Rich, baked chocolate donuts with a spiced masala chai glaze.
I am full-on in the holiday spirit! The decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving, I got my Christmas dress out, and holiday baking is already off to a good start. It’s also been snowing for like, a week straight, so even the Sierra Nevadas are *feeling* it. December so far has been low-key perfect. I usually do nothing to prepare myself for the holidays, and then I spend the entire week before Christmas trying to fit in every single festive activity imaginable. But not this year! I’ve been blasting Sufjan Christmas in my car every morning.
And tonight, we’re going to a Christmas music program by our local orchestra group! I’ve never been before, but I guess it’s a whole thing. I was promised Chinese food and whiskey, so it kind of sounds like my best day ever. Maybe I can even convince Marc to take me on a Christmas light drive. 🤷
Chocolate donuts are my favorite ten minute dessert!
On a totally different note, I have decorated zero Christmas cookies so far this year! For shame. However, life has been absolute chaos lately, and in times like those, royal icing is not the answer. Luckily, there are chocolate donuts to make up for all of my food blogger shortcomings!
I was initally v hesitant about baked donuts, which is why you’ve never seen a donut recipe on SSL before. I just thought they wouldn’t taste good tbh. But I was wrong. They are damn tasty! So even though I know I’m like, six years late to the game, I’m here to make up for it.
Baked chocolate donuts are perfect for anyone who 1. wants to bake for the holidays but does not have the patience to make adorable little sugar cookies or a whole-ass cake or, 2. Had really great intentions of make adorable sugar cookies but didn’t realize it was going to take an entire day, and now it’s already 8pm on a Sunday, or 3. is just a fan of chocolate donuts!
The chocolate donuts themselves take like, 10 minutes to throw together for real. They are dense and chocolate-y, and 100% not cake. I really thought they would taste like cake! But they don’t, they’re somewhere between a cake and a brownie. And, because when I did an Instagram poll on chocolate + caramel vs. chocolate + chai, I got 50/50 results, I made a butterscotch chocolate pie and then put a Masala chai glaze on these donuts! Win-win-win.
Let’s make chocolate donuts!
Literally all you have to do is mix up all the wet ingredients, then the dry, then together. Do you think you can handle it? Because I’m pretty sure a literal sloth could handle it. The only I guess “annoying” thing about this recipe, is it requires a donut pan. But actually, not really, because you can just use a cupcake tin, and it will taste the same but without the hole. Although, if you’re very committed, I guess you could bake them in a muffin tin, cut a hole out of the center with a cookie cutter, and then you have a bunch of donut holes too!
Or, if you are very committed, you can just buy a donut pan. I use Wilton’s donut pan, and I really love the size!
The glaze is also very easy and can be mixed up while you’re baking the donuts. You will use fresh chai and a bunch of spices that perfectly complement chocolate. It won’t be like, in-your-face Masala chai flavor, but it will remind you of Christmas and coziness. Just make sure you’re glaze is very thick so that it perfectly coats the donuts without running all over the place. It should be the consistency of a thick glue. I know that’s not appetizing at all, but it is true!
A few tips for making chocolate donuts
Store the baked donuts in an air-tight container for up to five days. They will dry out slightly after three days. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how soft they were even after five days!
If you don’t want to eat them right away, freeze them in an airtight container for up to a month. It doesn’t change the texture at all which is very exciting! I would recommend glazing them after defrosting, but if you want to freeze the glazed donuts, it will be ok.
Lastly, this recipe is *high-altitude* like most of my baking recipes. I included sea-level below, although I can’t totally guarantee it will work. However, with my baking experience, I’m fairly confident the sea-level directions will be totally fine!
Chocolate Donuts with Masala Chai Glaze
*Notes: If you don’t have a donut pan, use a muffin tin instead.
Store chocolate donuts in an airtight container at room-temperature for up to four days. Or, freeze for up to a month. I would recommend freezing the donuts before you glaze them.
*This recipe uses high-altitude measurements. I included sea-level directions in the recipe. I have not yet tested the sea-level measurements but with my experience baking at sea-level, I’m fairly certain they’re good to go.*
Chocolate Donuts with Masala Chai Glaze
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (1 tsp. for sea-level)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda (1/2 tsp. for sea-level)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. whole milk
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
Masala Chai Glaze
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 chai bags
- Large pinch of each: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (350°F for sea-level). Brush a donut pan (or muffin tin) with neutral oil or cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large liquid measuring cup (or small bowl), whisk together the milk, white vinegar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and the egg.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Spoon the batter into a large piping bag (or a plastic bag with the tip cut off).
- Pipe the batter into the donut pan about 1/2 way full (don’t go more than halfway, or the batter will rise too much and you won’t get a hole in the center). Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then let them cool completely on a rack. Dip each cooled donut halfway into the glaze, letting the excess glaze drip off. Decorate as desired, and let the glaze set completely, about 20 minutes. Serve! Store extras in an air-tight container for up to four days.
Masala Chai Glaze
- Place the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Place the tea bags in the milk, and microwave for about 30 seconds, until the milk is hot but not boiling. Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes, and then discard the tea bags.
- Stir together the powdered sugar and spices. Add 2 Tbs. of the chai, and whisk together. Keep adding milk until it reaches your desired consistency. *Note: The glaze should be very thick so that it doesn’t drip too much off of the donuts – it will drip a little but shouldn’t run off. To test this, dip a spoon into the glaze. If it thickly coats the spoon, it’s good to go! If the glaze gets too thin, add more powdered sugar until it’s thick. Taste the glaze, and add more spices as desired.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Jupiter Winter by Sufjan Stevens