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stacked chocolate old-fashioned donuts on parchment paper

Chocolate Old-Fashioned Donuts

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 to 18 donuts + donut holes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: American


Soft, cakey, ridiculously chocolaty (and ridiculously easy) old-fashioned donuts with an irresistible sweet and simple glaze! Once you give these a try, you’ll always want to make them homemade.



For the donuts:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 quarts canola or vegetable oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. First, make the donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and nutmeg until well combined.
  2. In a separate large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar and butter on medium speed just until mixture appears sandy, about 1 minute. Beat in egg yolks on medium speed until mixture is light and thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream, beating after each addition until batter is well-combined.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours, until batter is slightly firm.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot or deep saucepan with a deep-fry thermometer attached. Heat oil to 325°F.* On a very well-floured surface using a well-floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a well-floured donut cutter or two different-sized biscuit cutters to cut dough into approximately 16 to 18 donuts and donut holes (re-roll scraps once, if needed).
  5. Fry donuts in batches, about three at a time, 2 minutes each side or until puffed and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon or deep fry skimmer to transfer cooked donuts to a paper bag or paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining donuts and donut holes.
  6. Next, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, heat milk to just below a simmer (when it begins to steam). Remove from heat; whisk in powdered sugar, pinch salt and vanilla until smooth. Use a fork to carefully dunk donuts one at a time into glaze, coating both sides. Lift to allow excess glaze to drip off donut, then transfer to a cooling rack with parchment or paper towel underneath to catch excess glaze. Allow donuts to sit until glaze is fully set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Donuts are best served the day they’re made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  • *If using a deep-fry thermometer, you’ll need to raise or lower the stove top burner temperature as needed to maintain 325°F as best as possible. Too hot, and the donuts might burn before they’re cooked through; too low, and they’ll end up soggy and dense.
  • Recipe adapted from Handle the Heat.

Keywords: dark chocolate donut batter, simple donut glaze, powdered sugar glaze, chocolate sour cream donuts