Chocolate Bourbon Donuts

Chocolate Bourbon Donuts Recipe

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Happy New Year Everyone! I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2016. To start the year properly I made chocolate Bourbon donuts; you could think of them as the dark counterpart to last week’s cardamom cinnamon donuts. These guys here are again baked and they are cakey but still very light. My favorite part about them is the glaze, which is a chocolate Bourbon ganache of sorts that I made with heavy cream, butter, chocolate, vanilla extract, espresso powder and, of course, Bourbon. It’s not one of those hard chocolate shells you sometimes see, instead it’s soft and creamy; I personally like that better in combination with cakey things. I suggest you eat (or serve) these donuts as an afternoon snack with a glass of milk (or Bourbon)!


Recipe Update: I have updated and improved this recipe since posting it here and you can find the new (and even tastier) version on my new site: Chocolate Donuts.


Food Photography and Styling: I wanted to be sure to tell the viewer that these donuts have Bourbon in them and I tried several different ways to do that. First I set a glass filled with Bourbon in the background but that ended up looking a bit dingy and I didn’t think it got the idea across. Next I thought of a whiskey bottle but I didn’t have one that would have fit with the size of the donuts, everything I had was much too large. In the end I opted for writing the recipe name on the photo and left space in the background to do that.

The backdrop is actually the seat of a chair (the same one I used as the surface in this photo). The surface that the plate is sitting on is a tray that I turned upside down and I thought it looked like a nice table. As I’m sure you guessed, I used my strobe to light the set.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.


  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    The donuts look delicious. Well, I have been known to purchase a little sample bottle for a recipe — perhaps that in the background would have worked but then again, it would make the donuts look monstrous — but that wouldn’t be bad at all. I like the dark look. I could dress all in black, sneak in there, gently reach up over the table — I’m wearing black gloves and sneak one off the plate. Would you miss it? I would leave a few crumbs :-) Happy New Year!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Haha, that’s what I love about the dark photos, they can be so mysterious. :) The sample bottles tend to be too small indeed although maybe I just haven’t looked thoroughly enough for just the right size, I’ll pay closer attention next time I’m in a liquor store. Happy New Year to you too, Marisa! :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Jen! I agree, chocolate and Bourbon are the best, as a matter of fact I don’t really like Bourbon without chocolate! :)

  2. Claudia | The Brick Kitchen says:

    Chocolate espresso (and bourbon!) are such a perfect match, I can hardly imagine how decadent and rich these donuts must be – very envious of your house right now! Gorgeous photos and styling too, as usual – I love reading your thought process of how you get the shot. Happy new year!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Angela! For some reason I really love to photograph brown, the more brown there is in the set the more I like it. :)

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