Easy Chocolate Paleo Donuts Recipe With Glaze

Heather Dessinger

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Homemade paleo donuts on kitchen counter

My husband and I love to sit on our front porch on Saturday mornings, sipping deliciously brewed coffee and chatting while we watch the world wake up. Our kids usually join us one-by-one as they roll out of bed . . . often just in time to see our neighbor bring home a big box of sprinkle-covered donuts for his family.

Now, I’m all for the occasional treat along with high quality protein and veggies in the morning, but we’re a gluten-free family so the local donut shop is just not an option for us. Fortunately, these naturally sweetened paleo donuts are super easy to whip up and fun to decorate!

Unlike fried donuts made with yeast, these cake donuts are leavened with baking powder before they’re popped in the oven. I kid you not, they taste similar to the Little Debbie snack cakes we (or at least I) grew up on, only with wholesome ingredients instead of corn syrup and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).

I layer these donuts with a chocolate glaze and then let my kids decorate  their own using the topping of their choice. Here are a few ideas:

Now, on to the recipe!

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4.55 from 11 votes

Easy Chocolate Donuts Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

These double chocolate cake donuts are easy to make and fun to decorate! I kid you not, they taste very similar to the Little Debbie snack cakes we (or at least I) grew up on.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 6 donuts
Calories 318.42kcal
Author Heather Dessinger


For the donuts:

For the glaze:

  • 10 tsp butter (or sustainably-harvested palm shortening if dairy-free)
  • tsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 10 tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp water (if needed)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease your donut pan with coconut oil.
  • Mix the almond flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix the eggs, maple syrup, butter, and vanilla. Pour them into the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth.
  • Divide the batter equally into the donut pan.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
  • When the donuts are ready, remove them from the oven them to cool until comfortable enough to handle – it usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Next, gently remove them from the pan and dip them in the glaze. Top with sprinkles or chocolate chips if desired, then serve.
  • To make the glaze, place the butter, cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla in a small pot or saucepan. Heat on low while whisking until the butter is just barely melted. Use a spoon to drizzle the tops of the donuts with the glaze. If it's a little too thick to drizzle, whisk in a teaspoon of water and check the consistency. Continue adding water in 1/2 teaspoon increments until it reaches the consistency you prefer.


Serving: 1donut | Calories: 318.42kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.64g | Protein: 7.55g | Fat: 21.72g | Saturated Fat: 10.08g | Cholesterol: 123.38mg | Sodium: 152.21mg | Potassium: 210.2mg | Fiber: 3.18g | Sugar: 17.72g | Vitamin A: 361.34IU | Calcium: 97.19mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I receive about gluten-free and paleo desserts.

Can I make this recipe nut-free?

Sunflour, which is flour made from ground sunflower seeds, can often replace almond flour in a recipe, but I have not tested it in this one. If you try it please let me know how it turns out!

What kind of donut pan should I use?

I wish someone would make a cast iron option, but unfortunately the only ones I know of are non-stick donut pans and food-grade silicone donut pans. I don’t use silicone for much in my kitchen, but I think it’s worth it to be able to make these on occasion for my family.

Can I use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

Coconut flour absorbs liquid differently than almond flour and unfortunately will not work in this recipe.

More Grain-Free Recipes To Try

Chocolate Overnight Oats – Creamy, chocolatey and rich in healthy fats, this overnight oatmeal is a simple and delicious make-ahead breakfast recipe.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – These muffins are moist, cakey, and super simple to make! My daughter helped perfect the recipe, which makes them extra special in our house.

Sugar Cookies With Easy Frosting – Decorated with naturally colored sprinkles and plant-based, natural food dye, these sugar cookies are delicious and so pretty!

Fudgy Brownies – These chewy, fudgy brownies are one of my favorite recipes from Danielle of Against All Grains book, Meals Made Simple. She was kind enough to allow me to share them with you.

Grain-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies from Danielle of Against All Grain – Chewy and buttery-soft on the inside, these snickerdoodles have a crispy surface and belly warming cinnamon flavor.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies – These ooey-gooey paleo chocolate chip cookies are one of my family’s tried-and-true favorite recipes.

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homemade paleo donuts recipe

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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Recipe Rating

68 thoughts on “Easy Chocolate Paleo Donuts Recipe With Glaze”

  1. Hi Heather just wondering is it 3/4 cup of almond flour in the recipe or coconut flour? They’re different in the ingredient list versus the recipe. And I know that can make a big difference! Thanks.

    • Yes, I think that would probably work! You might need to play with the baking time a little, but be careful because they dry out in the oven pretty easily!

  2. I can’t wait to try these – I have had a hankering for doughnuts for a while now and was so excited to see this post. That dessert book looks like a treasure trove of recipes that I need in my kitchen! Thanks for sharing this recipe and I can’t wait to make them myself.

    — Katie

  3. These looks so yummy! We are on gaps and my husband misses donut’s so much! i would love to make these! I have a question about the donut pan. I have only seen them made out of aluminum. And we try to avoid aluminum. We would not make these daily so using aluminum would be a compromise. Any one else have ideas on this? Or is there another donut pan option?

    • Another option is silicon. I’ve been skeptical of using it but had to out of necessity once or twice. According to a chemist who is in the traditional food movement, it’s more similar to glass or sand in composition than plastic.

        • Hello,

          I have found Silikomart to be the best from what I have tried. It’s made in Italy, so they have better manufacturing standards than somewhere like China.

          Cheaper silicone bakeware can contain traces of lead (left behind from the production process) or other cheaper fillers. Your silicone bakeware should pass the “pinch test” (you can google it). Silikomart is the only one I have ever bought that actually does.

