Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate Donuts

I’m a little late to the cake doughnut party. In fact, this Chocolate Donuts recipe is my first doughnut recipe on the site. Thankfully, this is another easy recipe, with only seven ingredients –coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, baking soda, eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup. To make it simply dump the ingredients into a food processor, throw the mixture in the doughnut pans, bake it, and bam! You’ve got gluten-free, grain-free doughnuts.

My husband said this nut-free Paleo dessert tasted like an Entenmann’s cake style doughnut. My boys simply scarfed them down –they’re suckers for anything with sprinkles. I tested this doughnut recipe with both coconut oil and palm shortening and found that coconut oil was far superior in this recipe. When I tested the doughnuts with palm shortening it was a challenge to get them out of the pan and their texture was too dry.

Print Recipe
Chocolate Donuts
  1. In a food processor, pulse together coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda
  2. Pulse in eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup until thoroughly combined
  3. Fill each well of the donut mold half way full of batter
  4. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes
  5. Remove doughnuts from pan and place on a cooling rack
  6. Use a pairing knife to cut hole in center of each doughnut
  7. In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening
  8. Drizzle doughnut with chocolate glaze
  9. Cool and serve

As with all of my recipes, I tested this one several times. Each time I test something, I make a very minor change, so that I can investigate how this single change impacts the recipe overall. For one of my test batches, I played with the amount of batter needed to make each doughnut. From that test I can tell you a couple of things. First, do not fill up the doughnut wells in your doughnut mold all the way. Fill the wells around halfway with batter, and spread the batter evenly in each well. This batter will rise and the wells will be full when you are done baking. You’ll have perfect homemade doughnuts.

I use silicon doughnut molds for this recipe and also to make my Paleo Bagel recipe. The metal molds (which are unfortunately non-stick) do not work very well and everything I’ve baked in them is a total mess to remove. These donuts, however, pop right out of the silicone molds.

You can eat these adorable Paleo doughnuts with or without the glaze. For the boys I add India Tree brand sprinkles which make these an incredibly festive treat. If you use sprinkles (Let’s Do Organic is an even healthier brand, though not as colorful) be sure to let your glaze cool for 10 minutes or so prior to applying sprinkles, otherwise they will melt down into the glaze.


  1. Sonya says

    These are SO good! I halved the recipe in case they didn’t turn out, but they are delicious and it still made 8 donuts. Thanks!

  2. Corry says

    I also have MS and I’m quite confused about coconut oil – if a person with MS should be eating coconut oil or not ? What is your opinion on this subject?

  3. Sharon says

    I am not a fan of the taste of coconut. For this reason, I haven’t tried coconut flour. How much of a coconut taste do these donuts have?

    • Elana says

      Sharon, I don’t think these taste like coconut, but I love the taste of coconut so I may not be the best one to help out with this :-)

  4. Clo O'Leary says

    I have just made my second batch of these in a mini doughnut maker (Gourmet Gadgetry). So easy to whip up the batter and they cook in a few minutes – would love to able to post a pic! Adds some sunshine to a very wet Irish morning!!

  5. Pily Flores says

    I tried them!!!! I can’t believe how good they were. I made a little adjustment, I didn’t have the donut mold since I couldn’t wait to get one I used a mini cupcake silicon mold, the tiny things were deliciously gorgeous, thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try more recipes :)

  6. Tasha L says

    Hello! Just made these and they are devine! Would it be possible to share this recipe to my blog – I’ve only just started out but would love to add this amazingly healthy recipe to it! I would link your blog and give you credit of course. :) thank you! Tasha xo

    • Elana says

      Tasha, so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Yes, you may share the recipe with a link back to my site.

  7. Gabriele says

    Hi Elana
    I just read through the recipe, and I am wondering if I can use my bagel pan? What is the difference? They look the same.

    • Elana says

      Gabriele, I haven’t tried that so not sure. If you do I hope you’ll let us know how it goes :-)

  8. theresa says

    I just made these and they look and smell wonderful. Thanks. Going to enjoy one for breakfast if they last

  9. Lily says

    Hi Elana
    I made the donuts for the first time on the weekend and they were wolfed down by the hubby and kids – 2 thumbs up! I added a table spoon of maple syrup to the chocolate topping to add a little more sweetness and used dessicated coconut instead of the sprinkles. I also adjusted the recipe to make a non-chocolate flavoured version and thought you might like to test it out. I’ve kept the majority of the instructions are the same.

