Oh Christmas morning. When I was little, I used to sleep in my big brother’s room the night before Christmas. We’d wake up obscenely early and giggle and peer down the shadowy staircase; waiting for our parents to wake up. When our whispers started tending towards shrieks and tiptoes to the thumping of running back and forth between our rooms, my dad would blearily emerge from his room, wrapping his robe around him. We lived in Wisconsin, so things like robes and slippers were necessities.


Mom and I waited upstairs while the boys went down to stoke the fire, make hot chocolate (and coffee) and get everything ready. And when I say “we waited upstairs,” I mean Mom took her time getting her robe and everything while I sat on the topmost stair in footy pajamas, bouncing my knees up and down in anticipation. It may be the case that I would steal down a few stairs until chastised and I would then scamper back on up, but I admit to nothing.


Nowadays my brother has to work during the holidays, so Christmas mornings are spent with just my mother and myself.* Since I am technically an adult and don’t have an upstairs, we just mosey on out and make coffee and whatnot.

This year, my dad and my step-mom are coming in to meet us for a big Christmas lunch, so I’ve been thinking about what that “whatnot” should be to have with coffee in the morning. We don’t need anything super heavy because of lunch later on, but it should still be a little special and fun. So I came up with these baked doughnuts to dunk in coffee as we dig into our stockings — a treat that will leave room for all kinds of tasty Christmas goodness later on. The doughnut is moist, light and chocolatey, without being too sweet. The icing is a little peppermint-ey and a nice bright touch on top of the doughnut.

And here’s my tip about getting the icing that pretty white color — White White Icing Color. The icing is just as tasty without it, but melted white chocolate tends towards a translucent, yellow color. The white icing color whitens it up and gives it that nice opaque finish.


Chocolate Peppermint Baked Doughnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe By:
Serves: 10
  • Doughnuts:
  • 1¼ C Flour
  • ⅓ C Cocoa Powder
  • ½ C Brown Sugar
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ C Buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 4 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • Glaze:
  • 2 Tbsp Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Corn Syrup
  • 2 oz White Chocolate
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Peppermint Extract
  • White White Icing Color, optional
  • Red Decorating Sugar or Sprinkles, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a doughnut pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  4. When the oven is at temperature, whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fill the doughnut pan three-quarters full.
  5. Bake in the 375ºF oven for 10 minutes. When the doughnuts come out of the oven, turn them out onto a wire rack to cool. Re-grease and fill the pan with any extra batter and bake.
  6. While the doughnuts are cooling, melt the glaze cream, butter and corn syrup.
  7. Finely chop the white chocolate or give it a good blitz in a food processor or mini food processor. Pour the hot butter mixture over the white chocolate and stir or process until the white chocolate has fully melted.
  8. If desired, stir in some white white icing color to create a white, opaque glaze.
  9. Dip each doughnut in the glaze and then sprinkle the doughnuts with the red sugar. Let the doughnuts sit for at least 30 minutes to let the glaze set before serving.
*my mother questioned the use of “myself” in this sentence. For tips on using reflexive pronouns, see here.