Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts: a super moist and spicy chocolate cake baked in doughnut pans, dipped in melted dark chocolate, and topped with a dusting of cinnamon and cayenne. 

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts
Galentine’s Day, 100 days of marriage, and finally updating my laptop’s operating system!

The day before Valentine’s Day is Galentine’s Day– a holiday created by Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) of Parks and Recreations. It’s a day to celebrate the love for your friends. Parks and Rec is my FAVORITE show, so much so that I used a line from the show in my own wedding vows.

Speaking of which- today is the 100th day of being married to my best friend! I often get asked if being married has changed anything. Nope, I chose not to change my last name. And nope, our relationship is exactly the same. I take that as a good sign. And the third thing I’m celebrating today: I finally updated my laptop’s operating system. Everyday for the last three years (YES, YEARS), I’ve been receiving notifications to update.

With a push from Alex, I did it. It’s my little Valentine’s gift to my computer, whom I spend many, many hours with.

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

But, let’s be honest. The most exciting news today are these donuts. Baked cayenne chocolate donuts. The recipe makes a baker’s dozen. I baked them on Saturday and we’re down to 2 donuts.

(They’re baked. So that’s totally normal to eat 11 donuts between two people in two days. Yeah. Totally appropriate. Don’t judge us.)

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

One Bowl Chocolate Batter

This is a one bowl chocolate batter that I’m absolutely smitten with. It’s adapted and inspired from these chocolate fudge cake doughnuts by King Arthur Flour.

Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (and I’ve had more than my fill of chocolates these last two weeks thanks to friends sending me goodies), I’ve opted to add some heat to changes things up. One of my favorite donut shops in Los Angeles has a spicy chocolate doughnut. This is also an ode to that.

These cayenne chocolate donuts are super chocolatey, they leave a slight tingling sensation after eat bite, and they’re crazy addicting.

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Fried donut are best eaten the day they’re made. These baked cayenne chocolate donuts are different. They taste BETTER the following day. Fresh from the oven, the donuts are super cake-like. They’re moist and a bit fragile. When you let them sit out overnight, the chocolate glaze sets the exposed cake slightly hardens mimicking the texture of a real fried cake donut. (!!!)

Happy Monday/Galentine’s Day/Valentine’s Day!

Craving more donuts? Here are a few more to check out (baked and fried versions!):

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

Yield: 13 donuts

Author Maryanne Cabrera



  • 2/3 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup (255 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (213 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teasppon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temp
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) coconut oil, melted

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup (122 grams) dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • chocolate jimmies, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two standard 6-cavity donut pans. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, sift cocoa powder. Add all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cayenne, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Use a sturdy spatula to mix eggs into batter. Add buttermilk and melted coconut oil. Stir until incorporated and batter is smooth. Batter will be thick.

  4. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round pipping tip. Pipe batter into prepared donut pans, filling cavities 2/3 full. Alternatively, use a spoon to fill donut pan.

  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until donuts have puffed up and a toothpick inserted in donuts comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes. Invert donut pan to release donuts. If donuts are sticking to pan, tap edge of donut pan against a sturdy surface to release donuts. Allow donuts to cool on wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Glaze and Assembly:

  1. In a small pinch bowl, whisk together cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.

  2.  Gently melted chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler set over simmering water. Remove from heat. Dip the smooth side of donut (the side exposed during baking), into the melted chocolate. Place on a wire rack and immediately drizzle chocolate jimmies on top. Dust cinnamon-cayenne mixture on top.

  3. Serve once assembled or wait for chocolate glaze to set. These donuts taste better the day after baking and glazing. (See Notes)

Recipe Notes

  • These donuts actually taste better the day after baking. Immediately after baking, the donuts will be more cake-light, soft and fragile. After dipping and topping the donuts, allow them to sit out overnight at room temperature. The chocolate topping will set and the exposed donut part will slightly harden mimicking the "fried" donut exterior texture. To achieve this, allow the donuts to sit overnight exposed. On second day, transfer any remaining donuts to an airtight container. Donuts keep well for 4 days.

Special Equipment:


All images and text ©The Little Epicurean

Baked Cayenne Chocolate Donuts

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These are so adorable and delicious looking! I think I might have all the ingredients to make some myself too.

Cindy Rodriguez

Wooo, spicy choco donuts! I love a little kick in my sweets and can’t wait to try this recipe.

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