Baked Chocolate Sour Cream Donuts with Vanilla & Chocolate Glaze

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Chocolate Sour Cream Glazed Donuts… Honestly, need I say more? I hardly think you need me to, but I can certainly elaborate on what inspired me to bake up a batch of these chocolate beauties this week.

So, last Friday was National Donut Day… did you know about this!? Somehow I did not know this and I remained completely unaware until the day was nearly over. In short, I effectively missed a golden opportunity to bake (& eat) a whole bunch of donuts for the sake of National Donut Day! My question is, why is this day not displayed in bold, capitalized letters on every single calendar that gets distributed & sold in Canada? Is it really too much to ask to have anything and everything that has to do with food be displayed this way? I mean come on it was National Donut Day!


I only found out via the radio as I was leaving work for the day when they announced that the one and only Krispy Kreme that we have here is BC was celebrating the day by giving away free donuts! That’s right – FREE DONUTS! Unfortunately the Krispy Kreme location is a far cry from where I live, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it there for the donut festivities. So I quickly decided to do a quick walk by of one of my favourite donut shops in Vancouver, (which just happens to be conveniently located right by my work,) in the hopes that they too would also be giving away FREE donuts… No such luck I’m afraid. So my National Donut Day consisted of no donuts and needless to say I was pretty much heartbroken.

But never fear my friends! Because I had my very own belated National Donut Day celebration this week instead – Ha! What a perfect excuse to show up to work with dozens of absolutely adorable mini baked donuts and make everybody’s Friday that much better! And I did just that when I baked up a classic donut recipe and brought it in for a little Friday morning donut breakfast at the office.  You would be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t like the classic donut flavour I chose to bake, which was of course… Chocolate Sour Cream Glazed. YUM! With the recent growth in the popularity of trendy little donuts, it seems like there are literally hundreds of deliciously unique donut flavours these days, but my heart seems to remain steady with the classics, and Chocolate Sour Cream is definitely one of my favourite donuts. I just love the simplicity of a rich sour cream, fudgy, chocolate cake donut that has been dipped into a sweet glaze – Yes, it is a simple & classic combination, in comparison to some of the unique donuts out there, but the flavour is no less spectacular.

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I don’t know what it is, but there is something so enticing and special about a freshly made, classic donut for me – I think this stems from childhood donut memories. I remember when I was little, my mom would take my brothers and I shopping with her and there was this specific mall that she would take us to because they had a mini donut shop in the mall. Because shopping wasn’t necessarily the most exciting adventure for four kids, my mom would always reward us with a bag of these freshly baked, absolutely delicious homemade donuts when she was done with her shopping, and it was an absolutely joyous occasion.

This mini donut shop was the absolute best! You always knew that the donuts were unbelievable fresh because they literally had a donut frying machine on display in the window for you to watch the donut making process. We would stand with our mouths open as the batter was dropped into the deep fryer where the mini donuts would fry to golden brown perfection, then they would be pulled out on a conveyer and go to various stations to get their toppings. Some would get dipped in a classic vanilla glaze, while others were dunked in chocolate ganache, and my personal favourite were the ones that were doused with butter and cinnamon sugar… mmm okay I am officially drooling from the memory! I am telling you, this donut shop was absolute perfection! But sadly, one day it completely vanished and we were left with empty tummies and holes in our hearts from the loss of it.

So for the longest time, all I had left was a distant memory of this shop and the delicious little donut beauties it would serve up its customers. I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but it seemed like as a whole, Vancouver was being unjustly deprived of gourmet donuts. I yearned for so long to find a similar donut shop, but had basically given up on the prospect of finding one until I recently heard that there was a couple of new and fabulous donut shops down town. Naturally, when I first heard the news of these alleged donut shops, to say I was excited would be a gross understatement. I immediately googled “Vancouver Donut Shops” and to my delight, there they were on my screen. The illusive Donut Shops were real!

I could not be more happy with all of the trendy donut shops that seem to be popping up all over the place in Vancouver. Until these shops came around, it seemed like our only real option when it came to donuts in Vancouver was to head to the nearest Tim Hortons. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Timbits, but they just don’t quite measure up to the increasingly unique and freshly baked versions that are being sold in these new donut shops around town. Now, while these donut shops are absolutely fantastic, I do have to warn you to exercise caution with them, as they may cause you to frequent donut shops on the regular and you may wind up like me and be struggling with a mild donut addiction. (I will leave it up to you to decide if this is a positive or a negative thing)

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Now of course I can’t just gush about these amazing donut shops that are right here in Vancouver without telling you a little bit about my favourite ones! There are two donut shops which I think are Vancouver’s absolute best, so whether you live in Vancouver or you will be visiting sometime soon, I highly recommend you take the time to seek them out and have a fresh, gourmet donut… (or three.)
Here are my top two donut shops in Vancouver…

1. Lucky’s Donuts in Kitsilano or Mt. Pleasant
Talk about a trendy little spot to grab a great cup of coffee and eat probably the best  and most unique donut you will have in your life. The donuts are always fresh, and made with high quality & some very authentic ingredients. You have to stop in!

