Baked Chocolate Donuts
These easy homemade baked chocolate donuts are topped with a delicious chocolate glaze and sprinkles! Perfect for breakfast or a sweet treat.
Remember when I mentioned in my last post that a few weekends ago I baked a lot of donuts? Well, it just so happened to be these donuts. I experimented with several different things and after quite a few batches, I finally landed on the winning batch of donuts.
And then I topped them with more chocolate and sprinkles. Because chocolate donuts just don’t feel complete to me without sprinkles.
Ever since I first tried homemade baked donuts, I’ve been a huge fan of them. You may remember these baked pumpkin donuts. They’re still one of my favorite recipes on the blog to date and they also happen to be one of the more popular recipes on my blog!
Since I absolutely love chocolate, I decided that it was about time for a chocolate version instead. Because if I ever do order a donut, it’s always a chocolate donut with sprinkles.
Now, these aren’t exactly like a fried donut. They kind of have a cakey texture, but they are very good and much lighter than the fried version.
Ingredients for This Recipe
This is an incredibly easy baked donut recipe that requires minimal prep work. Here’s what you’ll need to make these chocolate frosted donuts:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour so you don’t end up with dense, dry baked donuts.
- Cocoa powder: You’ll need unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe.
- Baking soda: Helps the donuts rise in the oven and prevents them from being dense.
- Salt: Enhances the chocolate flavor and balances out the sweetness of the batter.
- Buttermilk: Makes for ultra moist donuts. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own homemade buttermilk in about 5 minutes.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the donuts without adding flavor.
- Egg: Adds moisture and helps bind the batter together.
- Butter: Needs to be melted and given time to cool before being mixed into the batter.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla delivers the best flavor.
- Powdered sugar: Is used in the glaze to sweeten it.
- Milk: Add more milk to the chocolate glaze as you see fit to thin it out.
How to Make Baked Chocolate Donuts
The donuts only take about 10 minutes to whip up and then another 10 minutes to bake. First, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into a greased donut pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I always let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes while I make the frosting and then dip them into it while they’re still a little warm.
Do I Have to Use a Donut Pan?
If you want traditional chocolate frosted donuts, then yes. However, you can still make this recipe without a donut pan. Use a muffin tin instead, and bake the “donuts” for roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
- Don’t fill the donut cavities completely full. Otherwise, they will overflow and no one wants that.
- This chocolate cake donut recipe will make about 8 donuts, depending on how full you fill them you may be able to get about 10.
- Here’s a donut pan that’s similar to the one that I use, I love mine and use it all of the time!
- These are best served the same day that you make them too. But they usually don’t make it past one day anyway. Trust me.
More Baked Donut Recipes to Make!
- Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Baked Key Lime Donuts
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Baked Chocolate Donuts
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (22 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons (17 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) milk (or as needed)
To make the donuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a donut pan well with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the donut cavities making sure to only fill them about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Remove donuts from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the glaze
- In a separate bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and milk. If the glaze is too thick, slowly add one tablespoon of milk at a time until it has reached your desired consistency.
- Dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze and transfer back to the wire rack to cool and allow the glaze to harden. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Chocolate donuts are definitely not complete until sprinkles are added! 🙂 These look amazing, Danielle! Your pictures are so gorgeous! I think I could devour this entire batch and not share. Love it! Pinned!
Thank you for the kind comment, Gayle! It was hard to resist the whole batch 😉
OMG I LOVE CAKE DONUTS!!!! I feel like I’ve just died and gone to heaven when I saw this recipe this morning! I’m making this like, asap. Also, I need a donut pan asap!! GREAT recipe!
I love cake donuts too! I love my donut pan, but a muffin pan would work great too just increase the baking time a bit! Hope you enjoy them if you try them, Heather 🙂
How does it work to use a muffin pan?
I haven’t tried it yet, but you can spray the cavities of a muffin pan and fill them with the batter about 3/4 of the way full. I’m not sure on baking time, but I would guess 15-20 minutes for a regular muffin pan.
My batter is really thick. ? is it supposed to be this way?
Yes, the batter is thicker, similar to a muffin batter. 🙂
These donuts make me smile because of all the sprinkles. The more sprinkles, the better! These would be a great way to start of a Monday, for sure.
This is a great way to start Monday, let me tell you. Chocolate donuts with chocolate glaze and sprinkles. Oh, this makes me so happy!
These donuts look perfect! I always go for the donuts with, happy bright sprinkles too. Since they’re baked instead of fried, I can eat as many as I want, right?
I always go for the sprinkles too! Totally acceptable to eat more too 😉
Gah, you’re killing me with these! I can’t resist a chocolate donut (or anything with sprinkles because I’m still five and mesmerized by their colors, haha)! Love these!
