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Chocolate Espresso Donuts Recipe

Chocolate Espresso Breakfast Donuts

  • Author: Michelle Verkade
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 7-8 donuts 1x


These baked chocolate donuts have brewed espresso in the batter and chopped espresso beans on top of the rich, chocolate glaze. You can have your morning cup of coffee and eat it too.


Units Scale

For the Donuts:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp brewed espresso (or strong coffee, cooled to room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp brewed espresso (or strong coffee, cooled to room temperature)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder

For the Topping:

  • Crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans


1. Prepare the Donut Pan and Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Grease a donut pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Mix until well combined and set aside.

3. Prepare Wet Ingredients:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brewed espresso (or strong coffee), and half & half.

4. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures:

  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  • Mix until just combined, ensuring not to overmix. The batter will be fairly thick.

5. Add Remaining Ingredients:

  • Stir in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and melted butter until the batter is smooth and well-combined.

6. Fill Donut Pan and Bake:

  • Carefully pour the batter into the greased donut pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full. (The batter should yield about 7-8 donuts.)
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes, or until the tops of the donuts spring back when lightly touched.

7. Prepare the Chocolate Glaze:

  • While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.
  • Gradually add the brewed espresso (or coffee) and heavy cream, whisking continuously until smooth.

8. Glaze and Top the Donuts:

  • Once the donuts have slightly cooled, dip the top of each donut into the chocolate glaze, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Sprinkle with the crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans.
  • Allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes.

9. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Once the glaze has set, serve the donuts immediately and enjoy!


  1. Espresso Powder vs. Coffee: If you don’t have espresso powder on hand, you can skip it. The donuts will still have a rich chocolate-coffee flavor, especially if you use strong coffee. Espresso powder simply intensifies the coffee flavor.
  2. Donut Pan Alternatives: If you don’t have a donut pan, you can use a muffin tin to make donut “muffins”. The baking time might vary slightly, so keep an eye on them.
  3. Storing: Store any leftover donuts in an airtight container at room temperature. They’re best eaten within 1-2 days for optimal freshness.
  4. Dairy Substitutions: If you don’t have half & half, you can make a substitute by mixing equal parts of milk and heavy cream. Additionally, if you’re looking for a dairy-free version, almond or oat milk can be used, and coconut cream can be an alternative to heavy cream in the glaze.
  5. Sweetness Level: The glaze provides additional sweetness to the donuts. If you prefer less sweet donuts, you can reduce the amount of granulated sugar slightly in the donut batter.
  6. Texture: The sour cream in the recipe helps to give the donuts a moist and tender crumb. If you don’t have sour cream, plain yogurt (preferably full-fat) can be a good substitute.
  7. Glazing Tip: Place a wire rack over a baking sheet or parchment paper when glazing the donuts. This setup will catch any drips and make cleanup easier.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 9 min
  • Category: Breakfast, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 donut
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Sodium: 160mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg

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