2. Cartems Donuterie on West Pender
Again, a great place to sit down with a friend and share a fresh, hand made classic donut or if you are wanting to be the star of your next office meeting, grab a dozen to go! This place is great, and a must see in Vancouver.

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While I love me a good donut, I would be lying if I said that I don’t feel a little guilty when enjoying this doughy, deep fried  treat – You just can’t help but feel a little bit of guilt, am I right? That is why these homemade donuts are so spectacular, because they are BAKED! So essentially, they are totally healthy and completely guilt free, yes? Okay, maybe not… but they are certainly better for you than their more traditional deep fried brothers and sisters.

Not to mention, they are extremely easy to bake! Even if you don’t have a hand mixer among your kitchen tools, you are good to go with this recipe! That’s right! No mixer required to make these little gems! All you really need to whip up a batch of these bad boys is a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon or spatula, a whisk and a trustee donut pan. Donut pan…Say what?? Yes these exist, and you can pick these up at most kitchen stores these days, but I know from personal experience that Home Sense and Sears are good places to check first.

Now, having said that baked donuts are more healthy, I have also found that it is hard to find a good recipe where the donuts don’t come out too dense or a little bit bland when it comes to flavour. If you have had similar disappointing experiences with your baked donut recipes, let me assure you that this recipe not only delivers a nice light, cakey donut texture but it also has a rich & dynamic flavour to it. I attribute the light texture to the combination of sour cream and baking soda and the rich flavour to both the brown sugar, a touch of cinnamon, and my use of melted butter as opposed to oil.

If you do some baked donut recipe searching, you will notice that a lot of recipes call for oil. The issue is just that melted butter can take a little but more finesse to work with when it comes to mixing your wet ingredients. And by finesse I just mean that you need to be diligent about having all your wet ingredients at room temperature when you mix them, so the butter does not clump together. So just a little more finesse, but the payoff is well worth it because using butter really makes all of the difference when it comes to flavour in a baked donut.

All in all, this is definitely my go to recipe when it comes to baking donuts, and it is a great base recipe that you can just adapt for different flavours. So here it is, and I hope you enjoy!

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Baked Chocolate Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate & Vanilla Glaze

Things you need… 

Donuts
1 1/2 cups Flour
2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, melted
2 large Eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
3/4 cup Buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tsp Vanilla

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3-4 tbsp Cream
1 tbsp Corn Syrup

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Corn Syrup
1 tbsp Brown Sugar

How to make… 

Donuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease 2 donut pans.
(I just used some butter. No need to go overboard as the donuts pop out quite easily)

In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt your butter and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, buttermilk & sour cream. Slowly add in the cooled melted butter and mix until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula until the batter comes together. Be careful not to over mix.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and cut the tip off so there is about a 1 inch opening at the bottom and pipe the batter into the donut rings of the pan, filling about 2/3 of the way up.
(If you don’t have piping bags, you can spoon the batter into the pans, but it is just much easier to pipe the batter into the donut pan)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them. (Mine only took 10 minutes) Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack completely before you glaze them.
If you like to eat your donuts warm from the oven, (and who wouldn’t want that?), you can definitely dunk them in the glaze after about 15 minutes of cooling, but the glaze will melt and run off more easily – so if you want your glaze to stay thick, wait for them to cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze
In a small sauce pan on low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Remove once they have lost their shape and the chocolate is smooth. In another small suacepan, heat your heavy cream until it is warm to the touch. Combine the cream and chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add in brown sugar and corn syrup. Set aside to cool slightly.

Pick up the base of the donut and dunk the top into the glaze, submerging about half way.
After you have dunked them, set them on a cooling rack with parchment underneath (as the glaze may get messy and drip off a bit). Allow the glaze to set for at least 1 hour.

Vanilla Glaze
While your donuts are baking, whisk together the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and corn syrup until well combined. You may need to add a little more milk to get to the correct consistency. Set aside until your donuts are completely cooled and ready to be glazed.

Pick up the base of the donut and dunk the top into the glaze, submerging about half way. (I like to dip just the tops of the donuts in the glaze, but if you like more glaze on your donuts, by all means dunk them all the way!) After you have dunked them, set them on a cooling rack with parchment underneath (as the glaze may get messy and drip off a bit).
Allow the glaze to set for at least 1 hour.

**Note: If you are planning on transporting your donuts like I did, allow the glaze to set for at least half an hour **

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So there you have it! An amazing & totally easy recipe for some adorable home made donuts. What more could you ask for? This recipe is fantastic – I promise you won’t be disappointment. I brought them to work with me in this pan, and they were gone in no time!

I also brought a few to my girlfriend in these little disposable loaf pans, and she loved them! I mean honestly, how cute are these donuts? They are just begging to be shared with friends, family and co-workers – this is an easy one to Bake. Share. Eat and definitely Repeat. You know what to do…

KP xoxo

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