Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts (nut-free!)

May 24, 2014 in Categories: , by

Print Friendly

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or read my Newsletter, then you know that I recently started CrossFit.  I didn’t jump in from nothing:  I had been working out with my husband (at my local YMCA in a group exercise class called “Pure Muscle” that was an hour of lifting lightweight dumbbells) since January and had been doing yoga for years before that.   I’ve been happy to see myself get stronger, but lately I’ve been craving more intense workouts and just plain ol’ more frequent workouts.

So on a whim, just over two weeks ago, I walked into a local box, CrossFit Dwala, and introduced myself.   I did my first On-Ramp class a few days later, and then I was hooked.  While my husband decided that it wasn’t for him and he would be happier continuing with the same classes at the Y, I quickly found that this was exactly what both my body and mind were craving.

I’ve been Paleo for 2.5 years.  From the outside, I was always intrigued with CrossFit (the whole “functional movement” thing makes a lot of sense to me), but always saw it as something for elite athletes, young people, and certainly not for someone battling with three autoimmune diseases and just struggling to maintain her weight loss.  Even six months ago, I (secretly) felt that people who did CrossFit 5 or 6 times per week were crazy; but now, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.  Granted, I slowly built up a good base of strength and endurance before starting, I’m already feeling great doing CrossFit this frequently.  I even arranged some personal training at my box during the weekend because the thought of going two whole days without a WOD was terrifying.  I plan to go do Murph on Memorial Day (scaled of course), and if you’re in the CrossFit community, you know what that means.  I’m already feeling stronger, and I have more energy than I’ve had in, well, in about a year… since before those last crazy over-the-top-stressful six months working on The Paleo Approach.  Expect more posts on my CrossFit journey.

What does my newfound CrossFit obsession have to do with doughnuts, you ask?  There’s actually a direct link.  Tonight, my box is having their first Paleo Potluck.  When the owner, Jake, invited me, he asked if I could bring a Paleo-friendly dessert.  Actually, he was quite adamant that that was what I should bring.  I guess he doesn’t bake?  Or maybe I have a reputation for amazing desserts?  Or maybe Jake just has an insatiable sweet tooth?  Either way, it’s a special request that I am quite happy to oblige!  At first, I mentally catalogued every dessert recipe I’ve ever created to figure out which would be the best for a potluck.  And then, I had this crazy thought: even though I’m super busy finishing up The Paleo Approach Cookbook and really shouldn’t be spending any time doing recipe development right now when there is all this editing to do, wouldn’t it be awesome to finally work on that doughnut recipe I’ve been thinking of?  Call it procrastination, call it inspiration, call it any excuse to make something with chocolate, but there you have it: the origin of the chocolate-glazed chocolate doughnut recipe.

Yes, this is another recipe using the almighty green plantain (also known as raw bananas is some parts of the world).  The baking chemistry of green plantains beats out nut flours any day of the week.  Scroll down to the bottom for a YouTube video I made about what these are and how to peel them!  Is there a substitute for green plantain?  Some people have had success with very green bananas in my plantain recipes.  I haven’t tried, so I don’t know if that would work here.  Hypothetically, you could mix plantain flour and water to the consistency of pureed plantain (sorta like thick hummus) and use that, but again, I haven’t tried.

I’ve made these with lard (leaf lard that I rendered from Tendergrass Farms, so awesome for baking! and super cool that Tendergrass Farms will soon be selling already rendered lard too!), palm shortening (ethical and sustainable Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions) and ghee (I’ve discovered that the cultured grass-fed ghee from both Pure India Foods and from Mama Sattva work even for my crazy casein-sensitive daughter) and all work very well.  I’m confident that butter would work too and I think coconut oil would be okay (but would probably yield a chewier texture since that’s what coconut oil does in cakey things).  Coconut oil would be fine for the glaze though, just know it might be extra gooey if your room temperature is over 73F.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can completely customize the sweetness.  I used bittersweet (72%) chocolate for the doughnuts and went super decadent and used semisweet (54%) for the glaze.  You could scale the sweetness down for a very Paleo-adapted palate (say use 80% or 85% for the doughnuts and 72% for the glaze–but note that the recipe as is is not overly sweet) or scale the sweetness up if you’re making for a non-Paleo crowd (say semisweet for both the doughnuts and the glaze).  I always look for organic, fair-trade chocolate with unrefined sugars (typically evaporated cane juice or maple sugar) that’s also completely soy-free.  Fortunately, there are more and more brands to choose from (or my local stores are getting wise to the fact that there’s a market).

