These are the Ultimate Baked Chocolate Donuts with a Chocolate glaze that is simply out of this world! A crazy delicious, must-try homemade doughnut recipe with chocolate in the dough, in the glaze, and also in the decoration (that might remind you of Brigadeiros)!
These Chocolate donuts are effectively cake doughnuts that are super easy to make even if you are less experienced in the kitchen! They are also healthier vs. traditional fried donuts and come together in no time, so let´s get started!
📖 Difference between baked and fried donuts
Apart from the obvious fact that one is baked in the oven, the other is fried in hot oil, there are other major differences between the two.
Fried donut is typically made using high protein content bread flour and yeast as leaving agent. Similarly to bread, usually it takes a while to make them as first the raw dough needs to rise. They are more difficult to make however have an amazing pillow texture.
Baked donuts or cake donuts (like this Chocolate Donuts recipe), on the other hand, are effectively made using similar ingredients as cakes and baking soda or powder is making them rise. Making baked doughnuts is rather quick and simple, the shape of the donuts is uniform because they are made in a donut pan. They are also considered to be healthier than fried donuts that are made in oil.
And there is a 3rd version, the mochi donuts that are fried yet the texture is different from American fried donuts. Mochi donuts, well known as Pon-de-ring In Japan, are delicious mochi-like ring shape donuts with a signature bouncy and chewy texture and colorful chocolate ganache glazings on top. Check my Japanese mochi donut recipe!
🌟 Why this is the Best recipe
- It is extremely easy – No fancy or unusual ingredients are needed to make these Chocolate glazed donut recipe, and it comes together super easily. Both the mixing process as well as the baking process are very simple even if you are a beginner in the kitchen
- It is super quick – Compared to yeast-based donuts, these Chocolate frosted donuts can be made much quicker. Once you mix the ingredients you can proceed with baking, no need to wait for the yeast to get activated
- Your kitchen won´t smell oily for days – While I love traditional yeast-based donuts baked in oil, I am not a big fan of the oily smell! Since baked donuts are made in the oven without oil, there is no oily smell whatsoever
- They are healthier - We all know that frying things in oil is not necessarily the healthiest baking method. These donuts are done in the oven, we can call them sort of healthy donuts
- They are extremely delicious – The Chocolate cake donuts covered with a super delicious chocolate ganache will blow your mind! They are moist, sweet, yet very well balanced in sweetness due to the dark chocolate ganache! Forget Double chocolate Dunkin Donut, bake this easy triple chocolate donut!
- Easier to glaze and decorate them - Since baked donuts are made in a donut mold (eg. check this Silikomart Donut mold) they are baked more even and neat meaning it is easier to glaze and decorate them
- Can be filled and flavored - Given baked donuts are effectively cake doughnuts, you can freely fill or flavor them with almost anything. Eg. You can easily turn this recipe into a chocolate raspberry donut by adding some raspberries into the dough and applying a different, raspberry-based glaze
📝 Ingredient notes
For the donuts
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using European-style 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this Baked Chocolate donut recipe, the butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last-minute microwaving
- Sugar: I am using simple white granulated sugar. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my sugar guide
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: Pastry flour works very well in this recipe with low protein content resulting in a delicate, tender texture but all-purpose flour can be used too. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my flour guide
- Cocoa powder: In baking, always use unsweetened cocoa powder, the so-called 100% cocoa powder without sugar. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark color and it is lower in acidity. For more info on cocoa powder and its substitutes check my cocoa powder guide.
- Salt: Essential ingredient in all dessert recipes, its main function is to balance the sweetness of the cakes
- Baking powder: Baking powder is responsible for the Baked donuts to rise. We will use a relatively small amount as no need for a high rise
- Sour cream / Greek yogurt (optional): Feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yogurt to the batter, however, it is not strictly necessary. If you tend to overbake your cakes (meaning, they often dry out), it is better to add more wet ingredients like milk or sour cream
- Vanilla (optional): Please please avoid using artificial vanilla. There are several great brands for fine, pure vanilla, I use Nielsen massey which I love and recommend. I use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract which has lovely vanilla bits in there too
- Chocolate chips (optional): These will add extra chocolate flavor. Can be left out as the cocoa powder and chocolate glaze will make your donuts already delicious enough
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the chocolate glaze
- Semi-sweet chocolate: The chocolate glaze will be as delicious as the quality of the chocolate you are using. Please use high cocoa content chocolate which you would anyway enjoy eating on its own and avoid using “baking chocolate”. I am using Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) which is semi-sweet chocolate, tastes amazing, and works wonderfully silky while making ganache
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream also known as whipping cream has a fat content of 36% - 40%, the cream I am using is 36% that makes chocolate ganache glaze super-rich, creamy and silky
- Butter: Same as above, use high quality 82% fat content unsalted butter
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make moist Chocolate Donuts
The Baked Donut recipe contains 5 basic cake-like ingredients; butter, sugar, egg, flour, and cocoa powder and the volume will be supported by baking powder. Alternatively, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of greek yogurt or sour cream, which will make them even moister.
