Dunkin’ is one of the most popular donut joints in the country, and there’s a whole lot to love about every single item on their menu. Of course, their sweet treats are some of the most popular items at the establishment, and the glazed donuts are no exception. The yummy chocolate glazed donuts have the perfect chocolate base and a nice, sweet glaze that takes the taste to a whole new level. Pair them with a cold glass of milk, and you have an incredible breakfast. Whether you are making these for the family or bringing them to brunch with friends, it’s always a good occasion to share.
Recipe developer Angela Latimer came up with this delicious copycat recipe that is sure to knock your socks off. "These cake donuts are one of my husband’s favorites (he’s a choc-o-holic!), but since we live in the middle of nowhere, there’s no popping into a Dunkin’," Latimer shares. "So we make our own."
Keep reading to find out how to make these tasty chocolate donuts.
Gather the ingredients
The first step is to gather all of the ingredients necessary to make the donuts. You will need all-purpose flour and unsweetened cocoa powder to start. In addition, get instant espresso powder and baking soda. Don’t forget to pick up light brown sugar as well. If you bake a lot, you may already have these in your pantry.
This recipe also calls for salt and buttermilk. "Buttermilk is not a must but adds the best flavor," Latimer says. "Use a buttermilk substitute like combining lemon juice with milk, half and half, or heavy cream to make your own buttermilk." The last items on your list should be butter, an egg, and vanilla extract. For the icing, you will also need confectioners’ sugar.
Preheat the oven and whisk the dry ingredients
Preheat the oven to 375 F so it gets nice and hot. That way, your donuts will be ready to go in right away. Then, take out a few donut pans and coat them lightly with non-stick cooking spray or baking spray. This will help prevent them from sticking.
In the meantime, sift the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Then, add in the light brown sugar and salt. Use a whisk to mix everything together and combine the dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients
Once you have finished whisking your dry ingredients, make a well in the middle of the dry mixture. There, you can add the buttermilk and melted butter, but first, make sure that the butter has cooled. In addition, toss in the eggs and vanilla extract. Use a spoon or a whisk to combine everything together.
Once you finish mixing, the donut batter should be thick but not too dry. If you need, you can add additional buttermilk or water to thin the consistency. Just be sure to add liquid a little at a time so it doesn’t get too thin.
Put the batter into molds and bake
Now that you have finished making your batter, pour it into the molds and fill them about two-thirds or three-quarters of the way full. The batter should make 12 donuts total. Be sure to use a spoon to even out the batter, and then smooth the tops before you bake.
Then, place both trays in the middle rack of your oven and bake the donuts for eight to 10 minutes. One way to check if the donuts are done is to see if they spring back to the touch. You can also insert a toothpick into the donut to check if it comes out clean. If it does, that means it’s finished.
Remove the donuts and cool
Once your timer goes off and you check the donuts, grab your oven mitts and remove them from the oven. Allow the donuts to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. You can set a timer or simply keep an eye on the clock. Then, use a spatula to loosen the sides and lift to donuts from the molds. You can also turn the donuts slightly to loosen the sides and gently invert so they pop onto your cooling rack. Just be sure to take this step slowly so the donuts don’t break apart.
Mix the icing
As your donuts are cooling, it’s time to make the icing. Take out a small bowl and add in the confectioners’ sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk it until any lumps are gone and the icing has reached your desired consistency. Please note that the icing should be thick enough to stick to the donuts but not so thick that it stays in place. The icing should run off the sides a little bit.
If the icing is too thick, it will be super white and look like frosting. You want a semi-transparent consistency. "Add more liquid to get it thinner if needed or more confectioners’ sugar to thicken if it ends up too runny," Latimer says. "Move through the icing process quickly but gently, as the cake donuts are soft when just baked."
Dip the donuts and enjoy
This is the last step in the process! Place the donuts one at a time into the bowl of icing with the top side facing into the bowl. Then, gently lift the donut away and set it back on your cooling rack to let the icing set. Once the icing has dried, you can enjoy these sweet treats. "Cake donuts are typically good for five days at room temperature when stored in an airtight container," Latimer shares. "They’ll last a bit longer when refrigerated in an airtight container. I like the consistency of the chilled donuts best."
Serve with a cold glass of milk or a cup of coffee.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup + 4 tablespoons buttermilk, divided
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and lightly coat 2 donut pans (for a total of 12 donuts) with non-stick cooking spray or baking spray.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the light brown sugar and salt, then whisk or stir to combine the dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and add ¾ cup of buttermilk, melted and cooled butter, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir or whisk to combine. Your donut batter should be thick but not too dry. Add additional buttermilk or water to thin the consistency if needed.
- Spoon the cake donut batter into your molds, filling each donut mold ⅔ to ¾ full for a total of 12 donuts. Use your spoon to even out the batter and smooth the tops before baking.
- Place both trays in the middle rack of your oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the donuts spring back to the touch. An inserted toothpick should also come out clean with only a few crumbs, no batter.
- Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then use a spatula to loosen the sides and lift. Alternatively, turn the donuts slightly to loosen the sides and gently invert so they pop out onto your cooling rack.
- Leave the donuts on your cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix the icing by combining the confectioners’ sugar, 4 tablespoons of buttermilk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk until any lumps are gone and the icing has reached your desired consistency. It should be thick enough to cling to your donuts but not so thick that it stays in place (rather than running off the sides a bit). Icing that is too thick will be super white and look like frosting rather than semi-transparent icing.
- Place your donuts into the bowl of icing with the top side facing down into the bowl. Gently lift away and set back onto your cooling rack to let the icing set.
- Serve and enjoy.