In a large bowl, shift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk*, canola oil, vanilla, red food coloring, and vinegar.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking them together until all the clumps are gone. Be careful not to overmix - stop mixing as soon as there are no longer any visible clumps. Batter will have a very heavy and wet texture. If desired, you can add more red food coloring at this stage to get a darker color.
Using an icing bag (or a Ziploc bag (gallon sized) with the corner cut out), pipe the donut mix into the donut pan. Fill the donut rings to about 1/2 full.
If using large donut pans, bake for about 10-12 minutes. If using a mini donut pans, bake for about 5-7 minutes.
For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
While the donuts bake, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl.
Use a spatula to press the ingredients around until combined. Add a few splashes of milk to get the desired consistency. Icing should be smooth but not too drippy.
Putting It All Together
Let donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently remove them (can use a spatula or butter knife to help) and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Using another icing (or Ziploc) bag, decorate the donuts as you see fit. If you'd like to dip the tops of the donuts in the frosting, you may need to double the icing recipe and add up to 1/4 cup milk. If using powdered sugar for decoration, do not decorate donuts until just before eating. Donuts are so moist that they will "absorb" the powdered sugar if left to sit with the powdered sugar.
Donuts (especially baked ones) tend to have a shelf life of 1-2 days, so be sure to eat them while they're still good!
* If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make your own. Using a measuring cup, pour in either 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar. Then pour milk in the measuring cup, going up to 1/2 cup. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use as buttermilk in the recipe.
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