These chocolate sprinkle donuts aren’t the regular yeasted-dough-then-fried kind of donut. As delicious as they are, so are these and they’re also much quicker to make.

Want more donuts? For a traditional yeasted donut try these caramel doughnuts with brown sugar icing or for more cake donuts, try these biscoff donuts.

3 chocolate cake donuts covered in sprinkles on a wire rack.

Why you’ll love them

With all the flavour of a gorgeous chocolate cake but a million times quicker and easier to make, chocolate cake donuts are perfect when you want a quick baked treat fix.

If you can stop yourself from eating them straight out of the oven, while still warm, you can top them with an easy chocolate glaze and lots of sprinkles and enjoy. The whole process takes all of 40 minutes and that includes 10 minutes of cooling time.

I adjusted my cinnamon baked cake donuts for this recipe.

Tools you’ll need

  • Mixing bowl and balloon whisk
  • Two 6 hole donut pans or a 12 hole tin

Ingredients in chocolate sprinkle donuts

I’m willing to bet you have most of the ingredients you need on hand right now.

Ingredients for chocolate sprinkle donuts on a marble benchtop.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Flour: You just need plain / all-purpose flour for these donuts.
  • Cocoa: I use dutched cocoa powder for it’s dark colour and smooth flavour but regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work here.
  • Oil: You’ll need a little bit of vegetable oil. This keeps the donuts very moist and tender.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk also keeps the donuts tender. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute with milk and 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar.
  • Sugar: Brown sugar keeps these moist and gives a lovely flavour.
  • Egg: Just one large egg, free-range if possible.
  • Vanilla: A little vanilla extract makes the chocolate flavour really pop.
  • Salt: You only need ¼ tsp salt to balance out the sweetness.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder is what helps the donuts rise.
  • Icing sugar: Icing sugar (aka powdered or confectioners sugar) is used in the glaze.
  • Butter: Butter is also used in the easy chocolate glaze.
  • Sprinkles: Use whatever sprinkles you have on hand. The more colourful the better. Or leave them off for a simple chocolate cake donut.

How to make chocolate sprinkle donuts

You are going to be over the moon when you see how easy these are to make. No mixer required!

A collage of 5 images showing how to make chocolate sprinkle donuts.

Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Sift the dry ingredients: Start by sifting flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl (photo 1). Now add the sugar and give it a good whisk to mix together.
  2. Add the wet ingredients: Add the egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla (photo 2) and give it a whisk to a runny batter.
  3. Pipe the donuts: Transfer the batter to a piping bag. Grease the holes of a donut pan with butter then cut the tip off the piping bag and pipe the donut batter into the holes to ¾ full (photo 3). Bake for 8-9 minutes.
  4. Cool the donuts: Transfer the donuts to a wire rack to cool for a bit.
  5. The chocolate glaze: Mix together icing sugar, cocoa and melted butter. Dip the donuts into the chocolate glaze (photo 4) then turn them right side up again on the cooling rack (over a tray to catch any drips). Immediately scatter over your sprinkles (photo 5).

If you don’t have a donut pan, you can still make these in a muffin tin or mini muffin tin. They’ll still be delicious, just not donut shaped.

A chocolate cake donut broken open to show the texture inside.
Two stacked chocolate cake donuts with sprinkles on top.

Tips and tricks

  • I like to use butter to grease my tin as opposed to cooking spray. I find oil spray or cooking spray can pool in the tin, creating craters in the bottom of your donuts.
  • If you need to thin the glaze consistency to make dipping easier, just add a tiny bit of water. Don’t make it too runny or it will run straight off your donuts. I always use one donut as a test, then adjust the icing before doing the rest.
  • To thicken the glaze consistency, add a little more icing sugar.
  • Be gentle when dipping. These donuts are more fragile than their yeasted cousins.
  • Have a baking tray, covered in foil, underneath your wire rack to catch any glaze drips. This will save on washing up.
  • All ovens vary. I recommend keeping an oven thermometer in your oven at all times as very few oven thermostats are actually correct. What might take 11 minutes in my oven might take 9 or 12 in yours.

Storing these donuts

Chocolate sprinkle donuts keep well for 4-5 days. They can sit out of the fridge (in an airtight container) as long as your home is quite cool, otherwise store them in the fridge and take them out ½ an hour before you want to eat them.

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6 chocolate sprinkle donuts on a wire rack with a bowl of sprinkles behind.

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6 chocolate sprinkle donuts on a wire rack with a bowl of sprinkles behind.

Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

5 from 1 vote
Yeast-free and bake instead of fried, these chocolate sprinkle donuts are a fun one bowl treat. Soft and fluffy chocolate cake donuts topped with an easy chocolate glaze and lots of sprinkles.

Ingredients

FOR THE CHOCOLATE DONUTS

  • 97 g plain (all-purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
  • 20 g dutched process cocoa (2 tablespoons / 0.7oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup, packed brown sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (notes 1)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • 3/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar (97g / 3.4oz)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (10g / 0.4oz)
  • 28 g unsalted butter, melted (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon hot water (notes 1)
  • Sprinkles

Equipment

Instructions
 

FOR THE CHOCOLATE DONUTS

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C. Lightly grease a donut pan with butter (notes).
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar then whisk it all together well, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla. Use a balloon whisk first to break the egg yolk and start whisking the wet ingredients to combine, then switch to gently stirring in the flour until you have a thick but runny batter.
  • Without cutting the end off, sit a piping bag, tip downwards, into a tall glass. Fold the top over the rim of the glass and press your hand into the middle to open it up.
  • Pour the batter into the piping bag, then gather up the top and twist firmly so the batter can't escape backwards. Use scissors to cut the tip off the bag and pipe the batter into the donut tin holes to about ⅔ full. (notes)
  • When all the batter is piped in, give the pan a gently tap twice on the kitchen bench, then bake for 8-9 minutes.
  • Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip the pan over a wire rack and give the edge a gentle tap to release them. Let them cool completely before frosting (30 minutes or so).

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • In a medium bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa. Whisk to combine well.
  • Add he melted butter, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk. Whisk until fully combined. Add the milk 1 teaspoon more at a time until the glaze is thick but settles back on itself in a few seconds when you lift the whisk and let the icing run back into the bowl. If it’s too runny, add a little more sugar. (notes)
  • Immediately sprinkle the sprinkles over the top.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons).
  2. Butter for greasing: I prefer to lightly grease with butter but you can use spray oil. Just use very little and make sure to rub it around the pan holes well, right before you pipe the batter in, as it can have a tendency to pool.
  3. This batter will make 8 donuts, if you only have one pan, you can bake one batch, then once you’ve removed the donuts, wash and re-grease one hole, then pipe and bake the last two.
  4. You can make the donuts in a muffin pan but you won’t have a donut shape.
  5. Making the glaze the right consistency is a balancing act. Too thick and the donuts will fall apart as you dip them. Too thin and it won’t set. Use one donut as a test and adjust the consistency of the icing by adding a tiny bit of water (like 1/2 teaspoon at a time) to thin it out or icing sugar to thicken it up.
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