These easy baked chocolate donuts are ready to eat in less than 30 minutes! They are best fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days. Keep reading to learn how to make this homemade baked chocolate cake donut recipe!
- Why this recipe works
- If you like chocolate donuts, you'll love...
- Ingredients for baked chocolate cake donuts:
- How to make chocolate cake donuts
- Tips for perfect chocolate frosting
- TOP TIP
- Variations for this chocolate donut recipe
- Helpful tools for making chocolate doughnuts
- TOP TIP
- More easy breakfast recipes!
Why this recipe works
Who loves donuts? Hands up, everyone!
I'm a donut lover, through and through, and I know that just about everyone can say the same. My favorites have always been old-fashioned cake donuts, which is why I love this particular recipe so, sooo much. It’s rich, fudgy, and perfectly sweet.
I'm using classic donut ingredients, minus the yeast. There’s no rising time and no mixer needed so you can whip up a batch in next to no time! This quick recipe is the real deal, but instead of frying these bad boys, we’re baking them in the oven.
These delicious chocolate donuts are baked, not fried, for those who want to make homemade donuts but don’t feel like messing up the kitchen by dragging out the fryer. But don't worry, they’re ever bit as tasty!
Baked doughnuts are delicious plain, but I’ve got an ultra fudgy glaze recipe if you’re craving an iced donut. These donuts also taste delicious with a simple powdered sugar dusting if you’re not a glazed donut fan!
If you like chocolate donuts, you'll love...
If you’ve got a donut craving and you want to try another recipe for baked doughnut, you'll love my Pumpkin Donuts. They are dipped in a cinnamon-sugar coating that is sweet and perfect for fall!
For a chocolate lover who wants more more more, you'll love my Sourdough Chocolate Cake. It is really easy to make and tastes sooo good! There is also an ultra soft Sourdough Chocolate Banana Bread that has been really popular this summer.
Shall we begin? Let's do this!
Ingredients for baked chocolate cake donuts:
- Granulated white sugar | White sugar adds sweetness and structure to the baked donuts.
- All-purpose flour | This easy recipe for donuts could also be made with a gluten free flour blend such as Bob's 1:1. They could also be made with up to 50% whole wheat flour, fresh milled flour or cake flour.
- Leavening agents | this is a no-yeast donut recipe, so it relies on baking soda and baking powder to help them rise and keeps them from being dense. Be sure they aren’t expired.
- Cocoa powder | You can substitute cacao powder, but don't skimp on the cocoa powder! It is needed for the cake texture as well as flavor.
- Salt | My favorite salt for baked goods is anything non-iodized, from kosher to sea salt to avoid any chemical flavor. Celtic, Himalayan and French are also delicious!
- Milk | Whole milk is definitely the creamiest choice for this recipe, but substituting reduced fat milk or plant milks will work.
- Oil | Avocado oil is the best option for this chocolate cake donut recipe. It is a neutral flavored oil and a healthier option than vegetable oil or canola. However, all three will work.
- Vanilla Extract | Madagascar bourbon vanilla is really good in baked goods if you can find it!
- Apple Cider Vinegar | This acid adds a little extra lift to batter and create a moist crumb in a cake that doesn't have an egg.
- Butter | Rather than simply using room temperature butter, go ahead and melt it to make this icing.
- Maple Syrup | This sweetens up the frosting without overwhelming it. You can substitute corn syrup if you need to.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips | Once these are nice and melty, they get stirred in with the frosting to make the most decadent ganache icing EVER.
- Powdered sugar | Sweeten up that icing!
see recipe card for quantities
How to make chocolate cake donuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare the donut pan by spraying generously with cooking spray. I recommend placing the donut pan on a baking sheet for stability.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the greased donut pan. Another way to fill the pans is by pouring the batter into a plastic bag or piping bag and cutting a corner off to pipe it into the molds.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 14-15 minutes (give or take two minutes). The donuts are done when they spring back when touched and will pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.
5. Leave the chocolate donuts in the pan until they have cooled so that they can be touched without burning fingers. Then invert the pan onto a cooling rack that is setting in a baking sheet. This will keep your countertop from getting messy!
6. Make the chocolate ganache frosting by whisking the melted butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and powdered sugar together.
