Chocolate Donut Holes (Munchkins)

November 13, 2014
3 Ratings
Author Notes

There was a time in my life when I was at war with chocolate munchkins. As the story goes, the donut hole was invented when savvy donut makers realized that they could cook and sell the little nubbin they punched out of the center of their classic-shaped pastries. Genius! A sweet little snack. Who could say no? Me. I had to. I was sixteen and working at the counter of a local donut shop.

Don’t get me wrong: I loved a good munchkin. But enjoying one would have been a betrayal–donut treason. The name of my shop was The Whole Donut. Can you guess what was special about The Whole Donut? They sold the "the whole donut" and I was part of the team. Indulging in a competitor’s donut hole would have been wholly disloyal.

Fortunately, I’m still up to my elbows in donuts in my current job, but the hole-y war is over. So I’m making up for lost time with this homemade version.

Sure, making donuts at home is a bit more work than running out to the store, but the extra effort is worth it. These guys are almost obscenely chocolatey thanks to the addition of both cocoa powder and melted unsweetened chocolate. My coffee has finally met its soulmate. —Samantha Seneviratne

  • Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
  • For the donuts:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • water, if necessary
In This Recipe
  1. Prepare the dough: In a medium heatproof bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate together over a pot of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the melted butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is combined. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it well, and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. In a heavy pot with a candy thermometer attached, heat 3 inches of oil to 360° F. Meanwhile, scoop the dough into 1-tablespoon balls. (A mini ice-cream scoop is a great tool for this.) Roll each ball into a neat circle between the palms of your hands.
  5. Use a spider or a slotted spoon to gently lower the dough balls into the oil, 4 at a time. You can add a few more balls depending on the size of your pot, but don’t crowd the pan. Adjust the flame to maintain the temperature between 350° F and 360° F at all times. Cook the dough until puffed and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. (Color isn’t a good indicator of doneness, so feel free to open up the first or second doughnut to make sure it’s cooked through.) Use a slotted spoon to transfer the donuts to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. The glaze should be about the consistency of heavy cream. Add a little bit of water if necessary. Dip each donut into the glaze. Use a fork to cover each doughnut, then lift it out and tap it against the edge of the bowl to remove excess glaze. Transfer the glazed donuts to a rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. Let the donuts stand until the glaze is no longer wet.

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