Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Donuts

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection. 

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Donuts are my favorite donuts of all time.
Of All Time.
When Krispy Kreme in Atlanta stopped serving chocolate cake donuts, I stopped going to KK. True story.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

In case you’ve missed half of my posts ever, chocolate is my love language.

I have an obsession with recreating my favorite chocolate desserts and making them the BEST: chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate, death by chocolate cupcakes, quadruple chocolate pudding cookies, and on and on.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

So you know that once I got over my fear of frying with the sour cream cake donuts, I HAD to create the perfect old fashioned chocolate cake donut.
Had to.

These are better than Krispy Kreme’s chocolate cake donuts, and they are better than Dunkin Donuts.

They are light, yet cakey; chocolatey, yet perfectly sweet; they melt in your mouth like your favorite yeast donut, yet have substance like your favorite cake donut.

I know…That’s a lot to process. I’ll give you a minute.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

The secret to the intense chocolate flavor, without the weight of adding liquid chocolate, is using the best Dutch processed cocoa powder you can lay your hands on (I use Droste), a little espresso powder, and a little extra salt.

Please don’t skimp on the salt and then complain about the dull chocolate flavor. Salt is the ultimate flavor enhancer. Too much, and it’s salty, but use the perfect amount, and it makes all the other flavors pop. It’s like real life fairy dust.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

Droste cocoa powder is also darker than a lot of other Dutch processed cocoa powders, which gives my donuts that rich chocolate color AND flavor. It is worth the investment.

Trust me. I’ve got your Sunday morning breakfast handled.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

I am going to include the same tips I gave you in my Sour Cream Cake Donuts because they still apply. Think of them like the golden rules of donuts. Mmmkay?

Some keys to donut success:

  1. Keep the dough cold. Roll and cut it quickly to keep the baking powder from starting to react with the sour cream. Double acting baking powder will react again when fried, but let’s save all the expansion power for later, shall we.
  2. Use canola oil or some other neutral tasting oil that has a high smoke point.
  3. Monitor your oil temperature. 340° F is too cold – I don’t care what ChefSteps says; it’s too damn cold. Your donuts will be greasy. 380° F is too damn hot. The outside will be dark and awful while the inside is still gooey. Umm gross. 355°-360° F is your target range, or happy place, if you will. Adjust your heat as it approaches the boundaries. Don’t be afraid to turn off the stove. This is the great thing about frying. If the oil temperature isn’t where you want it, just wait. So liberating.
  4. Do be careful. The oil looks so happy and peaceful in there, but I can assure you that 350° F oil is VERY hot. I have the scars from work to prove it. Carefully use the slotted spoon to place the donut in the oil and to remove it. I gently drop it in the oil with my hand so that it slips inside, but I have been trained to have no fear. And the burns to prove it….
  5. May I remind you that oil and water do not mix. When water gets into hot oil, it splatters violently. If this happens, back away. Quickly. This is easily avoidable if you dry all your utensils after rinsing them off. If there is any water collected on the top of your dough, which there shouldn’t be if you properly wrapped them, then blot it off before putting it in the oil.
  6. Place your fried donuts on a wire rack over a baking sheet or towels to catch the extra oil. This will keep the bottoms crispy. There will be no soggy bottoms on our donuts!
  7. Dip the donuts in the glaze while they are still warm so you don’t need to heat up your glaze. People say to use chopsticks. Come on. Isn’t life hard enough? Just use your fingers. It’ll toughen them up. It’s good for you. My Dad taught me that.

These old fashioned chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. Perfection.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 12 donuts; 20 donut holes

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Donuts

These chocolate cake donuts are light and perfectly cakey with an explosion of chocolate flavor! The glaze gives them just a little extra sweetness. They are light, yet cakey; chocolatey, yet perfectly sweet; they melt in your mouth like your favorite yeast donut, yet have substance like your favorite cake donut.

