Homemade Chocolate Donuts
Soft and fluffy Chocolate Donuts are baked to perfection and then coated in a sweet vanilla glaze. This easy recipe is a fun and easy treat that’s a much healthier option than store-bought donuts and perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert!
Skip the trip to the donut shop and make homemade chocolate donuts instead! They’re just as tasty, but way healthier. Top with donut glaze or powdered sugar and you’ll have a treat that both kids and adults will enjoy. These have the perfect amount of indulgence. They’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without leaving you in a sugar coma. And I love that they are baked and so easy to make!
My kids LOVE donuts, but I try not to buy them too often. Who has time to run out to the donut shop before breakfast? And fried donuts can be so heavy. I hate that feeling of being weighed down after eating a breakfast of donuts. These baked chocolate donuts are the perfect solution – they’re light and fluffy, and so easy to bake up. They are also made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
You will need a non-stick donut pan for this recipe. You can find doughnut pans at most major retailers, and they typically come with 6 donut indentations to a pan. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was just over 10 bucks. It is this donut pan from Nordic Ware and it does the job quite nicely.
This chocolate donut recipe is made with simple ingredients to give them the perfect soft, tender crumb, plus sweet flavor from both the glaze and the melted chocolate chips. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need:
- Flour. I love baking with whole wheat pastry flour because it adds a boost of whole grains while keeping these soft and fluffy. You can also use white whole wheat flour or a ratio of 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. Even Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix works as a flour substitute!
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. For best taste and texture, stick with unsweetened natural cocoa powder. You can try dutch process cocoa powder, but they may not rise as much. I’ve tried many different brands and I always go back to Hershey’s.
- Baking staples. You’ll need some baking powder and salt so that these bake properly.
- Sugar. Just 1/4 cup of regular granulated sugar provides a lovely sweetness, that isn’t overpowering. If you’re not adding the sweet donut glaze, I recommend adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup more sugar to the recipe.
- Egg. You’ll need 1 egg in this recipe. I have not tested these with a flax egg, but let me know if you do.
- Milk. A bit of unsweetened almond milk adds the perfect amount of moisture. Feel free to use any milk you’d like.
- Vanilla extract. Always adding vanilla for delicious flavor!
- Coconut oil. We’re using a little melted coconut oil for additional moisture and perfect texture. You can sub with any oil or even melted butter.
- Chocolate chips. For extra chocolate flavor, add melted chocolate chips to the batter! Feel free to use dairy free chocolate chips if you’d like.
- Vanilla donut glaze. Optional, but highly recommended for that classic donut shop chocolate donut! If you would prefer a chocolate glaze, scroll down to the “variations” section.
How to make this recipe
If you can make muffins, you can make donuts. These come together quickly and easily in one bowl, no mixer required! Here’s the simple process:
- Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Add wet ingredients. Stir the egg, milk, vanilla extract and coconut oil into the flour mixture. I add the coconut oil last and stir swiftly, as to avoid it hardening up. Gradually stir in melted chocolate, if using.
- Add batter to the pan. You can spoon batter into the pan or you can use a piping bag or freezer bag with the tip snipped off to pipe the batter into the pan.
- Bake. They bake up VERY quickly! These only take 9 to 10 minutes at 350ºF. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. Then, let them cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and transferring them to a wire rack.
- Make glaze. It’s totally optional, but I highly recommend the glaze. Stir together powdered sugar with water and vanilla extract. Add a bit more water as needed for consistency.
- Dip into glaze. Dip the warm donuts into the glaze. You can coat the whole donut or just the tops. Place the glazed donuts on a wire cooling rack to let the excess glaze drip down the sides. You could even add sprinkles while the glaze is still wet!
These baked donuts are super simple to make, but here are a few tips to make sure they are perfect every time!
- Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of these easy, healthy chocolate donuts is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written (unless substitutions are noted).
- Use a room temperature egg. If your egg is too cold, you risk the melted coconut oil hardening back up. To bring your egg to room temp, simply place it in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes before you use it. Also make sure your coconut oil has cooled slightly, after melting it.
