Yeasted doughnuts are always delicious, but they’re also a lot of work—not so these easy chocolate doughnut holes, which are baked instead of being fried, then dipped in a crackly, not-too-sweet glaze that goes perfectly with their deep cocoa flavor.

They’re also a great example of pantry-friendly baking: They use oil instead of butter, and just a handful of other common baking staples. If you don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge, not to worry; you can easily make your own buttermilk, even from non-dairy milk, in an instant. So go ahead and turn on the oven, because you’re going to want to bake these immediately—and you can!

Check out these Easy Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Holes for an autumnal option.

  • Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients (14)

For the doughnut holes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk, or more as needed


To make the doughnut holes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray or softened butter. If you do not have a mini muffin pan, you can make larger “donuts” in a regular sized muffin pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Place the oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the egg and egg yolks, one at a time, and continue whisking until smooth.
  5. With a flexible spatula, gently fold half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then add the buttermilk and then the other half of the dry, folding after each addition to incorporate.
  6. Fill each mini muffin cavity about 2/3 of the way full.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until a toothpick comes out with a moist crumb or two and the holes spring back when you press them.
  8. Let cool slightly and then remove from the pan to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small, shallow bowl and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated, adding more buttermilk if necessary, to create a thin glaze.
  2. To glaze the donuts, drop each one into the glaze and then lift it out, with a slotted spoon, if you have one, or two forks, allowing the excess glaze to drip back into the bowl. Place the holes, on a drying rack set inside a cookie sheet until set.
  3. The glazed donuts are best enjoyed the day they are made.