut oil spray
Using a high-speed blender, blend the Medjool dates, almond milk, almond butter and peppermint oil or peppermint extract.
Once completely smooth transfer to a bowl and fold in the cacao powder, salt, baking soda until just combined.
Spoon or pipe batter into the donut pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before flipping onto a rack to cool completely.
While they cool, melt chocolate chips with coconut using a double broiler or microwave. Mix thoroughly until chocolate is nice and smooth.
Dip or drizzle with the chocolate glaze and sprinkle with bits of candy canes or chopped peppermint candy. Chill for a few minutes to allow the glaze to set.
Enjoy these delicious healthy donuts with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and maybe share one with your favorite family member (I’ll leave that up to you)!
Q & A: Grain Free Chocolate Donuts with Peppermint
Can I make these in a muffin tin if I don’t have a donut pan?
Yes, you can certainly make them as muffins, but you will need 5 more minutes of baking time. Always use a toothpick to double check that they are done inside.
If I have a nut allergy, can I still make this recipe?
Yes, simply use another plant-based milk and any other seed butter for the batter.
Are these donuts vegan?
Yes, by nature of the ingredients, these are also vegan peppermint chocolate donuts. Just double-check your dairy-free chocolate and the candy canes to ensure the particular brand does not contain animal products.
Omissions, Additions, and Substitutions
I highly recommend making these donuts as is, but there are a few notes about changes you can make.
Leave out the peppermint: If you don’t have peppermint essential oil, you can leave it and the crushed peppermint candy out to make these just chocolate donuts. Although, that wouldn’t be very festive, would it?
almond butter: Any nut butter (except peanut butter) or seed butter that is plain and unsweetened will work just fine.
Ginger Chocolate: For another holiday sweet treat, you can use grated ginger in place of the peppermint extract. Talk about a health powerhouse when pairing ginger and chocolate!
How to Store Leftovers
Allow the donuts to completely cool and the chocolate to harden before attempting to store them. Once cool, you can place them in an air tight container or bag. You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap in addition to the air tight container for extra protection.
- Counter: these will keep for 2-3 days on the counter
- Fridge: these will last for 1 week in the fridge
- Freezer: These will keep for 3 months in the freezer, but it’s important to wrap them in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Let them defrost in the fridge before enjoying them again.
Tips for Making These Donuts
- Grease the pan REALLY well. You can also dust the pan with cacao powder after the coconut oil to really make sure the batter doesn’t stick.
- Let the donuts cool before attempting to move them. The cold air actually helps them release from the pan sides because the donut will contract in the cold air.
What to Serve With Chocolate Cake Donuts
- 1 cup Medjool dates (pitted)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup almond butter (unsweetened & room temperature)
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil or 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup melted dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- crushed peppermint candy
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a high speed blender, mix the Medjool dates, almond milk, almond butte, and peppermint extract.
- Once completely blended, transfer to a bowl and and add the cacao powder, salt and baking soda.
- Mix to combine.
- Lightly oil the donut pan to prevent sticking.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture into the donut pan.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dip or drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with peppermint candy pieces.
- Chill for about 10 minutes to allow the glaze to set.
Any dairy-free milk can be used.
Any nut/seed butter can be used in place of almond butter.
Amount Per Serving Calories 449Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 306mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 9gSugar 43gProtein 8g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate.