A decadent holiday breakfast or dessert, Chocolate Peppermint Baked Donuts are soft and tender, with a rich chocolate glaze and crushed candy canes on top!
December is here and the countdown is on, my friends! What say we celebrate all-things-holiday with some cheery Chocolate Peppermint Baked Donuts?!
I've been immensely enjoying my donut pans since I bought them this past summer, but I'd venture to say that my family loves them even more. Why wouldn't they? Because even though they're clearly dessert material, chocolate-glazed, crushed candy-sprinkled donuts technically fall into the breakfast category, right? 😉
I have always been a fan of the chocolate + mint combo, and around the holidays, candy canes are an especially fun and festive way to dress up a variety of treats. I added a double-chocolate-whammy of cocoa powder and melted chocolate chips to my basic baked donut recipe, and I added some peppermint extract for a nice, minty undertone. Then I made a simple chocolate glaze in which to dip the donuts and topped 'em with a shower of crushed candy canes. The resulting donuts were fun, festive, and almost too pretty to eat.
Granted, you could always make a run to the donut shop the next time you get the urge to start your morning on a sugar high. Orrrrr, you could stay in your jammies and enjoy these Chocolate Peppermint Baked Donuts instead! Now I'm not going to claim that these are "healthy" by any stretch of the imagination -- because they're obviously what we call a "sometimes treat" at my house -- but at least we can say they're baked instead of fried.
For optimal flavor and texture, baked donuts are best served relatively soon after you make them. That's not a big deal if you're making these for dessert. But if you really do want to serve these for a special breakfast, you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to do so. I recommend baking the donuts the evening before. Then in the morning, it'll only take a few minutes to whip up the glaze, crush the candy canes, and finish them up. I can promise you this...your kids (or spouse...or overnight houseguests...) will think you hung the moon!
So celebrate the season with a batch of Chocolate Peppermint Baked Donuts! They'll thrill your family and impress your friends. Or -- best idea yet! -- take a donut (on a little Christmas/holiday plate) to each child's teacher one morning for a surprise treat! Because if anyone deserves a donut, it's a teacher whose students are being sent to school after having eaten candy canes for breakfast. 😉
More Candy Cane Treats
Chocolate Peppermint Baked Donuts
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips, approximately 6 ounces, melted and slightly cooled
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 3 tablespoons butter, I recommend salted but unsalted is also fine
- 1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Crushed candy canes
- Adjust oven racks to center position and preheat oven to 425°F. Spray two 6-cavity donut pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and the cornstarch. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt until well blended. Stir in the milk, eggs, butter, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract, then blend in the melted chocolate chips until the batter is smooth and combined, but do not over-mix. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared donut pans.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until the tops of the donuts spring back when lightly touched. Allow donuts to cool for 5 minutes in pans before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
- Once the donuts are cool, prepare the glaze. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and melt together the butter and corn syrup. Remove the pot from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring until they are smooth and completely melted. Stir in the vanilla. If necessary, transfer to a bowl for dipping (or you can dip the donuts directly into the pot).
- While the glaze is still warm and thin, dip one face of each donut into the glaze. Place glaze-side-up on a plate or cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes (if the glaze starts to harden, they won't stick). For optimal flavor and texture, serve sooner than later. 🙂
- My donuts rose quite a bit and some of them slightly overflowed into the center "holes." Once the donuts were cool and before I glazed them, I took a sharp pointy knife and cut out the excess donut from the center to make sure each one had a hole.
- These donuts are best enjoyed fresh, but if you'd like to make them in advance, the donuts may be baked up to a day ahead of time. Then just before serving, make the glaze, dip them, and garnish with candy canes.
- I have had mixed results preparing this glaze in the microwave...sometimes it turns out great and sometimes it's lumpy. So for consistently good results, I recommend making it as directed in the recipe and stirring in the chocolate chips off the heat. You may also use mini chocolate chips for even easier/quicker melting.