Chocolate Fudge Cake Doughnuts

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 12 doughnuts

Recipe photo

Many of you have been wondering when we'd come up with a chocolate version of our popular baked doughnut recipe — and here it is. Moist, dense, and dark, these doughnuts are everything a chocolate lover could want.

Chocolate Fudge Cake Doughnuts

star rating (16) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Published: 10/19/2012



Chocolate icing, optional

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons milk or half & half

Tips from our bakers

  • Can you shake these in confectioners' sugar? Yes, but it will gradually be absorbed into the doughnuts, and disappear. If you want to go this route, it's best to shake them in sugar just before serving. Or shake them in non-melting white sugar, which won't be absorbed — thus allowing you to finish them ahead of serving time.
  • Want to make these doughnuts without a doughnut pan? Check out our recipe for Chocolate Breakfast Muffins.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the wells of two standard doughnut pans. If you don't have two pans, simply bake the batter in two batches.

2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

3) In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar. You may notice some curdling of the milk; that?s OK.

4) Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter or vegetable oil, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there's no need to beat the batter, just make sure everything is well-combined.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s), filling them between 3/4 and full.

6) Bake the doughnuts for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

7) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after 30 seconds or so, loosen their edges, turn the pan upside down over a rack, and gently let the doughnuts fall onto the rack.

8) For sugar-coated doughnuts, immediately shake the doughnuts in 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; add 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder to the sugar for an additional touch of chocolate.

9) If you want to ice the doughnuts rather than shake them in sugar, allow them to cool completely before icing.

10) To make the icing: Combine the chocolate chips and milk or half & half in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Heat until the half & half is steaming and starting to bubble.

11) Remove from the microwave, and stir until the chips have melted and the icing is smooth.

12) Dip the top of each doughnut in the icing; or spread icing on the doughnuts.

Yield: 12 doughnuts.


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  • star rating 02/23/2015
  • KristaT from NH
  • This recipe is very easy, as well as quick, to make. The espresso does add a decadence to the mix. I did use buttermilk instead of milk and vinegar but that was the only change I made. I glazed half with the included chocolate frosting and the other half with a vanilla glaze (powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk). Both were fantastic.
  • star rating 02/16/2015
  • apl in vermont from Springfield, VT
  • Wicked easy to make and the whole family loved them. Didn't have any espresso and swapped out the flour and baking powder for King Arthur self rising flour (similar to the Pumpkin cake doughnuts) and it worked great. Thanks for this recipe.
  • star rating 10/03/2014
  • Dunja from Kansas
  • I have made these donuts two times now, they were tasty on either occassion,but I must mention a few things I noticed and think may be helpful to others. The main goal was to make these donuts in a mini version for my daughters school class, so I made them one night as the recipe stated, but left out the chocolate chips (I didn't want death by chocolate lol). This recipe was very good and flavorful, but what kind of didn't sit well with me was the semi-sweet icing, at least for my intended purpose to serve the goodies to a class of 5th graders. The chocolate icing was too "dark" in terms of flavor, I figured a milk chocolate would work better to avoid being overwhelming. So the next morning I baked them again, this time I left out the coffee and the chocolate chips, which altered the flavor to be milder and still nice and chocolatey. Then I made a chocolate glaze after the recipe, only I used a good milk chocolate with the half&half. This I found was the combo that had the best flavor and I will make those again. I also made a white icing with just powdered sugar, half&half and vanilla and personally loved that combination, it set the chocolate donuts off nicely. I definitely will make this again. :)
  • star rating 08/26/2014
  • Linda from New Jersey
  • Delicious and easy. I followed the directions as stated and had no problems- Great chocolate taste, nice shape. My batter made 14 doughnuts. Next time I may try mini muffins-same great taste, smaller bite! Also I did a Chat with the Baker about subbing buttermilk for milk, which was helpful so thank you Hot Line!
  • star rating 02/02/2014
  • Victoria from Washington state
  • I made mine with whole wheat pastry flour, and substituted part of the brown sugar with a stevia baking blend. I also reduced the amount of chocolate chips by half. They turned out wonderfully! Even my dubious-about-healthy-baked-goods husband loved these.
  • star rating 01/08/2014
  • Kay from Rapid City, SD
  • My first baked doughnuts were the Chocolate Fudge Cake ones. My family loves the fantastic taste and I frost them them with the Chocolate glase, which only adds to the mouth watering taste.
  • star rating 01/04/2014
  • Janice from Lodi Ohio
  • Taste was amazingly rich and decadent. I followed the recipe to the letter. Preparation was simple and the instructions were clear and well written. I had doughnuts that overflowed the shape of the doughnut but, this was quickly cleaned and shaped with the aid of a good sharp knife. To the defense of the recipe, this was my first attempt with baked doughnuts. My yield from the batter was 12 doughnuts and 7 mini muffins. The additional batter amount cannot be attributed to under filling of the pans as my doughnuts over flowed as stated earlier. I will give the recipe a 5 star rating keeping in mind of a few small issues.
  • star rating 01/02/2014
  • Christina from Hampton TN
  • Super rich chocolate flavor! I used buttermilk instead of milk/vinegar, I left out the chocolate chips and espresso powder. The flavor was still tremendous. The texture was slightly heavier than cake/cupcakes and a little dry. It was more like a cake donut than previous recipes I have tried with my donut pans. I will definately be making these again.
  • star rating 11/24/2013
  • Stephanie from Pekin, Il
  • Fantastic! Also made great muffins. I added toffee bits to some of them. Best choc. donut recipe we've found!
  • star rating 11/09/2013
  • Kathy from Norman, OK
  • I made these this morning, and they were fantastic! Very chocolatey and delicious - I put the Guittard dark chocolate sprinkles on top of the icing on some, left some simply iced, and put toasted coconut on the rest. My husband love them too! I chose not to put chocolate chips into the doughnut batter, and they were still very rich and fudge-y tasting.
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