These easy Chocolate Donuts are baked to perfection and dipped in a 2-ingredient chocolate glaze. My recipe makes 12 donuts in less than 30 minutes! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Easy Chocolate Donuts
Moist, chocolatey, and sweet without being too sweet, these baked chocolate donuts are a chocoholic’s dream breakfast. Not only are they quick and easy to make (less than half an hour!), but they are super chocolatey (like my chocolate pop tarts) with chocolate chips in the batter and a silky chocolate ganache-esque glaze.
While you could skip the glaze, these donuts are intentionally not too sweet on their own, so I recommend adding it. It’s super simple to make (just 2 ingredients!) and sets up with a semi-firm finish. Sprinkles are always a good idea too!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Perfect chocolate flavor, but not too sweet.
- Lighter and healthier than your typical fried donut.
- Easy to make with no mixer required.
- Makes a great chocolatey breakfast or dessert.
What You Need
Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make these soft and fluffy chocolate donuts:
- Buttermilk. Buttermilk adds tenderness and flavor to the donuts. If you can’t find this in your local grocery store, you can always make my easy buttermilk substitute.
- Cornstarch. One of my favorite secret ingredients! Cornstarch adds softness and makes these chocolate donuts melt in your mouth.
- Cocoa powder. I prefer natural cocoa powder, but you could also use Dutch process cocoa in this recipe. Dutch process cocoa will impart a deeper flavor and darker color.
- Very hot water. I whisk the cocoa powder into very hot water in order to “bloom” it, which just means we’re intensifying the chocolate flavor (which can otherwise fall flat if the cocoa isn’t bloomed). If you really wanted to amp up the chocolate flavor, you could use very hot coffee instead. Either way, make sure the liquid you choose is steaming hot.
- Coconut oil. This is for the chocolate glaze. You can taste a hint of coconut flavor from the oil, which I personally like. Vegetable shortening would also work if you’re not a coconut fan.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chocolate Donuts
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (except the cocoa powder) in a large bowl, then set aside.
- Combine the hot water and cocoa powder in a large measuring cup (whisk well!), then stir in the melted butter.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently until 50% combined.
- Add the chocolate chips, then continue folding until everything is combined.
- Pipe or drop the batter into a greased/floured donut pan and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F.
- Test for doneness with toothpick, then let the donuts cool for a few minutes in their pan.
- Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack before glazing.
- Microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil in 25-second increments until melted.
- Dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, adding sprinkles if desired. Let the glaze set before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: Just like any quick bread batter (pancakes, banana bread, muffins, etc.), these chocolate donuts are prone to over-mixing. Once you combine your wet and dry ingredients, use a gentle hand (no mixer or whisk!) and stir the batter until just combined.
Frequently Asked Questions
I like to use semisweet chocolate chips for both the chocolate donuts themselves and the chocolate glaze. A chopped semisweet baking bar would also work, as would dark chocolate. Don’t use unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, which could make the donuts too bitter.
I haven’t tried this myself, but I think these chocolate donuts will hold up just fine stored in the freezer in an airtight container. Make sure you wrap the donuts in plastic wrap before freezing!
If you’d like to freeze glazed donuts, I recommend placing the donuts in one layer on a baking sheet in the freezer and chilling until the icing is firm to the touch before wrapping and storing.
You may be able to get away with piping the batter onto a baking sheet, but there’s a good chance that it will spread and your donuts will have flat bottoms instead of rounded. Personally, I recommend buying a donut pan (I linked to the one I use below) for best results.
The batter for these donuts is a quick-bread batter, similar to the batter used for muffins. Because of this, it is too thin to fry and will likely just disintigrate in the oil. If you’re looking for a fried donut, see my homemade donuts — they’re a traditional recipe made with yeast and it’s delicious!
Love chocolate for breakfast? Try my double chocolate muffins!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Baked Chocolate Donuts
- 1 ¾ cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup very hot water boiling or steaming
- ¼ cup (25 g) natural cocoa powder
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (177 ml) buttermilk
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 ½ teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly but thoroughly grease and flour (or spray with baking spray) a 12 count donut tin. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.1 ¾ cups (220 g) all-purpose flour, ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Measure out steaming water into a large measuring cup or a separate mixing bowl. Immediately add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.¼ cup very hot water, ¼ cup (25 g) natural cocoa powder
- Whisk in butter until combined (it's OK if small lumps form).4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Add egg and vanilla extract to cocoa mixture and whisk well.1 large egg, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add buttermilk and whisk until smooth.¾ cup (177 ml) buttermilk
- Add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients and use a spatula to gently fold together until about halfway combined.
- Add mini chocolate chips and continue to gently stir ingredients until just combined (do not over-mix or donuts could be dense, dry, and tough).⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- Drop batter evenly into prepared donut molds (or pour the batter into a piping bag and pipe it in, this will give you neater donuts!).
- Transfer to center rack of 350F (175C) oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a donut comes out clean or with fudgy crumbs. Allow donuts to cool in pan for several minutes before carefully turning out to a cooling rack to cool completely before covering with glaze.
- Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in 25-second intervals, stirring well in between, until chocolate and oil are completely melted and mixture is smooth.1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 2 ½ teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable shortening
- Dip the smooth surface of each donut entirely into the chocolate glaze. Return to a cooling rack for the glaze to set before enjoying. If desired, decorate glaze with sprinkles while icing is still wet.
StoringThese donuts taste best the day they are made but may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I originally published my chocolate donut recipe in February of 2016. I have updated the recipe to improve it and give it a richer chocolate flavor and make it easier to prepare. I’ve also updated the photos to reflect this and added a how-to video.