I already need a break from stuffing. This is what’s wrong with 2014.

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We haven’t even hit the real life holidays yet and I need a breather from potatoes and pumpkin. I figured you might too. Whyyyy do we ruin everything before it even happens?

Therefore: donuts.

Life is always better with donuts. Like I want my life to be allllll about donuts.

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

You know that I’ve developed a serious pistachio infatuation over the last two years. And it makes me feel like a complete old person. Like straight up elderly. Just give me a cup of pistachios in their shells and you might as well throw in a cup of butter pecan ice cream while you’re at it. Remember when I always said that only old people liked nuts in their dessert? YEAH.


I feel that I can say this since I do like nuts occasionally with dessert now – definitely not in cookies or in brownies – but anything pistachio in ice cream or cake or frosting or cookies is a-okay in my book. Because it always tastes so wonderfully rich and vanilla-like and creamy and delicious. You know? Do you get it?

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

So. I have this cake recipe in Seriously Delish. It’s a pistachio cake made with a mascarpone pistachio filling and then covered in chocolate ganache. You can even see a pic here. It’s one of my most favorite things ever and I crave it always always always. ALWAYS.

The thing is: patience… I do not have. Some of you are really smart and have made this cake into cupcakes! I have not done that yet because 1. I’m lazy and 2. I always forget about the possibility because my mind is all over the place.

Need to get on it. Maybe this weekend.

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

But so, one day.

I wanted this cake SO badly. Craving it like mad. It was actually a few months ago – and I’ve been waiting ages to share these donuts – but for good reason. They are a nice little holiday dessert or breakfast without TASTING like a holiday dessert or breakfast. Right?

You get it. No pumpkin, no eggnog, no spice up the wazoo or anything here. Just some straight chocolate and pistachios. UM YEASSS.

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

Now I know that I’m certainly not the authority on baked donuts. I’ve even trashed talked them a bit before because to me, a donut is a lovely fried wonder of love and baking it really can’t duplicate that fried version. Especially apple cider donuts. Fried apple cider donuts. GAH.

But my thought here was: I wasn’t trying to emulate and actual “cake donut.” Instead, I was trying to make a little donut out of my actual pistachio cake. Like the full layer cake that I only have the patience to make once a year. I wanted it in a little bite-sized ring instead. A donut that tastes like my pistachio cake!

Give me this forever.

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

Words can’t really describe how much I adore these little nuggets. And since they ARE baked and not fried, they are ridiculously easy (or, err, easiER) and can we also say healthy?

I mean… hello… baked and not fried. Yep. Health food.

chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

Chocolate Fudge Pistachio Cake Donuts

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chocolate ganache


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your donut pan with nonstick spray.
  • Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse until crumbs remain. You want fine pistachio crumbs – not butter! Keep and eye on it. In a bowl, whisk together the ground pistachios, flours, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and the eggs, mixing until the batter is just combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then stir in the milk until the batter is smooth. Use a spoon and add the batter to the donut pan until each mold is about 3/4 of the way full. Bake the donuts for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are set and slightly golden. Remove and let cool. Once cool, dip each donut in the ganache and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.

chocolate ganache

  • Add the chopped chocolate to a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over low heat just until bubbles appear around the edges and it’s warm. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds, then stir continuously until it’s smooth. Stir in the butter and set aside until ready to use.

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chocolate fudge pistachio cake donuts I howsweeteats.com

UGH. So good.