I used a mini-doughnut maker for these, one that a friend picked up for me for $2.50 at a garage sale. You could also use a doughnut pan and bake these in the oven.  I’m guessing 7-8 minutes at 375F (if you try this, please comment on this post to let everyone know how it turned out).

So, without further adieu, here’s my recipe.  If you make it tonight, you’ll be enjoying it along with everyone at my CrossFit box’s Paleo Potluck!

Yield: 12 mini doughnuts.


Ingredients (Doughnuts):

  1. Peel and quarter plantain and put in a blender with the eggs.  Puree until completely smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and lard together.  Now would also be a good time to plug in your mini-doughnut maker.
  3. Add vanilla bean, baking soda and salt to the plantain-egg mixture in the blender.  Blend a few seconds to combine.
  4. Turn blender on low, remove the little insert in the lid so you can pour stuff in.  Slowly pour the warm chocolate-lard mixture into the blender and keep blending until it’s entirely incorporated.
  5. Once mini-doughnut maker is pre-heated, pour the batter into each well, filling to exactly level with the top of the well.  Close the lid and cook for 6 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove and let cool on a wire cooling wrack before glazing.  Repeat with remaining batter.


Ingredients (Glaze):

  1. Melt chocolate and ghee together, stirring well.  Place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Carefully dip one side of each doughnut into the warm chocolate (if it starts to cool, it will coat the doughnuts more thickly and end up more like frosting than a glaze). Place doughnuts glaze-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone liner.
  3. Cool to room temperature (or hurry it up in the fridge or freezer) and enjoy.

You can store these doughnuts in the fridge, but then warm them up to room temperature before eating.

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:



Hi, I live in Australia and we don’t have plantains here. Can I substitute with banana…. How much! Thanks Danielle

Sarah notes in the post that very green bananas might work, but she can’t guarantee that because she hasn’t tried it herself. You would use one banana for every plantain. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I did not have success with the greenest of traditional banana. The traditional banana is not starchy enough and the texture is dense, unless you add egg.

As you see in the video, plantains are larger. I’d use at least 1.5 banana per plantain, or more. Plantains are quite heavy…to me they seem a little denser than a banana.

Hi Danielle,
I am in Melbourne and was able to find plantains in an Asian store yesterday. You may try an Indian store as well. Hope that helps.

I also live down under and have been substituting plantains for very green bananas and it works well. I find the really green bananas are often tiny and I work on roughly one cup chopped equals one plantain. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but they work great in the brownie recipe. Good luck!

I am from Australia too. You can buy plantains from So Crisp in Brisbane. They deliver to certain areas. Phone or text Geoff on 0419773564. He may be able to advise you where to get them in other states.

I’m curious about the egg substitute as well. My children have an egg allergy. We usually substitute with applesauce.

Can I safely assume that another fat such as coconut oil could be subbed for the lard, for a kosher alternative?

I don’t have a mini donut maker, but I have a donut pan. Do you have any suggestions for making these in the oven? They sound yummy!

For a donut pan, I did 375 for 10 minutes on the top rack. They seem to have turned out well. Disappointed they still taste like plantains.

I wonder if adding some more vanilla and some cinnamon would help conceal the taste? They obviously wouldn’t be pure chocolate then but I do find cinnamon covers up a lot. And if you could do nightshades you could add a pinch of cayenne and call them Mexican chocolate donuts!