7. Dip each baked donut upside down into the rich chocolate glaze. Add sprinkles, if desired!
Tips for perfect chocolate frosting
- Frost each cooled chocolate donut while it is still slightly warm. The frosting should look deep brown and smooth. If it is light brown and fluffy, heat it in the microwave in 10 second increments until it is dark brown, glossy and has a runny texture. Dip the tops of the donuts in the frosting. Hold upside down until the ganache stops dripping, then place the cake doughnuts on a wire rack to cool.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. For more delicious recipes from scratch and homesteading tips, follow me on instagram @NinnescahHomestead
Baked chocolate donuts
- donut pan
- mixing bowl, measuring cups & spatula
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil or canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons milk or cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips melted
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
chocolate cake donuts
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare the donut pan by spraying generously with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated white sugar, ⅔ cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.1 cup milk, 4 tablespoons avocado oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pans. Another way to fill the pans is by pouring the batter into a plastic bag and cutting a corner off to pipe it into the molds.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes (give or take two minutes). The donuts are done when they spring back when touched and will pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.
- Leave the chocolate donuts in the pan until they have cooled so that they can be touched without burning fingers. Then invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Dip the donuts upside down into the chocolate glaze. Add sprinkles, if desired!
- In a medium bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), combine the melted butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.½ cup butter, 4 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- The frosting should look deep brown and smooth. If it is light brown and fluffy, heat it in the microwave in 10 second increments until it is dark brown, glossy and has a runny texture. Dip the tops of the donuts in the frosting. Hold upside down until the ganache stops dripping, then place the doughnuts on a wire rack to cool.
STORAGEHomemade cake donuts don't store for long. Make them the day you wish to serve them or store them in an airtight container for up to two days. They can also be frozen for up to three months. Be aware that the sugar coating will break down when frozen and thawed, but the flavor will still be just fine.
TOP TIPDo not over mix the batter, or your donuts will be tough. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined so that your donuts are soft.
Variations for this chocolate donut recipe
These donuts are pretty perfect as is, but there are still plenty of ways to make this recipe your own!
- sprinkles: add chocolate sprinkles or colorful sprinkes to the tops of the freshly frosted donuts while the icing is still setting up.
- skip the frosting: use powdered sugar instead of glaze.
- coffee lovers: add ½ tablespoon of espresso powder to the dry ingredients.
- chocolate lover: add ½ cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter before filling the donut pans.
As an amazon associate, this post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Helpful tools for making chocolate doughnuts
Silicon donut pans are a game changer! They allow the donuts to gently be popped out after cooling and are easy to clean. I recommend baking them on a baking pan (aka cookie sheet) to add a rigid and stable base.
Homemade cake donuts don't store for long. Make them the day you wish to serve them or store them in an airtight container for up to two days.
They can also be frozen for up to three months. Be aware that the sugar coating will break down when frozen and thawed, but the flavor will still be just fine.
Do not over mix the batter, or your donuts will be tough. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined so that your donuts are soft.
Absolutely! Baked chocolate donuts can be made in advance and reheated for a delicious treat later. To reheat, simply place them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or pop them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5 minutes. Remember to add the chocolate frosting just before serving for the best taste and texture.
Yes, you can make gluten-free baked pumpkin donuts by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Additionally, ensure that all other ingredients, such as baking powder and spices, are certified gluten-free. You may also need to adjust the baking time slightly, so keep an eye on the donuts as they bake to avoid overcooking.
If you do not have a donut pan, you can make these chocolate donuts in a muffin tin. You can use tinfoil to form center holes to simulate the donut pan. They may not look uniform, but it’ll get the job done!
Use a toothpick and stick it into the baked donut. If the toothpick comes out without any crumbs stuck to it, then the donuts are done. Another method to check for doneness is to gently press a finger on the top of one of the donuts, and if it bounces back, it’s done.
If you have leftover donuts, cover them and store them at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Yes! Freeze these chocolate donuts without icing or topping in a single layer on a lined sheet pan before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag for 2 to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm them up in the microwave before topping them with the chocolate icing or powdered sugar when ready to eat.
If you make this recipe, leave me a comment and tell me how you liked it! It's early September as I'm writing this, and I'll just be over here dreaming of fall! Be sure to pin one of these pictures to your Pinterest so you can easily find this recipe later!
More easy breakfast recipes!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these: