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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Chocolate Donuts

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Enjoy a delightful and guilt-free treat with our homemade chocolate donuts. These light, fluffy, glazed baked doughnuts topped with a simple chocolate icing are a healthier alternative to traditional fried donuts, but taste just as good!

A pile of chocolate donuts served on a white plate.

I am a chocolate lover and a sucker for homemade donuts, especially a glazed chocolate doughnut! I can’t help it! Each bite is soft, with a moist crumb, and when topped with icing it’s dessert for breakfast. Who can resist that?

I’m here to tell you that you can make your own chocolate old fashioned doughnuts at home that are not only as sweet and satisfying as the ones you buy at the bakery, but they’re also way healthier!

Baked, and not fried, these baked glazed donuts are light and fluffy. They’re topped with a simple chocolate glaze that makes them extra special. This is the best chocolate donut recipe!

This recipe for chocolate glazed donuts also happens to be naturally vegan-friendly, but they really taste just like bakery donuts from the best donut shops. So you can enjoy these chocolate baked donuts for breakfast without the guilt!

Start your day right with these decadent, easy chocolate baked doughnuts decorated with some fun sprinkles!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Donut Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: Ready in just 30 minutes, perfect for a quick treat.
  • Healthier Alternative: These are baked glazed chocolate donuts, not fried, with reduced fat and calories.
  • Vegan-Friendly: Made with plant-based ingredients, suitable for vegans.
  • Decadent and Delicious: Rich chocolate flavor that will totally satisfy your chocolate craving!
  • Customizable Toppings: Get creative with shredded coconut, your favorite sprinkles, or crushed nuts.
  • Family-Friendly Activity: Kids can join in and decorate these easy chocolate donuts with you!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

With simple pantry staples like whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, almond milk, and coconut oil, here’s a full list of ingredients you need to create this baked chocolate donuts recipe. For nutritional information and detailed instructions on how to make chocolate doughnuts, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Ingredients for chocolate donuts recipe on a white background.
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Provides a nutritious base and adds a slightly nutty flavor to the cocoa donut. It’s also healthier than cake flour or all-purpose flour!
  • Baking Soda: Helps the donuts rise and creates a soft texture.
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk: Adds moisture to the batter and complements the chocolate flavor.
  • Applesauce: Acts as an egg substitute, providing moisture and binding the ingredients together.
  • Coconut Oil: Gives these baked chocolate doughnuts a moist and tender texture. Note that you must use coconut oil at room temperature, or at a liquid state.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Reacts with the baking soda to create additional leavening, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Forms the base of the delicious chocolate glaze, providing a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: There are many different brands and types of cocoa powder but really any of them will work! Adds all the rich chocolate flavor to the thick chocolate glaze for this chocolate old fashioned donut recipe.
  • Shredded Coconut or Vegan-Friendly Sprinkles: Optional toppings to enhance the visual appeal and add texture to this vegan chocolate doughnuts recipe. Use your favorite sprinkles and toppings!

🍲 Substitutions

  • Milk: You can use other plant-based kinds of milk as well. Soy milk, oat milk, and cashew milk are great options. Feel free to use dairy milk like whole milk or low-fat milk as well.
  • Applesauce: Mashed bananas or pumpkin puree can be used as alternatives in this easy recipe for chocolate doughnuts.
  • Oil: Other liquid oils like vegetable oil, avocado oil, or canola oil can be used as a substitute. Melted butter or vegan butter is also a perfect substitute.

🔪 How To Make Chocolate Donuts

If you’re a chocolate fan, this recipe is for you! So, grab your apron and preheat that oven — it’s time to experience pure chocolate bliss with our favorite recipe for chocolate cake donuts!

Prep & Mix Dry Ingredients: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the donut pan with vegan-friendly nonstick cooking spray (vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc.). In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Sifting the dry ingredients for the chocolate donuts into a mixing bowl.

Add Wet Ingredients: Next, add the wet ingredients to the large bowl: almond milk, applesauce, melted coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar to the flour mixture.

All the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients before being mixed with a spatula.

Mix Well: Mix all ingredients well until a thick batter forms.

Making the donut glaze in a large mixing bowl by mixing the ingredients together.

Pipe Into Greased Donut Pan: Scoop the batter into a piping bag and squeeze it into the greased doughnut pan. You will have to do this in 2 batches since the batter makes eight donuts.

Chocolate donut batter being piped into the prepared donut pan with a piping bag.

Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack. The chocolate donuts are done baking when you can insert a toothpick into the doughnut, and it comes out clean. 

Chocolate donuts on a wire cooling rack.

Make Creamy Chocolate Glaze: To make the topping, mix together the glaze ingredients: confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and almond milk in a medium bowl. Mix vigorously and well.

Adding the chocolate topping to the donuts on a wire cooling rack.

Decorate Donuts: Once the doughnuts are cooled on the wire rack, use a small spoon to spread the cocoa topping on the tops of the donuts.

Adding the chocolate topping to the donuts on a wire cooling rack.

Add Toppings: Sprinkle the glazed chocolate donuts with either shredded coconut or chocolate sprinkles and serve!

Chocolate donuts on a wire cooling rack being decorated with colorful sprinkles.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Don’t frost until the donuts are cool. For best results, it’s best to wait to add the frosting until the doughnuts have had time to cool completely on the cooling rack, so the frosting doesn’t melt off the donuts!
  • Don’t overmix the batter, or the chocolate donuts will be dense and stiff. 
  • Don’t forget to grease or spray the donut pan. Otherwise, the donuts will stick to the pan and will break as you try to remove them.
  • If you don’t have a piping bag, cut the tip off a ZipLock bag or a small plastic bag for exactly the same result.
  • Don’t fill the doughnut pan too full. You’ll need to fill each around ¾ full, so it doesn’t bake over the top of the pan. 
  • Only remove the donuts from the pan once they have cooled. Be sure to let them stay in the pan to cool, or they may be too warm and fall apart. 

📖 Variations

There are so many different ways to customize this baked chocolate donut recipe! Here are some of our favorite variations:

  • Double Chocolate Donut: Fold in a handful of vegan chocolate chips into the donut batter for extra bursts of melted chocolate in every bite of a chocolate donut.
  • Gluten Free: I haven’t tested this recipe for chocolate donuts with a gluten-free flour blend, but using one with xanthan gum added should work (the texture of the donuts may change though!)
  • Glazed Chocolate Cake Donut: Replace a 1/4 cup of almond milk with vegan sour cream to add tanginess and richness to the donuts. The result is a moist and velvety texture, similar to cake.
  • Chocolate Dip Donut: Prepare a chocolate ganache by melting dairy-free chocolate with a splash of heavy cream substitute (e.g., coconut cream) in a small saucepan. Dip the cooled donuts into the melted chocolate ganache for an indulgent and glossy finish.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Donuts: Swirl in a tablespoon or two of creamy peanut butter into the donut batter before baking. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter creates a classic and irresistible flavor pairing that everyone will love!
  • Lower Sugar Option: Half of the sugar in this recipe comes from the icing, so to reduce the total sugar in this recipe, I would recommend using only half the amount of icing for the donuts!
  • Apple Cider Donuts: Infuse this chocolate frosted cake donut with cozy autumn flavors by substituting a portion of the almond milk with apple cider. This variation adds a hint of sweetness and a touch of warmth to the chocolatey goodness.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions

I enjoy topping these chocolate doughnuts with shredded coconut, and colorful sprinkles and eating them with some coffee or a glass of milk, but there are many other ideas you can consider. Here are a few to try out!

  • Crushed Nuts: Top these fluffy chocolate donuts with some chopped nuts for extra flavor and crunch. You can use any variety of nuts like pecans, walnuts, or almonds. 
  • Coffee Or Tea: While you can serve this with regular coffee or tea, it also pairs really well with our this beetroot latte, my Biscoff lattemocha latte, or golden milk latte! They’re all delicious warm drinks that pair perfectly with this sweet treat.
  • Hot Chocolate: Not a coffee drinker? Don’t worry – hot chocolate also tastes amazing with these healthy chocolate doughnuts. Try our protein hot chocolateoat milk hot chocolate, or healthy hot chocolate!

🫙 Storage Directions

At Room Temperature: Store the leftover baked glazed doughnuts in an airtight container at room temperature, making sure to store them in a single layer with parchment or wax paper between them to prevent sticking. They can be enjoyed for 3-5 days, although they are best when eaten fresh. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

❓ Recipe FAQs

How unhealthy is a donut?

