Chocolate Cake Donuts Recipe

Posted on Feb 20 2013 - 12:01am by Demelza Young

Chocolate Cake Donuts

I can’t remember how long ago it was, but one day either my dad or my brother brought home a donut-making machine.  They wanted to be able to enjoy donuts whenever they wanted, at home.  Personally, I was skeptical about the contraption.  I was even more skeptical when they tried it out and had to use large quantities of oil to “fry” the donuts in.  They weren’t the least bit healthy, and the donuts came out sopping wet with grease.  It was rather horrifying to me.  I suppose my family didn’t care for the end product, either, as they only used the machine maybe once or twice after that until someone had the bright idea to banish the device to the confines of our basement (or maybe they threw it out—I never asked).

In its stead, my family opted to start baking donuts.  I don’t remember how it started—whether my father was gifted the first donut pan or I was, but ever since then we haven’t looked back.  It’s a healthier alternative, as donuts go, because rather than frying in grease or oil you simply bake them in the oven.  They don’t have quite the same texture or taste as regular donuts, but they are still tasty.  The chocolate donuts yielded by this recipe are light and airy, with a fairly subtle flavor.  They’d make a great breakfast treat served with coffee, or even a light dessert.  My family doesn’t care much for glaze, and I usually don’t either, but I think it adds a little extra something to this recipe.  You can opt to use it or not, depending on your preference.  You could also try simply sprinkling the donuts with powdered sugar, or adding a bit of cinnamon or chocolate chips to the batter.

You will need a donut pan to make this recipe.  My mom bought mine from King Arthur Flour, and this recipe actually came from the pan’s packaging. You can purchase a standard donut pan for half the price on Amazon, however, so you may want to purchase it from there instead.

Chocolate Cake Donuts Recipe


Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Melted Butter

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Hot Water



  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick.
  4. Combine milk and butter. Alternately combine egg and milk mixtures with the flour mixture, mixing until smooth and soft.

    chocolate donuts 1

  5. Spray donut pan lightly with nonstick spray. Fill donut pan rings 2/3 full with batter and then bake for 8-12 minutes.
     chocolate donuts 2.jpg
  6. chocolate donuts 3.jpg
    Test them with a toothpick; they’re done when it comes out clean. I only had one donut pan, so in addition I used a Vitatop silicon liner that I had on hand. Incidentally, I may have also filled the donut rings more than 2/3 full…Doesn’t mean they were any less tasty.

    chocolate donutes 4.jpg

  7. Allow donuts to cool, and then carefully remove from the pan. Frost or glaze them, if desired.

    chocolate donuts 5.jpg


Demelza Young is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University. Her current plans are to attend graduate school and to study clinical psychology in the hopes of one day working with eating disordered patients.

91 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jaime Nicole February 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm -

    These look yummy and not too hard!  I pinned!

  2. Norma Kay Lawson Neal February 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm -

    The recipe looks yummy and I appreciate the links to the pans.

  3. Katherine February 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm -

    This looks just amazing!! Yum!

  4. Dawn February 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm -

    Oooh, I am loving the donut pan!


  5. Suzi Satterfield February 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm -

    Oh, this looks delicious!  I love cake donuts!

  6. Jenna Em February 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm -

    Wow, this looks awesome!  I never knew you could homemake these donuts!


  7. Jennifer Saarinen February 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm -

    That looks so yummy. I've been wanting to buy one of those donut pans.

  8. Marie Michel February 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm -

    I miss really luscious yummy donuts, they don't sell such where I am now. lol,and it's worse that Hershey's products can't be bought in the local stores! :( Me and my sad life. thanks for sharing this – hubby will visit SF come March I'll make him buy 😉 

  9. Ashley B February 22, 2013 at 9:51 am -

    I can finally justify buying a donut pan now!!!!!  Thank you so much for sharing what looks to be a most delicious donut recipe :)

  10. Ashley February 22, 2013 at 9:58 am -

    Oooo this recipe is dangerous in that I want to make them all the time, hehe. Those look and sound so yummy!

  11. Savannah miller February 22, 2013 at 10:15 am -

    This looks so yummy!!  I'm def. trying to make this for my family!  I have to get a cool pan though I don't have any like this at home :)

  12. Donna February 22, 2013 at 10:24 am -

    They look so good and not too difficult to make. I have to get a donut pan!

  13. Casey M February 22, 2013 at 10:42 am -

    OK I have to have a donut pan!!

  14. Kimberly February 22, 2013 at 11:30 am -

    Oh my God… yum!

  15. Tiffany @ The Bizy Mommy February 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm -

    Yummy! I need to get one of those pans!

  16. Nickida February 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm -

    This looks very easty to make.  I also like that you baked it with smart balance.  I am going to have to give this a try.

  17. Anna at Mama Writes February 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm -

    This looks so delicious!!! I will have to attempt to bake it… it's so cute too!

  18. sarah p February 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm -

    mmm…those look so yummy! Will definitely be trying this out!

  19. Allie February 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm -

    You had me at chocolate! I need to get a doughnut pan and I will be making it, too! Thanks!

  20. lisa February 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm -

    I like it. Sounds as easy to make as cookies or cake.

