These baked chocolate donuts are the best of both worlds, light and fluffy like a fried donut and filled with a delicious chocolate cream filling!
What are Krapfen?
Krapfen, simply put, are a type of donut – some people may disagree with that because the dough is different. However, they most closely resemble a donut. This variation is baked rather than fried and rolled in espresso sugar or chocolate glaze before being filled with chocolate cream cream.
Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast?
Either yeast can be used in this recipe and the amount will stay the same for both. The only difference is that with active dry yeast, the yeast should first be “bloomed” in the warm milk before the other ingredients can be added – as shown in the recipe. Whereas instant yeast can be added and mixed into the flour and sugar directly.
Chocolate Pudding from scratch vs. from a box?
Usually, I will always recommend making food from scratch. However, in this recipe I do use a box mix of chocolate pudding because it makes the recipe much simpler and I have been able to find box mixes without a lot of chemicals or add-ins. If you want to make it from scratch I highly recommend this recipe for Chocolate Espresso Pudding by the Gluten Free Austrian.
Can these be made in advance?
Yes, the rolls can be baked the day before and kept in an airtight container but I recommend filling them on the same day you plan to eat them. Ideally I would only make the pudding the day before to let it set in the fridge overnight and then bake and fill them in the morning/next day.
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Tips for making Chocolate Baked Donuts
- As with most yeast doughs, do not stop kneading until the dough is super smooth and the edges of the bowl are clean. This can take up to 10-15 minutes on low speed.
- When dividing and shaping the rolls, always start with the same portion of dough. This means that the first piece that is divided, is also the first to be shaped in a ball.
- Make sure to watch the buns while they proof. They should grow to at least twice as big as when you first shaped them – this will give you more space inside to fill with chocolate cream once they are baked.
- Wait for the krapfen (buns) to cool completely before trying to fill them.
- The chocolate pudding needs to be fully cooled before mixing it with the whipped cream. I recommend putting a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding as it cools to prevent it from forming a skin. If you leave it to cool at room temperature it should be the right consistency to fold with the whipped cream. However, if you place it in the fridge to chill you may want to beat it with a mixer first if it has become too thick and stiff.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour will work for these! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Eggs: I use standard large eggs from the store. This recipe uses one full egg and one egg yolk. The egg yolk adds extra richness to the rolls.
- Sugar: This recipe uses sugar in the dough as well as on the outside for decoration. There is also sugar in the chocolate pudding.
- Milk: The krapfen use milk as the liquid in the dough and the chocolate pudding; however, they will also work with non-dairy milks such as almond or light coconut milk.
- Butter: The butter adds moisture to the buns as well as makes them softer! It’s important that the butter is at room temperature, otherwise it will cool down the dough and be difficult to incorporate.
- Yeast: In this recipe, active dry yeast is used. However, if you are using instant yeast, add the flour, sugar and yeast into the bowl, whisk together, and then add the remaining ingredients.
- Vanilla extract: I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to give the buns extra flavor.
- Cocoa powder: Dutch processed or natural cocoa powder will work for this recipe.
- Chocolate Pudding Mix: As mentioned before this recipe can be made with homemade chocolate pudding, but when short on time, mix can be very helpful.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is used to make the whipped cream which is then folded into the chilled pudding to give it a light and airy texture.
- Espresso Powder: There are two options for the coating of these donuts, chocolate glaze or espresso sugar. For the espresso sugar it is just a mix of and ground coffee/espresso and granulated sugar.
- Powdered sugar: This is used in the chocolate glaze option for the coating.
How to make Chocolate Baked Donuts
Make the dough
- Start by warming the milk until it is just warm to the touch – it should not exceed 100 degrees F. Stir in the yeast, cover and set aside for 10 minutes, this will give the yeast a little head start.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flour and sugar. Whisk together and then sift in the cocoa powder and whisk again.
- Now add in the egg and egg yolk, butter, bloomed yeast/milk mixture, and vanilla extract. Knead the mixture with the dough hook on the stand mixer for 10-15 minutes on low speed until it is smooth and the bowl is clean.
- Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl that you were just using and place the ball of dough back in. Then cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and place somewhere warm for 30-45 min. The dough should double in size.
- If making instant chocolate pudding, follow the instructions on the box but use half as much milk as is called for on the package. Then chill in the fridge for an hour.
- If making cooked chocolate pudding, follow the instructions on the box but use half as much milk as is called for on the package. Cook until it thickens and then pour into a baking dish. Place a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool to room temperature or place in the fridge to chill.
Shape & Bake the Krapfen
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection. Arrange two racks so that they divide the oven into thirds.
- Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- After the dough has grown, divide it into 12 equal portions. As you go, shape each portion into a ball by first flattening it slightly into a disk and then tucking all the edges of the disk under. Shape your hand into a claw over the ball of dough with the smooth side face up. Roll the ball around in your hand on a clean work surface to create tension on the dough and seal the seem on the bottom of the ball.
- Place 6 rolls onto each baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each roll.
- Leave the rolls to rest for 30 minutes somewhere warm to proof. They should at least double in size.
- After the 30 minutes have passed, bake the rolls for 15 minutes – rotate the baking sheets halfway through if not baking on convection.
Prepare the Chocolate glaze/ Espresso Sugar
- To make the Espresso sugar, stir together the granulated sugar and espresso powder.
- To make the chocolate glaze, whisk together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Then whisk in the milk.
- When the krapfen are finished baking, work one at a time to coat. Brush half of them with melted butter and then roll them in the espresso sugar, then roll the other half in the chocolate glaze.
- Leave to cool before filling.
- Use an electric whisk to beat the chilled chocolate pudding until smooth if the pudding is very stiff. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold half of the stiff whipped cream into the chocolate pudding. Then pour add the pudding/ whipped cream mix into the remaining whipped cream and fold to combine.
- Fill the cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a metal piping tip.
- Poke a hole in the side of each roll using the end of a spoon and wiggle it around to create a larger hole in the center of the bun. Be careful not to poke through the other side of the bun.
- Push the piping tip into the opening and fill with the chocolate pudding until the filling starts to come back out.
Chocolate Baked Donuts | Schoko Krapfen
- Stand Mixer
- 250 ml milk
- 15 grams instant yeast or dry active yeast
- 475 grams ap flour
- 50 grams sugar
- 40 grams cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 60 grams butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 packets chocolate pudding mix
- 500 ml milk
- 300 ml heavy cream cold
Espresso Sugar Coating – Enough for 6 Doughnuts
- 75 grams granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp finely ground espresso
- 30 grams butter melted
Chocolate Glaze – Enough for 6 Doughnuts
- 100 grams powdered sugar
- 12 grams cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- Heat the milk to just under 100 F in the microwave. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flour and sugar. Then sift in the cocoa powder and whisk it all together by hand.
- Add in the egg, egg yolk, butter, bloomed yeast/ milk mixture and vanilla extract. Knead the mixture with the dough hook on the stand mixer for 10-15 minutes on low speed until it is smooth and the bowl is clean.
- Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl and place the ball of dough back in.
- Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and place somewhere warm for 30-45 min. The dough should double in size.
- Follow the instructions for the instant or cooked chocolate pudding but use only half of the milk that is called for on the box.
- If you made cooked pudding, lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to keep it from forming a skin as it cools. Place the finished pudding into the fridge to chill for an hour or leave to cool to room temperature.
Shape & Bake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection.
- Arrange two racks so that they divide the oven into thirds and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
- Shape each portion into a ball by first flattening it slightly into a disk and then tucking all the edges of the disk under.
- Shape your hand into a claw over the ball of dough with the smooth side face up. Roll the ball around in your hand on a clean work surface to create tension on the dough and seal the seem on the bottom of the ball.
- Place 6 rolls onto each baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each roll.
- Leave the rolls to rest for 30 minutes somewhere warm to proof.
- Then bake for 15 minutes – rotate the baking sheets halfway through if not baking on convection.
- While they bake, prepare the coatings.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and espresso. In a separate bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Then whisk in the milk.
- When the krapfen are finished baking, work one at a time and brush half of them with butter and roll in espresso sugar and the other half in the chocolate glaze.
- Leave to cool before assembling.
- If the chocolate pudding is very stiff, use an electric whisk to beat the chilled it until smooth.
- Then whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold half of the stiff whipped cream into the chocolate pudding. Then pour the pudding and whipped cream mix into the bowl with the remaining whipped cream and fold to combine.
- Fill the chocolate cream into a piping bag fitted with a metal piping tip.
- Poke a hole into the side of each bun with the end of a spoon and wiggle it around to create a whole inside the bun.
- Push the piping tip into the hole of each cooled bun and fill until the cream starts to come back out of the opening.