Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake Donuts with Toasted Coconut

October 24, 2012

When I first started working at my company, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my coworkers made it his duty to bring in a box of donuts every Friday. For weeks, the entire company thrived off this luxury, looking forward to our sugary pastry marking the end of the week. Then, one day, the donuts were gone. They stopped coming.

I began to suffer withdrawal. I NEEDED a sweet pastry on Friday mornings, otherwise, it would feel like the day was endless and the weekend was far, far away. With no donuts to placate me, this past Friday was torture.

So you know what I did first thing last Saturday morning?

I made donuts:

These are chocolate cake donuts topped with vanilla frosting and toasted coconut, a knockoff of one of my favorite store-bought donuts. I forget how easy it is to make cake donuts -- it's almost like making cupcakes, with no need to worry about centers collapsing and no fussing about with deep fryers. All you need is a donut pan.

While the original recipe called for flavoring the donuts with vanilla, I noticed a near-empty bottle of Grand Marnier and felt inspired to add the orange-flavored liqueur instead. I do love chocolate-orange as a flavor combination, and thought it would add a unique, complementary flavor to the toasted coconut. The result was wonderful -- not boozy at all, with just a little bit of an orange scent. And that's all I need.

I'll definitely be bringing these donuts in for my coworkers this Friday, just in case anybody else suffers from the same withdrawal I do :-D.

Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake Donuts with Toasted Coconut
(Adapted from Shutterbean)




Special Equipment:

For the Chocolate Cake Donuts: 
(makes 6 donuts)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (or vanilla) 

For the Toasted Coconut & Orange Topping:
(enough for 6 donuts)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier (or vanilla)



For the Chocolate Cake Donuts:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 (F) and prepare your donut pan by apply a generous coating each donut cavity with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.

  4. Add the liquid mixture (from step 3) to the flour mixture (from step 2), whisk until blended & smooth.

  5. Spoon batter into your piping (or Ziploc) bag. Cut off the corner and squeeze the batter into the prepared donut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full. DO NOT OVERFILL.

  6. Bake for about 13 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed.

  7. Cool donuts in the pan on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the Toasted Coconut & Orange Topping:
  1. Toast 1 cup coconut flakes on the stovetop in a medium frying pan until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and 1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier until sugar is completely dissolved. 

  3. Use immediately to glaze donuts by dipping one half of the donut on the bowl. Sprinkle on cooled toasted coconut flakes immediately.



  1. Yummy!!!! Beautiful images too! I don't know if I'd be brave enough to try making these, but they sure do look fun!

  2. Wow, I'm impressed--never felt I would be able to MAKE donuts! I don't eat grains or dairy anymore but have seen some raw vegan "donut holes" etc... love the chocolate/orange/almond flavor combo!

  3. These look beautiful! Plus, I love baked doughnuts. They're so much easier than the fried ones! Who has time for all that frying?


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