Chocolate Crush

There’s this guy. I have a bit of a crush on him. Sometimes I follow him around or try to hold his hand or pass him notes asking him if he loves me. He’s just so super cute and nice and funny and stuff. He has a nice smile and very pretty blue eyes that remind me of the color of a swimming pool on a cloudy day.

One time we went on this walk, just the two of us, and he gave me this ring. I melted into a puddle on the sidewalk. Then I married him.

Yes. I have a serious crush on my husband. And when he wakes up on a lazy Sunday morning, blinks at me with those pools of blue underneath the kind of long, thick eyelashes any girl would kill for, and asks “Can you make the little chocolate donuts for breakfast today? They taste good and have the sugar I need to get me going in the morning.“* I can’t say no. I can’t say to no to that! What am I made of stone or something?

*And if you get that joke, I think I love you. Come over. We can down a lot of donuts together. πŸ˜‰

These little chocolate donuts are a relatively new phenomenon at our house but they have already reached superstar status in the heart and mouth of my favorite food critic – my husband Eric. They certainly do get him going in the morning. Once he’s had a couple of these he’s ready to tackle all sorts of important things – like watching SportsCenter, pacing aimlessly from the front of the house to back, and sitting in a chair and staring into space. Eventually the sugar coma wears off and he can get back to doing something productive. πŸ˜‰

I procured a donut pan earlier this summer (because I just couldn’t resist) and I’ve already surprised myself with number of times I’ve used it. It just makes having donuts at home so easy.

Or should I say…too easy! Let’s not fool ourselves and claim we’re enjoying a healthy breakfast here just because our little chocolate donuts are baked and not fried. They’re a cupcake with a hole in the middle. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth the splurge every once in a while, they totally are, but just accept the fact that you’re eating dessert for breakfast. It’s okay. It’s less shameful than standing over the sink in your bathrobe and polishing off half a leftover pumpkin pie straight from the dish. So…there’s that.

I’ve tried a couple varieties of baked donuts but this recipe for a chocolate on chocolate explosion of deliciousness is the runaway favorite by far. There is something so satisfying about the soft, deep, dark chocolate base and creamy chocolate glaze. And the sprinkles? Please, that’s just a happy face on plate.

So easy. Seriously. You want donuts but only have an hour? No problem. You got it, man. One bowl, a whisk and a few pantry staples is all it takes. You’ll be in Tasty Town before you can say “Time to Make the Donuts.”

I used a basic baked donut recipe I spotted over at Stephanie Cooks and just adapted it by swapping a quarter cup of the flour for cocoa powder to make a chocolate base. The secret here, I think, is dutch-process cocoa. You will not find a more chocolatey cocoa powder than the dutch-process. It looks different. It smells different. It makes the cake donut base so sinful, you’ll feel the need to confess after eating one. I’m relatively new to using it myself and it has won me over hook, line and sinker. I am now obsessed. It does wonders for the flavor here.

Now, texture-wise, you’re not going to bite into a baked donut and completely forget it’s not fried. That golden, crunchy exterior – it’s just not there. However! All donut properties are not lost here. These are baked in a screaming hot oven (450 degrees) so they are done in just a few minutes and the outside gets the fainest bit of crunch while the inside stays soft. And the glaze. Whoa Nelly! I love it. I used the same glaze I used on the donut muffins I made last year and it is just perfect. Not too thick, not too runny, it grabs those sprinkles and won’t let go but yet dries to a nice bake shop consistency too.

I will say these are best eaten the day they’re made – they tend to get a bit soggy after 24 hours or so – no less tasty, of course, but I wouldn’t make them ahead if serving to guests. But since they seriously take no time at all, you really don’t have to. These are finger licking, chocolate ring around your lips, glass of milk swigging, Sunday morning perfection. Enjoy every last bite.

BAKED CHOCOLATE DONUTS (Donuts adapted from: Stephanie Cooks, glaze is the same as in these Donut Muffins I made last year.)


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    (now that I’m writing this, I’m pretty sure I’ve been using only 1 teaspoon. Oopsies. I’ve been happy with my results but I’m going to use a tablespoon next time to fluff-ify my donuts further!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)
  • Colored or chocolate sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and coat a donut pan liberally with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, and milk and stir together for 1 minute. Add the oil and continue to whisk until just combined. Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup (or a bowl with a spout) for easy pouring.
  3. Fill each cavity in the pan 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the donuts spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely before icing. Yields 10 to 12 donuts.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the glaze: combine the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a double boiler (or in a stainless steel or glass bowl over some simmering water). Stir until the chocolate is melted and everything is incorporated. Use immediately.


