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Love at First Bite: Irresistible Heart-Shaped Donuts for Valentine’s Day

We are all about themed baked goods — there’s just something special about the extra thought and coordination that goes into creating a treat that’s both cute and tasty — and we can’t resist any excuse to use sprinkles! So it’ll come as no surprise when we reveal that Valentine’s Day might be one of our favorite excuses for whipping up something creative in the kitchen. This year we’re adding something really fun to the mix: heart-shaped donuts!

If you want to celebrate this special day in a festive way, these simple Valentine’s Day donuts are the way to go! Light, fluffy, and sweet, they are the perfect LOVE-ly treat! 

Heart shaped donuts for Valentine's Day

Making Easy Homemade Donuts

Yeast donuts are one of my favorite treats because they are a blank canvas for any flavor, any color palette, and any occasion. Plus, they’re really easy to make. It’s a matter of mixing together a few ingredients you likely have on-hand, then frying and decorating until your heart’s content — the hardest part is the intermittent waiting for the yeast to rise and the donuts to cool (and, of course, waiting to eat them).

I use Joshua Weissman’s Classic Donut Recipe — with some Valentine’s flair thrown in! While I closely followed his “Traditional Yeasted Donuts” and “chocolate glaze” ingredients and steps, I wanted something a little more pink for the finished product as well. So for these Valentine’s Day donuts, I also whipped up this easy vanilla frosting and added a dash of pink food coloring. (Strawberry would also be delicious, and perfectly pink for the holiday!) My personal ingredient list also included plenty of Valentine’s Day sprinkles and a set of heart-shaped cookie cutters (more on that below).

You can follow Joshua’s detailed steps, but here’s a picture of the simple ingredients I used for my heart-shaped donut dough:

Ingredients for heart shaped donuts for valentine's day

Cutting Your Heart-Shaped Donuts

Let’s get to the fun part: Cutting these a-dough-rable donuts into hearts is what makes them so special!

After your dough has risen for an hour, you’ll roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Your dough should be 1/2-inch thick. Then it’s time for your heart-shaped cookie cutters! These heart cutters are the perfect set, with plenty of sizes and options to choose from. The real thing to look for when selecting your donut cutters is a good center-shape. You want to be sure that your center cutter for the donut holes isn’t too big or too small — choosing a proportionate sized cutter will help the donut keep its shape during the frying phase. 

While all of my donut holes were heart-shaped, I wanted a bit of variety so I also punched out some round donuts with a heart-shaped center. For this, I used a biscuit cutter. When I had everything cut how I liked it, I arranged my donuts and donut holes onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Then, back to the recipe, I covered them with a damp towel and let them rise for another hour. Here’s what they looked like before this second rise:

heart shaped donuts arranged on baking tray, rising

Swoon-Worthy Donut Decor

When they’re ready, per the recipe, heat your frying oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Then fry your donuts for 2-3 minutes on each side. After carefully removing them from the oil, you’ll place them on a wire rack to cool. Be sure to let them cool completely before dunking them in you frosting or icing. If you don’t, it will all slide off!

Letting them cool will give you a chance to prep your toppings. Start by making your frosting(s). Be sure to make them in bowls with openings larger around than your donuts — this way you easily fit them in and out of the bowl without having to angle or maneuver them awkwardly. Then gather your Valentine’s Day donut toppings. You need to have your sprinkles and decorations ready and within reach because the frosting sets quickly – and you want to get all of your Valentine’s donut decorations on and stuck before that happens! I love using a sprinkle shaker with several cells, as it makes swapping between sprinkle colors and styles super quick and easy.

When your toppings are prepped and your donuts are completely cool, you’re ready to put all that yummy frosting to good use!

Valentine's day heart shaped donuts sitting on parchment paper, decorated

I like to have a sheet of parchment paper next to me as I decorate. Grab a donut, dunk and twist it in the frosting of your choice, then place it quickly onto the parchment paper. While the icing is still wet, decorate your donut using your Valentine’s Day sprinkles and toppings. Repeat this process for each donut and donut hole. PRO TIP: If you want your chocolate glaze to dry shiny and neat, put them near a fan so that it cools and sets quickly. 

Voila! Heart-shaped donuts for you and your sweeties! We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day dessert — and more importantly, that you enjoy sharing them with the people you love most!

Valentine's Day heart-shaped donuts sitting in red paper with white hearts
Valentine's Day heart shaped donuts

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