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Vegan Thin Mint Donuts (Gluten Free and Sugar Free options)

Take the rich, dark chocolate and minty flavors of a Thin Mint cookie, combine them with a light and fluffy baked donut, then smother the whole thing with a crisp chocolate shell, and what do you get??  Your new favorite sweet treat, of course!

Close up of one donut with a bite taken out of it

Friends, I have a confession – I am OBSESSED with Thin Mints.  One of the first things I made when I started my vegan/gluten free baking journey were these Copycat Thin Mint Cookies, since I knew I needed a perfect recipe for them so that I could keep in my freezer at all times.  But I am insatiable when it comes to Thin Mints, and that wasn’t enough.  I needed more variations of these.

I needed – Thin Mint Donuts.

Thus this donut journey began, and oh my goodness am I grateful it did!  Now my freezer has a dozen Thin Mint Cookies AND a dozen Thin Mint Donuts, and I’ve never been happier.  The extra fun thing about this donut is if you (or someone else you’re baking for) is not a fan of mint, it’s easy to leave off the mint flavor – or add only to part of the batter – and then it turns into a simple decadent chocolate donut!

A few donuts on a white backdrop with green sprinkles

How To Make Them

Baked donuts are SO EASY.  They are made in one bowl, they take about 5 minutes to prep, and less than 15 minutes to bake, and the chocolate shell takes just a few minutes to make and set.  Basically if you are reading this, you can have these donuts in LESS THAN A HALF HOUR!!

The first thing you do here is make sure you have donut pans!!  I LOVE this set of two, that way I can make a dozen at a time.  Actual step one of making this recipe is melting the coconut oil.  It’s literally the only thing that needs to be done in advance. 

Start by mixing all your dry ingredients in a large bowl – gluten free (or all-purpose) flour, Dutch cocoa powder*, granulated sugar (see the Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make these sugar free!), baking powder, and salt.  Then add in the wet ingredients – melted coconut oil*, non-dairy milk, soda water*, applesauce*, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.

*Coconut oil – this small amount of coconut oil really won’t give it any sort of coconut flavor, but if you want to ensure that, use refined coconut oil which tastes completely neutral.

*Dutch cocoa powder – if you do not have Dutch cocoa powder, regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work just fine here, but it’s the Dutch cocoa powder that brings the flavor of a traditional Thin Mint versus just making this a chocolatey minty donut.

*Soda water – if you have ever made any of my other baked donuts (Cinnamon Sugar, Coconut, Entenmann’s Copycat), then you have seen me use this ingredient before.  Soda water in vegan baked donuts makes the donut extra fluffy, but if you don’t have any carbonated water on hand you can just use regular, filtered water, and I promise it will come out fine.

*Applesauce – applesauce helps keep this donut moist, since the cocoa powder tends to dry it out more than non-cocoa powder filled donuts.  If you do not have applesauce on hand, you can sub in extra non-dairy milk and there isn’t a huge difference, but the applesauce is just slightly better, so use it if you’ve got it.

Okay back to the mixing bowl!  Mix it all up, then spoon or pipe the batter evenly into each of the donut molds.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, my sweet spot is right around 14, then let the donuts sit in the pan to cool for 5-10 minutes before inverting them from the pan onto a cooling rack.

Donut batter uncooked in pan
Donuts cooked in pan
Donuts on a cooling rack

While the donuts are baking or cooling, it’s time to make the chocolate coating mixture!  This is super easy as well.  Melt your chocolate with some neutral oil or coconut oil – this can be in the microwave or using a double boiler – then add in peppermint extract if you want your donuts minty, and then set aside to let it cool to room temperature.  That’s it!  I use these chocolate bars for my mixture, I think they’re the perfect percentage of cacao to make the final product really taste like a traditional Thin Mint, but of course use whatever bar or chocolate chip you want here.

I find the donuts coat best when both the donut and the melted chocolate are at room temperature, but if you’re in a rush (aka can’t handle smelling them any longer without being able to eat them) you can do it while warm.  Coat fully by dunking the donut in the bowl of melted chocolate either using two forks or your hands, then place the donuts onto parchment paper lined pans or plates.  TRUST ME – you don’t want to place them anywhere that isn’t lined with parchment paper, because once the coating hardens it will stick to whatever it is on top of if there isn’t parchment paper.  If you want to use sprinkles, add them at this time.  These are the beautiful mint green colored ones I used in the photos here.