I added cinnamon and it was delicious! Although I used banana instead of plantain. You could still taste the banana but the chocolate and cinamon help a lot.

Has anyone had a chance to see how long these stay fresh? I know “regular” donuts need to be consumed relatively quickly. I’m thinking about making a large batch of these for my wedding, but want to make sure they won’t go stale!

Hi Paleo Mom, I too have an autoimmune condition and when I majorly flaired a few years ago I had to stop working out completely. I’m back to moving again but no where near where I was. I would love to do something like cross fit but I’m unsure of how to start. I’m pretty limited. Do you have any recs for someone starting at basically zero whose nervous system sort of over heats when I go too far / too long w workouts?

I made these with banana because I didn’t have plantain. And I didn’t have a donut pan or maker so I made a loaf with it. It was delicious! I cooked it in a glass loaf pan for roughly 25 mins at 375. Might have to invest in a real donut pan to really trick myself but it was do yummy!

I used a regular doughnut pan – the recipe made 6. I also baked them at 375 for 10 minutes. They turned out great! No disappointment in taste – I served to hubby with no clue to ingredients and got no negative feedback from him. I spooned the glaze on rather than dipped, as I am not that handy with the dipping technique. I am going to try vanilla extract next time for a more budget conscious effort. Definitely a keeper!

What type of plantains? We have quite a few plantain trees in our yard but they are Chinese plantains (we live in Panama) and they are used differently than other plantains.

These are awesome!!! I made mine in a large donut pan in the oven for 10 min at 375, since I do not own a doughnut maker. They turned out perfect!! I I’m glad I used the dark chocolate for the donut, it completely satisfied the craving without making me want to eat them all at once like when I use the sweeter chocolates. So easy to make too, I would totally makes these again! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

So I’m in Australia plantains where I am but my fabgrocer sells banana flour… Could this possibly be plantain? I’ve been searching and reading and research in….I feel like a detective

I made these tonight in a mini doughnut pan. Oven was 350* 10 minutes and I made 22 doughnuts probably could have made 25 but overfilled some. A piping bag will help for next time! And yes they are that good!!!! Adjusted sweetness to put family taste tasted plantain purée after added honey but before eggs. Easy to adjust.

I made these this afternoon. And because I do not have any doughnut pans, I decided to make mini muffins out of them. They were so good. Yes, it was quite hard to find plantains. I finally found some yellow ones at a Walmart neighborhood market and bought 10. And because it was so close to my favorite Asian market, I decided to stop by there to get something and there they were. An abundance of green ones. I got 6 more. I used the yellow plantains. Used a few drops of vanilla extract then a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, it is/was good and you don’t taste the banana at all. I want to try making this without the chocolate. Will post how it turns out. Thank you for sharing. Now I need to find a doughnut pan.

I just made these. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. I also added about 1/2 tbs cocoa powder and a little espresso powder to the batter instead of the vanilla. I made 12 mini donuts and 4 cupcakes. Baked 375 – 10 min for the donuts and 15 min for the cupcakes. My non paleo family liked them.

I followed the recipe as closely as I could, but did have to make some minor adjustments. Used a yellow/half-black plantain because that is what was available, a mini-bundt cake pan (so cute), and in the oven at 375*F for 8 mins. The oven cooking worked wonderfully! My cake pan had 12 mini-bundt cake slots so I filled them equally, which worked out to halfway full.

One thing I wish was more clear is how big a “large” plantain is. I picked out the largest plantain in the store, the fruit without peel weighed in at 230g. If there is a guideline for how big a plantain needs to be to be considered large I couldn’t find it on this website. This is my first time ever cooking plantains, it turned out well 🙂

Just made these with my donut pans and they are fantastic!! 375 for 10 minutes for my 12 minis and I had leftover for 2 regular size donuts 12 minutes. Thanks!! PS. so glad you have used the donut maker I picked up for you. 🙂

I have a question Paleomom. I can tolerate egg yolks but not whites. How does that translate to baking? Can I use just the yolks in place of the whites or should I add some gelatin?