- Do not over-mix the batter. If you over-mix batter you’ll end up with donuts that are more dense and gummy instead of fluffy and soft.
- Use fresh baking powder. If your baking powder is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results.
- Do not overfill the pan with batter. Only fill the indentations up to 3/4 of the way full. If you add too much batter, the donuts will rise up over the edges of the pan and lose that classic shape.
- If using the glaze, dip donuts into the glaze while they are still slightly warm.
Frequently asked questions
We typically melt chocolate in the microwave. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until completely melted and smooth. You could also melt the chocolate on the stovetop using two pans, one large and one small. Fill the large one with water and bring to a boil. Place the chocolate in the small pan, over the large one, so the boiling water will melt the chocolate.
Doughnuts can be made by baking or frying them. Baked donuts are lower in fat and calories because you don’t use the extra oil that you need when frying.
Cake donuts are made with baking powder, which gives them their cake-like texture. Yeast donuts are typically lighter and fluffier.
We love this chocolate donuts recipe as-is, but there are also a few fun ways to customize it. Here’s some ideas:
- Funfetti chocolate donuts. Stir in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup colorful sprinkles to the batter and add more over the tops of the glazed chocolate donuts (while the glaze is still wet).
- Chocolate chip. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter. You can even sprinkle some over the top of the glaze (while the glaze is still wet).
- Blueberry donuts. Have you tried my baked blueberry donuts? They just happen to be one of the most popular recipes on my site! You can also make chocolate blueberry donuts by adding 1/2 to 1 cup fresh blueberries to the batter in this recipe.
- Chocolate glaze. Instead of the vanilla glaze, make a chocolate glaze using 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons water. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until completely melted and smooth.
- Storing leftovers. Baked donuts are best the day of making them. However, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Allow the glaze to fully dry before stacking them, so that they don’t stick together. If you need them to last longer than 2 days, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Rewarm. If you’d like to enjoy them heated, microwave them for about 20-30 seconds when you’re ready to eat.
- Freezing. These are freezer-friendly! Simply wrap them individually in freezer-safe bags or store them in a large freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, reheat for 30-45 seconds in the microwave or simply thaw them at room temperature. I recommend freezing them before adding the glaze.
You guys are going to LOVE these incredibly tasty baked chocolate donuts! I tried limiting myself to only one, but it was impossible! Oops!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Homemade Chocolate Donuts
- 1 cups (128g) whole wheat pastry flour, spoon in and level off the top, (all-purpose, spelt or whole wheat flour will also work, as well as Kodiak Cake pancake mix)
- ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar*
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk, (I like almond milk or cashew milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted , (any oil or even melted butter will work)
- Optional: 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted , (for a more chocolatey donut)
- Optional: dusting of powdered sugar, optional topping if you don't want to use the glaze
OPTIONAL DONUT GLAZE TOPPING
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup water + 1-2 tablespoons more as needed for consistency
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in egg, milk, vanilla extract and coconut oil. I add the coconut oil last and stir swiftly, as to avoid it hardening up. Gradually stir in melted chocolate, if using.
- Spoon batter into a liberally greased donut pan (nonstick spray works fine). You can also use a piping bag or a freezer bag with the tip snipped off to pipe the donut batter into the pan. Divide equally to create 6 donuts. Batter should fill donut molds to the center (but not cover it).
- Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let donuts cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the donut pan. You may need to use a knife to remove each donut from the pan.
- To make the donut glaze, mix all glaze ingredients in a medium bowl. You may need to add a bit more water 1-2 teaspoons at a time for the right consistency.
- Dip warm donuts into the glaze, making sure to coat both sides, if desired. Place onto wire cooling rack to allow excess glaze drip down. The glaze will eventually set + harden on the donuts after about 20 minutes.
- Donuts are best enjoyed the same day, though they keep at room temperature for a couple extra days in an airtight container.