    • 4 stars
      Try ceramic. I have several ceramic baking dishes in various styles. I love the CasaWare brand as they have red, my kitchen color.
      I’m keto/diabetic, so with a few small changes, I think I could make these work. I just have to find a substitute for the arrowroot powder.

  4. Hi Heather,

    2 questions, do you know if cocoa powder is GAPS legal? I think I’ve seen conflicting views on this. Also, what kind of vanilla did you use when your family was on GAPS? Is there a way to make it without using alcohol? Thanks! I have go to figure out a way to make these donuts! 🙂 Megan

    • Cocoa is considered legal after intro if it’s well-tolerated. I make my own with alcohol so I’m not sure on a brand – The Urban Poser would know!

  5. Would it be possible to make these using a different flour? I don’t have almond flour and would have to order it. I don’t think the stores around me carry it. Thanks!

    • You can make almond flour by using a food processor. Just be careful not to turn it into butter. For a finer flour, you can use a coffee grinder. I believe one cup of almonds yields one cup of flour.

  6. I made these today and they were so wonderful. Used chocolate ganache for the icing, soy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips and cream. Delicious!

  7. Score! my little boy has been talking about doughnuts lately. I’m grain-free now so I haven’t mastered sourdough yet. Thanks for this post!

  8. I love your recipes, however my son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, all dairy, and eggs. Do you have any suggestions for replacements in baking? I would like to try some of the recipes.


  9. Hi Heather,
    My 3 year old daughter is allergic to coconut and almond. I would love to bake for her but I don’t really know what’s the next best thing I can use? I noticed you mainly use coconut oil and almond flour. Do you have any suggestions what I can use?

  10. Ok, please tell me. Do you have a good brand of a donut pan to use? These non-stick pans don’t really seem ideal. Do you have one you can recommend?

    • Hi Becky! I’ve not found a cast iron pan, which is what I would prefer. However, based on my research I think silicon is closer to glass in nature than plastic (in that it’s not leaching). I don’t use it for anything in my kitchen except for gummy stars and donuts, but I think it’s worth it to be able to make these things for my family!

      • If you’re looking for cast iron, an Aebleskiver pan will work in a pinch, but they will be doughnut holes instead of doughnut shaped.

        If you’re going with silicone, always use the “pinch test” to check for potentially harmful fillers in your bakeware. It’s not exactly the most scientific test, but in the absence of access to a full analytical chemistry lab it’s your best bet. Silicone bakeware made in Europe is usually better quality. Their production standards tend to be higher than many other countries. Silicone is only non-leaching if it is actually 100% silicone.

  11. Just found your site…love it already! What r the properties of the almond flour? Does it make or break a recipe? It’s so expensive and my family is not grain free. I wanted to try just wheat flour w the doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate muffins. I have and love all the other ingredients. Any guess as to give it a try or do u think it’ll b a waste of ingredients (money). Thank you!

  12. These are awesome! I had 100% cacao special dark cocoa powder so these came out super decadent! I had leftover melted chocolate and mini chips and brushed on the melted chocolate a sprinkled the chips for my daughters donuts. For mine I brushed on the chocolate and topped with toasted coconut. Amazing! Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. When ” folding” the egg whites into the very stiff (gloppy 🙂 ) flour mixture, it seems all the benifit of the fluffing goes away. I had to really cream them together to get the lumps out of the batter. Does this seem right?

  14. Hi Heather, just wondering if you choose a gluten-free lifestyle due to celiac or just because of modern preparations of wheat. Are you familiar with sourdough and creating a wild yeast starter to make sourdough bread and other recipes? Many people (including myself!) whose systems don’t respond well to wheat do just fine with wild yeast sourdoughs. As a fermented product, it’s highly nutritious. So our modern issue isn’t really wheat’s problem, it’s modern food industrialization’s problem. Wild fermented sourdough is a traditional food and modern lifestyles that complete exclude it and most other grains are essentially cutting out so many nutrients from their diets. On another note, questions are being raised about diets heavy in almond flour, not only because of the intense processing of that industry, but bc such a high demand to grow almonds is extremely taxing on the environment as they require a TON of labor and energy input to grow. Anyways, DaNelle from Weed em and Reap has a ton of information on traditionally prepared sourdoughs and your readers (and you!) might really benefit from the info! For me, it was so eye-opening and our naturally-minded household enjoys sourdough daily.

  15. You mentioned arrowroot powder in the recipe. I didn’t see you mention it to mix in with the dry ingredients. Was it meant to be added to the dry ingredients? I hope I didn’t miss some thing. Getting ready to put my donuts in the oven. 🙂

  16. I have made these two weeks in a row and it is a huge hit. Not too sweet in taste and very moist. My mini donut molds make 20-22 donuts. I learned not too fill up the mold to the rim. We use vegan GF sprinkles which makes for a beautiful donut.

    Edit request – in step #2, please include the tapioca/arrowroot flour in the instructions. It’s in the ingredients but not directions. Key ingredient!

  17. Would love to try these, but my husband is diabetic. Would I be able to use Xylitol or Monk Fruit/Erythritol combo instead of maple syrup? I need LOW carb everything for him, especially if he’s going to use some of his tiny carb allowance for a snack. Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    This is the second time I’ve made these yummy donuts! Still surprises me how fluffy they turn out! I used raw honey instead of the maple syrup just cuz I had more of it but used CDN maple syrup in the glaze plus changed up the vanilla with orange extract instead.

    … Not sure I can save them till Easter, though… May have to do this again, because they actually were very simple to make!

  19. Can these be made without the cacao powder by adding something else in? I’d like to make some more but have run out of cacao powder.