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Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts 04

© David James Di Pardo – 2015

I love the versatility of donuts, and the fact that they’re easy to transport makes them an easy choice for bringing to pot lucks or get-togethers. No frosting clinging to plastic wrap, or cupcakes toppling over in the car. There were a few instances where i got creative and tried to use pillows and seat belts to safely secure a pedestal cake stand to the passenger seat, this is just so much easier. Every time I make donuts I think of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality shoving donuts down her dress, and I have a little chuckle in the kitchen. While that seems like a legit way to transport donuts, I should point out that tupperware works pretty good too.

I had been toying with the idea of Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts for over a year. I had a couple of draft ideas typed up on my iPad, but had never gotten around to testing them out. Seeing as we were invited over to a friend’s house this past weekend for a game night, and guacamole and nachos where on the menu, I figured a dessert with a little Mexican flair might be appropriate. They were a hit. Hubby actually claims they are the best donuts I’ve prepared to date, which he mentioned in between mouthfuls as he inhaled his second donut.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts 06

© David James Di Pardo – 2015

I decreased the amount of sugar used in some of my other donuts recipes and increased the amount of spice using both cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Before you move on to another page in disgust, let me tell you that chili and chocolate is actually quite a common pairing. Also the amount of cayenne in these is quite small, just enough to give some subtle after notes of heat without making them spicy. You can definitely increase the amount of chili if you’d like these to have more a kick to them, however I think this amount is perfect if you want just a gentle backdrop of spice to them while keeping these kid approved.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts 08

© David James Di Pardo – 2015

The topping is simply grated hot chocolate tablets. We always have Abuelita Hot Chocolate tablets in the pantry, and in this case a little really goes I long way. I only used about a 10th of the tablet to top these off. If you want to omit the grated chocolate you could give these a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar which would give a similar effect.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts

Makes about 15 donuts


  • 1/3 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing the donut trays
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • Finely grated Mexican hot chocolate tablet (such as Abuelita, optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F and brush 3 six-mold donut trays with canola oil and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together canola oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Add dry mixture to wet and fold to combine with a silicone spatula until just a few clumps of the dry mixture remain. Add the hot water and continue to gently fold batter until the ingredients are combined and smooth.

Using a small scoop or tablespoon fill each donut cavity with 2 tablespoons of batter and spread evenly.

Bake for 16 minutes rotating the trays halfway through the baking time.

Let your donuts cool in the molds for 5 minutes before un-molding and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15-20 minutes longer.

To make the glaze, in a shallow bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick add more milk as needed until the desired consistency is achieved, adding half a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Dip the donuts in the glaze making sure to coat one side completely and allow excess to drip off. Place on a cooling rack positioned over a baking sheet to catch the excess glaze. Dust with a fine grating of Mexican chocolate if using, and allow the the glaze to set for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Glazed donuts will keep at room temperature in an airtight container separated with layers of parchment paper for up to 3 days.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts 07

© David James Di Pardo – 2015