One Year Ago: Roasted Corn Salad – One of my summer favorites!
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Blossoms
Three Years Ago: Skillet Bruschetta Chicken



Filed under breakfast, chocolate

40 responses to “Chocolate Crush

  1. What a sweet, sweet post!

  2. It’s vital to get the right kind of chemistry inside the chocolate that allows it to set and to snap when bitten into! With donuts they are heavenly!

  3. I just got my doughnut pan yesterday from Amazon. These are second on my list to try!

  4. That’s such a sweet post about Eric, I loved it πŸ™‚ When they ask so nicely, there’s no saying no πŸ™‚ And these look BEYOND delicious!

  5. I think MY husband will have a crush on you when I show him this πŸ™‚

  6. Jennifer

    What brand do you use or can think of off the top of your head that is a dutch-processed cocoa powder? I’m new to baking so I have no idea where to dutch cocoa powder

    • themilkmanswife

      Hi Jennifer – dutch-process cocoa is a specialty baking product that can to be difficult to find in a regular grocery store (that was my reason for not using it for so long, I didn’t know where to look!) What you are most likely to find at the store would be something like Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder which is a dutch-process/natural cocoa powder blend. That would work just fine in this recipe. You can also order it online from retailers like King Arthur Flour Hope you’ll consider giving it a try! Happy baking! πŸ™‚

  7. i saw your picture and my heart skipped a beat. I’m a sucker for donuts and those look delicious, I’ll be sure to try this!

  8. Eric (Erin's Loving Husband)

    What a great post! I feel the same way when you ask me to take out the garbage..I just can’t say no. Now isn’t that romantic? These Little Chocolate Donuts are the best. I highly recommend.

  9. What an adorable post. And these little chocolate doughnuts look incredible! I want to reach through the screen and grab a couple/few. Ok I want all of them. I am definitely going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Aww that’s such a cute story! These donuts look amazing!

  11. These look great, lately I have been all over chocolate.

  12. Are there any brick and mortar stores that sell donut pans? I can’t say I’ve ever seen one before, and the results look most delicious.

    • themilkmanswife

      Hmmm. Good question! I know I’ve seen them at Crate & Barrel. They may be at other places that sell Wilton products like Bed Bath & Beyond or even in the cake decorating section at a craft store. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  13. These sound and look amazing! I recently bought a donut book and have been meaning to get a donut pan so I can make myself some baked donuts- these have definitely given me the final shove I need to go out and get it!

  14. I have never heard of baked doughnuts before, but I absolutely love your technique. Can’t wait to try this

  15. Romantic and well written not to mention a great recipe!

  16. Shelley

    I made these last night and followed the recipe very closely. I keep retracing my steps trying to figure out what went wrong because these turned out UBER dry. At the point where it said, “add the oil and continue to whisk until combined” I knew these probably wouldn’t be turn out to be what I was hoping for. I had an extremely thick ball of dough(think cookie dough)…there was no way there would be any “whisking” going on at that point. I ended up having to mix in the oil with a spatula. :/ Can someone tell me what I’m missing because I really wanted to like these. I ended up throwing the batch away.

    • themilkmanswife

      Hi Shelley, I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you! I’m not sure what happened! Whenever I make this recipe the batter is never dry. In fact, it’s liquid enough to pour from a measuring cup into the pan. The only thing I can think of is to be careful when measuring the flour. I always lightly spoon the flour into measuring cups and level it off with a knife instead of scooping it out of the bag or container. I hope that helps some! Sorry again!!

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  18. I just made some donuts myself, but with yeast. I like the idea of these being a quicker version, and the chocolate-on-chocolate sounds like my kind of thing! Dessert for breakfast… that’s the way I do it!

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  20. I just made these, and they are AWESOME! Thanks for the recipe!! I’ll be posting on my blog (


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  22. Thank you for posting! The backstory is so lovely!
    I wonder if I can use non dairy milk instead…?

  23. squeakercat

    Made these last weekend and they are fabulous! Thanks so much for the story and the recipe!

  24. Brooke

    I just found this recipe on pinterest, looks great! Question: all I have is regular Hershey’s cocoa powder, could I use that? I’m new to baking πŸ™‚

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  26. Nicole

    excellent recipe! made them exactly the way it says and loved them!

  27. sam

    can i us vgetable oil nstead of canola oil?

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  30. Mallory

    For Gluten Free I used 1 cup of white rice flour, it was absolutely delicious

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