Chocolate Cake Doughnuts are easy and impressive. Buttermilk and mini chocolate chips in the batter ensure a moist doughnut and the chocolate glaze is perfection.
WARNING: These Chocolate Cake Doughnuts are addicting. Side effects include but are not limited to; the inability to eat just one; the urge to constantly make (and eat) them; eating them as a pre-dessert; eating them before the meal or eating them for no reason at all. You’ve been warned… now forget any cautionary measures and just make these doughnuts. Luckily for you, the recipe is so quick and easy you’ll gladly give in!
The flavor of these Chocolate Cake Doughnuts is chocolate perfection. Not too sweet, but definitely chocolatey-rich. Thanks to the addition of buttermilk and mini chocolate chips, the cake doughnuts are super moist. After dipping the doughnuts in the glaze, add whatever decorations you like – nuts (walnuts are classic chocolate companions), sprinkles, or extra mini chocolate chips. If you’re like me, you won’t want to mess with the smooth and shiny look of the chocolate glaze. So feel free to leave them just as they are.
Speaking of the chocolate glaze- Right after dipping and sprinkling, it’s best to let the glaze set up for 2 to 3 hours. Trust me on this, the resting time allows the glaze to really set and become more flavorful. Taste the glaze before this time and the powdered sugar is still too prevalent. After the resting time, the glaze tastes perfectly fudgy and melds well into the doughnut.
If you doubt whether these doughnuts are as good as I say… I recently made them for a friend and her family and delivered them in a bakery doughnut box. My friend’s daughter didn’t believe they were homemade, especially after tasting how fresh-from-the-bakery-delicious they tasted. Whether you serve them in a baker’s box or on a paper napkin, you’ll get rave reviews and requests to make Chocolate Cake Doughnuts again and again. Don’t even tell anyone how easy they are… let everyone be amazed at your perfected skills in doughnut-making. 😉
Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
For The Doughnuts:
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch processed
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
For The Chocolate Glaze:
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Optional garnish: Chopped nuts I used walnuts, candies or sprinkles
- In a small saucepan, heat 4 Tablespoons butter over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Once the butter has melted, keep heating until it just starts to brown and the fragrance of the butter turns nutty. Remove from the stove and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Place the rack one place above the middle position.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ cup brown sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup buttermilk, 1 egg, melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a large spoon or spatula. Fold together until all the ingredients are well combined, do not over mix it.
- Add the ¼ cup mini chocolate chips and just fold in to spread throughout the mixture.
- In filling the doughnut cups of the baking pan, I've found the easiest method is placing the batter in a large plastic bag and cutting a 1" slit off the corner. Then squeeze the batter out the hole into each circle, dividing all the batter among 6 doughnut cavities. Alternately, you can use a small spoon to fill the cups, but this takes longer.
- Bake the doughnuts for 9-11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out just clean. Don't overbake or the doughnuts might be dry.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before inverting doughnuts onto a wire rack to cool completely. Allow doughnuts to cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add the vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons milk. Whisk to combine. Mixture may be thick. Add more milk as desired, until the glaze is thick but pourable.
- Dip each doughnut, bottom side, into the chocolate glaze and return to the wire rack. Sprinkle with nuts or candies if desired.
- Allow to rest for at least 2 hours, but 3 is better, before serving to allow the glaze to become super delicious and chocolatey.
- Store doughnuts in baking box or lightly covered with foil. I don't recommend storing in a plastic air-tight container as the glaze becomes withery.
- Serve within two days of baking.
- The doughnuts can be made several days ahead and kept frozen without any glaze until the day of serving.
Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker.