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!

A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.
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I can’t believe my sweet middle daughter Ania is celebrating another birthday. 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.

I love making birthday parties feel special, but I also need to keep them simple. Check out my five Last Minute Birthday Party Ideas here!

We have so much fun celebrating around here, and I personally think that birthdays should never be limited to just 24 hours. On this special year, Ani requested a pajama and donuts birthday party.

We celebrated her birthday and her love for a sprinkle donut. The girl lives for them.

A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.

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! No-fuss, no assembly, just an adorable donut cake that everyone will love!

Why You’ll Love It

  • So Easy – 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.
  • No Special Pan – 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)!
  • Take a shortcut – Don’t want to bake your cake from scratch? For the sake of sanity, pick up a couple of cake mixes and icing.

Sometimes simple is simply the best!

A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.

Ingredients and Substitutions

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!

  • 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! Use food coloring to dye the icing to the color of your choice.
  • Sprinkles – Whatever your favorite color combination, go for it!
A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.

How to Make

  1. Make Cake Batter – Make your favorite cake recipe or mix. Tip: add the eggs one at a time and don’t over mix.
  2. Bake in a Bundt Pan – Grease a donut or bundt pan. (Get my favorite baking spray). Bake according to recipe or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  3. Cool – Allow to cool 10 minutes to ensure the cake comes out clean.
  4. Flip – Flip cake onto a wire rack, give a pan a few taps to help it release. Allow it to cool. Using a sharp knife, slice the bottom of the cake off where it had risen to make it even. Place the cake on a platter or cake stand.
  5. Ice – Warm icing and drizzle over the top. Add sprinkles.
A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and 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.

  1. Melt icing for 40 seconds in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. 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).
  3. Immediately add sprinkles (as the icing glaze will begin to harden after a few minutes).

Tips

The more the merrier when it comes to sprinkles! It’s such a fun and easy cake to customize!

Tips

  • Did you 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!
  • 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.
A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is special about a bundt pan?

The shape of a bundt cake is unique because it allows denser cakes to bake perfectly. Their designs are more intricate and interesting than traditional loaf or cake pans, as well.

Do bundt cakes take longer to bake?

Because they are designed with a deeper cavity than a traditional 9×13 baking dish, they do require a slightly longer baking time.

A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – You can store this cake safely at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
  • Refrigerator – Refrigerate this cake for up to 4-5 days, stored in an airtight container.
  • Freezer – Cake can be frozen for up to six months with great results! Just wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn.

More Cake Inspiration

A donut cake on a white pedestal stand, decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.
5 from 10 votes

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!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 16
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Ingredients  

Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • cup white granulated sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup milk

Frosting

  • 1 cup buttercream icing store-bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 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.
  • In the glass measuring cup, m¾elt 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.

Julie’s Tips

Cake Flour Substitute

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch to make 2 cups cake flour.

Tips

  • Did you 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!
  • 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.
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

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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12 Comments

    1. Hi Allison!
      I don’t see why not, though we’ve never made it more than a day ahead to test it! Cakes do tend to dry out the longer they sit, so keep that in mind.
      I hope you enjoy!
      Julie

    1. Hi Terrie,
      You could probably make a boxed cake mix in the same kind of pan to make it look like a donut, if that’s what you’re asking!
      Good luck,
      Julie

    1. Hi Courtney,
      While I haven’t tested that for this recipe, you can usually do that in baking and have everything work out well!
      Good luck, and be sure to report back!
      Julie