Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles

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Baked Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts with Chocolate Ganache — Making donuts at home is as easy as making muffins! These chocolate sprinkle donuts are baked rather than fried so you can have seconds, of course!

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles - Making donuts at home is as easy as making muffins! They're baked rather than fried so you can have seconds, of course!

Baked Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

It’s been years since I’ve made donuts and I don’t know why. But I’m so glad I dusted off my donut pan and am officially in love with donuts again.

I went through a kick in 2011 when I first got donut pans and made so many varieties. The highlights were a baked version of a vanilla Krispy Kreme, a donut that tastes like cinnamon buns, and chocolate-peanut butter donuts with a peanut butter glaze and they were so good I included the recipe in my cookbook.

But time marches on and I realized that I really wanted a solid recipe for a chocolate baked donut with a rich, fugdy, chocolate ganache. So I got to work developing the recipe and came up with these.

It’s an easy, no-mixer batter that comes together in minutes by hand, just like making muffins. A bowl of dry ingredient, a bowl of wet, pour wet over dry, fold together, and bake.

close up of a chocolate sprinkle donut on white plate

If you don’t have a donut pan, go buy one. They’re 7 bucks. I’m sure you can make the recipe as muffins, although I haven’t tested it. However, I made 6 donuts and 4 large donut holes from the batter, which are almost like muffins, and they worked just fine.

The chocolate frosted donuts are soft and fluffy without being airy, dry, or overly cakey. I used both buttermilk and oil to ensure they stay moist, springy, and soft.

The donuts aren’t overly sweet, just 1/4 cup each of brown and granulated sugar for the whole batch. Additional sweetness comes via the ganache and sprinkles and I made sure the donuts weren’t sugar bombs to begin with.

three chocolate sprinkle donuts stacked on top of each other

I wanted them chocolaty in a nostalgic bakery way, and not overpowering or too dark. Years ago, bakeries didn’t typically make things super bold like you find today with triple espresso brownies with dark chocolate ganache and bittersweet chocolate shavings lining modern bakery cases.

Dipping them in chocolate and sprinkles was my favorite part. You could also use nuts, shredded coconut, or another favorite garnish.

The ganache is fudgy, smooth, and the perfect complement to the donuts. It sets up overtime and is firm without being crunchy.

They’re just what I had been waiting for. Since 2011.

Hopefully it won’t be that long until my next donut recipe.

overhead view of six chocolate frosted donuts on white plate

What’s in Chocolate Baked Donuts? 

To make the homemade baked donuts and the chocolate ganache frosting, you’ll need: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Instant espresso granules 
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Canola oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • Half and half
  • Sprinkles

stack of four chocolate frosted donuts

How to Make Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

To make these chocolate frosted donuts, whisk together the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in another. Combine the two and stir until just combined. 

Spoon the batter into a donut pan, then bake until set, domed, and springy to the touch. 

Let the chocolate baked donuts cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan, then dunk in the homemade chocolate ganache. Top with sprinkles while the ganache is still wet. 

stack of four chocolate sprinkle donuts

Can I Use a Buttermilk Substitute? 

If you don’t routinely keep buttermilk on hand, I highly recommend this Powdered Buttermilk. If you don’t use buttermilk much, but sometimes see a recipe that needs a half cup, but think you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, so you opt of trying the recipe, then the powder is for you. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.

Or make buttermilk by souring your own milk. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, wait 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.

Can I Omit the Espresso Powder? 

I included one teaspoon of instant espresso granules to bring out the chocolate flavor, and it doesn’t make them taste like coffee, but omit if you’re concerned.

overhead view of chocolate sprinkle donuts

How to Store Homemade Baked Donuts

These chocolate sprinkle donuts are best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days.

Can I Freeze Chocolate Baked Donuts? 

I bet you could, although I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure. This recipe makes just 6 donuts, so they always disappear quickly in my house! 

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles - Making donuts at home is as easy as making muffins! They're baked rather than fried so you can have seconds, of course!

Tips for Making Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

Getting the batter into the pan can be tricky, and I find the easiest method is to just dollop it on like I’m making muffins, including covering up the center. After there’s batter in all 6 cavities, I go around with my finger, wipe off the center, and guide it into the cavities using the back of a spoon. Then I wipe the centers and edges with a paper towel to ensure there’s no mess.

If you find it easier to put the batter into a piping bag or Ziplock with the corner cut off and pipe it in, do so. However, I find this wastes lots of batter and is more time-consuming.

Don’t fill your pan more than two-thirds to three-quarters full or the centers can baked closed, which isn’t a big deal. Trim them with a knife in order to get a cute, clear, open center if yours bake shut.

Baked Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts with Chocolate Ganache — Making donuts at home is as easy as making muffins! These chocolate sprinkle donuts are baked rather than fried so you can have seconds, of course!

