These Happy Birthday Donuts are rich chocolate donuts loaded with chocolate chips and topped with a raspberry frosting and rainbow sprinkles. They're a party in donut form! If that wasn't enough, they're gluten free, nut free, eggless and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
These Happy Birthday Donuts could not be more fun! They’re soft, rich and decadent but also sweet! My daughter had the idea for these and I think she made an amazing combo!
If you’re looking for more donut recipes, check out my Cinnamon Sugar Donuts, my Baked Chocolate Donuts and my Red Velvet Donuts.
Reasons to Love these Donuts
- Allergy Friendly- These donuts are gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- The donuts are super soft, decadent and delicious.
- Double Chocolate- The donuts have a chocolate base loaded with chocolate chips.
- Raspberry Frosting- Gives the donuts a lovely sweetness.
- Easy to Make- The batter mixes up with a whisk!
For the Donuts
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- White Vinegar- Used with the baking soda to help the donuts rise.
- Vegetable Oil- These donuts use oil, so they stay moist longer.
- Cocoa Powders- I like to use two types but if you only want to use one, use Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
- Cornstarch and Water- These are eggless donuts so this mixture helps bind everything together.
For the Frosting
- Butter/Vegan Baking Stick- Make sure to use softened not melted or your frosting will be a liquidy mess.
- Water- This frosting uses water and no milk at all.
- Raspberries- This frosting uses frozen raspberries to give it that pink hue and added sweetness!
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
How to Make these Donuts Vegan
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Only use vegan baking stick, not butter.
- Get a non dairy milk of your choosing.
- Make sure the chocolate chips you use are allergy safe and vegan.
- Read the label on your sprinkles to make sure they’re gluten free, nut free and vegan.
This recipe has not been tested with these substitutions and/or variations due to celiac disease and food allergies. If you change any of the ingredients, please let us know how the recipe turned out in the comments below!
How to Make Happy Birthday Donuts
Here are the step by step instructions to make these donuts!
Step 1: Whisk Together all the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the light brown sugar. Then use a whisk to combine.
If you don’t sift, you’ll get large clumps of brown sugar which is fine if that doesn’t bother you. Set aside.
Step 2: Make The Cornstarch Water
In a medium bowl, using a spoon, mix together your cornstarch and water until there are no lumps and it is smooth. It will be thick and tacky at first.
Step 3: Add in the Milk, Vanilla & Vinegar
Once the cornstarch water is combined, whisk in the milk of choice, vanilla and vinegar.
Step 4: Add the Wet Ingredients Into the Dry
Add the wet ingredients and the vegetable oil into the dry ingredients. It might be easiest to mix this with a spatula, until combined. It will be super dense.
Step 5: Add in the Chocolate Chips
Using the spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 6: Put the Batter in a Zip Top Bag
Next scoop the batter into a pastry bag or a (zip top bag and cut a corner off) and pipe into the greased donut pans, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
Step 7: Bake The Donuts
Smooth the tops of the donuts and bake for about 15 min until the donuts kind of spring back at you when gently touched.
Step 8: Cool
Remove the donuts from the oven, wait about 5 minutes before trying to remove them from the pan. They should come out easily by using a small spatula.
Let them cool completely before icing.
Step 9: Make The Frosting
In the large bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand held mixer, beat the confectioners' sugar, butter or vegan baking stick, water and 12 frozen raspberries together, making sure to break the raspberries apart.
Once combined, the frosting will turn pink and there will be flecks of raspberries. That's normal.
Step 10: Frost The Donuts
Using an icing spatula or a butter knife, frost the tops of the donuts.
Step 11: Add the Sprinkles
Immediately after frosting a donut, scatter the sprinkles over the top so the sprinkles stick.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use 2 Types of Cocoa Powder- The 2 types of cocoa powders give the cookies their dark hue. If you only have one type on hand, use natural unsweetened or dutch...just know their color will not be as dark as mine. DO NOT use dark alone; it will make your donuts too dry and bitter.
