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Food The Bite:

BrunchPants | Chocolate & Orange Mini-Donuts

Who could resist the seductive powers of brunch food? Not Monique Otero, the culinary creative behind blog Brunchpants, and certainly not us, either — especially when we’re perusing the happy, color-drenched pages of Monique’s site or Instagram feed. Branded as a resource for “food, travel and urban survival”, Brunchpants brings us vibrant recipes, plus glimpses into the sights, scenery, and especially the yummy food stalls, of New York City and abroad. Here the globetrotter and Chelsea resident lets us in on — what else? — her brunch spread of choice, recipe for chocolate and orange mini donuts, favorite restaurant recommendations worldwide and more.

Donuts are a favorite of mine and something I would eat literally everyday…for obvious reasons, I don’t. I came up with this recipe to make one of my favorite desserts healthy. Chocolate and orange is a flavor combo I don't see often and couldn’t resist with all of the citrus in season.

NAME: Monique Otero

PROFESSION: Creator of Brunchpants.

PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? Eat locally, seasonally and colorfully. Seek out farmers’ markets as much as possible, particularly when traveling.


BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: I took a break from the 9-to-5 world and wanted an outlet that combined my favorite passions. Food. Travel. Urban Survival. Brunchpants was born.

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? Vitamix. I make smoothies, matcha tea and soups in it daily.

THREE INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT? The best olive oil I can find, flaky sea salt and lemons – using one or all of them can transform basically anything.

QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? I always have multiple snacks with me. My husband makes fun of me for packing my purse like I am going camping.

BIGGEST SINGLE INFLUENCE ON YOUR COOKING STYLE? My grandmother would bring our entire family together to share epic feasts. She prepared dozens of dishes and always made it look effortless. I learned from her how food brings people together.


MIDNIGHT SNACK? Almond butter on a Honeycrisp apple.

BEST SOURCE FOR FOOD AND RECIPE INSPIRATION? Instagram and the Rizzoli bookstore on Broadway and 26th street.

I CAN NEVER RESIST… Fruit and dark chocolate, on their own or combined, with a little sea salt! And of course brunch, particularly oeuf à la coque with toast soldiers and a giant cappuccino.


MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? I have two. Hartwood in Tulum for its fresh and casual, tropical vibe. The second: Le Bristol in Paris for rich French food that is over-the-top indulgent in an opulent setting.

THEY SAY YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT — WHAT ARE YOU? Depending on the day, hot, crusty buttered bread or an apricot.

TRIED-AND-TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? Prep in advance as much as possible so as the hostess, you are relaxed, present and also having fun. The day of, I try to only complete the final steps of the recipes. In my opinion, your guests remember the feeling of the meal more than the food, so if you are stressed and distracted, you are taking away from your guests’ experience. It is better to serve takeout pizza with a smile on your face than a five-course meal as a frazzled, hot mess.

Gluten-Free Chocolate & Orange Covered Mini-Donuts



serves 12

prep time: 20 minutes // cook time: 15 minutes // TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. xantham gum
  • 1/2 tsp. blood orange zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups mashed overripe bananas ( about three large )
  • coconut oil spray
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bar of 70% dark chocolate – 3.5 oz
  • Fine strips of peel from 1 blood orange, making sure to remove all the white pith for the donut topping.

The Prep

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together gluten-free flour, almond flour baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum and salt.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to whip together butter and coconut sugar until cream and fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time into the butter mixture, until well combined.
  5. Add mashed bananas and orange zest to the butter mixture, mixing until well combined.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until well blended.
  7. Pour the batter into a gallon-size, freezer bag.
  8. Snip of a small corner of the freezer bag, creating a piping bag that will help you easily squeeze the batter into a donut pan.
  9. Generously spray your donut pan with coconut oil.
  10. Fill each donut 3/4 of the way to the top.
  11. Bake for about 6 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  12. Allow the donuts to cool slightly before you add the topping.
  13. While the donuts are cooling, add the chocolate to a glass bowl and place the bowl over a small pot with a cup of water. Heat the water on low until it simmers, gently warming and melting the chocolate.
  14. Once the chocolate is fully melted, dip the donuts one at a time and place on a cooling rack to dry.
  15. Sprinkle the chocolate covered donuts with thinly sliced orange peel.


  • I used a 3″ donut pan, however any size will work as long as you adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Store the donuts in an airtight container.
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