    1/3 cup coconut flour
    2 tablespoons almond flour
    1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    2 Medjool dates, pitted
    4 large eggs
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    3 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    2/3 cup agave sugar (use more if you would like a thicker glaze)
    Juice of 1 lemon

    1. In a food processor, pulse together coconut flour, almond flour, salt, dates and baking soda until the date bits are miniscule.
    2. Pulse in eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup until thoroughly combined
    3. Lightly grease the donut pan (I used coconut oil spray).
    4. Fill each well of the donut pan half way full of batter (I use a measuring jug to do this so it’s easy)
    5. Bake at 170°C/160°C Fan forced/350°F for 15 minutes.
    6. Remove doughnuts from pan and place on a cooling rack
    7. Use a knife to cut hole in centre of each doughnut if required
    8. In a flat bottomed bowl (you can use others but I find this is the easiest), whisk the agave sugar and lemon juice until sugar has dissolved. If a little lumpy, strain it through a fine sieve.
    9. Dip top of each donut in the glaze and rest on baking paper. Repeat.
    10. Cool and serve

  10. Barbara Ann says

    I made the chocolate donuts today. They are pretty yummy, but of course with just 2 of us, we have some left. How best to store them? I put them into a sealed container and hope they’ll be OK. I just used the last of my palm shortening, so used coconut oil and chocolate chips for the glaze. Never will dry but sure is delicious!

  11. Anna says

    Hi Elana 1slty I love your recippe but please can you change the palm shortening to coconut oil. Works better, is better for us.. And MOST IMPORTANTLY it’s helping stop the deforestation and killing of the Ourangatans & their natural habitat of there homes in Indonesia :-(
    When being Paleo we must have a concsicnce & do as much as we can to help all beings :-) Anna x

  12. Roël McMahon says

    Great recipe, thanks! Just wondering, does anyone else taste ‘silicone’ when using the silicone moulds or is that just me?

  13. Maria says

    I made these with the ‘dreaded’ metal pan. I had a large pan with 6 sections so I just went for it. I decided to head your advice that they wouldn’t come out easily and buttered and floured the sections first with coconut flour. That seemed to help and they released with a little coaxing. I assume you could do the same with coconut oil if you don’t use butter. Thanks so much! Love your recipes.

  14. Dorene says


    I saw your response to a comment that you use the large mold (6 donuts per mold), but the recipe says it makes 8.

    I’m assuming I should buy two molds; should I fill the empty donut sections with anything (like water?) when I put them in the oven?

    Thanks so much!

    • Elana says

      Hi Dorene, thanks for your comment. I use 2 donut molds and I do not fill the empty molds with water –works just fine! Enjoy the donuts :-)

  15. MIchelle says

    Probably a silly question, what is the difference between palm shortening and palm oil? When I try to research the two, I get so many articles lambasting the use of palm anything due to the inhumanity of its collection. Can you shed any light on this? Also, is there differences in processing – I’m thinking of coconut oil, or olive oil, etc and how you can get various flavors depending on the way it was handled. Which one has the most neutral flavor? Thank you so much!

  16. Bridgette says

    I made these tonight and they were amazing! It was our first attempt at making donuts. I followed the recipe exactly. I wasn’t sure if I should melt the coconut oil. I left it solid and measured out 1/2 a cup. They came out perfect. They tasted like a Mounds Bar! Will definitely make these again. Thank you!

  17. Michele says

    Can you fill these with jelly. I am thinking about these for Chanukkah. suvganiyat – jelly donuts are traditional.

    • Jeanette Regas says

      Did you try this? I am thinking a muffin tin, fill 1/4 way to add spoon of jelly; top off with batter. Hmmmm. Yumm.

  18. Tess says

    Considering these for my two year old’s birthday party this weekend. He doesn’t like chocolate, could you suggest a banana flavor or alternative flavor that might work?

