Chocolate Brownie Donuts – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts @dreamaboutfoodSometimes I think I am very clever; very clever indeed.  And then the universe does its best to disabuse me of this notion and show me that my ever-so-clever ideas don’t always have the expected ever-so-clever outcomes.  I suppose the universe is trying to take me down a peg or two, show me a little humility and all that.  Well, I am not so easily humbled, it would seem.  As long as the imperfect results of my clever ideas are still edible, I am usually still rather pleased with myself.  Take, for example, these low carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts.  Donuts made with brownie batter!  That is really quite clever, you must admit.  Who wouldn’t want a donut shaped brownie?  All the more reason to eat brownies for breakfast, if they are circular with a hole in middle.  But they didn’t quite rise properly, although the edges rose very well, so my donuts were entirely concave on one side.  Weird little circles of rich, chocolate brownie.  They were still delicious, so I threw some chocolate ganache on them, shook my fist at the universe, and figured I’d tell you about them anyway.

Chocolate Brownie Donuts 6
Weirdly concave brownie donuts

This brilliant idea came to me as a way to showcase some flourless brownies I made with while away on vacation.  I happened to post them on Instagram and got several requests for the recipe.  I always like to be innovative, and just putting up a recipe for flourless brownies seemed kind of boring.  But the same brownie batter poured into a donut pan?  Brilliant!  Or not.  I was ever so sure of a good outcome, so it gave me pause when I saw the way they were rising.  For the next set, I tried lowering the oven temperature, but that meant it just took them longer to rise into exactly the same shape.

Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts @dreamaboutfood

In the end, I just had to laugh.  Okay, so Chocolate Brownie Donuts is still a really clever idea, but perhaps this flourless brownie batter is not the best vehicle with which to make them.  When I made the regular brownies on vacation, the sides also rose more quickly than the rest.  Many brownie recipes, even conventional ones made with flour and sugar, are prone to this particular defect.  All I did there was cut off  the edges, to even out the brownies, before I glazed them.  And I kept the deformed edges to eat as a little snack, because they were as tasty as the rest of the brownies.  So perhaps I should have expected this outcome with the brownie donuts, but I did not.  Aha!  Perhaps I am not so clever after all.  Or maybe I am really, REALLY clever, because I have now invented brownie donuts you can stack neatly into each other.

Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts @dreamaboutfood
Stackable brownie donuts!

So here’s the deal.  Make these as brownies or make them as donuts.  Either way, they will rise weirdly on the sides and not as much in the middle.  If you’re making them as brownies, you can cut the edges off before glazing and they will look perfect.  Your guests will never ever know they didn’t come out of the pan that way.  If you’re making them as donuts, you can claim it’s a new baking method that allows you to stack your donuts for easy storage, like tupperware.  No one will care once they get a taste!

Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts @dreamaboutfood

Chocolate Brownie Donuts – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 12 donuts or brownies

Serving Size: 1 donut or brownie

Chocolate Brownie Donuts – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Sugar-free, flourless chocolate brownies baked in a donut pan. Who doesn't love brownies for breakfast???


  • 12 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3.5 oz high % cacao chocolate bar, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a donut pan or an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa powder together in a medium saucepan, stirring until smooth. Stir in erythritol and vanilla extract. Let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Spread mixture in prepared pan or choice (for donuts, you will need to do 2 batches, as it makes about 12 donuts).
  4. Bake 8 to 11 minutes for donuts, and 15 to 18 minutes for brownies, until just set. Watch them carefully as they can get quite dry if overdone.
  5. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. For the donuts, gently loosen from pan with a knife and transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.
  6. For the brownies, cut off edges while brownies are still in the pan, then flip out onto a serving plate.
  7. For the glaze, melt butter and chocolate together in small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.
  8. Drizzle over donuts or spread over the top of the brownies.


Serves 12. Each serving has 7.2 g of carbs and 3.3 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.9 g.


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  1. Floortje says

    Nice!! And may I say I like the easyness of the recipe. Usually the pictures I really really drool over have ingredients in them that have never been seen, or heard of before in my small Dutch town. This I can do! Thank you!

  2. says

    These are genius! I’m sure you’ll come up with some solution to make them work. BUT I’ll take them a bit deformed…I don’t care…it’s a doughnut! And a brownie!!

  3. says

    Aaah, I really like you (in a non-stalker way). :-) I cracked up at the beginning of your post … and totally related to it.

