Chocolate Chai Donuts


do·nut [doh-nuht, -nuht]: a cake that when shaped like a circle with a hole in the middle becomes a perfectly suitable breakfast. See also: doughnut. Copyright: Official dictionary of Dessert For Two.


Boy, could I use some cake for breakfast.  I spent all of last week sleeping in hotel rooms.  My husband and I have been spending a few days in each city in which he was offered a job.  We’ve been checking out houses and grocery stores, and trying to imagine ourselves living in each place.

For most of you, a hotel room is a vacation because someone else makes your bed and cleans up after you.  But for a germ-freak like me, staying in a hotel room means wearing shoes at all times (let’s not talk about the shower situation), and immediately peeling off all pillows and blankets from the bed.  (The only thing that they wash daily is sheets, don’t you know?!)  Wait, we are going to talk about the shower situation.  Here goes:  the shower curtain.  It gets me every time.  I know they don’t wash it.  I try to gingerly peel it away using tweezers and slide into the shower, but honestly, every damn time, the hot water creates an air current in the cold bathroom and the curtain blows against me.  It touches me!  And then I proceed to take a shower using water hotter than lava to scald the germs.

I am not comfortable in hotel rooms.

Therefore, I’m so happy to be back home.  Home, where I can walk barefoot in a house with a shower curtain that has not touched wayward travelers.  Home, where the comforter can touch my face while I sleep because I steam clean it once a month.  Now you know how I live.  My husband is accepting sympathy cards at this time.

The best part about being home is being back in my kitchen.  I had a chocolate chai latte on the road (I think in St. Louis?), and it was divine.  Chai is one of my all-time favorite flavors, plus chocolate?  It should be breakfast all day, everyday.


I adapted my chocolate donut recipe from Karly over at Buns in My Oven.

Chocolate Chai Donuts
Yields 6 donuts.
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the chocolate frosting:
  • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • ½ teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375, and grease a donut pan with a capacity of 6.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, yogurt, milk and oil. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and stir just until no streaks of flour remain. The batter will be thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut molds, smoothing the surface.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.
  5. Immediately after coming out of the oven, dump the pan onto a cooling rack, and let the donuts cool while making the frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a very shallow bowl, and microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring in between. When the mixture is melted, dunk each donut in the frosting and let set. The coconut oil in the frosting will allow the frosting to set when cool.



  1. says

    Welcome home! I definitely can sympathise with you; I try not to think too much about hotel rooms as they gross me out. There’s no place like home is there?

  2. says

    I’m pretty sure these would be James’s favorite donuts ever. EVER. As for germs, girl, we need to talk. Regular exposure to mild germs is what keeps you healthy! I guarantee your immune system is stronger today than it was last week. :)

  3. Jessica L. says

    I hope you guys found a city you absolutely LOVE! As a St. Louis native who is looking to move back there within a year or so, part of me hopes you found something awesome to love about that part of the Midwest :)

  4. Julie says

    1. I assume that you checked out the liquor stores at the same time and made sure that they had decent wine and bourbon, right? 2. Oh, dear. You won’t want to come visit me because I’m not a very good housekeeper. I’m now sad. 3. DONUTS! Ok. This weekend, I made your pumpkin donuts for two and then turned around and adapted the recipe for sweet potatoes. All of the sudden, I had a dozen donuts. Not a problem, I’m thinking. I have Stephie and her friend here and they will eat lots. Wrong. I was left with at least 8 for the two of us. Thankfully, Papa Swope needs to gain weight, so he ate three for breakfast Saturday morning. lol So, i guess it did turn into donuts for two. :)

  5. says

    Wow these look really great!

    So sorry you aren’t comfortable in hotel rooms. I just never really think about all that stuff, so I guess I’m just lucky in that department. But going home is always a great treat after staying in hotel rooms I think.

  6. says

    OH HOTEL ROOMS! UGH I can’t stand them. I hate everything about them. I pace around in them because they feel so sterile yet so dirty and they give me some serious anxiety situation. So glad to hear you’re back home safe and sound with your delicious chocolate chai donuts. Can’t wait to hear where you two lovey dovies end up! Where can I pick up the Dessert for Two dictionary? It tells me about delicious things..

