Paleo Donuts

Five donuts arranged on a plate.

These chocolate glazed paleo donuts are intensely chocolaty, with a satisfying cake-like texture. They’re easy to make and perfect when you’re craving a nutritious treat. Unlike traditional donuts, these ones aren’t fried. Instead they’re baked in the oven using a nonstick donut pan.

In addition to being paleo diet friendly and grain free, these donuts are also gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. They make a great nutritious treat for school. These donuts work equally well for breakfast or dessert served with a cup of coffee.

Main ingredients

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These paleo donuts are made with coconut flour instead of a grain based flour. Coconut flour has a subtle coconut flavour that goes really well with chocolate. I don’t recommend substituting other flours in this recipe because coconut flour is particularly absorbent so the end result will be quite different if you substitute another flour.

I used coconut oil and coconut milk in this recipe but you can substitute any other relatively neutral flavoured oil you prefer and whatever dairy free milk you prefer. Almond milk is a good substitute if you don’t need these donuts to be nut free (just be sure to use an unsweetened variety of almond milk).

This recipe is sweetened with maple syrup. I love the combination of maple and chocolate but if you don’t have maple syrup you can substitute honey instead.

These donuts get their intense chocolate flavour from unsweetened cocoa powder. You can use either dutch process or natural cocoa powder in this recipe.

I typically add a bit of salt to all the sweet treats I make because salt enhances all the other flavours in the recipe. If you’re on a low sodium diet you can omit the salt and the results will still be tasty.

The glaze calls for arrowroot starch (also called arrowroot flour – these are the same thing). Arrowroot starch/flour is a gluten free, paleo diet friendly thickener that’s perfect for thickening sauces and glazes.

The arrowroot starch gives the glaze a very satisfying, slightly gooey consistency that takes these baked donuts to a whole other level of deliciousness. If you can’t find any arrowroot starch at your local grocery store then you can order it online. Here’s the brand I love:

How to make these baked paleo donuts

Start by preheating your oven while making the donut batter. Add the eggs, cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar (or substitute lemon juice), vanilla extract (be sure to use pure vanilla extract as opposed to artificial vanilla if possible), and salt to a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix these ingredients well. Be sure to whisk until the cocoa powder is completely dissolved and well incorporated.

The next step is to dip a pastry brush in the melted coconut oil and grease the donut pan. Even if the pan you’re using is nonstick it’s still a good idea to grease the pan to ensure the donuts will be easy to remove. If you don’t have a pastry brush then you can use a small piece of paper towel instead. Don’t use too much oil – just enough to lightly coat the pan.

Next you’ll add the remaining coconut oil to the batter and whisk well. Then add the coconut flour and baking soda and whisk once more.

Transfer the batter to a large plastic resealable freezer bag and use scissors to snip off one corner of the bag. Alternatively you can transfer the batter to a piping bag if you have one. The idea is that it’s much easier to neatly fill the donut pan by squeezing the batter in as opposed to using a spoon to fill the pan.

If you don’t have a freezer bag or piping bag then you can simply use a spoon to fill the donut pan – it will just take a bit longer and might be a bit messier.

Once you’ve filled the donut pan, use the back of a teaspoon to smooth the surface of the batter so that it’s neat and even. 

Raw batter in a donut pan.

Bake the donuts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until they’re cooked and a toothpick inserted into a donut looks clean upon removal.

While the donuts are baking you can prepare the glaze. Add the arrowroot starch/flour and coconut milk to a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Then add that mixture, along with the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a saucepan or pot on the stove set to low heat.

Heat that mixture for two to three minutes or until the glaze has thickened slightly and is just starting to simmer. Be sure to stir the glaze constantly until it has thickened and bubbles are just starting to form, then remove the pan from the heat immediately or it will burn.

Transfer the glaze to a bowl and allow it to cool. Be sure to wait until both the donuts themselves and the glaze are fully cooled before glazing the donuts.

Once the donuts and glaze are both cool, dip one side of each donut in the glaze, then set them aside to dry (or dig in right away – these donuts are delicious either way).

Glazed donuts drying on a wire rack.

Storing the donuts

Store the donuts in an airtight container for up to three days. Or you can freeze them, unglazed, and wait to glaze them until they are defrosted.

Optional additions

If you’re a fan of the combination of orange and chocolate, feel free to add some orange zest to both the donut batter as well as the glaze. A little goes a long way though – just add a pinch of zest to the batter and another pinch to the glaze.

Another optional addition is to sprinkle some finely chopped nuts on top of these paleo donuts while the glaze is still wet (I recommend toasted pecans but any type of nut will work as long as they’re quite finely chopped).

More paleo coconut flour recipes to try

These coconut flour crepes are perfect for either breakfast or dessert. The glaze from this recipe would make a delicious filling for these crepes.

Or try this coconut flour banana bread. It’s sweet, delicious, and spiced just right with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Five donuts arranged on a plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Paleo Donuts

These paleo donuts are baked in the oven using a donut pan. They're gluten free, dairy free, and so easy to make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, grain free, paleo, refined sugar free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 228kcal

Equipment

  • Donut Pan

Ingredients

For The Donuts:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or substitute lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For The Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch/flour
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

For The Donuts:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the 3 eggs, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a large mixing bowl, then use a whisk to mix until the cocoa powder is dissolved.
  • Dip a pastry brush in the melted coconut oil and then lightly grease the donut pan. If you don’t have a pastry brush then you can dip a small piece of paper towel in the oil and grease the pan with that instead.
  • Add the remaining melted coconut oil to the batter and whisk well.
  • Add 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and whisk until combined.
  • Transfer the batter to a plastic freezer bag then use scissors to snip off the tip of the bag (or use a piping bag instead if you prefer).
  • Fill the donut pan with batter by squeezing the batter through the hole in the freezer bag.
  • Use the back of a teaspoon to smooth the batter so the surface of each donut is even.
  • Bake the donuts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
  • Allow the donuts to cool completely before removing them from the pan and dipping them in the chocolate glaze.

For The Chocolate Glaze:

  • Add 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch/flour and 1 tablespoon coconut milk to a small bowl and stir until dissolved, then add that mixture, along with 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt to a saucepan or pot on the stove set to low heat.
  • Stir the glaze constantly while heating it for 2-3 minutes, or until the glaze thickens slightly and is just starting to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the glaze has thickened slightly and starts to bubble otherwise it will burn.
  • Transfer the glaze to a bowl and set it aside to cool.
  • To glaze the donuts, wait until both the donuts and glaze are cooled to room temperature, then dip one side of each donut in the glaze. Allow the glaze to dry if desired before serving or dig in right away.

Notes

  • This recipe makes six paleo donuts. You can double the recipe to make a dozen if you prefer.
  • Store the donuts in an airtight container for up to three days.
  • For a lower sugar version of this treat, omit the chocolate glaze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Donut | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg