Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Rich and delicious, these Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts are baked not fried and have a dark chocolate glaze before being decorated as little reindeers. Plus, these are vegan, gluten-free and easily nut-free.

I have one more festive recipe to share for Christmas 2022 before it is full-blown Veganuary mode and these doughnuts were too good to miss out on. Fear not, you can make them without the reindeer faces and they will be just as delicious, cakey and soft. With a wholesome doughnut batter, a dark chocolate dip and lots of good-for-you ingredients, these indulgent doughnuts are a great bake all year round.

Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts stacked up on a wire rack
Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts

Why will I love these doughnuts?

These chocolate bakes are delicious, they are:

  • Rich, chocolatey and indulgent
  • Light, fluffy and cakey
  • Baked not fried
  • Easy to make in one-bowl
  • Made with wholesome ingredients like nut/seed butter, yoghurt and cocoa powder
  • Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free and nut-free
  • Great to make with little ones
  • Delicious as a festive bake
  • Just as delicious all year round

If you already love the sound of these doughnuts, then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

Here’s what we need for the doughnuts:

  • Smooth runny nut or seed butter: this must be smooth and runny for the smoothest doughnuts. I love to use almond or hazelnut butter o tahini for a nut-free option. My favourite brand is KoRo for hazelnut butter and I love the Belazu tahini.
  • Maple syrup: for sweetness and moisture. You can also use agave syrup or vegan honey.
  • Plant based milk: any dairy-free milk is great here like oat, almond, rice or coconut (from the carton).
  • Lemon juice: this curdles the milk to form a buttermilk and helps to bind the batter. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: this adds moisture and fat, keeping the doughnuts light and tender. I use the original or vanilla Cocos Organic yoghurt as it is important for the bakes that the yoghurt is really thick and creamy like a Greek-style plant-based yoghurt.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Oat flour: I love adding some oat flour to regular plain flour for a boost of fibrous goodness. You can make your own oat flour by blending oats to a fine powder.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: this makes sure these baked goodies are light and fluffy. To make them gluten-free, use your preferred GF flour blend that contains a thickener like xanthan gum to hold the batter together.
  • Cocoa powder: for the chocolate richness. I use cocoa powder over cacao powder here as it is more acidic and will lead to fluffier doughnuts.
  • Baking powder and salt: baking staples.
  • Gingerbread spices: for the gingerbread spices we need ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Dark chocolate: use your favourite dark chocolate for the dipping. I love the dark pink Himalayan chocolate from Divine, which I used for this recipe.
  • Coconut oil: this allows the chocolate to set so it is shinier, smoother and less likely to crack when you bite into the doughnuts.
  • Reindeer decorations: for the reindeer faces we need some pretzels for antlers, edible sugar eyes for the eyes and glacé cherries for the noses.

How do I make these?

These doughnuts come together much like a cupcake:

  • Start by whisking together all the wet ingredients: till smooth.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and stir or whisk to a smooth batter. Do not overmix!
  • Transfer the mix to a piping bag and spin off the end: this allows you to evenly fill the doughnuts moulds.
  • Pipe the batter into the moulds: and smooth over the tops.
  • Then bake till fluffy and risen: about 13-14 minutes.
  • Allow to cool fully in the silicone moulds: they are delicate while warm.
  • Melt the chocolate and coconut oil: and pour into a large bowl.
  • Dip each doughnut into the chocolate: and allow the excess to drip off.
  • Decorate with reindeer faces: or leave as they are and enjoy.
Close up of a Reindeer Chocolate Doughnut
Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

These bakes are easily gluten-free, make sure your oats/oat flour are gluten-free and that you use your preferred 1:1 blend of gluten-free flour. To keep these nut-free, use tahini or sunflower seed butter and check that your yoghurt and chocolate are nut-free.

How long will they last?

These will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container. Note that the pretzel antlers will soften over time and the edible sugar eyes may bleed so it’s best to decorate them on the day you’re serving them. You can freeze the doughnuts, without the reindeer faces for up to 1 month and allow to defrost at room temperature.

Close up of some Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts
Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts

What else can I bake?

If you are looking for other chocolate bakes and ideas, how about my:

Close up of a Reindeer Chocolate Doughnut

Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Rich and delicious, these Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts are baked not fried and have a dark chocolate glaze before being decorated as little reindeers. Plus, these are vegan, gluten-free and easily nut-free.


For the Doughnuts:

  • 120g smooth runny almond, hazelnut butter or tahini
  • 120ml maple syrup
  • 120ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (30g) thick plant-based yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60g oat flour
  • 70g plain or GF plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Spices: ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt

For Decorating:

  • 90g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Edible sugar eyes
  • Pretzels
  • Glacé cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease 8 doughnut holes (a silicone mould works best).
  2. For the doughnuts: into a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, plant-based milk, lemon juice, yoghurt and vanilla till smooth. Add in the oat flour then sift in plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to a thick, smooth batter (it will be quite thick).
  3. To fill the moulds: transfer the mix to a piping bag and cutting off the end. Pipe the mixture into the doughnut moulds, smoothing over the tops.
  4. To bake: place in the oven for 13-14 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the moulds fully on a wire rack. Once cool, carefully lift out the doughnuts.
  5. For the glaze: melt together the chocolate and coconut oil till smooth. Dip each doughnut into the chocolate mix, allowing the excess to drip off and place on a parchment lined board.
  6. To decorate: add on eyes, pretzels and glacé cherry noses while the chocolate is still wet. Transfer to the fridge for 10 minutes to set the chocolate and enjoy.
  7. To serve and store: eat straight away or keep for 2-3 days (the pretzels will soften over time so add these just before serving). You can also freeze the doughnuts without the reindeer decorations for up to 1 month and allow to defrost at room temperature.

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I look forward to hearing what you think of these Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts so please let me know below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With reindeer doughnut love x

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