Name a better combo than red velvet and cream cheese frosting. I'll wait. These red velvet baked donuts are dunked in a tangy cream cheese glaze! All the classic flavors of red velvet cake, just in donut form!
These red velvet baked donuts are a beautiful treat for Valentine's Day, a birthday party, or just because!
So what makes red velvet so special? Apparently some people don't get the hype around red velvet cake because "it's just regular cake with red food coloring, right?" wrong. Red velvet cake contains both vinegar and buttermilk which react with the cocoa powder to create a deep maroon color which is how red velvet got its name. These days extra red food coloring is added to give us a much brighter red color (which actually began as a marketing ploy in the 1920's). The vinegar and buttermilk also lend more flavor to the cake that regular chocolate cake doesn't have. Also, the cream cheese frosting. Duh.
You might also like these red velvet cupcakes or these red velvet macarons!
You just need a few simple ingredients to make these red velvet baked donuts with cream cheese glaze!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my baked goods because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Cocoa powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But you can also use just regular natural cocoa powder!
- Buttermilk - If you don't have buttermilk you can use either regular whole milk or sour cream! You can also make your own buttermilk by using ½ cup milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar!
- White vinegar - You can leave out the vinegar if you prefer, but it adds a little extra tang to the donuts and reacts with the cocoa powder! It's also part of what makes these donuts red velvet!
- Red food coloring - You can add as much or as little red food coloring as you prefer!
- Sprinkles - I use the red and white sprinkles from this set to add a little pizzazz to the donuts!
How to Make Baked Donuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated. Then add in the red food coloring.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then add in the buttermilk and vinegar. Once incorporated, add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag, then cut of the tip and pipe into the donut pan, filling about halfway. You can also just spoon the batter into the pan if desired.
Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the donut pan on a cooling rack, and the donuts should slide right out!
In a small bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Slowly mix in the heavy cream until your desired consistency is reached. The glaze should be thick but still pourable.
Dip the donuts into the glaze and place back on the cooling rack so the excess can drip off. The donuts are easy to glaze if they are cool, but they taste amazing when they're warm, so it's up to you!
Add some sprinkles after glazing if desired.
I use this Nordic Ware donut pan and a little bit of Bakers Joy pan spray and the donuts slide out perfectly every time!!
I also find it’s easiest to fill the donut pan by using a piping bag with the tip cut off. However, you can just as easily spoon the batter into your donut pan.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Red velvet has a very mild chocolate flavor that is usually complimented by a tangy cream cheese frosting!
These donuts are best eaten the same day, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Red Velvet Baked Donuts
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoons red food coloring, adjust as desired
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ cup buttermilk, substitute whole milk + 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed
- red and white sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated. Then add in the red food coloring.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then add in the buttermilk and vinegar. Once incorporated, add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag, then cut of the tip and pipe into the donut pan, filling about halfway. You can also just spoon the batter into the pan if desired.
- Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the donut pan on a cooling rack, and the donuts should slide right out!
- In a small bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Slowly mix in the heavy cream until your desired consistency is reached. The glaze should be thick but still pourable.
- Dip the donuts into the glaze and place back on the cooling rack so the excess can drip off. The donuts are easy to glaze if they are cool, but they taste amazing when they're warm, so it's up to you!
- Add some sprinkles after glazing if desired.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
tell us what you think!