These are the softest donuts I’ve ever had. in. my. life! Ultra chocolaty and super moist, these baked chocolate donuts are almost as easy to make as it is to order from your favorite donut shop.
I’m usually the first person to support deep fried anything, but with donuts, I am loving baking them! Baked donuts are extra cakey and soft AND you don’t have to stand over a pot of oil frying a bunch of batches!
Plus it makes for an all around healthier treat. Soooooo if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ahead and give myself permission to eat a dozen of them.
What makes these donuts so soft?
I feel like I could spend all day trying to tell you how soft these donuts are, and it STILL wouldn’t do them justice! No exaggeration, they are literally the SOFTEST donuts I’ve ever had, and it’s all thanks to a few key details:
a) cake & pastry flour. It helps yield an all around extra tender baked good!
b) baking soda. If you’ve read a few of our past posts, you maaaay know I have a BIT of an obsession with using a combination of baking soda and baking powder in a lot of recipes.
Buuuut in THIS recipe, I prefer to just use baking soda. I find baking powder can crisp the donut up a bit and cause it to overflow as it bakes! Baking soda yields a perfectly soft and airy donut
c) oil. Oil makes for a more soft and moist baked good, and it also helps it keep fresh for longer!
d) sour cream. Not only does it add flaaaavvvooor, but it also insulates the donuts from over baking, which equals more moisture and softness!
e) 400°F oven. A slightly hotter oven helps the donuts bake up quickly, with minimal drying out. The sudden burst of hot air also forces the donuts to expand and get extra airy!
Chocolate donut ingredients:
• cocoa powder
• baking soda
• sour cream
How to make chocolate glazed donuts:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Whisk together wet ingredients.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said these were easy to make! Making the donut batter is literally THAT simple!
p.s. if you’re wondering why my cocoa powder looks so dark, it’s because I used black cocoa powder after I ran out of unsweetened. I still loved the donuts, but it did make them a tiny bit more bitter, which is why I recommend using unsweetened.
4. Fill donut pans with batter. You can bake these donuts in batches if you only have one donut pan. No donut pan? You can bake the batter in a muffin tin! Whichever one you choose, fill each cup / donut mold no more than halfway full.
5. Bake! If using a donut pan, bake for about 8 to 10 minutes. If using a muffin tin, bake for about 15 minutes. The donuts are done once a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Unmold donuts & cool. These bad boys LOVE to stick! I find it’s easiest to turn them out of the donut pan while they’re still super hot. Loosen the edges and centers of the donuts using a thin knife or spatula, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
Most donuts are glazed while they’re warm, but because these donuts are SO. SOFT. it can be a nightmare to glaze while they’re warm! Blessing and a curse.
7. Make the glaze. Whisk together glaze ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. Dip your cooled donuts in the glaze and set onto a wire rack to allow any excess to drip off.
You could technically eat the donuts right away (me, 99.9% of the time), or if you’re feeling particularly patient (me, 0.1% of the time) you can let them sit for about 10 minutes to allow the glaze to set up. It makes for an easier and less messy experience……. buuuuuut at the same time, what’s baking without a bit of mess, amiright??
Chocolate donuts storage:
These donuts are best enjoyed the day they’re made if they’re glazed. The glaze has a habit of soaking into the donuts the longer they sit (because …. did I mention they’re insanely moist??). If you want your donuts to keep longer, hold off on glazing them until the day you want to enjoy them.
Keep unglazed donuts stored in an airtight container or plastic bag, and they’ll keep for about 4 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
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Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts Recipe
For the baked chocolate donuts:
For the glaze:
- 2 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 to 8 tablespoons milk or water
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Generously grease 2 (6 count) donut pans, and set aside. *Note: If you only have one donut pan, you can bake the batter in batches. The batter can sit out at room temperature for up to 30 minutes. Make sure to cool the pan completely and wipe it clean before greasing and filling for the next batch.
- In a large bowl, combine egg, milk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk together until just combined.
- Fill your donut pan with the donut batter, filling each cup about halfway full. I find it's easiest to do this by filling a large piping bag or plastic bag with some of the batter, cutting off the tip, and piping it into the donut molds.
- Bake the donuts in the center of your preheated 400°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until puffed and a skewer inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.
- Take the baked donuts out of the oven, and carefully loosen the edges using a thin knife or spatula. Turn the donuts onto a wire rack and set aside to cool to room temperature. The donuts are easiest to take out of the pan while they're still hot, so try to work a bit quickly once they're out of the oven!
- Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of milk or water. Whisk together until smooth and about the consistency of maple syrup. If needed, gradually whisk in more milk or water until it reaches the right consistency.
- Dip the donuts into your glaze and place onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any drips. Set aside for a few minutes to allow any excess glaze to drip off and to allow the glaze to set up. Serve!