- Smoothing the Batter- Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked. If you leave it misshapen, that’s how it will remain when baked. When the batter is in the donut pans, gently smooth the tops with a butter knife.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day; you can make these donuts the night before without the frosting but they truly are best the same day.
If making the night before, keep the donuts in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to add the frosting.
Yes! You can make the frosting the night before.
Store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
When ready to use, rewhip to get that creamy consistency.
It makes 15 regular size donuts.
The best way is with a zip top bag.
Place the batter in, get the air out, seal it and snip off one corner.
If the frosting is too thick, add more water ¼ teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
I would only use frozen. They are much more wet as they defrost and have higher water content, which helps our frosting.
Storing and Freezing
Since gluten free baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep these happy birthday donuts as fresh as possible.
Once the frosting on the donuts has hardened, store in an airtight container or individually wrap the each donut in aluminum foil. Try to create a teepee with the top of the foil so it isn't touching the frosting as much.
Store them in the fridge for up to two days. Take out 1 hour before eating or warm in the microwave 5-10 seconds prior to eating.
Once the frosting on the donuts has hardened a bit, wrap them each in aluminum foil.
Pop them in a zip top bag and freeze the donuts for up to 30 days.
To defrost, take out if the freezer and leave at room temperature until soft; about 2 hours.
Other Raspberry Desserts You'll Love
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @laneandgreyfare and follow along on Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube! Enjoy!!!
Happy Birthday Donuts
For The Donuts
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder (I use ⅓ natural unsweetened or dutch and ⅓ dark)
- 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
- 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar , packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup milk of choice , at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
For The Frosting
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter or vegan baking stick, softened
- 2 ½ tablespoons water , room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- 12 raspberries , frozen
- rainbow sprinkles , for decorating
For The Donuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the wells of two donut pans with vegetable oil. If you don’t have two pans you’ll have to cook the donuts in multiple batches.
- In a large bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the light brown sugar. Then use a whisk to combine. If you don’t sift, you’ll get large clumps of brown sugar which is fine if that doesn’t bother you. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using a spoon, mix together your cornstarch and water until there are no lumps and it is smooth. It will be thick and tacky at first. Once that’s combined, whisk in the milk of choice, vanilla and vinegar.
- Add the wet ingredients and the vegetable oil into the dry ingredients. It might be easiest to mix this with a spatula, until combined. It will be super dense.
- Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Next scoop the batter into a pastry bag or a (zip top bag and cut a corner off) and pipe into the donut pans, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for about 15 min or until the donuts kind of spring back at you when gently touched.
- Remove the donuts from the oven, wait about 5 minutes and they should come out of the pans easily by using a small spatula. Let them cool completely before icing.
For The Frosting
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand held mixer, beat the confectioners' sugar, butter or vegan baking stick, water and 12 frozen raspberries together, making sure to break the raspberries apart.
- The frosting will have flecks of raspberries and turn pink in color. The flecks are normal.
- Using an icing spatula or a butter knife, frost the tops of the donuts.
- Immediately after frosting a donut, scatter the sprinkles over the top so the sprinkles stick.
These donuts are so delicious! Made a very happy birthday!
Can’t wait to try this recipe. Mouth watering and looks so pretty
Your daughter is so smart! These are delicious!
Have you tried these with regular flour? Would I leave out the cornstarch in that case?
Hi Laura! If using regular flour, lessen the amount of milk to 2/3 instead of 1 cup. Leave the cornstarch water mixture in! Sadly due to my daughter's celiac I can't test it but I did make this recipe years ago prior to her diagnosis with regular flour. Hope that helps!
My wife’s birthday is coming up soon. Might have to surprise her with this delicious treat!
Amazing! I made the recipe exactly as printed and the doughnuts came out perfect for my son's birthday. So nice to find gluten free recipes that actually work and taste fantastic!
Thank you!!!! SO glad!!!
Valerie Taylor Shannon
They look just like her picture shows! Delicious!
Thank you, Valerie!!!