  19. Kenna says

    These ARE delicious! I just pulled them out of the oven. I accidentally used 1/4 cup coconut oil but they are delicious! I used a mini bagel pan to curb my desire to eat copious amounts of food! I have a batch of plain (non-chocolates) baking now!
    Thanks Elana!

  20. Jhanell says

    These are delicious and will be making them again! Do you know what the calorie count per doughnut is?
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Cecilia says

      I have made these twice already. The first time I made it exactly as specified. The second time, I ommitted 1 egg and substituted 1/2 a banana, and I used honey instead of maple syrup. My 2 year old scarfed down 3 before I even frosted them. Also, for those asking about not having a food processor, I mix it all by hand, and they turn out fine.

  21. youngbaker2002 says

    this may be your first doughnut recipe but please keep it up. not only do these look amazing ( and although i haven’t tried them yet ) i’m sure they taste SUPER AMAZING, too.
    love all your recipes and all the hard work you put into them Elana!

  22. Ruhi says

    Just made these for my husband since he’s a big Dunkin Donuts (yuck!) fan. :) He absolutely loved them! WIll be making these again for him and my three little ones, as these definitely won over their taste buds!

  23. Rene says

    I am allergic to eggs at the moment and cannot et them. Is there an egg substitute? How about for cacao? I would love to eat these!

  24. Brianna says

    Made these for my husband and I to enjoy on “National Doughnut Day” and they were amazing!! We used raw honey instead of maple syrup since that’s all I had on hand and they came out wonderful.
    Thanks for creating such a yummy treat! :)

  25. Karen says

    I do not have a food processor either so I appreciate your comment about using a whisk, Jennifer. Elena, could I use my mixer for the recipes you post that call for using a food processor?

  26. Tiffany says

    I use coconut oil in place of palm shortening in every recipe and it works just as well in this one. I also have a metal and a silicone donut pan, and they both work. I spread my batter straight across the wells in the pan, making sure to scrape across the top of the center of each well to make the “hole” visible. I fill the wells full with a slight dip and they even out perfectly in the oven.

    • Mira says

      Great tips! Is there a texture difference between metal vs. silicone? And which one do you find is easier for removing the donuts out of the pan?

      • Elana says

        Hi Mira, I prefer silicone molds for the donuts as this type of mold makes for a super easy release. If you click the words “donut mold” in line #3 of the instructions you will be taken to the exact donut mold I use :-)

  27. Jennifer says

    I don’t own a donut pan and didn’t want to make it into usual muffins. So, I tried the same recipe in madeleine pan, and it worked great! I made it twice, once using a processor & the other time just using a whisk to mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. Both turned out fine, so I may go with a whisk & bowl next time for simple cleaning.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!

  28. Heather says

    Dumb question: do you melt the coconut oil before adding to the food processor? It’s really cold here in VT and my coconut oil is solid. Thank you!

  29. sophie says

    Elana, would you mind providing the measurement of coconut flour in grams from now on?
    Coconut flour is finicky and there are so many different brands…

  30. Monica says

    Perfect! Loved them!! Made them in my baby cakes donut maker. Made 12 perfect little donuts. Thank you for the great recipe!

  31. says

    Wow. I’m really impressed with the texture of these donuts. They were pretty close to the texture of cake donuts I’ve had in the past. Usually coconut flour creates a weird mouth-feel that ruins the texture of things for me. Well done!

  32. Emily K. says

    Just made these delectable donuts for breakfast this morning! They turned out amazing & I love that they have just the right amount of sweetness. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  33. says

    I didn’t know before that donuts can look sooo beautiful. You should get some fresh tree branches from the garden and hang them with the help of a small satin gift ribbon. Cheers to the spring.

  34. Chrissy says

    I made these for what will probably be our last snow day of the year (sob!) and we loved them! Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  35. Rebecca says

    I made these for a snow day treat today and they are delicious. My kids LOVE them! My 10 y/o said they are better than any donut you will get at Winchells. Thank you, Elana!

  36. says

    over the last few years i have made probably half a dozen different paleo/primal donut recipes. this one is THE. BEST. the batter is the easiest to work with than any other, and the flavor is extraordinary. my kids are in heaven. and thanks for the advice to fill the wells only half full — for the first time ever my donuts are pretty. so happy i made these!

