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These from scratch Spider Donuts are made from a homemade baked chocolate donut, a luscious stovetop chocolate glaze and decorated with pretzels and eyes to create a creepy, cute Halloween snack.
Here we are again! It’s Halloween Treats Week and I’m so excited to be working with Dixie Crystals Sugar and the super talented group of food bloggers joining me this year.
For my first recipe I really wanted to throw my hat in the ring for how to make spider donuts. When I started developing them, I realized most instructions used premade donuts. That’s totally fine for a pinch, but I’m all about cooking and baking from scratch so I had to figure out a homemade version asap.
As it turns out, a delicious, soft homemade chocolate donut is easy to make. A quick stovetop glaze reminiscent of chocolate ganache gave them shine and an extra sweet kick.
Then it was just eyes and legs – so easy with pretzels and any number of potential candies. (I haven’t figured out how to make crunchy snack pretzels from scratch yet, but just you wait!).
The Donuts and Glaze
I could spend a lot of time chatting about the super soft chocolate baked donuts and the shiny glaze that goes on top, but this post is about making them SPIDERS. So I’ll just share a few quick tips on getting the donuts and glaze perfect before decorating.
- Pre-grease the donut pan and fill just ⅓ full. These swell up like crazy, which makes them fluffy and perfect, but also can lead to wonky shapes if overfilled.
- Immediately flip the pan on a cooling rack. Donuts left in the pan will steam and that’s just no fun.
- Wait for the donuts to cool before adding the glaze.
- I like the glaze thick and ganache-like, so I spooned it onto the donuts and let it drip.
- If you like a thinner glaze, add an extra tablespoon or two of butter.
- The glaze will set quickly, so keep a bowl or pan of hot water nearby and set the glaze in a pitcher or bowl within it to keep it loose while you’re working.
How to Make Spider Donuts
With your donuts glazed and ready to decorate you’ll need just some pretzels and your choice of eyes. I went with ruby chocolate chips, mostly because they were on sale in the bulk bins and I love me some plastic free bulk bins.
You could also use m&m’s, white chocolate chips, candy eyes, round sprinkles, or anything else you imagine. I always recommend something that tastes good with chocolate though!
When it’s time to decorate, break a whole bunch of pretzels to get the ‘legs’ you’ll need 8 per donut, so settle in for a few minutes.
To prevent frustration and save lots of useless broken pretzels, I found that pressing my thumb nail against the seam I wanted it to break along helped a lot.
Then, while the glaze is still wet, dip one pretzel end into the glaze and gently sink it into the donut. Repeat with the 7 remaining legs and press on those eyes.
Viola! Spider Donuts that are totally adorable and ready to eat.
Storing and Serving
Baked donuts are just not a dessert that wants to hang around. Just like your favorite doughnuts from the local shop, day two is less appealing and day 3? Forget about it.
For that reason I recommend trying to enjoy them within 24 hours of baking and decorating. These spider donuts are soft, so use a spatula to move them to a serving platter or storage box. If keeping them overnight, I recommend an airtight container in the fridge for the best quality the next day.
But eaten day of, ooooh yes, they’re a spooky and sweet chocolate treat that I know your kids and adult friends will love. I hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to enter the Treats Week giveaway below for the chance to win some fun prizes!
- Donut pan
- 100 grams all-purpose flour 3/4 cups
- 47 grams cocoa powder 1/2 cup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 84 mililiters oil 3oz or 1/3 cup
- 160 grams greek yogurt 2/3 cup
- 115 grams white sugar 1/2 cup
- 56 grams brown sugar 1/4 cup, packed
- 113 grams chocolate 4 ounces, chopped up
- 45 grams butter 3 tablespoons
- 44 mililiters corn syrup 3 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 90 pretzels
- 30 candy eyes white or ruby chocolate chips, m&m's
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 6 or 12 cup donut pan.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Combine the sugars, yogurt, oil, and egg in a separate bowl and beat until smooth.
- Fold together the wet and dry until a smooth chocolate batter forms.
- Fill donut pan 1/3 full. A piping bag with no tip makes this easy.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the donuts are springy or a toothpick comes out clean.
- Immediately flip the donut pan on to a cooling rack to release the donuts. Repeat until batter is used up.
Make the Glaze
- Combine all the glaze ingredients, except the vanilla, into a pan over low heat.
- Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Keep warm until you're ready to use it.
- Break pretzels so the top two arches can be used as legs.
- When the donuts are cool, pour or spoon the glaze over the top. Keep it over a silicone mat or parchment paper to reduce mess.
- Dip one end of a pretzel leg into the glaze and press it gently into the donut. Repeat to give each spider 8 legs.
- Press in the eyes.
- Let set for 20 minutes, then enjoy!
Check out all of these great #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes for today
- Disney Villain Charcuterie Board from Big Bear’s Wife
- Grave Yard Snack Mix from Semi Homemade Recipes
- Jelly Filled Ghost Donuts from Jen Around the World
- Cake Top Forward Halloween Cake from Pint Sized Baker
- Witch Finger Pretzels from Fresh April Flours
- Caramel Apples from Devour Dinner
- Easy Frankenstein Cupcakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Halloween Haunted Fault Line Cake from The Redhead Baker
- Blood & Guts Cinnamon Rolls from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
- Bloody Vampire Cherry Floats from Cookaholic Wife
- Candy Corn Cookies from Eat Move Make
- Halloween Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods from House of Nash Eats
- Friday the 13th Pancakes from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Spider Donuts from The Flour Handprint
- Haunted House Cake from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Peanut Butter Ghost Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Apple Spice Cake Donuts from It’s Shanaka
- Pumpkin Patch Cookie Cups from Sweet Beginnings
- Candy Corn Butterfinger Bark from Pastry Chef Online
- Spiderweb Cheesecake from The Spiffy Cookie
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Mummy Cookies from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Oozing Red Velvet Cake from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Black Velvet Cake from Lemon Blossoms
- Monster Burgers from An Affair from the Heart
- Spider Web Soup (Roasted Pumpkin Tomato Soup) from I am a Honey Bee
- Candy Corn Fudge from Back To My Southern Roots
- Dark Chocolate Black Cat Cookies from Savory Moments
- Three Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies from Our Good Life
- Binx Marshmallow Fudge Brownies from For the Love of Food
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.