Once they’re all coated, move the donuts into the freezer.  The shell will be fully hardened in about 5-10 minutes! 

Nutritional info can be found below in the Notes section below the recipe instructions.

Storage:

After the coating has set, store the donuts in air-tight packaging, and keep stored in the freezer.  This will keep the coating shell hard, and they will stay good for a few months.

Pro tips and tools:

  • Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Make sure you measure your liquid ingredients using liquid measuring cups.  This will ensure accuracy!  I love this set.
  • If you need a donut pan, these are the ones I use, and they are perfect and worth every penny.
  • If you want to use the same sprinkles I used in these photos, here they are!  So beautiful.
A bunch of donuts on a white backdrop with a bowl of green sprinkles

Ingredients needed:

  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Dutch Cocoa powder – Dutch cocoa powder specifically is what gives these cookies the authentic taste.  If you cannot find any at your local market, this is my favorite brand.  If you swap for regular cocoa powder the cookies will bake well, but they will not taste like the Thin Mints you are used to.  
  • Granulated sugar – If you want to make these sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Baking powder – I recommend using baking powder that has no added aluminum. This one is my go-to.
  • Salt
  • Non-dairy milk – any will do, I usually use soy or almond
  • Coconut oil – this small amount of coconut oil really won’t make the final product taste at all coconutty, but if you want to ensure that, you can use refined coconut oil which tastes completely neutral.   
  • Soda water – I go in more depth about this above, but it helps add some extra fluffiness to the donut.  If you don’t have any carbonated water, you can use regular filtered water instead
  • Applesauce – a little bit goes a long way here.  It keeps them moist since cocoa powder tends to suck a lot of the moisture out of baked goods.  However, if you don’t have any, you can just add more non-dairy milk in its place.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Peppermint extract – optional of course, you can skip if you’d rather just have a deep dark chocolate donut with no mint flavor.
  • Vegan chocolate – used for melting for the chocolate shell coating.  I use these bars, but of course you can use your favorite.

What To Bake Next:

Close up of one donut with a bite taken out of it

Vegan Thin Mint Donuts (Gluten Free option)

Take the rich, dark chocolate and minty flavors of a Thin Mint cookie, combine them with a light and fluffy baked donut, then smother the whole thing with a crisp chocolate shell, and what do you get??  Your new favorite sweet treat, of course!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Birthday Party, Dessert
Servings 6 donuts

Ingredients
  

Donut Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • 1/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder **see notes
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp soda water **see notes
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce **see notes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract

Chocolate Coating Ingredients

  • 6 oz vegan chocolate
  • 1 tsp neutral oil or coconut oil
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a donut pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the gluten free flour, Dutch cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Then add in the non-dairy milk, melted coconut oil, soda water, applesauce, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.  Mix until just combined.
  • Pipe or spoon the batter evenly across the 6 donut molds in the pan.  Bake for 13-15 minutes – my sweet spot is just under 14 – then let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping the donuts out gently onto a cooling rack.
  • While the donuts are baking, melt the vegan chocolate and neutral oil or coconut oil either in the microwave or using a double boiler.  Add in the peppermint extract and mix until combined.  If you have the time, let the donuts and melted chocolate come to room temperature before coating, since it will make the final product a bit smoother. 
  • Coat each donut completely in the chocolate, then put coated donuts onto a parchment paper lined pan or plate.  Add sprinkles or chocolate chips at this time if you want either of those toppings to harden into the final donut, then move the parchment lined pan into the freezer to set for 5-10 minutes.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Notes

Dutch cocoa powder – this gives the donuts that authentic “Thin Mint” flavor.  If you only have regular unsweetened cocoa powder, you will still wind up with a delicious chocolate donut, but it will not taste as authentically “Thin Mint-y”
 
Soda water – carbonated water helps add the fluffy texture to the donut, but if you don’t have any you can sub for regular filtered water.
 
Applesauce – just a little bit of applesauce helps keep the final product moist, but if you don’t have any you can leave out or add some additional non-dairy milk.
Keyword baked donuts, chocolate donuts, donuts, thin mint donuts, thin mints
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