Red Velvet Baked Doughnuts

I really try to stay away from buying kitchen things unless I really truly need them and I know where they’re going to live once they arrive at the house.  Chances are if something is going to need cabinet space or counter space, I can convince myself that it’s not a necessity.  For the longest time I would see doughnut pans and tell myself that the last thing my waistline needs is to be eating doughnuts and so no doughnut pan.  Then Blizzard Charlotte happened and school was cancelled here for a week.  Of course, it had to be cancelled during the week of Valentine’s Day and the kids were so excited about handing out those little cards and toys. Yes, all of their classmates- as we had to explain to O, even the girls in his kindergarten class get a Valentine.  Even if it is a Star Wars Valentine, even if the toy attached is a tiny glow-in-the-dark lightsaber.  No, it does not mean they are all his girlfriend (to be five again!).  So I am blaming the following for the newest addition to my kitchen: two pouting children, the arrival of another coupon from a store that sells all sorts of household goods like doughnut pans, and that I wanted to make something red velvet that wasn’t a repeat of last year’s whoopie pies.  I reasoned that I can make room for baked doughnuts, both in the kitchen and in my meal plans.  The purchase price of the pan and making room for it in the cabinet were a small price to pay for the happiness these doughnuts created.  M stood on a step stool at the stove and ever so carefully dipped the doughnuts into the glaze before placing them on a cooling rack to dry.  She proudly tells anyone who will listen that she glazed all but two of the doughnuts.

I had considered not glazing them since I planned on frosting them with cream cheese frosting, then I contemplated glazing them but not frosting them.  Then I decided that we don’t have doughnuts every day around here and if I was going to do it, I was going whole hog.  The end result was great, they aren’t overly sweet as I had feared.  The cream cheese in the frosting cuts some of the sweetness and the glaze is a very thin layer in the end so they don’t leave you feeling like you should run to the nearest dentist’s office.  Topping them with sprinkles is absolutely optional, but I had sad faces in my kitchen and sprinkles go a long way toward turning a frown upside down.  These are very light in texture and as far as being “lite,” they’re no worse for you than a cupcake and much better for you than a fried doughnut.   The “red” in red velvet actually refers to what happens when the acidity of the buttermilk reacts with the cocoa powder.  The effect is less pronounced with Dutch-process cocoa powder so if that’s what you’re using, you may find you want to add more food coloring to achieve the desired result.

baked red velvet doughnut

Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts


for the doughnuts:

  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 C. plain greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. red food coloring (I strongly recommend a “no-taste” variety)

for the glaze:

  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 2 C. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

for the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.

Stir in the sugar.

Add the egg, yogurt, and water and stir to thoroughly combine.

Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir to thoroughly combine.

Stir in the red food coloring (batter will be thick).

Fill a resealable bag with the corner snipped off (or a pastry bag) with batter and pipe the batter into the doughnut pan, filling each cavity 2/3 full (you can spoon it in but I find that using a bag makes this much easier).

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the doughnuts spring back when touched.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk over low heat until glaze is smooth.

With the burner on low, drop one doughnut into the glaze and use a fork to flip it over and then remove it to a wire cooling rack to dry (put waxed or parchment paper under the wire rack first to make clean-up easier).

If the glaze gets too hot during this process (you want it warm and thin, not boiling), remove the saucepan from the heat.

Let the doughnuts dry completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, put all frosting ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Frost each doughnut with cream cheese frosting and, if desired, sprinkles.

Makes 6 doughnuts.

Source: doughnuts adapted from Spiced (adapted from King Arthur Flour), glaze from Cookies and Cups, frosting from Buns in My Oven


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