Ingredients

    For the Donuts:
  • 260 g Granulated sugar (1 ¼ cups + 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • 42 g butter, room temperature (3 tablespoons)
  • 90 g egg yolks (about 5 large yolks)
  • 453 g sour cream (1 ¾ cups, this is 1, 16oz container)
  • 480 g pastry flour, All-Purpose flour is fine (3 ¾ cups)
  • 120g Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 15 g baking powder (1 tablespoon + ¾ teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 96 fl oz Oil for frying (I used canola)
  • For the Plain Glaze:
  • 100 g whole milk (100ML)
  • 4 g kosher salt
  • 400 g powdered sugar (3 ¼ cups)

Instructions

    To Make the Donut Dough:
  1. In a large bowl sift together the pastry flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and baking powder. Whisk in the salt to distribute. Set aside.
  2. Line a large mixing bowl with plastic wrap and then spray the surface of the plastic wrap. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the granulated sugar, butter, and yolks on high speed until the mixture lightens and the volume increases, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stop the mixer and add the sour cream, then mix on medium until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  5. With the stand mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl a large spoonful at a time. Add the next spoonful when you only see a few large streaks of flour left in the bowl. Stop the mixer when the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. You want to do this as quickly as possible so that not too much gluten develops, which will make tunnels in your cake and it will be tough.
  6. Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap lined bowl, spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray and then fold the edges of the plastic over the top to cover.
  7. Refrigerate for 60 minutes. At this point the dough can be held in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  8. To Cut & Fry:
  9. Line a baking half-sheet pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick spray and set aside.
  10. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. While the dough is still in the bowl dust the top of the dough with flour. Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface, floured side down. Lightly dust the top with more flour.
  11. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, roll out the dough to ½ inch thick.
  12. Brush any excess flour from the top of the dough. Use a 3-inch and 1 ¼ - inch ring cutters to cut the donuts and holes. Lightly tap the rings in flour before cutting each donut. Place the donuts and donut holes on the prepared sheet pan. [After I cut all my donuts, I went back and cut more “holes” with the small cutter from the scraps of dough. Waste not, want not!]
  13. Cover sheet pan with plastic wrap, but be sure not to let the plastic touch the top of the donuts. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  14. While your donuts chill, make the glaze. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, powdered sugar and salt. Cover the glaze with plastic wrap directly on the surface. You can heat up the glaze over a pot of simmering water on the stove if you want it thinner. I dipped my donuts while they were still very hot, so I didn’t need to do this.
  15. Pour oil into a fryer or a Dutch oven, making sure the oil is at least 2 inches deep. Heat your oil to 350° F. Adjust your heat to keep the temperature between 350° - 360° F while frying. You will need a clip-on fry/candy thermometer for this. I heat my oil up to 360° F before adding a batch of donuts because the cold dough will lower the temperature of the fryer oil.
  16. Gently place 3 donuts in the fryer, keep the remaining donuts in the fridge. Once they rise to the surface, cook for 30 seconds and then flip them with a slotted spoon. Fry until the bottom develops a nice golden brown color, about 80 seconds. Flip it again and then fry for another 80 seconds or until the color is a nice even golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet pan or paper towels. Donut holes fry for 30 seconds then flip, then another 60 seconds, then flip, then another 40-60 seconds. They will puff up and be golden brown all over. You can cook them for the same amount of time as the full donuts but they will be a little dry. [Before I fried all of my donuts, I tested one and broke it open to make sure it was cooked. ]
  17. Once the donut is just barely cool enough to handle (I only waited about 20 seconds but I have no feeling left in my fingertips…), dip the donut in the glaze and place back on the wire rack. Dipping a hot donut will give you a nice, even glaze that isn’t too thick or too thin! I completely coat the donut holes in the glaze for extra yummy.
  18. Store in an airtight container overnight but they are best consumed the day they are fried…with coffee.
http://americanheritagecooking.com/2016/04/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-donuts/

Got Breakfast on your mind?

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Comments

  1. says

    Haha – my dad was a fan of the whole “that which doesn’t kill ya, toughens you up” camp too! Though in this case, if I can grab these freshly fried doughnuts, I just might pop them in ma mouf after their glazing treatment! Cake doughnuts are my weakness, but KK is the only place I used to get ’em from – they used to have a blueberry cake doughnut but discontinued it – now all they have are the sourcough cake doughnuts – I’d do catrwheels if they had chocolate cake doughnuts – but I think I’m better off snagging some from you when I come to visit NYC this summer! 🙂
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted…Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache FrostingMy Profile

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Phaedra! Of course you can. I place the donuts on a rimmed baking sheet and the wrap them so that the plastic is pulled tight across the top so it is only resting on the metal rims of the sheet and not the dough.

