Chocolate & Espresso Doughnuts


Despite being an avid tea drinker for the majority of my life, since I entered the working world a few years ago coffee has firmly cemented itself as a ‘must have’ item to get my day off to a good start. It’s not just the caffeine (though that certainly helps!), there’s something about that silky coffee flavour that makes the world seem just that little bit better.

There are two things in the world that go incredibly with coffee – chocolate and doughnuts. Not only does coffee go beautifully with a freshly baked doughnut, but it helps bring out all that beautiful chocolate flavour. So when I dreamed up these rather delicious chocolate and espresso doughnuts this weekend, I was left wondering why I hadn’t thought of the idea sooner. It just makes sense.

I am so unbelievably in love with these doughnuts. As baked doughnuts not only are they a little healthier than their fried counterparts, but they’re much quicker and easier to make – no thermometer or heated oil required! And then there’s the flavour…

The doughnuts themselves are a beautifully simple and flavoursome chocolate, and while they’re delicious, they’re nothing special on their own. It’s the espresso and chocolate icing that really sets them apart. The bold flavours of the strongly brewed coffee bring out an incredible richness in the cocoa, while imparting a lingering hint of coffee upon the icing. I can’t get over how good they taste!

If you haven’t made baked doughnuts before, you should pop out now and grab yourself a doughnut pan – you won’t regret it. Not only are baked doughnuts delicious, but they’re super easy to make – you’ll have a batch of six prepared, baked and iced in less than 30 minutes! I picked one up last month and am so glad I did – there’s something super fun about dreaming up and making the perfect doughnuts… like these ones!

As I mentioned awhile ago, Kevin and I invested in a Nespresso machine a few months back and haven’t looked back since – it’s without a doubt my favourite kitchen appliance other than my trusty Kitchenaid. But for some inexplicit reason I’d never used it in my baking before the idea for this recipe hit me – then I felt a little silly. When you use quality ingredients the finished product is always better, so why did I keep reaching for the cheap and cheerful instant coffee when I had something so much better available at the touch of a button?

So while making these doughnuts I decided to make the most of our machine and pinched one of Kevin’s regular coffee capsules – a full-bodied, intense espresso (Ristretto in case any Nespresso drinkers are wondering!) – and brewed 25ml to use in the icing of these doughnuts. And it worked beautifully – the finished icing had this incredible flavour that lifted the doughnuts from a tasty afternoon treat to an absolute ‘must try’ recipe.

But don’t worry if you don’t have a Nespresso machine – you can still make doughnuts that taste equally as amazing! Just brew up a strong cup of your favourite, good quality coffee and use 25ml of that instead. Be sure to make the brew a little stronger than you would drink yourself – that’s when you’ll really get the punch of both chocolate and coffee coming through.

Kevin and I indulged in these doughnuts along with a coffee for afternoon tea and were blown away by how good they tasted – the doughnut itself was fluffy and flavoursome, while the icing was packed with a wonderfully smooth chocolate flavour with a lingering hint of punchy coffee. I cannot wait to make these again – I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.



Doughnuts – recipe adapted from Food Family Finds

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 15g butter, melted


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 25ml strong, good quality coffee*
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water

* I brewed 25ml of Ristretto coffee using my Nespresso machine, but your favourite good quality coffee will work beautifully.



  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius and grease doughnut pan.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add milk, egg, vanilla and butter. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Scoop mixture into a large piping bag or snaplock bag and pipe into doughnut pan, filling each cavity ½ full with batter.
  4. Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool slightly in pan before removing and placing on wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Place icing sugar and cocoa in a small bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Add prepared coffee and boiling water and stir until smooth and glossy. Icing should be thick and creamy, yet runny enough to smooth itself out again if you pour it into a bowl.
  3. Spread icing over doughnuts using an offset spatula or knife. Add sprinkles and allow to set.

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  • caitlin

    These look sooooo yummy. I was just wondering if the amount of milk was correct? 1 cup of flour to 1/4 cup milk would be super thick!

    • Kirsten

      Hi Caitlin – glad you like the look of these doughnuts! Yip, that’s the right amount of milk – the finished mixture should be nice and thick. The easiest way to get it into the pans is to pop it in a piping (or snaplock bag) and squeeze it in – you can smooth the join for a tidier look too if you want :)