These chocolate doughnuts are made of a delicious chocolate cake doughnut base dipped in a rich chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate sprinkles.

These delicious chocolate cake doughnuts taste just like chocolate cake. Serve them with some chocolate milk or with homemade vanilla ice cream!

Chocolate Doughnuts topped with chocolate sprinkles on a white background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Sour cream brings moisture. Adding the sour cream in addition to the butter really brings the level of moistness up 10 notches! The batter is thick and the resulting donuts are super moist and tender!
  • Perfect balance of sweetness. The bitter notes of the semi-sweet chocolate in the ganache balances out the cake donut. Frosted doughnuts can be too sweet, so the ganache is a great balance of flavor and sweetness.
  • Small batch chocolate frosted donuts. This recipe is perfect because it makes the perfect number of donuts. Not too few and not too many! You’ll have just enough doughnuts to share with family and friends but not too many that you’ll be constantly tempted with them sitting on your counter! 😆

Ingredient Notes

Chocolate Doughnuts ingredients on a gray background.
  • Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar gives these chocolate donuts a richer flavor and moist texture. This is due to the molasses in the brown sugar.
  • Baking Powder/Baking Soda: Traditional doughnut recipes are made with yeast. For chocolate cake doughnuts, baking powder and baking soda is used because those are the leavening agents used in cake recipes.
  • Butter: Using butter in doughnuts makes the dough rich in flavor and soft in texture. We use butter instead of oil because it holds the dough together better than oil.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray that contains flour. 
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients (excluding the brown sugar) together in a bowl until combined.
  1. Mix the wet ingredients + the brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth.
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  1. Spoon the batter into a Ziplock bag and cut the tip of one of the bottom corners. Pipe the batter into the donut pan so each donut hole is 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 8 mins or til a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. 
  1. Remove the baked chocolate doughnuts from the oven. Let them cool in pan for 3-5 mins then turn them out on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes or until they are closer to room temperature.
  2. Make the ganache. Microwave the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl for 20-second increments, stirring well between each increment until smooth.
  3. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts in the chocolate glaze and return the chocolate glazed donuts to the wire rack. Top with chocolate sprinkles if desired. Let sit until ganache sets. Enjoy!
Chocolate Doughnuts topped with a chocolate glaze on white background.
Chocolate Baked Doughnuts topped with a chocolate glaze and chocolate sprinkles.

Recipe Tips

Variations: Instead of dipping, you can also drizzle the ganache on. Or, replace the ganache with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Are you a milk chocolate fan? Then I’d recommend using half milk chocolate chips and half semi-sweet chocolate chips in the ganache recipe.

Don’t dip the baked chocolate doughnuts while they are warm. They need time to cool for a bit since they are a soft and tender cake donut. If you dip them while warm, they could more easily crumb while dipping.

Storing and Freezing

Store the donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

To freeze, freeze the glazed donuts on a cookie sheet in the freezer until solid so the ganache is hard/set (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from the freezer and individually wrap the donuts in plastic wrap and store in a Ziplock bag for added freshness. Freeze for 1-2 months. Remove from the freezer and unwrap from the plastic wrap and store covered at room temperature until thawed.

FAQs

What are the two types of donuts?

The two types of donuts are the ring donut and the filled donut.

What’s the difference between a cake donut and a regular donut?

Regular donuts are made with a yeasted dough. Cake donuts are made from cake batter which contains baking powder and baking soda as the leavening agents.

What are cake donuts made of?

Cake donuts are made of the same ingredients you’d find in cake batter!

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts topped with chocolate sprinkles, with a bite taken out of one doughnut.

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Chocolate Doughnuts on a white background with a bite taken out of it.
Print Review
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Doughnuts

These baked chocolate doughnuts are so moist, tender, and fluffy! They're topped with a rich chocolate ganache and are the most amazing chocolate donuts ever!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 18 mins
Servings: 9 doughnuts

Ingredients
 

Chocolate Donuts

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg - at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted

Ganache Topping

Instructions
 

Chocolate Donuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray that contains flour. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the egg, vanilla, brown sugar, sour cream, and melted butter until smooth and combined. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick!
  • Spoon batter into a ziplock bag that has the corner snipped off. 
  • Pipe the batter into the donut pan, the cavities should be 2/3-3/4 full. 
  • Bake for 8 mins or til a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. 
  • Remove from oven. Let cool in pan for 3-5 mins then turn out on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes or until they have come closer to room temperature.

Ganache Topping

  • Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring well between each increment until smooth.

Dip the Donuts

  • Dip the tops of the cooled donuts in the chocolate glaze and return the donuts to the wire rack, top with chocolate sprinkles if desired. Let sit until ganache sets. Enjoy! 

Notes

Wait until the doughnuts are cool before dipping them in the ganache so they don’t fall apart in the ganache. 
Store the donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
To freeze, freeze the glazed donuts on a cookie sheet in the freezer until solid so the ganache is hard/set (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from the freezer and individually wrap the donuts in plastic wrap and store in a Ziplock bag for added freshness. Freeze for 1-2 months. Remove from the freezer and unwrap from the plastic wrap and store covered at room temperature until thawed.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 30g (10%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 15g (23%)Saturated Fat: 9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mg (17%)Sodium: 120mg (5%)Potassium: 179mg (5%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 16g (18%)Vitamin A: 367IU (7%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 54mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dutch
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