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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Donuts

Updated: Jun 14

Gather your friends for breakfast and make these tender, sprinkle-topped chocolate cake donuts! They're vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them.


For the donuts:

  • 1 tablespoon flax meal

  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (215g) gluten-free flour blend, such as Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (30g) unsweetened dairy-free cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and liquid, but slightly cooled

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm non-dairy milk, such as soy milk or oat milk

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup (115g) powdered sugar (make sure it's gluten-free)

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free cocoa powder

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk, such as soy milk or oat milk

  • Rainbow sprinkles, to top

Special Equipment

  • Donut pan


  1. Prepare the flax "egg":   Combine the flax meal with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Let stand for 7 to 10 minutes to thicken. (This will be used as an egg replacer in this recipe.)

  2. Preheat the oven and prepare pans:   Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray two full-sized donut baking pans with nonstick cooking spray, and set them aside.

  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients:   In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt until smooth.

  4. Combine the wet ingredients:   In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the oil, flax egg, vanilla, vinegar, and non-dairy milk until smooth.

  5. Combine the dry and wet ingredients:   Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine, making sure all the dry bits are incorporated.

  6. Fill the donut pan:   Use a kitchen spoon to scoop the dough into the wells of the donut pan, stopping when each is almost full (these donuts don’t rise a ton, so I fill the indents almost to the top). The dough will be thick and sticky, so use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently press it into the indentation.

  7. Bake:   Bake donuts for 9 to 10 minutes, or until they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Cool in pan, then transfer to wire rack:   Allow donuts to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Make the glaze:   In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Be sure there aren’t any clumps, and if there are, sift the ingredients so your glaze will be smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and whisk well. You’re looking for a smooth, pourable glaze. If your glaze is too thick, add additional non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

  10. Glaze the donuts:   Cut a piece of parchment paper the same size (or slightly larger) as your wire cooling rack and place under your cooling rack to catch drips. Dip one side of each doughnut in the glaze and place glaze-side up on the cooling rack. Allow any excess to drip off.

  11. Sprinkle and serve:   While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle the tops of each donut with colorful sprinkles. Let the donuts set at room temperature for at least 25 minutes to allow the glaze to firm up. Serve immediately, or cover leftovers and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

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