  7. says

    I am one of those filthy heathens who LOVES hotels…and I worked at one for ages!! But like eating at restaurants, I force myself not to think about all the gross stuff… I know. I’m gross.

    LOOOVE these donuts. Chai tea and donuts are two of my favorite things, so these are perfect. Obvi.

  8. says

    Oh man I HATE when the shower curtain blows on you and sticks to you. I even hate it at home, let alone in a strange place. Ick. Glad you have lots of donuts and the comfort of home now. Chai is one of my all time favorite flavors, but I’ve never tried it with chocolate. That sounds incredible!

  9. says

    I never sleep well in a hotel room, either. The pillows just never feel quite right, you know?

    Anyway, these donuts look absolutely delicious. I’ve never combined chocolate and chai tea before, but it’s a wonderful idea. The slightly spicy flavor of chai tea is perfect during autumn.

  10. says

    OMG, I thought it was just me… the shower curtains gross me out and I freak when they touch me! I have a very low tolerance for hotels that seem even the tiniest bit dingy. Ew… These donuts are a well-deserved breakfast treat this week!

  11. says

    The thing that gets me most about hotel rooms are the pillows, for sure. Not only that someone else has slept on them (ick), but that they’re always WAY too soft. I always feel like I’m sleeping in a marshmallow.

    I’ll take my own bed and a whole batch of these doughnuts, thankyouverymuch. :)

  12. says

    CRAP. I hate to clean. I’m BAD at cleaning. Which means you’d probably have hotel issues if you visited me. HOWEVER. I would totally give you clean blankets and sheets AND pillowcases. I just can’t make any shower curtain promises, because how exactly does one clean a shower curtain? Doesn’t it get clean in the shower? I guess not. See? Bad at cleaning.

    You know what I’m not bad at? Eating cake for breakfast. Donuts make my world go ’round.

  13. says

    Christina, I can so relate. Hotel bathrooms are downright scary at times… I pack flip flops wherever I go! (Never experienced the clinging shower curtain effect, though, lol.) I hope your job search(es) are going well… these donuts (and your dictionary definition) were a welcome sight.

  14. says

    Wait. What? They don’t clean the pillow cases between guests? Yeah, they do! They have to. Right?

    I’m happy you’re back home! :) I love staying in hotels. It means that my husband can’t sit on the internet all day. Woohoo!

    And love these donuts. So pretty and chai makes them so much more interesting! :)

  15. Dawn says

    is there a way I can cheat by not buying all these spices? can I brew chai tea and substitute it for the milk? or how about using the dry tea itself? is it safe to digest? thanks

    • says

      Hi Dawn!
      Do you still want it to taste like chai? You could leave out all the spices and just have a chocolate donut. I wouldn’t substitute tea for milk…milk has protein and is acidic, which tenderizes baked goods. Best of luck!

      • Dawn says

        Hi and thanks for replying! I want the chai taste but I am hesitant to buy the spices. I once make Earl Grey cookies by using the contents of tea bags so maybe I will give it a try and see if it works.

  16. says

    Oh good I’m not the only germaphobe out there who won’t touch the top cover of the hotel bed, immediately throws the decorative pillows onto a chair, and the thought of walking around barefoot makes my skin crawl. I can totally relate to how you feel. I love these donuts! Chocolate and chai is such a great combination!

  17. says

    My mother would LOVE you because she is the exact same way in hotel rooms! I’m not quite so much so, but refuse to drink from the glasses and definitely check sheets before deciding to stay in the room.

    You probably won’t even believe this but I don’t think I’ve ever had a chocolate doughnut! Doughnuts were always around when I was growing up in Scotland, but only yeast ones and I’d never even tasted a cake doughnut until I came to the US, but these sound lovely with the Chai flavor! Love your definition of a donut, too! ;)

  18. Dee says

    HOTELS! Always miserable as a child because my mother wouldn’t let us take off our shoes and we couldn’t sit on the bed with the comforter pulled up. Then one vacation, my younger brother went into the bathroom, that’s ok, right? Heard the bath water start and mother went flying in there, let out a blood curdling scream and returned carrying a wet naked child with saucer-sized eyes. He had decided to take a bath. A BATH!! I think she scrubbed the skin right off of him. Poor kid. Bought a motor home after that trip!

    Donuts sound wonderful! Can’t wait to try them out this weekend!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: