Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts
These chocolate filled mini donuts can be prepped the night before frying making it convenient for a weekend brunch! They start with an enriched yeast dough then filled with gooey chocolate and tossed in cinnamon sugar.
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Components Used: Enriched Yeast Dough Master Recipe
How to Make Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts
To make yeast donuts, we are going to start with my basic enriched yeast dough. I will walk you through it step-by-step.
Step 1: Hydrate the Yeast
You want to start by warming up the milk slightly to about 110-115°F (43-46°C). If you do not have a thermometer, make sure it is slightly warm but not hot.
Pour the dry yeast into the milk. You can use active dry or rapid rise (instant) yeast. This is called “proofing the yeast and will give the donuts a little jump start.
Step 2: Mix the Dough
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, butter and eggs until combined. The dough will be sticky and shaggy at this point.
Step 3: Knead the dough
You can knead the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook or by hand. If kneading by hand, lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour, little by little, as needed.
If kneading in the stand mixer, mix at medium speed for about 6-8 minutes. Stop and scrape down the bottom of the bowl as needed and add slightly more flour if the dough is not pulling away from the sides.
Step 4: Ferment the Dough
Transfer the dough back to the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap to ferment. At this point the yeast in the dough will begin feeding and creating carbon dioxide gas which will leaven the dough.
You can do this in the fridge overnight. It will slowly ferment. Or you can do this at room temperature. Bulk-ferment the dough at room temperature until doubled in size about 1 hour for instant yeast or 2 hours for active dry yeast.
Step 5: Cut & Fill the Donuts
Remove the fermented dough from the bowl and divide in half using a bench knife. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Roll to about ⅛ inch (0.3 cm) thick. Using a cookie cutter or overturned cup, cut out circles of about 2 ½ inch (6.35 cm) from the dough.
Place 4-5 chocolate chips into the center of each donut circle. Dip a finger in water and wet the rim of the dough circles. Bring up the sides of the dough and pinch close the seams to form a ball.
Step 6: Proof the Dough
Once all donuts are filled and sealed, let them sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes until puffy.
Step 7: Fry the Donuts
While donuts are proofing, fill up a large saucepan or dutch oven with tall sides with at least 2 inches of oil. Heat until a candy thermometer reaches 350°F (175°C).
Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully drop a few of the donuts into the oil. Avoid overcrowding by doing smaller batches. Once one side is golden brown, flip over to fry the underside. The donuts will take only 45 seconds in total to fry. Keep an eye on the candy thermometer and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a consistent temperature.
Remove donuts and place on a paper towel lined plate.
Step 8: Roll in Cinnamon Sugar
While donuts are still warm, toss them in a mixture of cinnamon sugar. Enjoy while warm or room temperature!
For the Dough
- 1/2 package (1 ⅛ teaspoon) active dry or instant yeast
- 114 grams (½ cup, 120 ml) whole milk, lower fat or non-dairy can be substituted
- 25 grams (⅛ cup) granulated sugar
- 240-300 grams (2- 2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or table salt
- 43 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 large egg, room temperature
For Filling, Frying, & Dusting
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 125 grams (4 ounces) chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, or milk)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- The night before (or at least 3 hours before frying) make the dough. Warm the milk (114 grams, ½ cup) to about 110-115°F/43-46°C. In a large mixing bowl add the warm milk, the yeast (½ package, 1 ⅛ teaspoon), and a pinch of sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for about 5 minutes until you see some bubbles and foaming.
- Add the smaller amount of flour (240 grams, 2 cups), the rest of the granulated sugar (25 grams, ⅛ cup), salt (¾ teaspoon), butter (43 grams, 3 tablespoons), and eggs (1 large). Use clean hands to mix together until a sticky dough forms.
- If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured countertop. Dust flour over the top of the dough and knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If kneading with a stand mixer, fit the mixer with a dough hook and knead at medium speed for 6-8 minutes. Add more flour as needed while kneading the dough. When the dough is finished being kneaded, it will still be slightly sticky to the touch, but it will feel smooth and elastic, and should stand tall when rounded into a ball.
- Move the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover with piece of plastic wrap, damp cloth, or a shower cap (my preference) to bulk-ferment.
- If making the next day, move the bowl of dough to the refrigerator to ferment overnight. If making immediately, let bowl of dough sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour for instant yeast and 2 hours for active dry yeast.
- After fermenting, sprinkle flour over the top of the dough. Remove from the bowl and divide dough in half. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Roll to about ⅛- inch (0.3 cm) thick. If your dough is shrinking back on your as you roll it, let it sit out for 5-10 minutes to relax before rolling. Cut out 2 ½ inch (6.35 cm) circles from the rolled out dough (I use a cookie cutter but you can also use an overturned cup).
- Dip a finger in water and wet the rim of each circle. Put 4-5 chocolate chips in the center of each circle and bring the sides to the middle, pinching to seal.
- Once all donuts are assembled, let them rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Fill the oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven with tall sides at least 2 inches from the bottom. Heat the oil to 350°F/175°C using a candy thermometer.
- While the oil is heating, mix together the cinnamon (2 tablespoons) and granulated sugar (100 grams, ½ cup) in a wide shallow bowl.
- Carefully drop the donuts into the hot oil in small batches to not overcrowd. These fry up in about 45 seconds. Flip over about halfway through. Remove once all sides are golden brown. Place the donuts on a paper towel lined plate.
- Roll the donuts in the cinnamon sugar while still warm.
Cream Filled Mini Donuts: Leave out the chocolate chips in the dough. After frying unfilled, let cool completely. Use a pastry bag or ziploc bag fitted with a plain round tip and fill with Vanilla Pastry Cream. Use the tip to poke a hole in the donut and gently squeeze the cream into the donut. Drizzle the donut with either a Powdered Sugar Glaze or Chocolate Glaze.
Lemon Filled Mini Donuts: Leave out the chocolate chips in the dough. After frying unfilled, let cool completely. Use a pastry bag or ziploc bag fitted with a plain round tip and fill with Lemon Curd. Use the tip to poke a hole in the donut and gently squeeze the cream into the donut. Drizzle the donut with Powdered Sugar Glaze flavored with lemon juice and lemon zest.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0