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Fried cake doughnuts are dipped in a chocolate glaze and topped with your favorite sprinkles. These chocolate glazed donuts are perfect for a weekend breakfast or a fun dessert.

Three sprinkle-topped chocolate glazed donuts stacked on a piece of parchment paper, with more donuts and sprinkles in the background.

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I think we all have recipes that remind us of our childhoods.

For me, it’s recipes like my Nana’s pumpkin crunch cake, honey bun cake, or chocolate zucchini bread.

For Eric, it’s his grandma’s chocolate glazed donuts.

I don’t make donuts all that often, but for some reason, fall seems like the perfect time to make them. Maybe it’s because I automatically associate fall with apple cider donuts, or maybe it’s just that they’re such a comfort-food breakfast.

Overhead view of sprinkle-topped chocolate-glazed donuts scattered on a wire rack.

In Eric’s book, a donut is not a donut unless it’s dipped in chocolate. So these sweet little cake donuts are dipped in a chocolate glaze – and topped with some sprinkles, of course!

Eric enjoyed chocolate glazed donuts every Christmas during his childhood, and they even graced the breakfast table after a special sleepover. 

I hope you use this recipe to make some special memories of your own!

Sprinkle-topped chocolate glazed donuts scattered on a wire cooling rack.


If you’re like my husband, the most important part of this recipe isn’t really the donut: it’s the chocolate glaze.

Don’t get me wrong: these cake donuts are great, and really do stand on their own.

But the chocolate glaze is where it’s at with this particular recipe.

In this case, the glaze goes on a cake donut, but you could just as easily use this glaze on baked donuts or homemade doughnuts if you prefer a yeasted version!

The glaze is similar to a chocolate ganache, but with a couple of extra ingredients to give it that pretty sheen that makes bakery glazed donuts so enticing.

Dough for chocolate glazed donuts in a ceramic mixing bowl.


If you’ve never fried donuts before, you might be panicking right now. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through how to make these chocolate glazed donuts.

Tools for frying donuts

Frying donuts isn’t that hard; you just need to have a few pieces of equipment set up and ready to go:

  • Donut cutter or a set of circle cutters: For cutting the donuts and donut holes. If you don’t have a donut cutter, use a 3-inch circle cutter for the donuts and a 1-inch cutter to cut the holes.
  • Large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot: Using a heavy pot will allow for more even heating of the oil.
  • Fry thermometer: Using a frying thermometer will help you to keep an eye on the temperature of your oil and adjust as needed throughout the frying process.
  • Spider and/or set of wooden chopsticks: A spider (also known as a skimmer or strainer) is helpful for flipping the donuts and removing them from the oil. I also like to use wooden chopsticks for turning the donuts; the chopsticks can also be used to take the donuts out of the oil by putting the chopsticks through the holes in the donut.
  • Sheet tray with wire rack: Line the sheet tray with paper towels to remove any excess oil from the fried donuts. The donuts can then be moved to the wire rack to cool. It’s also helpful to have a sheet tray that fits under the rack when you glaze the donuts – any extra chocolate glaze can drip onto the tray without getting your counters dirty!
Kneaded dough for chocolate glazed donuts on a wooden surface, ready to be rolled out.

Making this recipe

Making the base for chocolate glazed donuts starts in the same way you would make a cake.

Cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla.

Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon – in one bowl, and the sour cream and milk together in another.

Cut out donuts on a wooden surface.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, followed by all of the milk mixture, then the rest of the dry ingredients. You’ll end up with a soft but workable dough.

Knead the dough 2-3 times on a floured surface, just to bring the dough together into a ball. Roll it out to ⅓-inch thickness, then use your donut cutter to cut out the donuts.

After re-rolling the scraps as necessary, you should end up with about 12 donuts and 12 donut holes.

Wire spider removing a fried cake donut from a dutch oven of fry oil.

Fry the donuts in 375° F oil for about 2 minutes on the first side, then 1 minute on the second side. When you remove the donuts from the oil, let any excess oil drip back into the pot before placing them on a wire cooling rack set upside-down on a layer of paper towels. 

When cooking the donut holes, let them cook for about 1 minute per side.

Let the donuts cool, then prep the glaze.

Making the glaze

To make the chocolate glaze, warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is very hot but NOT boiling.