Haha I’m the same way, Michelle! Thank you 🙂
These donuts look so good Danielle! Love that they are baked! The colorful sprinkles on top are just perfect! Pinning!
Thanks, Mira! Thanks for pinning too!
These donuts are gorgeous, Danielle! Chocolate donuts make every Monday better! Love the pretty sprinkles!
Ahhh!! I love this! These look amazing!! …and they’re baked?! Way to go!! Great recipe! …and I hear ya… sprinkles make everything better! 🙂
Thanks, Cailee! Sprinkles definitely make everything better 🙂
These look delicious and I love that they are baked 🙂
Love baked donuts! These look delicious, Danielle! Love anything chocolatey and with lots of sprinkles!
So pretty! And yep, an overflowing donut pan is not cool. I learned that lesson the hard way, sister. 🙂
I definitely learned it the hard way too, Mir!
Sprinkles always make me smile! These donuts look amazing and I love that they are baked!
Love these chocolate doughnuts, Danielle!! They look so pretty and colourful.. I am totally gonna give this a try soon.. Lovely share! 😀
Thanks, Arpita! Hope you enjoy them 🙂
There is nothing like a homemade chocolate donut. Plus, they are baked too. SO deeelicious, colorful and full of yummy flavors. My 3-year is CRAZY about chocolate donuts. She would just love these! 🙂
Thanks, Anu! Hope she loves them!
Gosh, I’m seriously thinking that I need to have these as a second breakfast this morning. I mean, Danielle! These donuts are absolutely GORGEOUS and you seriously make them look so tempting with that glaze and all the sprinkles! I think I would eat the entire batch myself, no joke. 😉
Thanks, Sarah! Second breakfasts are totally acceptable when it comes to donuts too 😉
Chocolate Cake Donuts that are baked AND covered in chocolate glaze and sprinkles? SO Much YESSS! Love these donuts! Your photography is gorgeous and has me drooling all over myself! Pinned! Cheers, to a day as cheery as these fabulous donuts!
Thank you for the kind comment, Cheyanne!
These look absolutely perfect! Your photos are reminding me why I need to go buy a donut pan like asap!! 🙂
These are the fluffiest, most perfect donuts I’ve ever seen! They’re so fun, and I need to get my donut pans out quick! 🙂
You’re killing me with these chocolate donuts. I would probably eat like 3 at once.
Oh my goodness these donuts are so pretty! I will take 2 please!
I love how colorful these are! And chocolate on chocolate + sprinkles is my go-to donut order, too. 🙂
Yay for chocolate and spinkle donuts! Thanks, Bhiravi!
I’ve never eaten a baked donut before.. and that definitely has to change. These look amazing!
Gotta love a good donut! These are so fun!
Thank you, Eden!
Great recipe. Nice texture. Chocolatey. I made it for my family for Valentine’s Day breakfast. Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Maria!
I just made a trial run of these before making them for my son’s birthday treat at school. They are amazing!!! My family loves baked donuts, but we have never found a chocolate one we like. This met all of our expectations! It’s light, not too sweet and had the right amount of chocolate without it being too rich. The glaze is delicious!! When I make donuts, I always put the batter in a large gallon ziplock Baggie and cut the bottom corner to pipe it into the pans. It works perfect on this recipe as well! One pipe around puts the right amount into the pan, I got 11 donuts out of the recipe. (May have been able to get 12 if I didn’t spoon the 1st one) I will now be making 24 more later in the week at the request of my little man for his school birthday celebration! Thank you for this great recipe!!
Your comment made my day, Missy! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. I hope everyone at school enjoys them too! Thanks for sharing 🙂
these turned out great, thanks for the recipe! So easy!
So glad you liked them, Betty!
Im making these donuts a head of time in order for them to be ready on St-Patrick’s day. I want to preserve the freshness as much as possible. Is it okay to glaze the donuts one day after i’ve baked them? Also, would it be ok to store in an air tight container until Thursday?
Hi Carrie! I think it will be fine to bake the donuts a day before (on Wednesday) and then store them in an airtight container. I would just wait to glaze them until the next day on Thursday. Hope this helps and hope you enjoy the donuts 🙂
Also, I’m having issues with some of the cake getting stuck to the donut pan. Im wondering if that has something to do with cake time, or is that normal? If not, what can you suggest?
I haven’t had any issues with them sticking, but I do spray the pan really well with nonstick cooking spray. Have you tried that? You could also grease the pan with some butter or use some butter and just a little bit of flour to coat it too.
Any adjustments for using a mini-donut pan?
I would keep the oven temperature the same and just reduce the baking time a bit as needed.
Do you think these donuts would freeze and thaw well (if not frosted yet)?
Absolutely! I’ve frozen them (without the frosting) and they freeze really well. You can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and warm them up a little in the microwave.