It’s a bonus post this week, because I decided to enter a local seasonal baking contest! It is hosted by our biggest local dairy, and the rules state I had to use at least 3 of their products.
The same day, Entertaining With Beth posted her recipe for baked chocolate donuts, which got my mind churning. By the time I had received my products from the dairy, I had come up with a plan for not one, not two, but FOUR variations of Beth’s base chocolate donut recipe.
First, I added espresso powder to the base batter, turning these into mocha donuts, not just chocolate donuts. Then, I added various toppings and drizzles to transform them into three alternative flavors: Almond Joy©, Pumpkin Spice Mocha (for fall), and Peppermint Mocha (for Christmas).
As a bonus, I’ve included notes at the bottom on how to make these sugar-free and lower fat for those dealing with diet restrictions.
NOTE: If you don’t like the taste of coffee, you can simply omit the espresso powder from the entire recipe, making them plain chocolate donuts.
So without further ado, here is my submission for this baking contest! Who knows? Maybe I’ll win…
Baked Chocolate Mocha Donuts, Four Ways
(Original recipe: Entertaining With Beth)
1 TBSP semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips *
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder (I recommend Civilized Coffee)
1/2 C boiling water
3/4 C sugar *
1/3 C vegetable oil **
For Chocolate Mocha, Almond Joy©, and Pumpkin Spice Mocha: 2 tsp vanilla extract
For Peppermint Mocha: 2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 C buttermilk
1-1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter, softened
To make the donuts
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Place cocoa powder, espresso powder, and 1 TBSP chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl. Pour the hot water over both and allow it to sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes (this allows the cocoa and espresso to bloom). Whisk until the chips have melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved and combined. Add the two eggs, one at a time, whisking in between each addition. Add the oil and extract; whisk until combined. Add the buttermilk. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk until smooth. The batter will be thin.
Grease 2 donut pans with softened butter, making sure to coat the entire donut cavity. Carefully pour the batter into each donut cavity, filling almost to the top, leaving 1/4 inch for them to rise. Bake at 350F for 9-12 minutes until risen and set.
Allow the donuts to cool for 15 minutes. Gently remove them from the tray and place them on a cooling rack. Place a piece of parchment paper under the tray to catch the drippings of the ganache and the toppings.
1 C semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips *
3/4 heavy whipping cream
OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp espresso powder
Combine heavy cream, chocolate chips, and espresso powder in a small, non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium-low heat. Whisk the mixture until the chips have melted and forms a smooth ganache.
Using clean hands, dip the donut in the ganache, top side up, bottom side down. Remove it and place it, top side up, on the cooling rack. Let cool.
Chocolate Mocha Donuts
You’re done; enjoy!
Almond Joy© Mocha Donuts
Chopped unsweetened coconut
Chopped chocolate chips *
Sprinkle donut tops with chopped almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips before the ganache hardens.
Pumpkin Spice Mocha Donuts
1/2 C white chocolate chips *
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
(You can also substitute pumpkin spice-flavored chocolate chips. If you do, omit the pumpkin pie spice.)
Place pumpkin spice-flavored chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir until well combined. Drizzle the pumpkin spice ganache over the top of your donuts. Let cool.
Peppermint Mocha Donuts
1/2 C white chocolate chips*
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
(You can also substitute peppermint chocolate chips. If you do, omit the peppermint extract.)
Place peppermint-flavored chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir until well combined. Drizzle the peppermint ganache over the top of your donuts. Let cool.
Refrigerate donuts until you’re ready to serve. These are best eaten 2-5 hours after they are finished.
* For sugar-free donuts, substitute your favorite sugar substitute for sugar and no-sugar baking chips for chocolate chips (we recommend Lily’s brand).
** For lower fat donuts, substitute applesauce for vegetable oil.