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Delicious Chocolate Cake Donuts made in a DIY Donut pan

Chocolate Cake Donuts & DIY Donut Tin

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Hi Bold Bakers!

We are no strangers to Baked Donuts here on Bigger Bolder Baking, however this recipe is different. This time we are making Chocolate Cake Donuts AND I’m going to show you how to make donuts without a donut tin.

Chocolate Cake Donuts are different than traditional Donuts but equally as delicious. There’s no yeast needed for these bad boys since it’s more of a cake batter which means no waiting for a dough to rise.

How to Make a DIY Donut Tin

All you need to make a donut tin is a cupcake tin and large squares of tin foil. Mold one square of foil around your finger to create the center and then shape it to fit the shape of the cupcake tin. It is incredibly fast to do and the proof is in the pictures.

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Another option is to create a cupcake tin and place metal piping nozzles in the center of the tin and pipe the Donut batter around that. This method also works really well.

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If you do already own a donut tin then obviously use that. I don’t and that’s why I chose this method. Necessity is the mother of invention.

This Chocolate Cake Donuts recipe contains sour cream. This makes the Chocolate Donuts really soft because the acid in the sour cream tenderizes the gluten in the flour.

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You can also use Buttermilk or Yogurt. Use store bought or check out my recipes for Homemade Buttermilk, Homemade Yogurt and even Homemade Sour Cream. Failing that, you can use regular milk. If you want to make that homemade then get a cow.

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If you are Vegan, Vegetarian or eat dairy free you can easily substitute the dairy for dairy-free milk and butter. To substitute the eggs check out my Egg Substitutes Chart. Apple sauce is a good substitute for this recipe.

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If you like desserts that are baked instead of fried then check out my No-Knead Baked DonutsBaked Fall Egg Rolls and Baked Churros .

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4.5 from 77 votes
Delicious Chocolate Cake Donuts made in a DIY Donut pan
Chocolate Cake Donuts
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Learn how to make Chocolate Cake Donuts without yeast and with no Donut Tin needed. I'll show you how in my baking video & recipe!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 donuts
Author: adapted from
  • 1 cup (5oz/150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1.5oz/45g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (2oz/60g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/60g) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (6oz/180g) sour cream (buttermilk or yogurt)
    Chocolate Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  1. To make the Donuts: Preheat oven to 350oF(180oC). Make your DIY Donut tin and grease it with butter. Watchman video to see how you can create your own Donut tin with a cupcake tin and tinfoil.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, both sugars and salt.
  3. In a separate jug mix together egg, sour cream and melted butter
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix to a smooth batter.
  5. Add batter to a piping bag or ziploc bag. Cut a corner off to pipe into donut pan wells. Fill them no higher than 2/3 of the way up so they don't bake over.
  6. Bake donuts for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm and spring back when you touch them. Pop them out of the donut pan and onto a cooling rack to cool until warm to the touch.
  7. To make the Glaze: Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the milk, vanilla and whisk until the glaze is smooth. You may need to add additional powdered sugar or milk depending on the consistency you like. Dip the top of each donut in the glaze. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Watch the Recipe Video!



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Trinity on October 2, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Love this recipe! I’ve made them once before this time, and my friends and I loved them! Made them again today using a set of mini-bundt pans. I only got six, but I probably could have made them a bit smaller lol. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Shandra on June 8, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Great recipe for chocolate cake—-it’s light and fluffy and not too sweet. However donuts should have a more dense crumb, not just be cake in a ring shape. So while they tasted good and my family will enjoy them, I’ll keep looking for an actual chocolate donut recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2019 at 3:19 am

      Hi Shandra,
      yes, you are right, but ‘cake donuts’ are a ‘thing’!
      You can add cocoa to a regular yeast donut dough too, that will give you what you want. You just need to ensure that you do not overdo it as it will reduce the gluten in the flour, soften it as cocoa is an acid ingredient. Try a no-knead, fermented method, as here:, you can bake or fry these, and this dough should take the cocoa well. I am thinking for this type of dough about 4 tablespoons of sieved cocoa sieved into the flour will do it for you. If you try it, let us know how it worked for you. We learn from each other here at BBB,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Saman Jawad on May 23, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Dear Gemma I made the chocolate donuts and they came out loved them ????????
    I tried to upload the photo but some how it doesn’t come on this page .
    Thank You for making it so easy for us ????

    • Gemma Stafford on May 26, 2019 at 7:25 am

      Hi Saman,

      Do you see your photo yet? I didn’t see them in the folder. Let me know.

      I’m really glad they were a hit.

  4. Craig on April 10, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    First time Itried cake doughnuts but I will say they are super easy and good for my first time I was not sure how much to put in my donut pan but worked well now I am on the third kind you had on the site good job lady

    • Gemma Stafford on April 11, 2019 at 3:10 am

      Hi Craig,
      Haha! good job you too! Well done, I am happy when you are happy, I even do a little happy dance!
      Thank you for this lovely, kind, review,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Larissa Swan on March 14, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Loved this recipe! Super and easy and yummy end product!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Larissa,
      That is lovely to hear, thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Siham Hassan on December 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Love your recipes❤️ You’re one of the reasons i love baking etc???? thank you for inspiring people like me????

