The Easiest Donut Cake

LAST UPDATED: Nov 18, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Jan 04, 2017 | By: Julie Blanner

Make a giant donut cake – in minutes! This easy and delicious dessert makes for a perfect donut birthday cake donut fans everywhere will love! Finished with a beautiful blush pink icing and your favorite sprinkles, this glazed donut cake will be the star of the show!

pink glazed donut cake with sprinkles on a white cake stand

I can’t believe my sweet Ani turned 5 yesterday. Everyone tells you that your kiddos will grow up in a blink of an eye and it couldn’t be truer. I blinked. A lot.

We’ve been having so much fun celebrating Ani the past few days because birthdays should never be limited to just 24 hours. Ani requested a pajama and donuts birthday party. We celebrated her birthday and her love for a sprinkle donut. The girl lives for them.

The Best Donut Birthday Cake

She wanted a donut cake, but with the bustle of the holidays and her birthday shortly after Christmas, I completely forgot to order one.

Fortunately, making a giant donut cake couldn’t be easier! You don’t need any special skills, ingredients or tools to pull off this cake – even last minute! You can make this donut birthday cake in just 10 minutes of hands-on time.

Of course, you can use a donut pan (yes, it’s a thing), but any bundt or tube pan will do (more on that later)! In my opinion, you should never make it harder than you have to. No-fuss, no assembly, just an adorable donut cake that everyone will love!

Sometimes simple is simply the best!pinterest

pink glazed donut cake with sprinkles on a white cake stand

For the sake of my sanity and in the midst of exhaustion, I picked up a couple of cake mixes and icing. Shameful, I know, but what’s a mom to do with Christmas and 3 birthdays in a month? The recipe I have included is for my favorite yellow cake. You can get my Easy Pound Cake Recipe here, too. It’s great and the perfect color for a giant donut!

 

girl blowing candles on a glazed donut cake

Donut Cake Ingredients:

  • Cake Flour – Cake flour is a softer strain of wheat as opposed to all-purpose flour, meaning it will produce a more tender cake. Swans Down is my favorite brand.
  • Baking Powder – The leavening that helps make this donut cake rise to new heights!
  • Salt – Fine sea salt is my preference for all baking recipes.
  • Butter – Unsalted and softened will produce a well-balanced cake flavor.
  • Sugar – Regular granulated sugar adds the sweetness we need.
  • Egg Yolks – Using only the egg yolks makes for a richer and more stable cake.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract is best for all cake recipes.
  • Milk – I prefer whole milk, but feel free to substitute a low-fat or plant-based milk if that is all you have on hand.
  • Buttercream Icing – Store-bought or homemade, the choice is up to you! There are a number of good quality buttercream icings in the supermarket today that makes this cake that much easier! Use food coloring to dye the icing to the color of your choice.
  • Sprinkles – Whatever your favorite color combination, go for it!

pink glazed donut cake with sprinkles on a white cake stand

This cake is simple and sweet, just like my Ani.

How to Make a Donut Cake

  1. Make your favorite cake recipe or mix. Tip: add the eggs one at a time and don’t over mix.
  2. Grease a donut or bundt pan. (Get tips for a beautiful bundt here and my favorite baking spray)
  3. Bake according to recipe or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool 10 minutes to ensure the cake comes out clean.
  5. Flip cake onto a wire rack, give a pan a few taps to help it release.
  6. Allow it to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, slice the bottom of the cake off where it had risen to make it even.
  7. Place the cake on a platter or cake stand.

overhead of pink glazed donut cake with sprinkles

How to Ice a Donut Cake

The most beautiful part of this simple donut cake is how easy it is to ice it. I took several cake-decorating classes growing up, but none of them really stuck. My mom always decorated a beautiful cake, however, I have yet to master it. So once again, I cheated.

If you prefer to make your own icing, you can make my amazing Buttercream Icing with just butter, powdered sugar and milk. Use food coloring to dye it to the color of your choice.

To make a cake look like a donut, ice it like one, by pouring the icing over the top of the cake.

  • Melt icing for 40 seconds in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Stir and pour icing over the cake in one continuous circle to ensure it spreads evenly (with the cake stand in the sink to compensate for runoff).
  • Immediately add sprinkles (as the icing glaze will begin to harden after a few minutes). The more the merrier! It’s such a fun and easy cake to customize!

Another quick tip you may not know – you are not limited to the sprinkles available in the baking aisle of your grocery store! Most grocery stores with a bakery have a wide array of sprinkles.

They even offer sprinkles by color so you can make your own color combination! The options are endless. When you purchase sprinkles from the bakery, they are often far less expensive, too!

two kids sitting at a table drinking milk and eating donuts

How to Make a Giant Donut without a Donut Pan

A donut pan is simply a bundt pan without the ridges. As long as you have a bundt pan, you’re good to go! Your donut birthday cake may have a few extra ridges, but I feel it gives the glazed cake a bit of personality!

One more quick tip – you may not have a giant donut pan, but if you have a mini donut pan, you can make mini donut cakes! Simply spoon the cake batter into the greased mini donut pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. You should get about 24 mini donut cakes from this recipe.

Hope you enjoy this sweet idea!

A Few More Cake Recipes for Sweet Celebrations

pink glazed donut cake with sprinkles on a white cake stand

Donut Cake

Make a giant donut cake - in minutes! This easy and delicious dessert makes for a perfect donut birthday cake donut fans everywhere will love! Finished with a beautiful blush pink icing and your favorite sprinkles, this glazed donut cake will be the star of the show!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 333kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 c cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter softened
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 c buttercream icing store-bought or homemade
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in yolks one at a time. Add vanilla.
  • Blend in flour mixture alternating with milk until just combined.
  • Pour into greased pan. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
  • Flip cake onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Trim excess from rise off using a knife. Transfer to a cake stand or platter.
  • Melt icing 40 seconds in the microwave. Stir.
  • Stir and pour icing over the cake in one continuous circle to ensure it spreads evenly (with the cake stand in the sink to compensate for runoff).
  • Add sprinkles.

Notes

Cake flour substitute:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch to make 2 c cake flour
Use food coloring to dye buttercream icing to the color of your choice and use your favorite sprinkles.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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