Cayenne heat meets sweet. And we’re here for it. Wake up your tastebuds with this delicious duo: creamy dark chocolate with a lively kick of Cayenne. These light & fluffy Sweet & Spicy Devil's Food Cake Donuts with Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake are dipped in a cool and creamy dark chocolate ganache - but with an "oh my" surprise - a spicy kick of Cayenne pepper for a memorable sweet heat finish.
A sweet and spicy donut we need!
We start off with a home-run winner - Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix. This mix is a perfect quick & easy start delivering that signature Devil’s Food flavor. Add a little coffee and milk to the batter to bring out that rich depth of flavor, then mix and bake them up! You’ll have 32 bite-sized beauties ready in no time with each batch baking in only 10 minutes.
An easy “stir & dip” ganache.
While the donuts are baking, make the ganache by combining warm cream with equal parts of chopped dark chocolate. Add a spicy spoonful of cayenne pepper and a dash of cinnamon. The cinnamon marries the chocolate and the cayenne. You only need a tiny pinch to bridge the flavors together for this sweet & spicy little donut. That’s it! Stir into a glossy silky frosting that’s just the right consistency.
Dip it and devour.
Select a baked & cooled donut, dip and swirl in the ganache. Set it aside to let the ganache sit for just a minute or two. Then top with sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or enjoy it au naturel - as I do!
Some spice advice.
Cayenne pepper, also known as Red Pepper, is commonly found in any grocery store and is probably on your spice rack right now. American versions aren’t generally rated for Scoville so you won’t necessarily see that number on the label. The heat level of Cayenne can range from 30,000 to 50,000 units. What does that mean? It’s just a gauge for how hot the pepper is. For reference, cayenne peppers come in somewhere between a Serrano Chili and a Thai Chili. They have a tingly heat that hits your tastebuds at the end of this spicy donut bite.
How much heat do you need for this baked donut recipe?
Everyone has different levels of spice tolerance so I recommend starting by adding 1/8th of a teaspoon at a time. Mix and taste test then decide if you want to add another 1/8th tsp. The warm cream and smooth dark chocolate will temper the heat, so you might be surprised at how much cayenne you end up using. For my family (who prefers ‘moderate’ heat) I used a generous 3/4 teaspoon. If you’re baking for spicy adventure seekers - you could probably double that - but do it in smaller additions and work your way up.
As always, thank you to Duncan Hines for this delicious partnership!
Are you more in the cinnamon mood? We have you covered with that spice, as well! Check out these Apple Cider Cake Donuts for another Duncan Hines treat!
Sweet & Spicy Devil’s Food Cake Donuts with Duncan Hines
For the Donuts
- 1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup neutral oil
- 1/2 cup prepared coffee
- 1/2 cup milk
- chocolate bits for topping optional
For the Ganache
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 7 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper See note
- pinch cinnamon
For the donuts
- Preheat oven to 350F & have donut baking pans standing by.
- In a medium bowl combine the cake mix, eggs, coffee, milk, and oil. Beat with hand mixer on high for 2 minutes. (if baking at high elevation, see notes below)
- Transfer the cake batter to a pastry piping bag or a large plastic bag.Spray the donut pans with nonstick spray and dab with a paper towel to distribute it evenly.
- Squeeze in a modest ring of batter into the donut rings, less than 1/2 full.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until done and springy when touched. Cool slightly and remove from pan. Bake additional batches until batter is used up.
For the ganache frosting
- Heat cream in a small pan over low-medium heat until bubbles emerge around the edges with some steam rising off the surface. Do not over-heat or the cream will scald. Can use the microwave on 50-80% power in 2-minute bursts (depending on the strength of your microwave). Chop a chocolate bar into rough pieces.When the cream is hot (but not boiling) add the chopped chocolate and stir.
- Add the cayenne in 1/8th teaspoons, a little at a time as notes describe below. Add a small pinch of cinnamon. The cinnamon will pull together the flavors of the cayenne and the chocolate. You won't necessarily taste it.
- Dip the cooled donut into the ganache and allow it to drip and dry for a few minutes.
- Decorate with chocolate sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or your favorite topping. (optional)Enjoy!