Want all the fluffy, doughy goodness of cake donuts without all the hassle of deep frying? These baked chocolate chip donuts with buttermilk are the best-baked donuts you will ever try! These baked donuts are made without yeast and turn out super fluffy and delicious. You won’t be able to stop eating just one!
What’s in Chocolate Chip Donuts?
This is the best baked donut recipe because it is filled with chocolate chips, and they are light and fluffy without any of the heavy greases of a deep-fried cake donut.
- All-Purpose Flour: Form the base of our donuts. Measure using the spoon-and-level method to prevent dense, dry donuts.
- Leavening: Baking soda and baking powder combine to give thee donuts extra lift!
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the donuts.
- Nutmeg: Adds a bit of warmth and spiciness. Feel free to leave it out if you’re not a fan!
- Unsalted Butter: Adds flavor to the donuts and forms the base of the frosting. You can use salted butter in the donuts (simply omit the kosher salt), but I don’t recommend using it in the frosting.
- Vegetable Oil: Adds moisture and keeps the donuts from drying out.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the donuts, while powdered sugar sweetens the frosting without making it gritty.
- Eggs: Give the donuts structure.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a delicious vanilla flavor to the donuts and the frosting.
- Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute ¾ cup of regular milk and stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and stir once more before using it as a substitute for buttermilk.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: The perfect size for these donuts so every bite is bursting!
- Cocoa Powder: Adds chocolate flavor to the frosting.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a fan of chocolate frosting, try vanilla glaze instead!
Variations on Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts
There are so many simple ways to change up this baked donut recipe. For gluten-free donuts, use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
Feel free to swap out some or all of the chocolate chips for mini white or flavored chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or colorful sprinkles! Or try frosting these donuts with chocolate cream cheese frosting, brown sugar buttercream, or stabilized whipped cream for a different take!
Because baked donuts are made without yeast, they have more of a cake/muffin texture than a doughy, bread-like texture.
Use your favorite mini chocolate chips! I like semisweet for their balance of flavors, but dark or milk would also work.
If you don’t have a donut tin, use a muffin tin instead. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners (or spray with nonstick spray) and fill with donut batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Sometimes, baked donuts have a tendency to be a little bit dry if cooked for too long. If you follow my recipe exactly, this should be easily avoided, but it can happen to even the best of us! Don’t worry, though.
You won’t need to toss out the donuts. You can remedy their dryness by adding a little extra frosting on top! Consider adding just a little extra butter to the frosting mixture to help achieve the desired consistency.
You can use any cocoa powder you prefer, as long as it is unsweetened. Use natural cocoa powder for a more natural taste, and use Dutch-process cocoa powder for a smoother taste.
How to Make Ahead and Store
These chocolate chip baked donuts can be made up to 1 day in advance of when you plan to serve them. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
The chocolate frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Store leftover chocolate chip baked donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to Freeze
If freezing these donuts, do not frost them. Freeze the donuts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container to store for up to 3 months. Let come to room temperature on the countertop before frosting and serving.
Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts Recipe
For the Donuts
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour 350 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 60 grams (½ stick), partially melted (about 30 seconds in the microwave)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil 50 grams
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
- 2 large eggs 100 grams, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
- ¾ cup buttermilk 170 grams, see note
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips 177 grams
For the Frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar 240 grams
- ¾ cup unsalted butter 170 grams (1½ sticks), partially melted (about 30 seconds in the microwave)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 16 grams
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 grams
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Donut Tin
- Hand Mixer
- Piping Tip Set
For the Donuts
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray donut tins well with nonstick spray. Set aside. For 18 donuts, I used donut tins that make 3-inch-sized donuts.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. Set aside.2½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar together on high until well mixed, about 1 minute.¼ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Beat the eggs and vanilla extract into the wet ingredients on high speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- On a low setting, beat half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Add in all of the buttermilk and beat on low until combined.¾ cup buttermilk
- Add in the remaining flour mixture and beat on low just until fully combined. It’s okay if the batter is still slightly lumpy. Do not overmix or the donuts won’t bake up fluffy.
- Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips until mixed well.1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Place the donut batter into a large piping bag and pipe the batter into the wells of the donut tins. Fill each donut well up only ¾ of the way full so they have room to grow without overflowing.
- Bake in the oven for 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a donut comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the tin before removing from the tin to cool completely. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the powdered sugar, butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.2 cups powdered sugar, ¾ cup unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pipe the icing over the cooled donuts.
- Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute ¾ cup of regular milk and stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and stir once more before using.
- For gluten-free donuts, use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
- Feel free to leave out the nutmeg if you’re not a fan!
- You can use salted butter in the donuts; simply omit the kosher salt.
- You can use any type of cocoa powder in the frosting, as long as it is unsweetened.
- If you don’t have a donut tin, you can bake these donuts in a muffin tin for 18-20 minutes.
- Do NOT overmix the batter; otherwise, the donuts will come out tough.
- Fill the wells of the donut tins only ¾ full to give them room to expand.
- Cool the donuts completely before frosting; otherwise, the frosting will melt off.
- If you’re not a fan of chocolate frosting, try vanilla glaze instead!