Red Velvet Donuts
These Red Velvet Donuts are the perfect Valentines Day donuts! The baked donut is super soft and moist and has a delicious red velvet flavor. Topped with a smooth white chocolate frosting, these donuts are sure to make your heartthrob drool!
If you’re a fan of Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake, then you will love these donuts! The cake donut is tender and moist and a bold red color. Another delicious baked donut recipe you should try is my Oreo Donuts recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
- Baked, not fried. These red velvet donuts, dare I say, are healthier than any regular donut because they are baked! Forget the fatty fried option, baked donuts are much less of a hassle!
- Taste just like red velvet cake. If you’re a fan of red velvet cake, then you will love these red velvet cake donuts! The subtle chocolate flavor in the donut, paired with the tang in the sour cream, provides that delicious red velvet flavor we all love!
- Incredibly moist. These donuts are super moist thanks to the sour cream in the batter. This adds a delicious flavor aspect but also helps keep the donut tender and moist, too.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You can also substitute Dutch process cocoa instead if you’d like since the amount of cocoa powder is so small. For more information about different cocoa powders and which to use, see my Cocoa Powder Guide.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: This recipe calls for the same amount of baking soda and baking powder. Because of this, you can use either unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process cocoa powder.
- Egg: The egg acts as a binding agents that also gives some lift when the donut batter is baked.
- Light Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar as the sweetener instead of granulated sugar will give a bit more moistness to the donut.
- Sour Cream: You can use regular or light sour cream. The sour cream adds a tanginess to the donut which is found in red velvet desserts. It also provides necessary moisture to keep the donuts moist.
- Liquid Red Food Coloring: I used the liquid food coloring instead of a gel food coloring. This measurement will give you enough red color to come through when baked.
- Vegetable Shortening: Using vegetable shortening instead of heavy cream helps keeps the white chocolate from seizing up. The vegetable shortening keeps it nice and smooth. White chocolate is thinner than other chocolates, so if you use heavy cream instead of vegetable shortening, the mixture will be too liquidy. If you want more of a glaze, then you can use heavy cream instead.
- White Icing Coloring: This is optional. White chocolate can sometimes have an off-white color to it, so I like using the white icing coloring to get a really strong white color.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Cream together the wet ingredients. Mix the egg, vanilla, brown sugar, sour cream, melted butter, and red food coloring in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth and combined.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.
- Fill the donut pan. Spoon batter into a Ziplock bag (or piping bag) that has the corner snipped off. Pipe the batter into a donut pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray that contains flour. The cavities should be 1/2 full. Don’t overfill otherwise there won’t be the center hole in each donut.
- Bake. Bake at 350°F for 8 mins or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove the baked red velvet donuts from oven. Let them cool in the pan for 3-5 mins then turn them out on a wire rack. Let the donuts cool completely before adding the white chocolate overtop.
- Make the white chocolate topping. Place the white chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the mixture in 20-second increments, stirring well between each increment until smooth and fully melted. Add a drop or two of the white icing coloring (if desired) and stir.
- Frost the red velvet donuts. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the white chocolate. Alternatively, you can drizzle the melted chocolate overtop of the donuts as well. Top with sprinkles and let set.
You will need a donut pan to bakes these donuts. I have Wilton donut pans and really like them!
Do not over mix the donut batter when you are combining the wet and dry ingredients. Just like cake, the cake donut batter can get tough and it will affect the rise.
Do not fill each donut ring more than 1/2 full with the batter or else the batter will puff up in the oven and you won’t have a donut hole in the middle.
White Chocolate Topping: I like to set my microwave at half power to make sure the chocolate doesn’t get scorched. If you want more of a glaze consistency you can use heavy cream. I used vegetable shortening because I didn’t want the white chocolate to seize and because the white chocolate has a thinner consistency than other chocolates.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
These donuts can last covered at room temperature for two days or store them in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze, let the donuts cool completely, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and store in a Ziplock bag in the freezer for 1-2 months. Remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature and then dip them in the frosting.
Cake donuts are made from the same ingredients as cake batter which has baking powder and baking soda. Regular donuts are made with a yeasted dough.
Cake donut batter is made of similar ingredients you’d find in cake batter.
While the sugar and fat content probably isn’t much different between the two donuts, the fact that they are baked is a much healthier form of cooking than frying since you aren’t frying them in oil.
Yes you can. You just won’t need as much since the gel is more concentrated.
No you don’t. If you don’t color these donuts, they’ll turn out a light brown color. Using the red food coloring helps them fit the red velvet dessert vibe and makes them the perfect Valentines day donut!
More Red Velvet Recipes
- Oreo Red Velvet Cake
- Red Velvet Waffles
- Red Velvet Macarons
- Red Velvet Popcorn
- Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
Red Velvet Donuts
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder - can substitute dutch process cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 1/2 cup sour cream - can use regular or light sour cream
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter - can use salted butter, but if you do, eliminate the 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons liquid red food coloring
- sprinkles - optional, for topping
White chocolate topping
- 6 oz white chocolate - finely chopped, or about 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
- 3 teaspoons vegetable shortening
- white icing coloring - optional
- 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 paddle mix the egg, vanilla, brown sugar, sour cream, melted butter, and red food coloring 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 (or piping bag) that has the corner snipped off.
- Pipe the batter into the donut pan, the cavities should be 1/2 full. Don’t overfill otherwise there won’t be the center hole in each donut.
- Bake for 8 mins or until 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. Let the donuts cool completely before adding the white chocolate overtop.
White chocolate topping
- Place the white chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring well between each increment until smooth and fully melted. (I like to set my microwave at half power to make sure the chocolate doesn't get scorched).
- If desired, add a drop or two of the white icing coloring to the white chocolate and stir to combine.
- Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the white chocolate. Alternatively, you can drizzle the melted chocolate overtop of the donuts as well.
- Sprinkle the tops of each donut with sprinkles if desired. Let sit until chocolate sets. Enjoy!