  21. rebecca shockley February 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm -

    My friend and my enemy, I love chocolate. It makes me feel good, the pictures on here are mouth watering. this recipe is on my to do list for this weekend, thank you!

  22. Jessica Snow February 23, 2013 at 1:15 am -

    These look not only easy to make, but super yummy! I love chocolate so this is a total plus, not to mention the fact that they're baked instead of fried, so much healthier.  Thanks for sharing this! =)

  23. Kelly R. February 23, 2013 at 8:27 am -

    These look really tasty, thanks for sharing. 

  24. Maria Iemma February 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm -

    I am a chocoholic and this cake is definitely calling my name.

  25. Kara Marks February 24, 2013 at 12:56 am -

    Thanks for the info–I've been wanting to start baking donuts.

  26. gracie February 24, 2013 at 2:10 am -

    My gosh, that chocolate donut cake looks delish.  it looks too good to eat! thanks for the great recipes.

  27. Sherryl Wilson February 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm -

    Donuts are good anytime! Both shops closed in our little town..and so we will have to try your recipe. I too bought one of the donut machines..not impressed!

  28. Jennifer February 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm -

    THese lOok delicious!! I’ve got to try these!

  29. Cory February 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm -

    I need to try this recipe, I love me some donuts. 

  30. Kayce February 26, 2013 at 8:14 am -

    WOW! this chocolate cake donuts recipe looks yummy and delicious! my daughter will surely love it! :)

  31. Karren Haller February 27, 2013 at 10:27 am -

    Oh Yummy, we have been having an urge for donuts. Just stopping by for get those numbers down

  32. Diana C February 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm -

    This looks amazing and amazingly easy.  I will have to try this.  


    Diana C

  33. Susan Smith March 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm -

    These look yummy.  I have never heard of baking donuts before.

  34. Loris Ayoub March 3, 2013 at 3:59 am -

    This looks yummy…I  love doughnuts

  35. Patty Coleman March 3, 2013 at 11:23 am -

    Looks like a good recipe.  We use Grands biscuits to make the best ever donuts.  If you want to know how…email me!!

  36. Susan Bewley March 3, 2013 at 11:50 am -

    My mother used to do that when I was a kid. She would tear them apart and turn them into donut holes in her deep fryer :)

  37. San March 4, 2013 at 4:50 am -

    Looks really yummy! But first I need to get myself a donut pan! :)

  38. Teri March 4, 2013 at 9:04 am -

    You are killing my diet lady!

  39. Susan Bewley March 4, 2013 at 9:55 am -

    Chocolate is always worth it 😉

  40. Giveaways 4 Mom March 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm -

    This looks super yummy!

  41. sam dock March 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm -

    Yum! I havent had many cravings this pregnancy but the last week or so I would just about give anything for a good donught!

  42. Ashley Seals March 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm -

    I love chocolate cake and dounuts and baking them is so much more healthy. This looks amazing and cant wait to try it. Thank you for this recipe!!!

  43. Myra R March 9, 2013 at 11:21 am -

    omg! YUMMY!! these look soooo yummy! i have never attemtped to make dougnuts before because i thought they looked to complicated but after seeing this receipe it looks doable…AND delicious of course! i think i am going to have to try this recipe out this weekend! thanks!

  44. Susan Bewley March 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm -

    It’s one of the thing I love about cooking! With the right recipe anything is doable!

  45. rebecca shockley March 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm -

    These sound so darn good! I didn't know that kind of pan existed! Frying is never the way to go unless of course your at the State Fair, then all goes out the window, but I'm glad to see that their is a healtheir way to make these, thanks for sharing the yummy post!

  46. Throuthehaze March 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm -

    yum! A baked donut sounds much better than a fried one…I would feel slightly less guilty eating it lol.

  47. D SCHMIDT March 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm -

    What a great recipe, I shall have to try it!

  48. Heidi March 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm -

    This looks like the most yummiest donut ever!

  49. Susan Bewley March 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm -

    Thanks! They are pretty yummy too!

  50. Susan Alban March 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm -

    I am going to get a donut pan! Yummy! I think I will make Spice Cake donuts too!

  51. Denise Hecht March 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm -

    have to try this one thank you so much for sharing

  52. Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm -

    Hope you like them!

  53. Darlene Ysaguirre March 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm -

    Wait! Theres a donught making machine!! where the heck have i been,its probably good i didnty know about this contraption lol probably saved myself a couple inches,but this looks great! 

  54. Susan Bewley March 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm -

    Hahaha! It’s a good thing you missed it! I remember when my father in law (Demi’s father) got that for his birthday. It was the biggest, nastiest mess.

  55. Maddie K. March 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm -

    I am not a big fan of donuts. In fact, whenever my husband insists we get them he always gets me a chocolate glazed one because I think it's the ONLY one that does not taste like a doughnut but rather a cake. This reminds me exactly of that which means, I probalby would love it!

  56. Susan Bewley March 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm -

    I love cake donuts! Most of fried ones just take nasty to me.

  57. Stacey Cockrell March 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm -

    Seriously, I'm on a diet and you post something like this! Oh, the suffering!! LOL, looks so yummy!!!

