Red Velvet Donuts

So I've had this idea to make Red Velvet Doughnuts for some time now. I love doughnuts, I love red velvet cake - what more could I ask for then two of my favorite sweets in one? 

I searched for recipes for doughnuts, red velvet cake, and red velvet cake doughnuts and came up with the following adaptation of sorts. The results weren't super sweet and, since I don't have a doughnut pan, I made them into doughnut holes rather than in the traditional doughnut shape, so they don't look quite like doughnuts either. 

I tried using muffin tins, a baking sheet, and even frying them. The muffin tins yielded the best looking doughnut holes, the baking sheet batch tasted greatest, and the fried ones were delicious but not very well-crafted (I was a bit impatient with the frying process and didn't take the time to carefully shape them into small, round doughnuts - they were too large to cook all the way through but over-fried on the outsides). 

Even though it may sound like this wasn't an extremely successful endeavor, I think with a real doughnut tin, these would be absolutely great. I also didn't ice them at all, unlike your average store-bought cake doughnut, which would make them more conventionally sweet. (Side note: I was watching some behind-the-scenes doughnut show once and learned that doughnut batter actually isn't sweet at all, but the final product always tastes so sugary because of the glazes used. The host made an unglazed-doughnut filled with hummus for a delicious savory treat to demonstrate. So maybe my batter was right on the mark!) 

So I imagine with a bit of icing, or at least a little dousing of simple syrup glaze, these would be pretty delicious. And with the right pan, they would look like the real thing. They were obviously pretty darn tasty since I finished them up before ever getting around to making a glaze and/or icing to recommend... Just don't expect them to be very close in sugar content to your Krispy Kremes and Dunkin Donuts (my personal favorite!). 

I will probably attempt these Red Velvet Doughnuts again, just with a little more forethought. The one thing that I really love about this recipe is that it sticks to traditional red velvet flavors - the buttermilk, the vinegar, the cocoa. Red velvet has this slight acidity to it on account of the buttermilk and vinegar, which lots of people don't recognize - they just assume it's chocolate cake with some red food coloring. But it is so much more and, when paired with a cream cheese or marshmallow or buttermilk frosting, there is nothing better than anything red velvet.

Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts 


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare doughnut pan or muffin tins with butter or cooking spray (I would recommend using butter for optimum sweet taste!).
2. Combine melted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine cocoa powder and food coloring. Add to butter and egg mixture until fully incorporated.
4. In a separate medium bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. 
5. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the wet ingredients in alternating batches until fully incorporated.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Whisk to fully dissolve, then add to the batter. 
7. Give the batter one final thorough mix to fully combine all ingredients. Pour into pans or tins until about 2/3 full, leaving room for the doughnuts to rise. 
8. Bake 16-18 minutes. For added sweetness, try a simple powdered sugar and water icing, a simple syrup glaze, or the cream cheese frosting from Paula Deen's recipe. Enjoy!


  1. Oooohhh...I have a doughnut pan and I know how to use it. :) These sound delicious!

  2. I LOVE doughnuts, but I never thought of making them for some reason. Even if they don't look like doughnuts, your red velvet ones look pretty tasty to me! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. I saw this red velvet stuff mentioned on Old Brand New and was intrigued. It's not made it here in the UK yet (or if it has, it has not yet made it big...or people are hiding it from me, which is wise) but I am dying to try this. As soon as my house is with-kitchen, I am def trying it.

    I shall now carry on dribbling over your blog. Guuurrrgle.

  4. looks and sounds incredibly tasty! I realized while reading that I'd never actually thought about what flavor red velvet was... I never would've said it was chocolate, which makes no sense. Weird.

  5. combining the amazing flavor of red velvet and doughnuts? genius! this sounds like such a yummy recipe!!

  6. Dangerously delicious looking. Baked not fried. Yum.

  7. OMG!! I need this Doughnuts haha...I am craving sugar so much lately...there are very good ideas and recipes in your blog, I will try some of them, by the way thanks for leaving a comment in my blog.


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