Looking for a classic donut recipe that never fails? These easy chocolate frosted donuts have everything you ever asked for: a perfect dough in texture and a delicious chocolate glaze, made with real chocolate.
When my 3 young nieces came to visit us in Chicago in July and asked to bake donuts together, I realize I was actually missing a classic donut recipe on the blog (check my fabulous Orange poppy seed donuts at the same time). You know, the kind of donut recipe you go back to again and over again each time you have a donuts craving (yes, that’s a real thing!). A classic you would just learn by heart and keep it for your entire life, a little bit like for my Easy fluffy American pancakes (I know you are all crazy about it super easy recipe).
I know exactly how I want my donuts: baked, easy and quick to prepare, made with simple and true ingredients only. The dough must be cooked through, cakey in texture and definitely not too dry. As soon as you master a classic recipe like this one, you’re good to go and can then top it with any topping of your choice. Here I used buttermilk (I made my own one, as always ; just read the note under the recipe to learn how to make homemade buttermilk). The beauty of buttermilk in your baking is that it moistens the dough of any cake, and I actually use it a lot in my recipes (chocolate chip zucchini bread, buttermilk banana bread, etc.)
You could also replace the buttermilk with another dairy product, such as yogurt or sour cream. And if you happen to be lactose intolerant or just try to reduce your dairy free intake, you know you can prepare your own buttermilk proceeding the exact same way using any vegetable milk of your choice. My recommendations: use almond milk, oat milk or even coconut milk.
You’ll notice that I then pipe the dough into a piping bag, as I find it much easier to do so in order to fill the donuts pan cavities properly. The dough is kind of thick, which can make it harder to simply spoon it into the pan. If you have no other alternative, it will work too no worries, it’s just less convenient in my opinion.
Now what to say about the chocolate glaze? To me it’s really important to use real chocolate, not chocolate syrup or any other artificial flavor. It might be a little bit more expensive, but the taste is so unbeatable that it’s really worth it. I usually go for 60% cocoa minimum, often up to 70% but it’s because I love dark chocolate, so between both you can find a chocolate that suits your own taste. Then I use butter, not oil, and again, it makes all the difference in the glaze. There is no secret but using true ingredients, always. This chocolate glaze must be the easiest one but also the tastiest one, no question asks!
I baked this recipe for the first time with my 3 nieces and it was so much fun. They love baking and are always very involved in the kitchen with me. One was reading the recipe’s instruction, the other one measuring the ingredients, the last one mixing them together. What a team work! But the best part was when it was time to dip the donuts into the chocolate glaze, and add some sprinkles on top. They were really focused and already exciting to see the result, although you need to leave the donuts cool down a little bit until the glaze is set before grabbing a bite. I adjusted the recipe a little bit since, and found my own favorite one: a classic chocolate frosted donut recipe that never disappoints you. A must try and a keeper!
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup (180 ml) homemade buttermilk*
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup (90g) chocolate
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
- 2 tsp honey or agave syrup
- 2 tsp water
- Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C) and spray your donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the eggs, homemade buttermilk*, vanilla and vegetable oil. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and mix well.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag and fill each donut cavity about ¾ full.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the doughnuts spring back when touched (do not overcook or they will dry out). Allow to cool slightly in the pan before removing.
- For the chocolate glaze: place chocolate, butter, honey (or agave), and water in a medium bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until completely melted and smooth.
- Dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate glaze and then cover with sprinkles. Let cool for 20 minutes until the glaze is set, and enjoy preferably the same day.