  37. Leslie says

    So good! I didn’t want to use any topping, but thought I would lose some sweetness. So I aded a fourth tbsp of maple syrup. Also, I made these in a muffin tin. Filled the cups half full, and the rose to full muffins. =14 full muffins. Mmmm-mmmm!

  38. says

    Thank you Elana I made them… I didnthave the special mold I bake them in a muffin pan. I not a chocolate lover but I loved them simply delishious… Thank you Thank you, thank you… if you come out with any other flavours please share. Since January I lost 16 pounds following your healthy tips God bless you. Elizabeth Cedeño.

  39. Norma says

    These are great! Drenched them in your Chocolate Ganache for a totally decadent dessert – even my non-paleo friends scarfed them down.

  40. lynnea says

    Just made these….two thumbs up! I used a metal pan with light coating of Palm shortening. One question….how would one store any leftovers? Room temp or fridge?

    • says

      Hi Lynnea,

      Because this recipe contains coconut flour I store the donuts in the following manner:

      • allow donuts to cool completely (up to 12 hours)
      • wrap in paper towels
      • store in ziploc bag in fridge


  41. Milly says

    Just made them in a mini electric donut maker with my 11 yr old niece and they came out great! A quick and easy snack! Thank You Elana!

    • Deborah says

      This is what I came up with:
      ¼ c coconut flour- 120 cal
      ¼ c cacao powder- 80 cal
      4 eggs- 280 cal
      ½ c coconut oil- 960
      3 T Maple syrup- 56

      Total- not counting topping- 1496
      Then divide according to how many donuts you get.

      Elana, is this about right?

  42. KM says

    Just made these for brekkie today and they are delicious. I used a metal pan and a thin layer of coconut oil and they popped right out. Thanks again, Elana, for again giving me some yummy treats to love.

  43. kevnkoi says

    I just ran out of coconut oil, but will be getting some tomorrow and these might have to be the first thing I make with it.

  44. says

    These look really great! FYI – I have the metal non-stick donut pans & they work perfect when you apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the well before filling with dough. I do it all the time with other paleo donuts and never have a problem so I don’t think it will affect the outcome of the recipe. Thanks, Elana, for always coming up with such great recipes. Your site was the first one I ever used when I changed my eating almost 5 years ago & I am still using it today:)

  45. Shaina says

    I can’t wait to make these! I’m excited about the no nuts feature! But… Your recipe says it makes 8, and the link for the silicone tray only holds 6… I would like them to turn out perfect, like yours (since you’ve done all the testing for us)! I don’t want the wells to be too big, is the link you provided the same pan you used (same size wells)? Thank you for sharing all of your amazing recipes, they have helped my family of 5 so much!!

    • says


      Yes, that is the correct tray; you can either use 2 silicone donut trays (that’s what I do as it’s super handy to have more than one tray for bagels, etc.) or bake the donuts in 2 separate batches, i.e, first bake the 6 donuts and then the remaining 2. Thanks for your question :-)


  46. Jenine Pontillo says

    Do you have a donut recipe using almond flour? I’ve tried so many recipes with coconut flour and I really hated the outcome. They were always so “eggy”.

    • Shari from NC says

      Our family really likes Honeyville Farms’ Almond Flour Apple Cider Donuts. You can find the recipe from Honeyville Farms main website under Blog, then search on the Honeyville site for donut. I make the recipe less sweet by substituting 1 Tbsp maple syrup with 3 Tbsp water for the ¼ cup maple syrup.

      The donuts are delicious topped with sun butter. And greasing the metal donut pans with palm shortening (per the instructions) facilitates the donuts popping out easily.

      Elana, I’d love to hear what variations you develop. Thanks for so joyously sharing your inventions!


    • Kathryn says

      Hi Jenine, I made them on the weekend and just did a straight substitution for almond flour which worked fabulously! I also swapped the coconut oil for melted grass fed butter. I have no problem with dairy but I’m allergic to coconut! They worked really well! Hope that helps!

      • Iveta says

        Hi Kathryn, how do you know that you are allergic to coconut? I’m allergic to it when i put it on my skin, but I eat it frequently in shakes and I cook and bake with it too, but I would like to know what are the signs when you are allergic to it internally. Thank you for your answer. Iveta

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