Chocolate Cake Donuts

Chocolate Cake Donuts

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chocolate cake donut with chocolate espresso ganache glaze and chocolate sprinkles

All week long my kitchen has become a test kitchen for all things donuts.  Doughs, batters, glazes, fruits and sprinkles.  My husband Eric has been in heaven.  Through all the test and trials I have found a few gems but today my friends I share with you a treat and a surprise new favorite of mine.  The Chocolate Cake Donuts. What is all the donut fuss about you ask?

Well today is June 3, National Donut Day, if you didn’t know, now you do.  The first Friday of June has been celebrated as National Donut Day since it was created as a fund-raiser by the Salvation Army back in 1938.  It was a day to honor those members who served donuts to the soldiers during WWI and also as a way to help those in need during the Great Depression.

These days National Donut Day means free donuts from donut shops around the country.  Places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, LeMar’s Donuts, Entenmann’s and many others all have various offers for a free donut all day today.  So make sure you check your local spot to see what they are offering.

I must admit, I am not a big lover of donuts and in all honesty if I do indulge, which isn’t often, it is usually a basic glazed…..and preferable a HOT one from Krispy Kreme.  I know, I know how basic of me.  But wait, there’s more.  I recently received the Spring 2016 “Sift”.  It’s a quarterly magazine by King Arthur Flour company, which is filled with all things baking.  There was an absolutely gorgeous, close up picture of a delicious looking, chocolaty cake donut and the moment I saw it I knew I had to make these and what better reason than for National Donut Day!!

For these Chocolate Cake donuts, I ran out and purchased a donut pan, which I surprisingly did not own and proceeded to make these decadent, moist and scrumptious little lovelies.  They are super easy to make, the hardest part, quite honestly, was getting the batter into the molds evenly.

The recipe calls for Espresso powder (or instant espresso) in the donut batter, but I wanted to up the ante with the coffee flavor so I created my own Chocolate Espresso Ganache to serve as “Glaze” for these, but if you are not a coffee head as we are you can reduce or even omit the espresso powder, although I recommend at least using about 1/2 teaspoon of the powder in both the donut batter and the ganache glaze.  It just rounds out the chocolate flavor, taking  these Chocolate Cake Donuts up a notch.

Chocolate Cake Donuts
Yield: 12-18

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This decadent cake donut recipe was adapted from Sift Magazine by King Arthur Flour company


Chocolate Cake Donuts

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder, optional
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Chocolate Espresso Ganache
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 Tbls espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


    For the Donuts:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 2 standard donut pans with cooking spray. You can bake them in batches if you only have one 6-donut pan.
    2. In large mixing bowl combine cocoa, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder (if using), whisk all ingredients until mixed well. Add chocolate chips and mix to combine, then set aside.
    3. In a small, microwave safe bowl or in a small sauce pan melt better and set aside to cool slighly
    4. In medium sized bowl lightly whisk 2 eggs, then add vanilla, buttermilk and melted butter.
    5. Whisk mixture until well combined.
    6. Pour wet mix into cocoa mixture and mix well to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.
    7. Spoon, scoop or pipe the batter into the prepared pan(s) filling them at least 3/4 full.
    8. Bake donuts in preheated over for 12-15 mins or until toothpick tests clean.
    9. Remove donuts from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 1 minute, then loosen the edges slightly and flip pan over and let the donuts fall onto a cooling rack.

    For the ganache:

    1. Combine the chocolate and the butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute. Stir chocolate-butter and continue to heat and stir in 30 second intervals until completely melted.
    2. Whisk to cool slightly then stir in salt, espresso powder (if using) and them buttermilk. Continue to whisk until well combined.
    3. Allow ganache to sent for 5-10 mins to slightly thicken while the donuts cool.
    4. When both donuts and ganache has cooled dip the tops of each donuts in ganache to coat well allowing the excess to run back into the bowl. Place ganace side up onto cooling rack to set. Garnish with sprinkles of choice if desired.


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