Donuts with Spiced Chocolate Filling – 2022 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®!

It’s the 2022 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®! For Dune, it’s Dunuts!

We complete our Mid-Century Dinner Party with these wonderful treats!

DUNE! I watched it because it was a Best Picture Nomination and I liked the cast. It didn’t strike me as my kind of movie. But boy, was I wrong. It was so rich and well-acted. The only problem I had with it was when it ended – I WANTED MORE!!! 

It’s always interesting to me that futuristic movies always feel so primal. As if civilization has died off but kept the cool toys. Lots of desserts, simple “gown” clothing, and not a wisp of abject joy. Soooo serious. And with all that tech, they always have some mysticism. Is that the formula? Clearly it’s a winner. 

I am never a fan of one-name movies. It really limits how I can move forward for the best dish. Having nothing to do with the plot of the movie, that they called the special mineral SPICE gave me such joy. YES!!! Whatever it would become, sweet or savory, it was gonna have some type of distinguishable spice! Woo hoo! But back to the name. One darn word. There was a lot of talk of “Prune” “Cardone” (pronounced car-DUNE)… but no. Zounds!!!!

I was getting close to making a decision that wasn’t going to delight me, when I got a text from my amazing cousin, Chris Plati, with a list of suggestions for the whole menu that included the winner, “You’re going to do Dunuts for Dune, right?” YES!!!!!!! It hadn’t occurred to me! Instant yes! He’s the best!!!! 

I’d done different versions of donuts in other menus, notably, for Argo we did Ardo. I’d never made the more typical Dunkin’ Donuts-esque fried donut with filling. But I was undaunted – let’s go!

I decided on a yeast donut to be as true to the vision that I had. Admittedly, I haven’t done many yeast-y recipes, but when I have, the results are incredible. I was psyched! It’s a little creepy when you think about it. The yeast has to be “alive” so it can turn these foodstuffs into a double-sized big puff. Wacky!

The only thing you need is a moment of patience to let it rise. But after that, these are so much fun to make! Another thing I haven’t done too much of is big hot oil frying. Lots of sauteeing, yes. Like the baby pool of oil cooking. But this was going to be an 8ft deep olympic sized pot. I know, it isn’t that big and now my thoughts have changed but until you get comfortable, you have to see it as you feel it. But I’m over it. Gimme the oil and the big pot! Let’s get frying! 

And of course, thanks to the sandy terrain of Dune, I had to SAND them with a spicy sugar mixture. Adding the optional special metallic sugar gave them an authentic flash to really embrace the spice in the movie. I love that!

When I tasted the first one, I did a little dance – yes!!! It is so much fun when what I want them to be and what they become line up so deliciously! And the best part is, as opposed to the movie, this spice will not be the subject of warring factions. It will be the treat that brings everyone together! 

Happy Oscars!






Donuts with Spiced Chocolate Filling

Annette Zito, KitchAnnette™
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Course Dessert


The Donuts:

  • 2-1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 qt canola oil

Donut Sugar Coating:

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp gold metallic sugar (optional)

Spiced Chocolate Filling:

  • 6 oz heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • In a large bowl, add flour, yeast, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and whisk. 
  • Mix in eggs and butter. Add water and mix until it forms a dough. 
  • Flour work surface and your hands, then turn dough out. Knead dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. 
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and a towel. Keep in a warm place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size. 
  • While dough rises, whisk raw sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and gold sugar, for sanding the donuts later. Set aside. 
  • Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll until about 1/4” thick*.  
  • Using a 3.25” biscuit cutter, cut out donuts and place onto a flour-lined baking pan about an inch apart. Let rise for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Make the chocolate filling by heating the cream in a small saucepan until there are little bubbles around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the cinnamon and chili powder. Add the chocolate, stirring constantly until melted and well blended. Whisk in the vanilla and butter. Remove from heat and let cool. 
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 3-4” of oil to between 350°-370°. Gently place a few donuts into the oil. After a minute, gently turn them. They should be golden brown. After about another minute, transfer to a wire rack. Repeat until completed. Dip each donut into the sanding sugar, coating evenly. 
  • Using a straw or chopstick, pierce a hole in the side of each donut, about halfway in. Pipe in the chocolate filling - you’ll feel it fill. Serve.  

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