I got my doughnut pan at Target. It has 6 slots for doughnuts and this recipe made 8 good sized doughnuts (not the minis). It worked out very well baking them at 375 for 8 mins. I coated the pan with butter and they came out very easily. This recipe is very easy, fast, and fun to make…and this was my first paleo/plantain baking experience! And they looked just like the picture!!

they are delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-) they’re good sized and awesome! all you need is a donut maker and some ingredients!!!!

Is there any need to worry about non-stick coating chemicals leaching onto the food? Baking pans, the donut maker linked above, waffle makers – so many with non-stick coatings and hard to find options that don’t have the non-stick coating.

Also, I can readily find plantains, but not organic plantains. Any issues with using non-organic plantains?

Many thanks!

I love this recipe!! With the batter I made 11 mini muffins in a silicone tray and baked at 375F for 15 mins and they turned out great. I haven’t had a muffin in years and they taste like the real thing. I made avocado chocolate cream for the topping and it went together perfectly. So excited!
THANK YOU Paleo Mom!!

This is the type of alteration I was looking for not having a donut maker myself. Thanks! I was about to dump these in my waffle maker 🙂

I tried these in my waffle maker (worked ok), in the microwave in silicone (got crazy puffy), in the oven in glass muffin pan (rose beautifully and then fell into hockey pucks).

I got the best product when I greased the individual glass ramekins (3″ deep) and microwaved them for 2 mins and flipped them out on a cooling rack. they looked like store bought chocolate muffins. any time we wanted one we popped it in the toaster oven on a short toast cycle and it was absolute perfection!!! This is a great lower sugar kid-fooler.

First of all THANK YOU!!! I baked these at 375 for 10 minutes and it was perfect. Also, I substituted gelatin and hot water for eggs and they are fantastic!

THESE WERE AMAZING. 10 minutes at 375 in a donut pan and used enjoy life chips as the chocolate. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for them because any other paleo baked good I’ve had has not turned out well but these are an absolute A++++++. I might try to experiment with making pumpkin donuts soon.

Love love love! I’ve made these as doughnut holes and muffins, the batter is great!! I’m so excited to keep playing with plantain baking now!

The Sunbeam donut maker was on my Christmas list just so I could try these. I made them exactly to the recipe with one exception. I hate the astringency of green plantains so I used a very ripe one. Turned out PERFECT! Love, love, love these! Thank you so much for this grain-free nut-free recipe.

These were fantastic. I had great success using butter in place of the lard, and using 1/2 tsp vanilla extract instead of the bean. I baked mine at 375* for around 10 minutes. My new favorite choc donut recipe. Thanks!

Wow! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I love science and cooking/ baking but am so grateful as I’m just starting this sometimes overwhelming way of life to have someone whose done an enormous amount of legwork! My family thanks you.

Thanks for all the alternatives you listed for ingredients they were very helpful i used the ghee butter worked great .These donuts are the Best!!!!!!!!! and the fastest
easiest recipe wow never thought cooking with plantain could be this good
thanks so much for this recipe will be a favorite in the house

I’m definitely trying this if I can find plantains never even seen one before 🙂 Newbie here. Can you tell me what the caloric count is? Although I’m losing too much weight so can afford to gain some. Can you substitute something for eggs to make AIP friendly?

Great video on plantains! I thought I knew all about them but learned a lot more from this. Can’t wait to try these donuts even though I’m not paleo.

Can you taste the plantains bc I have made deserts with plantains before and you could taste them a lot. It wasn’t good at all

Amazing, I never thought plantains could be used like this, they are great for diabetes btw I have them as a sabzi ( Indian vegetarian dish) and will now have them for dessert, using ghee of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *