Baked Red Velvet Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze

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Perfect heart-shaped red velvet donuts! These baked donuts have all the red velvet flavors but are baked into a little heart and then dipped in a cream cheese glaze. These are perfect for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or just because!

Baked red velvet donuts with cream cheese glaze.

I love making homemade donuts for brunch. They’re great because you don’t have to fry them, and they taste like a combination of cake, donuts, and a muffin! 

Some of my favorite donut recipes are blueberry, pumpkin, and banana. I was inspired to create a red velvet version, and they turned out even better than I imagined. If you like heart-shaped desserts, try my heart-shaped sugar cookies!

Red Velvet Flavor

Red velvet cake is a classic dessert that originated in the United States. It’s known for its rich, deep red color and unique flavor. The flavor is often described as a combination of vanilla and chocolate, with a slight tanginess from the buttermilk and vinegar.

Red velvet cake is also traditionally frosted with a rich cream cheese frosting, adding to the decadent taste. Check out my pink velvet cake too!

Heart-shaped baked red velvet donut with cream cheese glaze and sprinkles.

How to Make Red Velvet Donuts

Before I get to the recipe, let’s go through each ingredient and why it’s essential in making these delicious donuts. The full recipe and measurements are in the recipe card below.

Supplies

Eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, brown sugar, butter, flour, vanilla and red food coloring in small bowls.

Shopping List and Ingredient Notes

All-Purpose Flour: Measure the flour correctly using a spoon to scoop it into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife.

Baking Powder: This leavening agent helps the donuts rise and creates a light and fluffy texture.

Cocoa Powder: This is part of the red velvet flavor. Use unsweetened cocoa powder to add depth and richness to the donuts.

Buttermilk: This tangy dairy product is essential for creating moist and tender donuts. If you don’t have buttermilk, use regular milk with vinegar or lemon juice.

Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

Granulated Sugar: This will add sweetness to the donuts. You can use white or cane sugar.

White Vinegar: This interacts with the baking soda to help the donuts rise even more.

Unsalted Butter: Melted butter adds richness and moisture to the donut batter.

Brown Sugar: The molasses in brown sugar adds a deeper flavor and helps create a soft texture.

Eggs: These will help bind the ingredients together and structure the donuts.

Unsalted Butter: Use melted butter for a richer, more indulgent taste. If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe.

Natural Red Food Coloring: This gives the donuts their red hue. I like to use natural food coloring. However, they will come out less vibrant red. I’ll add one drop of regular red food coloring to deepen the color. You can use liquid or gel food coloring; add it gradually until you get your desired shade.

Red velvet cake batter in a bowl with a spatula.

Directions

These donuts are easy to make. Here are the step-by-step instructions, which you can also find in the recipe card below, along with the measurements.

Combine the dry ingredients and give them a gentle whisk. 

Combine the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy.

Alternate the dry and liquid ingredients. I do half and half while adding red food coloring in between. 

Baked red velvet donuts shaped like hearts.

Add the red food coloring while mixing the dry and wet ingredients with the butter.

Mix just until combined, and the donuts have a deep red color.

Add a pastry bag into a glass to fill with batter. 

Pipe the batter into the donut pan about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake at 350F for about 9 minutes until the donuts are set and spring back when touched.

Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding the glaze.

Cream cheese glaze with red velvet donuts and a bowl of sprinkles.

Quick Cream Cheese Glaze 

You can whip this glaze up in minutes; it’s so simple! The donuts are sweet with a glaze, so I like to dip each of them into the glaze and then add sprinkles.

This recipe includes cream cheese, powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and milk. 

You’ll simply whip the ingredients until smooth with a glue-like texture.

The full recipe is in the recipe card below. 

Tips for Perfect Donuts

  • Be sure to measure your ingredients correctly for accurate results.
  • Use room-temperature eggs and buttermilk for better texture.
  • Only mix until the ingredients are combined; don’t overmix the batter.
  • Use a piping or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off to fill the donut cavities in your pan evenly.
  • Place a silicone pan on top of a baking sheet for stability and easy removal from the oven. 
Heart-shaped donuts with sprinkles and glaze.

Recipe Variations

Add chocolate chips or sprinkles to the batter for added texture and flavor.

Top the donuts with cream cheese frosting, white chocolate drizzle, or a dusting of powdered sugar for extra indulgence.

For a healthier option, you can replace some all-purpose flour with whole wheat or gluten-free flour. The flavor will be different, but it’s a healthier option.

Want a different shape? Use a standard donut pan or make them into mini-donuts using a mini muffin tin. 

Storage and Freezing

How to Store 

Store these donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you’d like them to stay fresher longer, place them in the fridge for up to 4 days, but let them come to room temperature before eating. 

How to Freeze

If you want to keep them longer, place the donuts in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave them at room temperature.

Freeze without the glaze and make the glaze the day you want to serve the donuts.

Donut with white glaze.

Serving Tips

What To Serve with Baked Donuts

You can enjoy these donuts as is, but if you want to dress them up even more, here are some ideas:

  • Serve with a side of fresh berries or fruit for a light and refreshing accompaniment.
  • Add a scoop of ice cream on top for an indulgent dessert.
  • A warm cup of coffee or tea goes perfectly with these sweet treats.

When to Serve Baked Donuts

These heart-shaped red velvet baked donuts are perfect for any time of day! They make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. You can also serve them on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or birthdays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a red velvet donut taste like?

Red velvet donuts have a unique and delightful taste that differentiates them from other donut varieties. They offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors, with a hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder.

Despite their vibrant red color, they don’t have a strong ‘red’ taste, as the food coloring is mainly for aesthetics. These donuts are indulgent with their moist, dense texture and slightly buttery flavor. The result is a complex and perfectly harmonious flavor profile when paired with a tangy cream cheese glaze. 

Do baked donuts taste the same as fried ones?

Baked donuts and fried donuts have distinctly different flavors and textures. Fried donuts are typically fluffier with a slightly crispy exterior contrasting with the soft, doughy inside. They tend to have a richer flavor due to the oil they’re cooked in. On the other hand, baked donuts are denser and have a more cake-like consistency.

While they may lack the traditional deep-fried flavor, they can be just as delicious and satisfying, especially when paired with flavorful glazes or fillings. In the case of our baked red velvet donuts, the rich cocoa and tangy cream cheese glaze provide an abundance of flavor that will make you forget they aren’t fried.

Baked red heart-shaped donuts with cream cheese glaze.

More Brunch Recipes 

Let me know if you make these donuts by leaving a comment and review below!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

Heart-shaped donuts with sprinkles and glaze.

Red Valvet Donuts

Baked red velvet donuts with a cream cheese glaze.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Servings: 15 donuts
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

Red Velvet Donuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder , unsweetened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 10-15 drops food coloring, natural or regular dye or a mixture of both

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, completely softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk, or more if needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Red Velvet Donuts

  • Combine the dry ingredients and give them a gentle whisk. 
  • Combine the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy.
  • Alternate the dry and liquid ingredients. I do half and half while adding red food coloring in between. 
  • Add the red food coloring while mixing the dry and wet ingredients with the butter.
  • Mix just until combined, and the donuts have a deep red color.
  • Add a pastry bag into a glass to fill with batter. 
  • Pipe the batter into the donut pan about 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake at 350F for about 9 minutes until the donuts are set and spring back when touched.
  • Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding the glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat on medium using an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add more milk to get a glaze-like consistency.
  • Dip each donut into the glaze and add sprinkles.

Notes

  • Be sure to measure your ingredients correctly for accurate results.
  • Use room-temperature eggs and buttermilk for better texture.
  • Only mix until the ingredients are combined; don’t overmix the batter.
  • Use a piping or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off to evenly fill the donut cavities in your pan.
  • Place a silicone pan on top of a baking sheet for stability and easy removal from the oven.
  • Oven temperatures vary, so check after 7 minutes. The donuts should be soft to the touch with a little bounce when you touch it.

Nutrition

Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg
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Red velvet donuts.

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