Healthy Chocolate Donuts

healthy chocolate donuts

These delicious, healthy chocolate donuts are kid-approved and fun for everyone! Easy to make, with a soft, moist, chocolaty crumb, these grain free donuts are super easy to make, baked to perfection and made with wholesome ingredients.

Donuts are known for being a fun food. Everyone loves them!

Almost everyone has a childhood favorite. Traditional donuts can be cakey or fluffy yeast-based. They can be frosted, glazed, sprinkled, powdered, filled with cream, fruit jellies or chocolate and on and on.

Typically, donuts are not considered the healthiest of foods. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthier version!

I haven’t been able to have a traditional donut in many years because the majority of them are not gluten free. But I loved them as a kid and wanted my kids to be able to enjoy them the way I did.

I am all about enjoying fun foods and having special treats, because life is too short not to enjoy the little things. I knew that recreating gluten free donuts would be a must so my whole family could enjoy this special treat.

Donuts are really easy to make! All you need is a donut pan and some real food ingredients!

While fried, yeast-based donuts are fun and definitely traditional, baked chocolate cake donuts are just as fun and delicious. These chocolate donuts are sure to please, especially when they’re frosted and decorated with love.

My family loves to add a glaze to the top of the donuts as well as chocolate or strawberry frosting. For an extra special treat, we love to sprinkle on some organic lavender blossoms, seasonal edible flowers, or fresh fruit like sliced organic strawberries. If you can find some naturally dyed sprinkles, those are extra special too, especially for the kiddos or kid-at-heart.

Don’t miss out on donuts just because they’re commonly known for being fried and full of sugar. Donuts can be healthy and just as fun when you make them with wholesome ingredients. So go ahead and indulge!

Ingredients:

For the donuts:
– 5 Medjool dates, halved and pitted
– ¼ cup grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted or avocado oil
– ¼ cup filtered water
– 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
– ¾ cup cassava flour
– ¼ cup cocoa powder
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– ½ tsp baking soda
– ¾ tsp sea salt
– 2 pastured or organic eggs

For an optional glaze:
– ½ cup cocoa butter
– 1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
– ½ tsp vanilla extract

For an optional chocolate frosting:
– ½ cup chocolate chips (I use stevia-sweetened chocolate chips)
– 3 tsp coconut oil

For an optional strawberry frosting:
– 4 oz. maple sugar
– 1.2 oz freeze-dried organic strawberries
– ½ cup grass-fed butter or ghee, softened
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1-2 tbsp milk of choice or filtered water, if needed

Optional toppings:
– Organic strawberries, sliced
– Organic edible flowers
– Organic culinary dried lavender blossoms

Instructions:

1. Submerge and soak the dates in 1 cup very hot water for 20 minutes. When they’ve softened and are done soaking, discard the soak water.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a donut pan and set aside.

3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add healthy fat of choice and water and warm until the fat has melted. Remove from the heat and pour into a high powered blender. Add the soaked dates and blend until dates are pureed. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then scrape down the sides and blend once more for a few seconds, just until combined. Do not overmix.

4. Spoon donut batter into a piping bag (or a handmade bag using a plastic baggy, cut off about ¼ inch of one corner). Evenly distribute and pipe the donut filling into a standard-size 9 cavity donut pan. If you’re using a silicone donut mold, make sure to place it on top of a baking sheet while baking. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (cooking time varies depending on the type of donut pan you’re using, metal cooks faster, I use silicone which takes around 16 minutes, make sure to check your donuts at the 12-minute mark or sooner at 10 minutes to gauge how much longer they need).

5. After the donuts are done baking, place the whole donut pan on a cooling rack for *at least* 20 minutes, until fully cooled. Resist removing them early or they will break.

6. If you’re going to glaze them or frost them, place the fully cooled donuts in the freezer for about 15 minutes to quickly chill. This helps the glaze or chocolate frosting adhere to the donuts. Once the donuts are chilled, dip them in the glaze or chocolate frosting or spread on a layer of strawberry frosting. Sprinkle on optional toppings.

For a glaze:
In a small saucepan, gently heat the cocoa butter over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and add honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract, stirring until fully combined.

For a chocolate frosting:
In a small saucepan, gently heat the chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from the heat.

For a strawberry frosting:
Add maple sugar to a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse until maple sugar become a fine powder, about 5 seconds. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the freeze-dried strawberries to the blender or food processor and pulse until the strawberries become a fine powder, about 7-10 seconds. Pour into the mixing bowl with the maple sugar. Add the softened butter or ghee and vanilla extract. With a hand-held mixer, mix on low speed until everything is combined, creamy and light pink in color, scraping down the sides as needed, about 1 minute. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk or water to thin it out.

Notes:

– Yield: Makes 9 standard-size donuts.
– I use this BPA-free standard-size 9 cavity donut silicone mold.

healthy chocolate donuts

About Emily:
Emily Recipes to Nourish Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri is a water kefir and chocolate loving, holistic-minded wife and mom. She’s the founder and voice behind Recipes to Nourish, a gluten free blog focusing on Real Food and Holistic Health. Having her daughters changed her life. She became mindful of everything that went into her body and started eating real food, making home-cooked meals from scratch and living a natural life. As a wife and mommy who is dedicated to making nourishing food and using safe products for her family, she works to empower her readers by showing them that there is a healthier way of eating and living. Her passion and mission is to make healthy, natural living as uncomplicated and enjoyable as possible. Emily lives in California with her husband and two children. Her first cookbook, The Art of Great Cooking With Your Instant Pot releases October 2017. Find Emily’s latest recipes and natural living tips at Recipes to Nourish. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter plus grab her free eBook Holistic Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy.

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  • Tamela Buhrke

    I wanted to pin this but your site has no share buttons. You have links to your Pinterest account, but it would be much easier if you had share buttons on each of your posts. Better for increasing traffic too. 🙂

    • Hi Tamela, thank you for reaching out! We are in the process of updating the sharing feature on our blog. You can share via desktop view, by clicking on the “thumbs up” icon. Or if using an iOS mobile device, you can hold the image down and select “share…” to choose the platform you would like to share the blog to. Here is a link to the direct pin so you can repin it from our Pinterst page too: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68117013096571376/

      This is a temporary workaround. We will have the social sharing back up soon! ^Rachel