These homemade red velvet cake donuts are made from scratch without cake mix! Imagine sinking your teeth into a delicious donut-shaped red velvet cake, glazed with an irresistible chocolate icing. You can decorate them with some sprinkles to make them suitable for any occasion. By the way, have you tried my glazed donuts yet?
How to make cake donuts - video tutorial
What do red velvet cake donuts taste like?
These cake donuts are made from red velvet cake batter. Red velvet cake is traditionally made with cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vinegar to create a complex and rich flavor. Although the cake batter contains cocoa, it tastes more like a delicious vanilla cake with a subtle taste of chocolate.
Do I have to use red food coloring?
No. Traditionally, red food color was not used for red velvet cake, and the distinctive brown-reddish color is created by the reaction of cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vinegar. However, it has been common since the early 1930s to add red food coloring to enhance the red color of the cake. If you prefer not to use food coloring, you can use beetroot powder instead, or don't color the cake batter at all.
Which cocoa powder do I need?
You can use either unsweetened natural cocoa powder or Dutch-processed. However, the reddish color change in the batter only occurs when using natural cocoa powder. So, if you use Dutch-processed cocoa powder, you will need red food coloring.
Do I need a donut pan?
Although I recommend using 6-cavity donut pans for baking the cake donuts (or 12-cavity pans for mini donuts), you can also bake the cake batter in a 9x13" (23x33cm) baking pan and cut out donut rings if you don't have a donut pan.
What glaze goes well with red velvet donuts?
You can use either basic sugar glaze, cream cheese icing, colored royal icing, or chocolate glaze. I like chocolate glaze best, but feel free to use whichever icing you like best with red velvet donuts.
Storing and freezing
Store these glazed cake donuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If desired, allow to come to room temperature before serving. They also freeze well for up to 3 months. Therefore, flash freeze for 1 hour, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags. To thaw, unwrap, and let sit on the kitchen counter for 1 hour or in the refrigerator overnight.
Top tips for success
- Lightly grease the donut pans so that the baked cake donuts come out of the pan easily.
- Only use high-quality chocolate bars for the glaze. Budget chocolate chips don't melt well and can make the glaze grainy and set too quickly.
- The corn syrup makes for a beautifully glossy glaze. However, you can replace it with honey or golden syrup if you prefer.
More breakfast recipes to try
If you love sweet breakfast recipes that can also be served as dessert, you've come to the right place. Check out the following recipes as well.
- Chocolate Rolls
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Air Fryer Donuts
- Chocolate Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Strawberry Chocolate Pop Tarts
Baked Red Velvet Cake Donut Recipe (with Chocolate Glaze)
Red Velvet Cake Batter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Optional: a few drops red gel food coloring
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate bars, chopped
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease two 6-cavity donut pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, butter, oil, and vanilla until combined. Add the vinegar and red food coloring (if used) and whisk to combine. Then add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag and cut off the tip. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pans until the cavities are about ¾ full.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate, butter, light corn syrup, and water in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir every 20 seconds. Then, let cool for a few minutes.
- Dip the tops of the cake donuts into the glaze and decorate as desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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