Chocolate Cake-Style Doughnuts

In my research and development of this book, I made dozens of chocolate doughnuts, and they were all disappointing. Either they were too light to be considered chocolatey, or they were dry as a bone. I found that including both chocolate and Dutch-processed cocoa provided the depth of color and flavor I was looking for and using oil, as opposed to butter, gave a bit of moist spring to the doughnut.

Yield: about fourteen 3-inch doughnuts


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour

1/2 cup sifted Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola

2 ounces semisweet chocolate (not more than 55% cacao), such as Callebaut or Ghirardelli

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Flavorless vegetable oil for deep-frying, such as canola


1. Whisk together both flours, the cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl to aerate and combine.

2. Heat the oil and chocolate together in a microwave or the top of a double boiler until the chocolate melts. Whisk until smooth; remove from the heat and cool slightly.

3. In another large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale and creamy, or whisk well by hand. Beat in the vanilla along with the melted chocolate mixture, then add the buttermilk and beat until combined. Add the dry mixture in two batches and stir with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly soft. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

4. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with a triple layer of paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fat fryer to 350 to 355 degrees.

5. While the oil is heating, dust the work surface generously with flour. Scrape half of the dough onto the surface, dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out doughnuts with a lightly floured 3-inch round cutter. Gently gather the scraps, press them together, roll out the dough, and cut out as many additional doughnuts as possible. Repeat with the remaining dough.