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Wow, i am so delighted to hear that! What a lovely message 😀 Keep on baking and happy holidays!

  7. Siham Hassan on December 10, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Hi!i love your website and Loved the recipe quite easy to understand and make. Thank you for inspiring people like us. God bless xx

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Thank you so much for the kinds word and lovely message 😀 Keep on baking!

  8. julieflynn on November 18, 2018 at 10:03 am

    You are BRILLIANT!!! Thanks for the easy tip on “make your own doughnut tin”! I kept putting off purchasing a one-purpose pan, and now I don’t 🙂 Can’t wait to try the recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:26 am

      Hi Julie,
      Thank you for this kind comment. It is good to have you here with us. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family too,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. JayLynn on November 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    This question is for any of your baked donuts…can you freeze them, and if so, could you freeze them already glazed? If I freeze them, I’m more likely to not eat them all in one night 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Hi JayLynn,

      Yes you can. Maybe glaze them after though they are defrosted.

      P.s I’m with you on the freezing. If I think food will go bad I’ll eat it all.

  10. Brenda Milcetic on October 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I have not made these donuts yet but they look awesome! I have one quick question…in your video of the chocolate baked donuts you use vanilla in the batter but you don’t mention how much. Also, in the written recipe it does not call for vanilla in the batter, only in the chocolate glaze. Please help..Thank you and God bless,

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Oh Brenda I’m sorry. I’ll fix that right now.

      Add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


  11. Wendy Chin Johanson on September 19, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Gemma! I love everything you make and you always make it look soooo easy! ???? Do you know if these donuts can be made gluten free with maybe almond or coconut flour? Thank you!!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much Wendy. Yes you can use almond flour and just swap it but you can’t just do the same oat flour. You wouldn’t get the same result.

      Hope this helps,

    • Lydia on December 31, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I just made these with King Arthur’s gluten free measure for measure flour and they turned out perfectly.

  12. Alphons on September 17, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Can we avoid cocoa powder n make it as white donuts??

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Hi there,
      sure you can, that will not be a problem,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Alphons elizabeth on September 19, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        Thnk u dear..made came out soo well..didnt add cocoa pw…thnks alot for d recepie

        • Hina Ahmad on February 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm

          Hi, did you add more flour to substitute the cocoa? Thanks!

          • Alphons elizabeth on February 12, 2019 at 10:41 am

            I didnt add extra flour…jst didnt add cocoa powder..came out really well…do try it….

  13. Brenda Simms on September 16, 2018 at 11:04 am

    So tasty!! My daughter wanted to try making donuts this morning (she’s been watching Kids Baking Championship lately) and found this recipe. She did pretty much all of it with little guidance from me. Not only were they easy, but they are moist and rich with fabulous chocolate flavor! I didn’t have small eggs so started with 1 large egg but it was too dry so added another large egg. It all turned out great. The glaze was fantastic and we added Oreo cookie crumbs for a topping. Thank you for this fantastic recipe! Will definitely make again! ????????

    • Gemma Stafford on September 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Wow, I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Milita DeMorrow on September 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Gemma! I haven’t made this recipe yet but wanted to thank you for the DIY donut tin idea. I wish I’d thought of it myself! Also, compliments on your site. I came across it looking for how to make sure cream and keep clicking through to more of your pages — the best kind of click bait. ????

    • Gemma Stafford on September 16, 2018 at 3:32 am

      Hi Milita,
      Thank you! I appreciate your kind words, we try to add worthwhile content, to keep you clicking! lol.
      We are working hard to bring you more and more varied and top rate content in the future, so now that you are here, stay here, add your thoughts, input and help out! we will appreciate it,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Patricia on August 30, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Can these donuts be made into a white or yellow donut. I have to say though we love these chocolate donuts.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2018 at 2:35 am

      Hi Patricia,
      if you make these without the egg yolk and like a white cake, they will be white. without the chocolate they will be yellow!
      This recipe will give you the idea (
      Good to have you with us, thank you for your kind words,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Jean on July 22, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    I’m really not a fan of super sweet desserts, so I made these but skipped the frosting. They taste like the adult, cake version of chocolate Teddy Grahms. And that is amazing. So simple and fast and soft and delicious, this is staying in my go-to quick dessert rotation.

    (P.S. also made a tray of these as “donut holes” in a minimuffin tin, adjusted bake time to about 8-10 minutes, they were perfect in 8.5!)

