These tender, cake-like chocolate donuts are coated in a sweet chocolate glaze and can be baked in a pan in 30 minutes or less. No messy frying necessary!

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Frosted chocolate caked donut with sprinkles.

About Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts

No matter if you’re craving donuts for breakfast or dessert, this recipe for chocolate cake donuts makes it easy to whip up a batch (or two!) any time you want.

Plus, they’re frosted with a simple chocolate glaze, making them perfect for decorating with your favorite festive sprinkles.

What are cake donuts?

If you’ve ever been to a donut parlor, you’ve probably noticed that these tasty baked goods come in two different types: “yeast” donuts (that typically aren’t labeled as anything other than their flavor) and “cake” donuts.

What separates these two types comes down to the ingredients. Or, more specifically, the leveling agent used for the dough to rise. The “yeast” donuts are what you might expect, as they use yeast as a leveling agent, making their texture very light and chewy. And for cake donuts, a similar principle applies: they use baking soda and/or baking powder to make the dough rise, which is typical in traditional cakes.

Baked chocolate cake donuts on a wire cooling rack.

Is it “donut” or “doughnut”?

Spelled differently yet pronounced the same, both of these spellings are acceptable – but according to Merriam-Webster, “doughnut” was the original form of the word. “Donut” has become an acceptable shorter variant after it appeared in various publications and businesses (hello, Dunkin’ Donuts). Donut is mostly used in America while doughnut is far more common worldwide.

So which spelling should you use? At this point, there’s no wrong answer, so you can leave it up to your personal preference. As for me, I prefer donut simply because it’s short and sweet.

Do you have to deep fry these donuts?

For this particular recipe, no, these donuts are not deep-fried. The dough is piped into a special donut pan and baked in the oven.

If you’d rather have deep-fried cake donuts, check out this recipe instead.

Tools you’ll need

Before whipping up a batch of these frosted donuts, make sure you have the following on hand:

Chocolate cake donut with bite taken out.

How long do baked donuts last?

Once baked, these donuts can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for three to four days. If stored in the refrigerator, they can last up to one week.

Can you freeze baked donuts?

Yes, you totally can!

Once baked and cooled, wrap the individual donuts in plastic wrap, then store them in a sealed container or freezer bag. Donuts can be frozen for two to three months.

More delicious chocolate recipes

How to make baked chocolate cake donuts

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step 2 – In a larger bowl, whisk the sour cream, milk, egg, canola oil, and vanilla.

Step 3 – Add the dry and wet ingredients together, then mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth.

Step 4 – Spray a donut pan with cooking spray, then fill each cavity in the donut pan about 3/4 of the way. TIP: Using a pastry bag or Ziploc Bag (with a corner cut) will make filling the pan so much easier.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – While the donuts cool, prepare the glaze by microwaving the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy whipping cream. Mix until the chips have melted and you have a smooth sauce.

Step 7 – Dip the tops of the chocolate cake donuts into the glaze, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to set. If decorating, be sure to add sprinkles while the glaze is still wet.

Step 8 – Enjoy!

Recipe Details

Frosted chocolate caked donut with sprinkles.
5 from 6 votes

Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts

15 mins prep + 12 mins cook
225 kcal
Yields: 12 donuts
These tender, cake-like chocolate donuts are coated in a sweet chocolate glaze and can be baked in a pan in 30 minutes or less. No messy frying necessary!

Ingredients 

Chocolate Cake Donuts
Chocolate Glaze

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake Donuts
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a donut pan with cooking spray, then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set bowl aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, egg, canola oil, and vanilla.
  • Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients, whisking together until fully incorporated and no clumps remain.
  • Using a pastry bag (or a Ziploc Bag with a corner cut), pour batter into the prepared donut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean (no crumbs).
  • Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Chocolate Glaze
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips, butter, and heavy whipping cream. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue to heat in the microwave for 15-second intervals until chocolate chips are soft. Using a whisk or a fork, stir ingredients until smooth.
Putting it all Together.
  • Dip cooled donuts in frosting, submerging them at least 1/2 way or up to 2/3. Place frosted donuts back on the wire cooling rack. If decorating, top with sprinkles while glaze is still tacky. Allow frosting to set before eating, roughly 10-15 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy