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Small Batch Red Velvet Donuts

Easy Small Batch Red Velvet Donuts Recipe - These oven baked donuts are topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. This wonderful donut recipe yields four to five of the best tasting donuts!

Two red velvet donuts topped with drizzled white frosting on a plate.

Red velvet desserts seem to be most popular during the holiday season or for Valentine's Day. Their vibrant red color makes the desserts look so festive and appropriate for the season. I happen to believe that red velvet desserts should be enjoyed year-round, and these red velvet donuts are no exception.

What Are Red Velvet Donuts?

Red velvet donuts are basically vanilla donuts with a touch of cocoa powder added. They get their pretty color from red food coloring.

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Do You Have To Use Red Food Coloring?

No. You can leave the food coloring out altogether if you'd like. You will be left with a pretty, light-brown donut which will still taste incredibly delicious.

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Four donuts cooling on a baking rack  topped with a drizzle of white frosting.

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How To Make Red Velvet Donuts

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.


  • all purpose flour
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • an egg yolk
  • sugar
  • buttermilk
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • vanilla extract
  • red food coloring

For The Frosting

  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • milk

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Make Buttermilk

If you want to make red velvet donuts but realize that you don't have any buttermilk on hand. Don't worry, you can make your own buttermilk if you have milk and lemon juice.

All you need to do is grab a measuring cup and pour in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, then add in the milk until you reach the 1/4 cup mark. Let the milk sit for about 10 minutes, give it a stir and use it in the recipe.

If you don't have buttermilk and you don't have any lemon juice, you can actually make red velvet donuts with regular milk. Keep in mind though, the buttermilk makes the donuts wonderfully moist so there will be a slight difference in texture when using whole, 1% or 2% milk.

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Two red velvet donuts topped with drizzled white frosting on a plate next to a cup of coffee and a blue napkin.


See below for full recipe instructions.

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate larger bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the food coloring.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Pour batter into a lightly greased donut baking tray.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool
  6. Blend the ingredients together for the cream cheese frosting in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle or spread over tops of the donuts.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this red velvet donut recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Overhead view of four donuts topped with drizzled white frosting on a cooling rack next to a blue cloth napkin

If you like this small batch donut recipe, you might also like our easy Small Batch Donut Holes recipe.

Other Single Serving & Small Batch Breakfast Recipes

For this red velvet donut recipe, I use a 6-cavity donut making pan.

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

two red velvet donuts with white frosting

Small Batch Red Velvet Donuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cool: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: donuts
Servings: 5 donuts
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon red food coloring


  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Generously coat donut pan with softened butter or oil spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate larger bowl, mix together the egg yolk, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the food coloring.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until combined.
  • Use a spoon to fill each donut mold 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting.


  • In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and milk and beat until smooth. Fill a pastry bag with the corner snipped to drizzle the frosting or spread frosting over the tops of the donuts with a knife.


Serving: 1donut | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

8 thoughts on “Small Batch Red Velvet Donuts”

  1. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    After devouring the doughnuts a friend brought over (just a few hours ago!) I am all about these! Plus, red velvet and cream cheese are a classic pairing 🙂

  2. Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie

    Doughnuts are my weakness and Red Velvet is the best! Glad the batch is small so when I devour the whole thing it won't matter!

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