Know What’s Better Than Donuts? DONUT CAKE

This fall during a spell of Pumpkin deciding that sleep was TOTALLY optional, I made a deal with my daughters: If you are great sleepers all week, on Friday morning we’ll go out for donuts. Yeah, I know, I know – bribing with food… not the best idea (but, I ran into my doc at the grocery store with her son one time – buying HIM a donut for the same reason – because even she knows that kids who sleep are happier and more well rested and so is their mom).

Thus, our Friday tradition was born. Every Friday morning we wake up, get dressed and go out for donuts. If it’s the school year, we time our venture so that we can go right into drop offs after we chow. In these lazy summer days, we get our donuts (I don’t get a donut – I just get a cappuccino bigger than my head) and wander on home.

The other night I was browsing the Williams-Sonoma website (as I do) and stumbled across their donut cake pan. The next morning I was still thinking about it – so I bought it. Fortunately for me, Pumpkin decided she wanted a donut cake for her birthday party this weekend and so it was a TOTALLY JUSTIFIED PURCHASE.

And the cake recipe on the box that accompanied the cake? Pure joy. Tastes like a cake donut. Next time around? I want to add some lemon zest – it was perfect without – but I think a little bit of the tart lemon juice and zest will add a little somethin’-somethin’ to make this cake even more fab. Or, oooh, orange – I love chocolate and orange together like that… Or perhaps? Swap almond extract for vanilla?. Β The possibilities are limitless – but even as is, it’s DIVINE.

So, here we go.

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten

How you do it:

1. Put your ingredients at room temp, lower at least one rack to the lower third of your oven. Preheat to 350Β°F. Grease and flour both halves of your donut pan [That is, if you bought the donut pan. I think this would work pretty darn well in a bundt pan – but… it wouldn’t look like a donut. That’s okay with me if it’s okay with you]

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Set both bowls aside for now. We’ll find them again later.

3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on medium speed ’til smooth and creamy. Add granulated sugar and continue to beat until your mixture is light and fluffy – roughly five minutes-ish. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.

4. Reduce speed to low and alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture to your creamed sugar/butter mix. Stop the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. If you’re using the donut pans, divide your mixture evenly between the two pans, tapping the pans gently on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. You’ll want to spread the batter slightly up the sides so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – about 40 – 45 minutes.

If you’re using the donut pans, definitely check the instructions on how to assemble your spiffy little donut.


5 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water

What to do next:
1. Melt together chocolate and butter (the directions said to use a double boiler – I don’t have one! I fashioned a faux-double-boiler by putting a small glass bowl over a pan with an inch of water heating in it. I’m not saying my way is a great way. Or even a safe way. Or a way where you won’t burn your fingers. So, use caution).

2. Once the chocolate is melted, whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, and water until smooth and combined. Pour it over the cake and decorate immediately with sprinkles.

3. Let set for about 15 minutes.


About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. You = awesome.


  2. nom nom nom THAT would give a voodoo doughnut a run for the money any day!

  3. What a great looking cake – it sounds scrumptious!

  4. Love the doughnuts on Friday tradition! And that cake – yum! πŸ™‚

  5. That turned out so super-awesome! I wanted to lick my screen but I didn’t. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow, it looks absolutely delicious! πŸ™‚

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