Being such a super simple batter to whip up, these doughnuts have the classic red velvet flavour – lightly chocolatey, a touch of vanilla and the tang of buttermilk. Oh and of course a cream cheese glaze that’s good enough to eat out of the bowl.

If you love red velvet as much as I do, you’ll love this red velvet pound cake or these red velvet brownies with the most amazing cream cheese frosting ever.

A red velvet donut with a bite taken out of it

Donut Vs Doughnuts

So, is it doughnuts or donuts? Well the correct spelling is actually ‘doughnut’, with the dough referring to the balls of dough they are made from. These days, however, it’s common to see the simplified spelling ‘donut’.

What Makes Doughnuts Rise?

While traditional doughnuts use yeast as the raising agent, these super easy baked doughnuts are yeast free and rely just on baking powder to make them rise and get all fluffy.

Using baking powder makes them closer to a muffin in texture – tender and fluffy – as opposed to a chewier, more bread-like texture of a traditional doughnut.

Being yeast free also means they’re very quick to make, meaning you can have fresh fluffy baked doughnuts out of the oven in less than half an hour.

Baked Vs Fried Donuts

While I love a good fried donut and I’d find it hard to pass up a krispy kreme, at home I don’t like deep frying a whole lot. I do from time to time, like I did with these Caramel Doughnuts with Brown Sugar Custard and they are indeed worth it, but for the most part, I just hate the smell of oil and the mess it can leave on my stove top.

These days I’m more likely to make these baked cake style doughnuts. Yeasted donuts can be baked a too and I’ll be recipe testing some next year but for now, I’m super happy with donuts in less than half an hour and I know you’ll love these too.

A stack of 3 red velvet donuts with white icing

How To Make Baked Red Velvet Donuts

Right, you ready for this quick recipe?

  1. Start by measuring your dry ingredients into a bowl then give them a whisk to mix them well.
  2. Now add your wet ingredients to a well in the centre and give it all a mix just until you have a combined, smooth batter.
  3. Transfer the batter to a piping bag, then grease a 6 hole muffin tray and pipe the batter into the rings. Then just bake them for 9 minutes.

The Cream Cheese Glaze

The cream cheese glaze is a dippable glaze, and it only uses 4 ingredients.

  1. First, mix together the icing (powdered) sugar, milk and vanilla extract to a bit of thick paste.
  2. Add the softened cream cheese and beat well until the glaze is smooth and thick enough to coat the donuts when you dip them without the glaze running straight off.
  3. It will take 1-2 hours to set at room temperature but you can place them in the fridge to set quicker or just don’t worry about waiting for them to set.

A red velvet donut with a bite taken out of it. In the centre it says "watch the video"

To Make Sure Your Donuts Are Soft & Fluffy

It’s always important to correctly measure ingredients for doughs and batters. Scooping a cup of flour will give a different result to spooning and levelling and will also depend on how fluffed up your ingredients are to start with.

For this reason, I always recommend weighing ingredients to make sure the ratios are right. Too much flour can turn a cake, muffin or donut dry very easily.  Plus you save on extra washing up by weighing.

A closeup of a red velvet donut with white icing with another leaning on top of it

A Few Bakers Tips

  • I always weigh my dry ingredients (like flour and sugar) both for accuracy, so I know they’ll turn out perfect every time, and also because then I don’t have to wash a bunch of cup measures either.
  • Don’t overmix – just mix the batter enough that everything is incorporated and there are no big lumps otherwise your donuts may turn out tough.
  • I use disposable piping bags and there is no need to use a piping tip, just cut off the tip of the bag. You can use a stiff plastic bag, like a zip lock bag, and cut the corner off if you prefer.
  • I use a 6 hole donut pan. Even though this recipe makes 7 donuts, I only use one pan. Just let the first 6 cool before rinsing and regreasing the pan, then piping in the last. If you prefer, you can use a large muffin tin then just cut holes in the centre of each.
  • Ok, this recipe technically makes 7.5 donuts. I still bake that last ½ donut worth of batter then I crumble it up to use as decoration.
  • If the glaze is too thick, just add a touch more milk (no more than a teaspoon at a time). If it is too thin, just add a little more sugar until it’s the right consistency. It should be quite thick but still dippable.
  • Red gel food colouring – not equipment maybe, but the food colouring I use is the gel type by Americolor. Different types of food colouring will have different intensities, so if you aren’t using gel, start with a small amount and work up until you have a batter that is quite red.

Storage & Can Baked Donuts Be Frozen?

  • The donuts will keep at room temperature for a day but are then best refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a further 2 days.
  • To freeze the baked donuts, freeze them first on a baking tray until solid, then wrap them in plastic wrap individually then place them in an airtight container.

A birdseye view of a donut with white icing and red velvet crumbs, surrounded by more donuts

If you’re looking for some Christmas doughnuts or just some regular absolutely delicious ones, I definitely recommend these Red Velvet Doughnuts. I can imagine a plate piled high of a mixture of these and my Cinnamon Baked Donuts on a lovely festive platter this season. 

More Easy Festive Treats

 

A stack of 3 red velvet donuts with white icing

Red Velvet Doughnuts

5 from 3 votes
An easy baked doughnuts recipe is great any time of year but these Red Velvet Doughnuts are fun and festive too. Yeast-free and only 9 minutes to bake, these are much quicker than traditional doughnuts.

Ingredients

FOR THE RED VELVET DONUTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (15g)
  • 95 g plain (all purp) flour (¾ cup)
  • cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon red gel food colouring notes

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE

  • 1 ¼ cups icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 50 g cream cheese

Instructions
 

FOR THE RED VELVET DONUTS

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
  • Sift the cocoa into a mixing bowl to remove lumps then add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk just until the batter is combined and smooth. Don't overmix.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag. Use spray oil to lightly grease the holes of your donut pan then pipe the batter in, to about half way up.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes. The tops should feel springy when you lightly touch them.
  • Let them cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool. You can wipe out the tin and regrease to cook the last 1.5 donuts (notes).

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE

  • Mix the sugar, milk and vanilla to a thick paste then add the cream cheese and beat until it is smooth and dipping consistency.
  • Dip one side of each donut, then transfer back to a rack to set or eat them before setting. Double dip if you like.

Notes

Equipment used: 6 hole donut pan, disposable piping bags
  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. All ovens vary – always test for doneness a minute or two before the recipe suggests
  3. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  4. This recipe will make 7.5 donuts. Crumble the half donut up to use as decoration on the rest.
  5. The glaze consistency should be that where you can dip the donuts to cover them but it shouldn't run straight off. Use more sugar to thicken or milk to thin (a tiny bit at a time).
  6. The glaze recipe is enough for double dipping. Let the first round set for a few minutes then dip again if you want. The glaze can be warmed slightly to make it runnier.
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