Traditional donuts are not healthy for you, as they’re filled with refined carbs, are deep fried (which makes them high in fat and calories), and are packed with sugar. A typical donut will run you between 250-500 calories and can have up to 30 grams of sugar.

But our chocolate donuts are a healthier version of that classic treat! Here’s what makes them healthier for you:

1) Baked Not Fried: This chocolate cake donut recipe is baked not fried. This greatly reduces the overall fat and calories of each doughnut.

2) Whole Grain Flour: Most doughnuts are made with refined flour. This type of flour has no fiber or nutrients. They are empty calories. This easy chocolate donut recipe is made with whole-grain flour increasing its fiber content.

3) Less Fat: This particular recipe has only 6 grams of total fat per donut, much less than the average doughnut!

Do you need to fry chocolate doughnuts?

Doughnuts that you pick up at your local bakery are often fried. However, these chocolate doughnuts are intended to be cakey and baked. The texture is lovely without being fried. You can easily whip up these chocolate cake doughnuts in the oven.

What can I use if I don’t have a doughnut pan?

If you don’t have a doughnut pan or a silicone donut pan you can use muffin pans and some aluminum foil. Take a small amount of aluminum foil and shape into a ball. Place the ball in the center of each muffin tin. Then with your large piping bag, pipe the batter around the muffin tin, you’ll have a circular doughnut shape.

How do you make day old doughnuts fresh again?

We all know that doughnuts always taste better when they are fresh, but that doesn’t mean you have to toss them if you don’t eat them right away. These chocolate doughnuts can easily be given new life if you place leftover donuts on a plate and microwave for 10-15 seconds. Make sure to cover them with a paper towel. They will be soft, chewy, and ready for you to enjoy. 

A chocolate donut with a bite taken out on a white plate.

🍩 More Healthy Donuts And Breakfast Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It
A pile of chocolate donuts served on a white plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

Chocolate Donuts

Start your day with these decadent, easy chocolate donuts! They are light, fresh, delicious, and healthier when homemade! Perfect for a special breakfast, brunch or dessert!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 8 donuts
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


For The Doughnuts

For The Icing / Toppings



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray donut pan with vegan-friendly cooking spray (vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc.).
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • Next, add the wet ingredients: almond milk, applesauce, melted coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
  • Mix all ingredients well until a thick batter forms.
  • Scoop the donut batter in a piping bag and squeeze it into the donut pan. You will have to do this in 2 batches since the batter makes 8 donuts.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
  • To make the topping, mix together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and almond milk. Mix vigorously and well.
  • Once the donuts are cooled, use a spoon to spread the cocoa topping on each of the donuts. Sprinkle with either shredded coconut or sprinkles.


  • Don’t overmix the batter, or they will be dense and stiff. 
  • It’s best to wait to add the frosting until the doughnuts have had time to cool completely. 
  • Don’t forget to grease or spray the donut pan. Otherwise, they may stick, and you will have a mess on your hands. 
  • Don’t fill the doughnut pan too full. You’ll need to fill each around ¾ full, so it doesn’t bake over the top of the pan. 
  • The chocolate donuts are done baking when you can insert a toothpick into the doughnut, and it comes out clean. 
  • After the donuts have cooled, remove them from the pan. Be sure to let them stay in the pan to cool, or they may be too warm and fall apart. 


Serving: 1donut | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.9g | Protein: 2.4g | Fat: 6.3g | Saturated Fat: 5.2g | Sodium: 164.8mg | Potassium: 80.2mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 24g

30 responses to “Chocolate Donuts”

  1. I can’t get enough of these donuts and neither can my family! I’m going to be making these again for the second time this week. 🙂 Thank you for an awesome recipe!5 stars

  2. Having a sleep over tomorrow night and these will be perfect for the following morning! What a fun and festive way to start the day; looking forward to giving these a try, indeed!5 stars

  3. These chocolate donuts look simply delicious! They will be such a delicious treat with a cup of tea.5 stars

  4. Thanks for this recipe and the fact that it is plant-based. I was making a batch to bring to a work event and we have a couple of vegan peers. They were SO appreciative that I brought in a treat with them in mind. Everyone loved these though.5 stars

  5. My boyfriend loves chocolate so I am totally making these for him for Christmas morning. Thanks for the great idea!5 stars

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