    I was really skeptical about that flourless raspberry brownie when I made it last Friday but everyone scarfed it up, so it was a success. I don’t have a donut pan though. Whatever will I do? :-(

    PS. Did you notice that you have a new best friend now? Me? Over here in France? Now that I’m not doing sugar and entertain about 2 times a week on a semi-grand scale, I’m constantly scouring for ideas. Thanks for all of yours, which are now my #1 go-to source.

  4. Jeanette says

    Looks yum, and I have all the ingredients. Only one question, are these 12 mini donuts or 12 regular sized donuts?

  5. says

    How about baking in mini or regular muffin pans? Can also add nuts to batter if not allergic and decorate with copped nuts, sprinkles, coconut, etc. Can’t wait to try them tomorrow after I purchase ingredients. Looking forward making more of you recipes, including dinner etc.

  6. says

    Can they be baked a muffins, either Minnie or larger? How about adding walnuts to batter? or decorating frosting with candy, coconut, nuts, etc. Also looking forward to your other food recipes to try.

  7. Jeanette says

    HELP! Mine are full of grease (butter?). I used Unsweetened baking chocolate squares. Is this different? Everything else was as listed.

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t think the “baking squares” would make a difference. Try adding another tbsp or two of cocoa to get it all to blend in. Are they already baked? They really shouldn’t have done that and several people on facebook said they made them and they turned out fine. I’ve made that brownie batter several times.

      If it is the baking chocolate, then I suggest just getting Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate. That’s what I usually use.

      • Cherise Arola says

        What kind of chocolate would you recommend for the Ganache and what kind of 4 0z for the batter. I’m new to all of this and need things spelled out :) I’ve really enjoyed your blog all your recipes. I’m not real good in the kitchen but am going to try these brownies soon. Thank you!

        • Carolyn says

          If you can get Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate, that’s the best for the donuts themselves. For the ganache, Lindt would be fine.

  8. says

    I say lay them out, fill the valley with peanut butter and then put them together with the nut butter in the middle. PB filled brownie donuts? OH YEAH!

  9. Jean B. says

    Knowing that they will be concave from the outset shields one from disappointment, I think. They sound great to me. What texture is the interior? Moist, I hope.

  10. Carole says

    Lovely work, Carolyn! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is collecting snacks and treats? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. There are already quite a lot of links for you to check out. Cheers

  11. Kristin says

    Since the doughnut brownies are concave on one side, that would leave room for a chocolate/cream cheese/swerve like filling OR chocolate/whipped cream/swerve filling. Mmm not bad.

    • Carolyn says

      No idea! It’s worth a try, but it doesn’t rise as much as regular batter so it may not work.

  12. Lisa says

    I have unsweetened chocolate but I’m not a fan of dark chocolate at all. I have erythritol and stevia glycerite. How much sweetener should I add?

  13. Kelly says

    Does anyone have a low carb/sugar free sour cream donut with glazed recipe?. I love the dunkin donuts sour cream donut, but I can not have that anymore.

  14. Gin says

    As a baker/decorator of regular (carby) cakes, might I suggest a baking strip around the pan of brownies? It’s soaked in cold water, excess water is gently squeezed out and the strip is wrapped snugly around the pan and pinned to stay put. Keeps the outside from baking up too quickly and makes for a more even cake, which is good for decorating. They aren’t terribly expensive – Walmart has them – and they can be used for other baking applications where the more evened out baking is desired.

  15. Anita says

    I would tip these concave beauties upside down and let the natural “well” hold the glaze…no drippy mess and all the more to enjoy in every bite!

    • Holli says

      Do you think it would work to use coconut oil in place of butter for the brownies? Is coconut oil used as a substitute for butter? Thanks.

      • Carolyn says

        You can, but I have noticed that the oil tends to separate out more in the batter than butter does. If you find that happening, a little xanthan gum (like 1/4 tsp at most) can help bring it all back together.

  16. Holli says

    Is there a difference between the unsweetened chocolate in the batter and the high cacao chocolate bar in the ganache?

  17. Kara Skrabacz says

    I bet if you baked them in a water bath that they would rise evenly. Sounds like the outside edge of them is getting hotter than the middle.

  18. says

    OMG I had no idea how many donut recipes you had! lol. I have a donut craving, so I came to your site because I knew you would have a good recipe. Little did I know, you have several, and now I can’t decide! lol Do you have a favorite? :)


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