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2018 at 1:42 am

      Hi Jean,
      Thank you for this lovely, and detailed, review of this recipe. It is great to get your ideas, and I love the donut holes idea, made me smile!
      It is good to have you baking with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Zahra on June 6, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Hi Gemma
    Made these donuts they came out so yummy I tasted one it wasn’t so sweet but chocolatie and super moist like melt in mouth I have given some to my friends hope they’ll like it.
    But I did not have confetti for the garnish do you thinks it’s alright?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Zahra,
      Good for you, and nice of you to share with your friends. Well done. Use what you have, the confetti is only decoration, it will work well without it.
      Good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Kitten on May 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Just made these and they came out utterly delicious. They taste like a true bakery doughnut and I have the satisfaction of knowing what is inside each bite! Hubby doesn’t really enjoy chocolate like me so I put plain icing on his – he called it “dessert for breakfast” and thought they were great (making me out as his superhero wife once again!) Thank you for this recipe and I look forward to making more recipes of yours! Keep up the great work!!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 26, 2018 at 9:04 am

      Hi there,
      I have a habit of saying happy husband, happy wife = happy life!
      Well done you have the recipe now 😉
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Marianne08 on May 23, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Gemma, how long can the unbaked batter be kept in the refrigerator? I’m thinking of making the batter on a Friday, refrigerating it, then baking it on a Sunday. But I wonder if it’ll still be good after two days in the fridge. Would appreciate your advice. Thank you 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on May 24, 2018 at 1:25 am

      Hi Marianne,
      No! it will not be good in this time. The problem is that a raising agent begins to activate as soon as it is wet, and then it will be spent by the time you bake.
      What would work best is to have all of the ingredients ready, portioned and ready to mix, it is quick, and you will have it ready by the time the oven has heated up.Then you will get a great result. Alternatively bake Friday, freeze, and defrost, it will be quick.
      I hope this is of help, happy baking,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Marianne08 on May 26, 2018 at 7:52 am

        Thanks a bunch Gemma. I’ll bake and freeze. I just baked them and they taste lovely. Not too sweet.

  20. Samiksha Jadhav on May 22, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Hello, I loved the recipe it is a really good idea to enjoy cake in donuts dressing. But just a little doubt, may I use white sugar instead of brown in the same quantity ie. ⅓cup of regular sugar (this is the quantity mentioned for brown sugar.) + 2 tablespoons of sugar. Will it be any different, if yes then what do you recommend.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2018 at 4:09 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, thank you, it is a nice thing.
      You can change the sugar, in the same quantity. Brown sugar brings two things to a recipe, a slight caramel flavor, and a little moisture.
      You can also make your own brown sugar, the recipe is right here for you. (
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Debbie on May 18, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Hi Gemma, I love your website it is my go to for all recipes. My question is, I made these chocolate donuts and we loved the chocolate cake part can you substitute this into a cake batter or would it be to soft? These recipe tasted so good. Thank you for it.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that!!! Thanks so much for trying it out. Yes you can for sure bake it as a cake. I don’t think it will be too soft.


      • Debbie on June 3, 2018 at 6:28 am

        I want to make this into a 2 layer 8inch cake could you please tell me the measurements if different from the wonderful donuts above? If it isn’t to much trouble. Thank you so much for all your recipes. I had so much fun making and using the homemade butter it was so satisfying to do it yourself and everyone in my family just raved about how it tasted like real butter haha. I tried to explain it is real butter just not the store bought kind and they replied yes that’s what we meant. Going to make this cake for my husbands birthday June 13th and he loved the taste of the chocolate donuts.

        • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2018 at 4:14 am

          Hi Debbie,
          Thank you for your kind comment, I appreciate it.
          I am delighted you like this batter, it is a good one!
          If you double this recipe you will easily fill two 8 inch cake pans. Fill to about 1/2 inch from the top. If you have a little left over you can bake in a muffin liner, a cooks treat!
          This will work really well for you. A cake batter using 4ozs of flour will usually fill one 8 inch pan, about 1 inch deep. This is a reasonable indicator.
          Thank you for being here with us,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Debbie on June 4, 2018 at 7:33 am

            Thank you so much for your quick response

  22. G on May 18, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Hi! Would this recipe turn out ok if i were to put it in a cake pan and make it one large donut? Also how similar do these taste to commercial (like dunkin donuts) cake donuts? Please reply soon, hoping to make this for a birthday! Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2018 at 12:24 am


      Yes you could bake it as one large donut. I don’t think personally it tastes like dunking donuts because those are yeasted and this is a cake donut.

      Hope this helps,

  23. Susan on May 17, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Love your idea especially on how to make your own donut pan. I was wondering if I could use a chocolate cake mix for the dry ingredients and then continue with the rest of the recipe. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Susan,

      really glad you like this recipe. I would suggest doing one or the other rather than mixing the two, just incase it doesn’t come out right.


  24. Xanadu on April 25, 2018 at 9:18 am

    hey gemma i tried making these…but when I removed the donuts from the foil , they were extremely fragile and and just became crumbs…although it tasted very good …I made cake pops with them ( your recipe) ! why did that happen?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Huh, that is strange. did you grease the foil??

      I’m sorry to hear that. They are soft but i wouldn’t have said they were that delicate.

      I’m glad you were smart and found a good use for the crumbs.
      Gemma 🙂

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