- Prepare your donut mold, I am using Silikomart Donut mould, a silicone version from Silikomart that is very flexible and require no greasing
- The baking temp will be 175 C / 347 F but preheat the oven +20C / 68F as the oven temp will drop when you open the door and place the baking tins in
- Use Digital oven thermometer to understand your real oven temp
- Ingredients must be all measured with a Digital scale
- All ingredients must be at room temperature, otherwise, they won´t properly emulsify if eg. if butter is too cold, the batter might even break
- Whisk room temp butter and sugar with an Electric hand mixer for 5 minutes until creamy and pale
- Add in egg, one at a time, mix with a hand whisk after each addition
- Fold in vanilla and sour cream, if using
- Sift in dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt
- Fold the mixture with a rubber spatula just until fully combined, do not over mix
- Fold in chocolate chips, if using
- Pipe batter into your donut mold. Do not fully fill the mold as the donuts will rise
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean. Do not over bake the donuts as they can easily dry out
Depending on the mold you are using either let the Donuts completely cool in the mold or remove the doughnuts carefully to a wire rack shortly after baking. They can be fragile while they are hot, do not break them.
💡 Top Tip: Important that you chill these donuts before glazing them so the glazing will set on them neatly
2. How to make the chocolate glaze for donuts
There are several chocolate glaze recipes, my preference is chocolate ganache for 3 reasons:
1. I find the texture easy to control and therefore easy to glaze the donuts without making a mess. Please read the next section regarding tips on how to glaze doughnuts
2. It is made of 3 simple ingredients; chocolate, heavy cream, and a small amount of butter
3. The chocolate taste is superior compared to the so-called water-ganache icing. No powdered sugar is added to this glaze, the sweetness will come from the chocolate
How to make the chocolate ganache donut glaze
- Place finely chopped high-quality semi-sweet chocolate into a bowl, or use Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
- Heat cream until just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could burn the chocolate. If it is not warm enough, it won´t melt the chocolate properly
- Pour warm cream over the chocolate
- Let the two sit for a minute then stir and/or blend together
- Add in room temp butter and a pinch of salt, stir again, and/or hand blend
💡 Top Tip: You won´t need all the glaze that is mentioned in the recipe card below, however, since we dip the donuts into the glaze, we need to make a bit more glaze than what is actually needed. Any leftover chocolate ganache glaze can be stored refrigerated or used on cakes, pancakes, etc.
3. How to glaze donuts (neatly)
Glazing Donuts does not have to be a mess if you follow some basic principles that are mainly related to the "right temperature". I recommend measuring the glaze temperature properly and trying to glaze one donut first and see how it feels.
Process of glazing the donuts;
- Place the chocolate glaze into a big enough container so you can comfortably dip the donuts into it, however, it should not be too big either as the glaze should have some "depth" when you will dip the donut into it
- Hold the donut with your fingers and dip it into the glaze. Move the donut a bit for a few seconds, then carefully remove it from the glaze.
- While still holding the donut with your fingers (glazing facing down), carefully remove any excess glaze from it with the help of your fingers on your other hand
- If the glaze temperature=consistency was correct, the glaze should stay on the donut without running on the side, however, it will take some time until it feels "dry" as you touch it
- Place the chocolate donuts on parchment paper and let the glaze fully set at room temp, or in case your kitchen is too warm, place it in the fridge
Decorate the glazed chocolate donuts according to your liking eg. with chocolate sprinkles.
💡 Top Tip: Make sure that your donuts are cold (5C / 41F fridge temp) so the glaze can quickly be set on them instead of running on the side. The chocolate glaze must be not too thin and not too thick, about 27C / 81F is the ideal temperature for this chocolate ganache.
🎓 Expert tips
- Do not overbake these donuts as that is the most common reason for dry texture on this kind of dessert
- If the glaze runs on the side of the donut – either the donut was too warm (not fridge temp) or the glaze was too hot and therefore too runny to set on the donuts. How to fix it? Wait until either the donut or glaze temperature cools
- If the glaze is too thick and set it a “wrinkled” way – either the donut was too cold or more likely that the glaze was too cold (thick) therefore it sets too quickly. How to fix it? Heat up the glaze gently either in the microwave on low heat or with a hairdryer
- You can experiment with filling these chocolate donuts eg. with raspberries, finely chopped hazelnut, etc.
