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.
Hi!! I just made these for my 5 year old daughter. While the texture is amazingly fluffy for a baked donut and the moistness is off the charts, we found that it didnt taste as chocolatey as we hoped. Would you suggest doing anything different? Adding coffee? And what cocoa powder did you use? Thanks for the recipe!!
Hi, Ginny! Adding a little instant espresso powder or instant coffee would definitely help enhance the chocolate flavor a bit more. Did you try them with the chocolate glaze? It helps add some more chocolate flavor in there too. I also use natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. I hope that helps!
I made these picture perfect donuts… Tasted okay but a little dry ..
Awesome doughnuts!!! I made these last night because my son has food allergies and subbed out some ingredients, buttermilk for a makeshift buttermilk made with soy, vegan butter, and a glaze made with soy milk and cocoa powder and powdered sugar. These were incredible! Thank you. My doughnuts were super cute and miniature size
So glad you liked the donuts, Kim! I’m happy to hear that you were able to make some changes for your son too, that will be helpful for other readers as well. Thank you for sharing!
Made these his morning (minus the glaze because I have no powdered sugar). So good! They kind of fell apart though. What would help this?
So glad you liked the donuts, Jenn! Were they still warm when they fell apart? If so, maybe wait until they’ve cooled off more. There are other things that could cause them to fall apart too, are you at a higher altitude?
They rose a bit more than I thought they would, so only full the donut space about half. But for some reason they seem to vanish mysteriously. And quickly!
They always seem to vanish quickly in our house too. 🙂
WOW !!! These look awesome …. waiting to try them out.
Hope you enjoy the donuts, Roxanne!
My husband made these today and they were absolutely delicious. We rolled them in granulated sugar instead of glazing them. We will be making these again. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.
Rolling these in granulated sugar sounds like a great idea, Donna! I’m glad you liked the donuts! Let me know if you try any other recipes 🙂
Excellent results. 12 year old son baked with a little help.
So glad you and your son liked the donuts, Lisa!
My family loved these baked donuts!! Thanks for sharing!!!
So happy to hear that, Amy!
Super easy and quick on a Sunday morning. And tasted really good! Everyone in the family loved them. My daughter was in charge of the sprinkles… I didn’t have buttermilk on hand but did the mix with vinegar trick and they tasted great so I assumed that worked. Thanks for the recipe!
The buttermilk substitute does work fine for these donuts! I’m glad you liked them!
Great recipe. I made these with my new donut pans. The recipe is easy and pretty quick. The donuts by themselves are not super sweet which I like.. I dipped mine in powdered sugar and my daughter and husband loved them. Watch the cooking time as mine baked in a little less than 9 min. I also substituted a mixture of 1/2 sour cream and 1/2 milk for the buttermilk because I didn’t have buttermilk handy.
So glad the donuts turned out great for you, Diane!
I got a donut pan for Christmas and we’ve been trying different recipes- yours is our family favorite so far! Thanks for sharing!
So happy to hear that, Karisa!
Going to try these this weekend! What would you change for high altitude? They look fabulous!!!!
Thank you! I don’t have any experience with high altitude baking, but some readers have found this guide helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html.
I just made these and they are delicious! I’ve tried other chocolate donuts recipes and none were even close to this one! I didn’t have milk so I used Reese’s coffee creamer and people are eating them up! Thank you for the recipe.
The coffee creamer sounds fantastic! So glad you liked the donuts!
I was a bit skeptical as I was putting the batter into the pan, it was dry and sticky, I could barely get it to spread into the doughnut cavities. However, I was pleasantly surprised when they came out of the oven, fluffy and had risen beautifully. They are moist, light and airy, great for chocolate cake, but not very doughnut-like at all. I used almond milk with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in place of the buttermilk, so maybe that had something to do with it? Buttermilk is not something we ever have in the house so I doubt I will ever make the recipe as written. Also, it only made 6 as opposed to 8 as the recipe states.
Hi Brook! The batter shouldn’t have been dry, did you make sure to spoon & level your flour? Glad you liked the taste though!
I just baked it for the first time and its perfect! yummy! Thanks for sharing!
I am going to try these this weekend. Could I double or even triple the recipe to make more? I have a big family 🙂
That should be fine!
I NEVER have any luck when it comes to making donuts- these are amazing. I had to bake them a little longer than mentioned, but they still came out very moist. I didn’t even glaze them, they’re great just as they are.
Is there anyway we can make vanilla donuts and not chocolate donuts out of this recipe?
You could use this recipe and replace the iced coffee with milk. You can make donut holes or donuts with that recipe too.
I’m looking forward to making these. Can they be made ahead of time and frozen? Thanks so much
Yes, you can bake them, let them cool, and then freeze them for up to 3 months. I would add wait to add the icing until the day you plan to serve them.
I don’t have a donut pan can I use a cupcake pan instead?
Yes, that would be fine! The baking time would be around 15-20 minutes if you use a regular cupcake pan.
My 9 year old grandson and I made these for his school birthday treats. They were so good…and easy to make. THANK you for this delicious recipe!!
So happy to hear that, Irene!
Very easy and good. Good texture and flavor. Will definitely make again. Teenagers tested and approved.
I made these and they’re delicious! But they turned out a little dry. I did do the buttermilk substitute, I wonder if it didn’t work? They looked absolutely beautiful.
Hi, Marie! Did you make sure to spoon and level you flour? If not, that can cause them to be a bit dry.
I didn’t level the flour, that must be it. I’ll definitely try these again soon and so that next time! Thank you!
The BEST and most simple donut recipe we have tried!
I made these tbis morning. They were delicious! Thank you for such an easy and yumny recipe.
Can I do it in donuts maker machine ??
I think that would be fine, you may need to adjust the baking time though.
These came our great! Nice and light like a chocolate cake and my toddlers loved them.
These were absolutely perfect! Will definitely make again.
Hello! What would be the baking time for a mini muffin pan? Thank you.
Baking time should be 10 to 14 minutes.