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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