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5 from 4 votes

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles

By Averie Sunshine
Making donuts at home is as easy as making muffins! These chocolate sprinkle donuts are baked rather than fried so you can have seconds, of course!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Additional Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 donuts + 4 small donut holes, or 7-8 donuts
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Ingredients  

Donuts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommended
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup half-and-half or cream
  • sprinkles, for garnishing

Instructions 

For the Donuts:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray donut pan(s) very well with cooking spray; set aside. I used this donut pan and this donut hole pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add first 8 ingredients (through optional salt) and whisk well to incorporate. Make sure there are no large lumps of cocoa powder.
  • In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, add remaining 4 ingredients (through vanilla) and whisk to incorporate.
  • Pour wet mixture over dry, folding to incorporate; don’t overmix. Batter is extremely thick but comes together with patience. If yours is absolutely not coming together, add a splash of buttermilk until it combines.
  • Spoon batter into donut pan, making sure that cavities are not filled more than 3/4-full or the donuts will bake with the center closed together. *
  • Bake donuts until they’re done, about 11 to 13 minutes, depending on how full the cavities were filled and how many pans are in the oven at once. When done, donuts should be set, domed, springy to the touch, and bounce back when touched, like a muffin. They should test clean with a toothpick, or with a few fudgy moist crumbs but no batter. Don’t overbake; it’s easy to do with chocolate (dark) items but just 1-2 minutes extra will make them overly dry.
  • Allow donuts to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing. While the donuts cool, make the ganache.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Place chocolate chips in a shallow, medium, microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute on high power to melt. Chips will be soft and starting to lose their shape, but won’t likely have melted, that’s okay; set aside.
  • In a small microwave bowl or measuring cup, add the cream and heat until it just begins to bubble but isn’t boiling, about 20 seconds on high power.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, let stand 1 minute, and whisk to combine. Mixture may resist combining and smoothing out, but keep whisking, and it will come together. If struggling, heat for 15-seconds and whisk again.
  • After chocolate mixture is smooth, dip the donuts into it, one-by-one. I like a thick chocolate layer and really smoosh the donut into the chocolate, then carefully lift out so as not to tear it.
  • After dipping each, garnish generously with sprinkles. Repeat for all donuts/donut holes.

Notes

  • *I find the easiest method to get the batter into the donut pan is to just dollop it on like I’m making muffins, including covering up the center. After there’s batter in all 6 cavities, I go around with my finger, wipe off the center, and guide it into the cavities. Smoothing it with the back of a spoon can help guide it into place. Before baking, I wipe the centers and edges with a paper towel to ensure there’s no mess. If you find it easier to put the batter into a piping bag or Ziplock with the corner cut off and pipe it in, do so; however, I find this wastes lots of batter and is more time-consuming.
  • Donuts are best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 171mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Homemade Donut Recipes:

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze — They’re full of robust lemon flavor, soft, fluffy, moist, and baked rather than fried so you can extra.

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze on white plate

Banana Donuts with Browned Butter Caramel Glaze — Banana bread in the form of soft, fluffy baked donuts and donut holes!! No-mixer recipe that’s as easy as making muffins! The glaze makes them IRRESISTIBLE!!

Banana Donuts with Browned Butter Caramel Glaze

Baked Chocolate-Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla-Peanut Butter Glaze — Soft chocolate-peanut butter donuts are the best of all worlds because you get chocolate and peanut butter in one easy dessert.

Baked Chocolate-Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla-Peanut Butter Glaze on parchment paper

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze — These donuts are what a Cinnabon cinnamon roll that met a vanilla glazed donut on the way to the oven would taste like. They’re soft, moist, and full of great cinnamon flavor.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze  on pattered plate

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this and even subbed in for the buttermilk with milk+lemon juice and these were SO good, definitely recommend :)

  2. 5 stars
    I made this and even subbed in for the buttermilk with milk+lemon juice and these were SO good, definitely recommend :)

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these were a hit and that you were able to work it out without actual buttermilk!

  3. Hi Averie. I’m a huge huge fan of yours. Your recipes are always on spot. I’ve made choclate ganache cake quite a few times now following your recipe and it always turned out great. Everybody loved it.
    On the other hand, Can I use heavy cream (35%) for the ganache ?

    1. Yes you can, your ganache will just set up thicker and firmer since there is a higher fat percentage to it. It likely will be thicker too when you’re spreading it.

      Glad you’re loving my recipes!

  4. I used Folgers Instant coffee granules in the chocolate donuts. Unfortunately my donuts had hard crunchy granules that didn’t dissolve, next time I will dissolve them in a Tablespoon of boiling water and use a Tablespoon less buttermilk. Otherwise, these donuts were excellent and I will definitely make them again :)

    1. I have never used Folgers Instant coffee granules so can’t speak to how well, or not well, they dissolve. Sounds like not so well. I use very, very fine instant espresso granules that is this brand with the green cap, Medagalio del Oro.
      https://www.google.com/search?q=instant+espresso+granules&espv=2&biw=2110&bih=1276&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie_Nqd8prKAhUB72MKHXz-BQcQsAQIPA

      I find it for about $3.99 per jar at most local supermarkets.

      Try that when you remake the donuts!

    1. Baked and fried are different and as baked go, these are nice and light. I think fried will always be ‘lighter’ but they are, well, fried in grease :) So you have to sort of weigh that!

  5. Oh goodness, I have been craving a good chocolate donut lately! This looks divine, that ganache is the perfect touch :)

  6. Oh my goodness. Chocolate ganache on chocolate donuts?? I am so so sold. I want one of these right now! And powdered buttermilk? So smart!

  7. Really, you can do no wrong when donut pans are involved. Sadly, mine is getting a little TOO dusty for my liking so looks like I’ll be whipping these up shortly :) and who can resist the chocolate ganache and sprinkle overload!?

  8. Sprinkles and chocolate are the best way to go when making donuts. These look awesome and now I feel the need to get my dust covered donut pan out and get my bake on!!! Pinning!

  9. Oh my gosh, amazing photos as usual! Something about the way you photograph desserts makes my sweets-loving heart beat a little bit faster. So pretty!

  10. Oh my gosh!! These are beautiful Averie!! I need to get a donut pan. The sprinkles are a perfect touch and I would just love to start any day with a few of these.