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Black Charcoal Donuts

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Halloween is a time for indulging in spooky vibes, that’s why we’re bringing you this black charcoal donut recipe!

I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I love Halloween. It’s my 2nd favourite holiday of the year! I always go all out with decorations and treats; it’s just so much fun to get into the spirit.

This year, I decided to make black charcoal donuts for dessert because they’re the most perfect, understated dark dessert to serve at a creepy Halloween party. Forget the kitschy candy eyes on cookies, eyeball cupcakes, and all the other typical Halloween fare, give me these black charcoal doughnuts!

We are so excited to share this amazing black charcoal donuts recipe with you! These doughnuts will make your Halloween party complete.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.
Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Food-grade activated charcoal is generally made by heating coconut shells or bamboo to very high temperatures until they are ash. The resulting ash is then treated with steam or hot air. This makes it highly porous and gives activated charcoal amazing adsorption capabilities.

Activated charcoal is super trendy right now, in recent years, it has gained popularity in food and beauty products, but it has been used for thousands of years across many different cultures.

Why Bake with Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fun way to add stunning colour to baked goods, and other food. Charcoal has no taste or smell, so it won’t affect your food’s flavour. The activated charcoal will not leave any lingering aftertaste either.

Charcoal is generally safe to use, but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns. Charcoal is not recommended for people who take medication of a regular basis as the charcoal may absorb some of the medications reducing its effectiveness.

However, eating a charcoal infused baked good every now and then should not be a concern as the amount we are using is really only enough for aesthetic purposes.

We love the dark and dramatic flair activated charcoal gives these fried donuts.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Bamboo Charcoal Powder vs Coconut Charcoal Powder

When baking with activated charcoal powder you have two options. You can purchase activated bamboo charcoal, or activated coconut charcoal.

Both options offer the same consistency and ability to colour food a gorgeous black colour without affecting the flavour of your food.

Bamboo activated charcoal powder is really popular throughout Asia, while coconut activated charcoal powder is more popular in Western countries.

Both powders are sold by health food stores and online retailers such as Amazon, and both varieties work well for baking.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Tips for the BEST Fried Cake Donuts

  1. Clean up your work area and make sure you don’t have anything flammable near by your stove top.
  2. Use a large, heavy-bottom dutch oven with high sides.
  3. Use an instant thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil.
  4. You will need about 2 inches of oil in your pan – just enough to fry the donuts, without splashing out.
  5. Fry only a few doughnut holes at a time – it is easier to manage and will ensure even cooking.
  6. Ensure your ingredients are all at room temperature before starting.
  7. Do not over-work your dough, it can result in dense donuts. Get it just combined then stop.

Equipment Needed to Make Fried Donuts

Dutch oven – A dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot helps the oil hold its temperature.

Spider tool – You want this straining tool to scoop out the donuts and leave the oil behind.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

How Do I Make Fluffy Donuts?

If you’ve tried making donuts before, and they’ve ended up all hard and chewy, you’re probably worried the same thing might happen with these donuts.

Well, the trick to getting the most pillowy soft and fluffy donuts is to make sure the donuts are well-proofed, that they’ve had enough time to rest before you go ahead and fry them.

Also, while frying donuts remember to not put in too many donuts into the oil and overcrowd it.

Even if it takes a little extra time, consider frying them in batches, so that they get enough space to move.

Also, while frying them, make sure you have enough oil. The donuts must basically float when you put them in, yet they should not be entirely submerged in the oil.

How to Store Homemade Donuts

Fried donuts are best eaten fresh; however, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

Fried donuts freeze well in an airtight container if they are completely cooled after frying for up to two months. Reheat donuts in a 350° F oven for about ten minutes or in the microwave until heated through before serving.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

About the Ingredients for Charcoal Doughnuts

Flour – All-purpose flour is best for making cake donuts, cake flour can make them dense. Be sure to spoon and level your flour carefully so they also don’t get dense.

Yeast – You can use instant yeast instead but using dry active yeast and priming it in water ensures you are using alive yeast.

Milk – You can use any milk you like here, I think whole milk tastes best though. Needs to be room temperature for the dough.

Sugar – Just use plain old granulated sugar.

Salt – Helps to balance all the flavours and make em shine.

Eggs – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before starting.

Butter – Unsalted butter, cube it while cold and let it sit out on the counter to soften. If you only have salted, omit the salt altogether.

Charcoal Powder – Look for food grade activated charcoal. See above for details.

Chocolate chops – Use dark chocolate chips or unsweetened bakers chocolate.

Cocoa powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder, not hot cocoa mix.

Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour, but artificial is just fine too.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Looking for More Delicious Fried Donut Recipes?

Check out more of my favourite fried donut recipes:

Dulce De Leche Donuts featuring a buttery tender dough that is stuffed with dulce de leche and fried up into a golden, fluffy masterpiece.

These Old Fashioned Apple Fritters are made with a cakey batter incorporated with juicy apples and glazed. They’re an easy-to-make fall treat.

These Strawberry Cheesecake Donut Holes are fluffy fried cake donuts; rolled in sugar & stuffed with a creamy strawberry cheesecake filling.

Lemon curd donut holes are a lemony delight – soft donut holes are filled with sweet and tart lemon curd, and covered with a sugar glaze.

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

How to Make Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard

Yields: 15 Servings | Prep Time: 40 mins | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, softened
  • 2 tablespoons charcoal powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating

For the Dark Chocolate Custard

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

1. Combine the lukewarm milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2. Add in the eggs, the remaining sugar, and salt.

3. Add the flour and charcoal powder. Knead until smooth using the attachment on your mixer or by hand. Slowly incorporate the butter, one piece at a time. Knead on low-medium speed for about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof in a warm, draft-free place for about one hour or until doubled in size. You can refrigerate the dough for about 8-10 hours or overnight.

5. Cut out 15 squares of parchment paper.

6. Punch the dough down. Cut the dough into 15 equal pieces. Roll them into smooth, tight buns and place them on the squares of parchment paper, leaving plenty of room for them – so they don’t stick together while they proof. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to proof for about 40 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

7. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot (cast iron) to 330-350°F. To fry donuts, drop two or three of them at a time, frying for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Remove donuts from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels.

8. Once slightly cooled, place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a dish, roll each donut in sugar, and set aside to cool completely before filling.

9. For the dark chocolate custard, place the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, egg, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot milk onto the cocoa mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat.

10. Add in the butter and chocolate, whisk until melted and combined. Pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and press it directly on surface. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

11. Fill a piping bag with a round tip with the custard. Using a small knife, cut a hole in the side of each donut about 3/4 of the way into the donut and pipe a generous amount of custard into the center of the donut.

Enjoy!

Black Charcoal Donuts
Yield: 15 Donuts

Black Charcoal Donuts

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, softened
  • 2 tablespoons charcoal powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating

For the Dark Chocolate Custard

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

1. Combine the lukewarm milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2. Add in the eggs, the remaining sugar, and salt.

3. Add the flour and charcoal powder. Knead until smooth using the attachment on your mixer or by hand. Slowly incorporate the butter, one piece at a time. Knead on low-medium speed for about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof in a warm, draft-free place for about one hour or until doubled in size. You can refrigerate the dough for about 8-10 hours or overnight.

5. Cut out 15 squares of parchment paper.

6. Punch the dough down. Cut the dough into 15 equal pieces. Roll them into smooth, tight buns and place them on the squares of parchment paper, leaving plenty of room for them – so they don’t stick together while they proof. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to proof for about 40 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

7. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot (cast iron) to 330-350°F. To fry donuts, drop two or three of them at a time, frying for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Remove donuts from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels.

8. Once slightly cooled, place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a dish, roll each donut in sugar, and set aside to cool completely before filling.

9. For the dark chocolate custard, place the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, egg, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot milk onto the cocoa mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring
continuously, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat.

10. Add in the butter and chocolate, whisk until melted and combined. Pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and press it directly on surface. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

11. Fill a piping bag with a round tip with the custard. Using a small knife, cut a hole in the side of each donut about 3/4 of the way into the donut and pipe a generous amount of custard into the center of the donut.

Enjoy!

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Light and crisp, these Black Charcoal Donuts with Dark Chocolate Custard are made with charcoal and filled with rich dark chocolate custard.

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