  58. Ashley Chassereau Parks March 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm -

    What a great and healthier alternative to "regular" donuts!! My family and I have a weakness for Dunkin Donuts (which is WAY to close to our house…haha), so this would be a great recipe for us to try!! Thank you so much for posting!

  59. Jenee March 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm -

    Those look amazing.  Like tiny little chocolate bundt cakes.  I am going to try them!

  60. Susan Bewley March 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm -

    I’m glad you enjoy it! I have a brother who goes to DD daily & truly addicted!

  61. Karen Glatt March 21, 2013 at 10:42 am -

    I really like this Chocolate Cake donuts recipe! They sure turned out very nice. They do not look to hard to make, but I would need to get a donut pan. 

  62. Susan Bewley March 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm -

    I would highly recommend getting it on Amazon. Demi bought her from King Arthur and it was a lot more expensive. They are also not very easy to find from my experience.

  63. NIcole Strunk March 25, 2013 at 12:47 am -

    YUM! I could use some chocolate right now. 

  64. MrsD March 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm -

    One of my favorite donuts. Wish I had a donut pan!

  65. Staci L March 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm -

    This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it!

  66. Cindy S. March 29, 2013 at 2:02 am -

    Yum! My kids will love these. Thanks for the recipe!

  67. Maria Iemma April 3, 2013 at 9:12 am -

    I am glad you shared how to get the pans. I would love to make this for my family. We are chocoholics…

  68. Tonya B April 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm -

    I have seen the donut contraptions before, but I had no idea there was such a thing as a donut pan. Love it! You may have unkowingly created a monster here…

  69. Elle Briarson April 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm -

    Awesome recipe AND it's vegetarian! Thanks for posting!

  70. Bobby Tarumi April 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm -

    Lols I would prefer this over a fried donut anyday.

  71. Susan Bewley April 11, 2013 at 11:10 am -

    They are easy to make and so very very yummy!

  72. Peggy Greco April 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm -

    Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe; my hubby would love it!

  73. Amy N. April 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm -

    These look so easy, and healthier than frying!!!  Will have to try it!

  74. Karen April 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm -

    I love chocolate cake donuts, I'm going to make them next weekend! YUM!

  75. Carolyn Colley April 29, 2013 at 12:11 am -

    Yummy, this looks so good, I love donuts, thanks so much for sharing.

  76. Darlene Jones-Nelson May 1, 2013 at 9:56 am -

    What a great recipe. I have little ones over this weekend and they have been asking for donuts and my husband will love me if I made these.

  77. Michelle Proper May 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm -

    I have to make these with my 2 Grandsons…they would love it! Thanks for sharing such an incredible recipe. This will be my first time attempting Donut Cake!

  78. courtney hennagir May 12, 2013 at 1:18 am -

    alright,that does it! i am getting myself a donut pan for mother's day! lol! these just look so good.i will absolutely be making them.thank you!

  79. natalie parvis May 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm -

    Oh me. These look dangerously delicious. I could probably eat the whole batch in one sitting.

  80. samantha s May 24, 2013 at 1:49 am -

    This recipe is so impressive! I actually have lots of leftover cocoa that I'm unsure of what to do with but thanks to this chocolate cake donut delight, I'm going to use it for this. Maybe I can go borrow a donut maker tray from a neighbor… but i might even opt for making these into cupcakes!

  81. krystel May 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm -

    yum yum yum yummy yum yum thats a great dessert 

  82. Lauren M May 29, 2013 at 9:11 am -

    thats looks soo yummy! i want one!!

  83. marissa lee June 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm -

    oh my this look so yummy…i am so going to try this…i just enjoy all your recipe..thank you for sharing.

  84. Shirley Carr July 30, 2013 at 10:23 am -

    Love chocolate. Going to try these, thanks!

  85. Deborah D August 4, 2013 at 10:53 am -

    This looks so good!!!!  I wonder if you can put this in a regular cake pan?

  86. Susan Bewley August 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm -

    I don’t see any reason why not. It just may be one really big donut!

  87. carla bonesteel August 8, 2013 at 11:24 am -

    I can't wait to try this!  My boyfriend is going to freak, if I get it right!

  88. D Johnson September 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm -

    These look so good! The glaze does make them look "dressed up" for sure. I think I'll make them this weekend with my son.

  89. www August 12, 2014 at 3:18 am -

    This is a great website, keep the positive reviews coming. Great article!

  90. Naat October 20, 2014 at 10:19 am -

    Yоu’rе ѕо аwеѕоmе! I dоn’t thіnk I’vе rеаd ѕоmеthіng lіkе thіѕ bеfоrе. Sо grеаt tо fіnd аnоthеr реrѕоn wіth а fеw gеnuіnе thоughtѕ оn thіѕ ѕubјесt. Sеrіоuѕlу.. thаnkѕ fоr ѕtаrtіng thіѕ uр. Thіѕ wеb ѕіtе іѕ оnе thіng thаt’ѕ nееdеd оn thе wеb, ѕоmеоnе wіth а lіttlе оrіgіnаlіtу!