Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts

rows of doughnuts on green countertop
Photo: Will Anderson
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

It might not be traditional to bake donuts, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't! Cocoa powder and chocolate chips enrich the batter for these baked beauties, and each one is finished with chocolate glaze and sprinkles or more chocolate—in the form of shavings.


Chocolate Glaze

  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips (6 ounces)

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • ¼ cup natural cocoa powder, sifted

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup heavy cream, plus more if needed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • cup natural cocoa powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (8 ounces)

  • Sprinkles or chocolate shavings (optional)


  1. Chocolate Glaze: Combine chocolate, confectioners' sugar, cocoa, salt, and butter in a small bowl. Heat cream in a small pot over medium-high until bubbling around edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; let stand 1 minute. Add vanilla and whisk until mixture is smooth and has the consistency of hot-fudge sauce. If it's too thick, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. (Makes 1 1/3 cups.)

  2. Donuts: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush 3 standard donut pans with butter. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter with both granulated and brown sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk, beating to combine after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

  3. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a large, plain tip (such as Ateco #807), or to a resealable plastic bag, then snip a 1/2-inch hole in one corner. Pipe 3 tablespoons batter into each cup in pans. Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched, 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks set in rimmed baking sheets and let cool completely.

  4. Dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side. Place, glaze-side up, on racks. Top with sprinkles or shavings and let stand until completely set, about 1 hour. Donuts are best served the day they are made, but can be stored, unglazed, in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day; glaze 1 hour before serving.

Cook's Notes

If you don't have three pans, you can bake these in batches -- just be sure to thoroughly wash and dry the pans in between.


You can skip the chocolate glaze and spread the tops of the donuts with store-bought dulce de leche instead. Our test kitchen likes Nestle La Lechera.

Related Articles