- Feel free to try a different glazing eg. this blueberry glaze
- If prefer to use cake mix, try this cake mix donuts recipe from Anne
🥣 Equipment notes
For baked donuts - since it is not yeast-based dough - you will need a donut mold to bake them. I love my Silikomart Donut mould that is made of silicone, therefore, no greasing nor preparation is needed and the donuts always come out perfect without being stuck into the pan.
I also recommend investing in some Piping bags, as a home baker, you will need it all the time as it is much easier and neater to pipe the batter into the mold than anything else like pouring or spooning.
Last not but least, for a consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is an indicative figure only and not the most accurate to achieve best-in-class results.
The recipe makes 6 donuts. You can easily double or half it, however, you will need to adjust all the ingredient quantities accordingly
Most probably yes, you can, however, you can´t just leave out / change an ingredient without reformulating the entire recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor. Sadly, I am not able to provide substitutes for all sorts of allergies and diets.
This is a super moist baked donut recipe, however, the most common reasons for dry donuts: 1. ingredients not measured correctly eg. too much flour added to the mixture 2. inappropriate mixing technique eg. over mixed batter 3. over baked, meaning it dried out too much. Consider investing in an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure the correct oven temperature and please make sure to use a Digital scale during baking, cups are not an accurate way of measuring for consistent results
Probably the donut would have needed more baking time. Either, it was taken out of the oven too soon, or perhaps your oven is under heat. Consider investing in a Digital oven thermometer if you tend to struggle with the baking part of your desserts.
Another issue that can cause raw texture is measuring the ingredients inappropriately eg. adding less flour to the recipe.
I suggest using a silicone donut mold as with that it is incredibly easy to release the donuts from the mold (unless under-baked).
If using a traditional donut pan, make sure to carefully grease the mold before baking
Glazing donuts neatly require understanding the consistency of the glaze. If the glaze is too thin, it will be too runny and therefore won´t set on the donut neatly. See my detailed tips above at "How to neatly glaze donuts"
Leftover doughnuts can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, they are in fact quite stable even at room temperature. I suggest you cover the dessert so it does not absorb any smell from the fridge, or from the kitchen
You can freeze the donuts after baking however I would not freeze them with the glazing on them
🍩 More Donut recipes
Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate glaze (VIDEO)
For the Baked donuts
- 70 g (⅓ cups) Unsalted butter room temperature
- 70 g (⅓ cups) Granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 1-2 tablespoon Sour cream optional, room temperature
- 50 g (½ cups) All purpose flour
- 20 g (3 tablespoons) Cocoa powder unsweetened Dutch processed
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 40 g (¼ cups) Chocolate chips eg. Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
For the chocolate ganache glaze
- 150 g (¾ cups) Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) use good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 50 g (¼ cups) Heavy Cream 36% fat content
- 15 g (1 tablespoon) Unsalted butter room temperature
- Pinch of salt
For the deocration
- Chocolate sprinkles
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Make the baked chocolate donuts
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347 F
- Cream butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until it becomes pale, then add eggs, one at a time. Do not overbeat. Fold in vanilla and room temp sour cream (if using)
- Sift in flour, saltl, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold just until well combined with the help of a Rubber spatula
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Bake for 15-20 min or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Do not overbake as the donuts can become dry
- Let the donuts chill in the fridge before glazing
- Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat just until simmering
- Pour warm cream over the chocolate, let them set for a minute until chocolate gently melts then stir or blend together
- Add in butter and and a pinch of salt
- Use the glaze once it is cooled to about 27C / 81F
Glazing the donuts
- Before glazing the donuts make sure donuts are nice and chilled (5C / 41F) and the glaze is on the right temp (27C / 81F). Temperature is key to be able to glaze the donuts neatly, please check my tips above
- Hold the donut with your fingers and dip it into the glaze. Move the donut a bit for a few seconds then carefully remove it from the glaze. While still holding the donut with your fingers (facinng down), carefully remove any excess glaze from it with the help of your fingers on your other hand
- Let the glaze fully set at room temp or in case your kitchen is too warm, place it into the fridge
- Decorate according to your liking eg. with chocolate sprinkles
- The donuts can be stored for 2-3d days in an air-tight container either at room temperature or in the fridge. Bring them back to room temperature before serving.
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- All ingredients for the donut must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, butter, etc.
- For the glaze, use high-quality semi-sweet chocolate
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- If not using a silicone baking mold, make sure to grease the tin before baking to avoid donuts stuck into the pan
- Do not overbake your donuts. Over baking is the most common reason why cakes, cupcakes or baked donuts turn out dry
- Never glaze warm donuts, make sure they are chilled
- For glazing donuts neatly, the temperature is key. Glazing should cool to an appropriate temperature that is not too runny, nor too thick. See detailed tips above
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