Put the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Whisk stirring chocolate glaze in a white bowl next to a pan of donuts.

After 5 minutes, whisk until the chocolate is smooth and well combined with the cream, then whisk in the corn syrup and the vanilla.

Dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze. Before the glaze sets, top with your favorite sprinkles. I love to go for a mix of rainbow sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles, but you could use any seasonal colors you like for some holiday flair! 

Chocolate glazed donuts, topped with sprinkles, lined up on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.


Like most homemade donuts, I tend to like chocolate glazed donuts best the same day they are made.

If you have leftovers, I recommend storing them in a bakery-style cardboard box or a paper bag. This will help draw out any excess oil and keep them fresher for longer.

You can always put a leftover chocolate glazed donut in the microwave for 15-30 seconds to warm it through. No one would be mad about a warmed-up donut with melty chocolate on top!

Three chocolate glazed donuts stacked on a piece of parchment paper. The top donut has a bite taken out of it.
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Chocolate Glazed Donuts

By: Jamie
5 from 4 ratings
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 3 ½-inch donuts, plus donut holes
Fried cake doughnuts are dipped in a chocolate glaze and topped with your favorite sprinkles. They’re perfect for a weekend breakfast or a fun dessert.



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying about 48 ounces

For the glaze

  • 4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream 4 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter together. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream and milk. 
  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, followed by all of the milk mixture, then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition. Dough should be very soft but still workable.
  • Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface. Dust the dough with flour and knead 2-3 times, just to bring the dough into a ball. Roll to ⅓-inch thickness. Using a donut cutter or a large circle cutter and a small circle cutter, cut the dough into donut shapes, dipping the cutter(s) into flour first to prevent sticking.
  • Re-roll dough scraps as needed to cut all of the dough into donuts.
  • Heat the oil  in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 375° F. Do not allow the oil to get much hotter than 375°F. It’s a good idea to keep a fry thermometer in the pot to continually monitor the temperature (see notes).
  • Place a layer of paper towels on top of a half sheet pan. Place a wire cooling rack upside-down on top of the paper towels.
  • Gently ease 2 donuts at a time into the hot oil using a slotted spoon or skimmer. Allow them to cook about 2 minutes on each side, then flip and cook for 1 minute on the second side; they will brown very quickly. Remove donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon. Allow the excess oil to drip back into the pan.
  • Place donuts immediately on the prepared cooling rack. Flip them over to drain the oil from the other side. Repeat frying process with remaining donuts and donut holes. Donut holes will only need to cook for about 1 minute per side. 
  • Allow donuts to cool. Once cooled, dip one side of donuts into the chocolate glaze and top with rainbow or chocolate sprinkles.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling.
  • Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla.



The oil temperature will naturally lower and rise as you add and remove donuts to the oil. Make sure to keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the heat on your stove as needed to keep the temperature as close to 370-375°F as possible throughout the cooking process.
Helpful resources:


Serving: 1donut and 1 donut hole, Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 317mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 382IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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  1. Maria says:

    Do you use yellow crisco or white ?

    1. Jamie says:

      I used the white Crisco. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. geetika khattri says:

    can we make chocolate glaze without corn syrup…

  3. abbie says:

    Can I bake it instead of frying it?

  4. Zed says:

    i should so not be looking through all these recipes at 3am because it is making my mouth water, these look so yummy! cannot wait to try the recipe out :D

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for visiting!


  5. Bree says:

    thanks for the lovely recipe. but can i freeze the dough?

    1. Jamie says:

      I would not recommend freezing this dough. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Bree says:

      Thank you. can i substitute shortening with butter & leave out light corn syrup?

    3. Jamie says:

      I have never tried this substitution, so I can’t tell you how the recipe would turn out. Sorry I am not more of a help.

  6. Erin @ Simple, Sweet & Savory says:

    Awww, I miss Lite-Brites! And the necklace charms thingies. But oh man, these donuts look insane! I could devour like 10 of these right now. Pinning to try this weekend. Can’t wait!!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for visiting Erin!


  7. Jessi says:

    These look delicious! I wonder if they would be just as good baked? Thoughts?

  8. Tiffany says:

    These doughnuts are beautiful and I’m sure they taste just as good!