Cooking with Lisa: Chocolate Donut Holes

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Let’s talk about chocolate donut holes! I found this recipe and, in a rare moment of spontaneity, chose it for this column. The recipe calls for a fryer, which I don’t own, and which no one I know owns, but I was like, you know what, I can do this. So I did.

They are very rich and maybe excessively chocolate-y (if that is possible). Some people said they had more the consistency of brownie bites than donuts. Everybody seemed to like them though,.

Get your playlist together. It should be the new One Direction album, minus the songs “Little Things” and “Over Again”, and select songs from Ke$ha’s new album. Good, now you’re ready for anything.


For the Dough:

  • 2 ¾ cups of flour
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk. (note: the original recipe said you could also use sour cream, but I hate sour cream. If you like it, feel free to use it)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Glaze:

  • 8 oz. of powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of buttermilk
  • Dash of vanilla extract

(I estimated all of my amounts, as I usually do with glazes and frostings.)

Find the original recipe here.

1. Mix together the dry ingredients:  flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

2. Melt the butter. I just put mine in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.

3. In a different bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and butter.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir.

5. I had some issue with this step, since the dry ingredients weren’t really blending. I ended up leaving the spoon behind and just mixing with my hands. It got the job done even though it was messy and a little frustrating. I requested no photos of this.

6. Okay cool, you have donut dough. Doughnut dough? Whatever. The recipe said to put it in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours. Nobody has time for that! I, for one, was running late. You are probably running late too. Put the dough in the freezer for however long it takes to clean off the countertop and do the dishes.

7. I don’t really know what this did for the dough consistency, but it was fine to work with. While you clean up, Katie Ozawa (my photographer) and I ask you to please make a decent mash up of Ke$ha’s “Die Young” and One Direction’s  “Live While We’re Young.”

8. Break off pieces of the dough and roll them into balls. Make them uniform in size so that they cook at the same rate.Get a bunch of them ready at the same time, if not all. This will make your process go faster.

9. Frying time!

10. I don’t own a fryer, so I just made these the way I make latkes (thanks mom!). I heated up oil in a frying pan with the oil high enough to cover about 3/8 to 1/2 of each donut hole. Once the oil was sizzling a little bit, I put a bunch of the donuts in with spoons. Be really careful not to burn yourself! The dough should sizzle when you put it in the oil. Wait about a minute. Make sure the color of the dough changes and feels solid. Using two spoons, or whatever system is easiest for you, flip them over. Wait another minute.

11. Take the donut holes out and place them on either a drying rack or folded paper towels on a plate. Wait for them to cool. 

12. Fry the next batch. Do this forever/ until you run out of dough.

13. Make the glaze. Mix all the glaze ingredients together. Adjust things to taste or get the right consistency. I mixed everything on top of a plate because I was tired and was going to roll the donuts on the plate anyway, but I would not recommend this unless you really enjoy cleaning up powdered sugar.

14. Roll the donuts in the glaze. Shake them a little bit to get the excess off, them put them on a drying rack over tin foil or a paper towel to make clean up easier. Let them sit for a while (15-30 minutes) until the glaze has hardened.

15. You have glazed chocolate donuts! Give them out to all of your friends.

Thanks for reading and please enjoy!  If you make these, let me know how it went!


  1. these are so cute! i’ll make them soon after my finals!!
    wouldnt it be cute if faces were drawn on them and 3-4 of them were put on a stick? x) chocolate smily kabobs or something

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