    • Lindsey says

      Me too!!!! We are obviously on the same donut page! It has been way too long since I had a hot-off-the-belt Krispy Kreme!

  2. Martina says

    I’m so excited to try these. They look amazing. One question: you mention espresso powder in the intro and then not in the recipe! How much should we use? I love using espresso powder to deepen that lovely chocolate flavor! Thanks!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Martina! My goodness you are right! I am so sorry about that. It is 3/4 teaspoon espresso powder. I will update the recipe now. Thank you so much for catching that! Happy baking!

  3. Sarah says

    I’m struggling with the temp to make these because I forgot I had to throw my thermometer away after my husband destroyed it. It was sooo much work up to the cooking point I hope it’s not going in the trash! I’m never complaining about spending $6 for a box or enemens again! P.S. They taste too salty.

  4. Josie says

    I made these and they weren’t that good…
    I followed the recipe exactly minus the espresso powder….I wonder what went wrong?

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Josie, I’m sorry you didn’t like them…perhaps you could give me a bit more detail about what you didn’t like and I can help you troubleshoot? Have a great week! Happy baking!

  5. Rachel says

    Hi Lindsey, I was wondering, do you think it would still work if I baked these in the oven on a parchment lined backing sheet or maybe in a muffin tin? Trying to avoid using oil. Thank you for the recipe though. It looks amazing!

  6. Rachel Carmel says

    Hi Lindsey, I was wondering, do you think it would work if I tried to cook these in the oven on a parchment lined baking sheet or In a muffin tin? Trying to avoid the oil. Thank you for the recipe though. It looks amazing!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Rachel….Hmmmmmm you could certainly try! I don’t see why not…you might not get as much rise but I am dying to know how they turn out! Let me know if you do it! Happy baking, Rachel!

  7. Rachel Carmel says

    Ok! Thank you for such a quick response. I will surely let you know how they turn out. I’ll be baking them soon!

  8. Rachel Carmel says

    Oh and one more question, in the recipe is 120g of the cocoa powder about a cup? Also if I was to cut this recipe in half should I do 3 or 2 egg yolks for the dough? I’d rather not use half an egg. =)

  9. EQ says

    Hey Lindsey,

    I was trying to make it and i wasent able to roll or cut. I dont doute that these tase wonderful but the dough became the consitensy of loose mud. I dont have a scale so im useing metric… Any sugestions?

    • Lindsey says

      Hi EQ. I’m sorry you had that experience. The dough is very wet. The rest in the fridge is crucial. Once the dough warms up, it is a sticky mess. I roll them out in A LOT of flour and then dust it off after cutting. I make these in the restaurant quite frequently and if you add more flour the end result doesn’t taste as good.

  10. Kristen says

    Hi! I just wanted to tell you I made these for Church one day and they were amazing! I wanted to leave a tip here in case anyone else wonders if it works or not 🙂 I went in my cupboard to get out my flour and but realized I didn’t have any regular flour and only had Bob’s red mill Gluten Free flour. I thought well I might as well try it! I did and you would never have known they were gluten free! It was cup for cup flour and it worked perfect!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Kristen, Really?! They worked gluten free? I am astonished and really excited to try it out! Thanks so much for commenting with your results!

      • Kristen says

        Yes! It was the cup for cup flour. I make so many things with the gluten free flour and I wasn’t sure if it would work for the donuts but it did! They were a big hit at church and you couldn’t tell they were gluten free! There was a comment up above about how the dough is a bit wet..I didn’t have that problem with this flour so not sure if that makes a difference or not! Hope this helped someone who really wants a chocolate donut that thought they couldn’t because of the Gluten!!

  11. Nurt says

    I was so excited for this recipe, but the 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of salt made them so unpleasantly salty(and I love me some salt). The only adjustment I made to the recipe was adding a little more coffee. I only fried up four, do you have any suggestions to save the rest of the batch?

    • Lindsey says

      I’m sorry you found them unpleasantly salty. No one else who has tried them has found them such. If they are too salty to your taste, then you should just throw out the dough.

  12. Dylan says

    I made these the other day, they were so good! Great job on this recipe. I made them for my students and they loved them, I will definitely be making them again

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