A donut cake that will make all those box cakes in your cabinets green with envy. This cake is so good. And, it is a donut! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about combining my two favorite birthday treats. A donut + A cake. I mean, who needs anything else but this donut birthday cake recipe for celebrating a birthday with the brightest fun possible. Now… to find more birthdays I can make this for.

Donut Cake

Donuts have been around for a very long time; remember when we did this donut tree forever ago? I’ve loved seeing all the new ways bloggers are creating and displaying these yummy goodies – donut cookies, donut Valentines and donut balloons – this sweet trend of making a donut birthday cake is surely sticking around.

And of course, I’ve always loved the concept of a cake of doughnuts! I mean could there be anything more wonderful for celebrating a birthday? With birthday season in full-go mode this time of year, I thought it would be fun to to a variation of the donut cake for our party cake series… but instead of stacking donuts, why not just make a HUGE cake that is actually a real life donut? A donut cake in the most literal form. Yum!

Donut Birthday Cake

A Donut Cake Donut cake recipe

Donut Cake

Making a donut cake is easier than making actual donuts I think. The recipe is for a cake like donut (the best kind of donut anyway!) made in large form to create full life sized donut birthday cake.

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Donut Cake Birthday

A birthday donut cake that will give anyone the sweetest way to be celebrated

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8


To make the donut cake

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature.

For the sweet donut glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-2 drops of pink food coloring
  • Sprinkles for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Butter and flour a tube pan, set aside.

To make the cake

  1. Start by beating the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla - beating to incorporate after each addition.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour.
  6. Incorporate each addition well before adding the next, but don't over-beat mixture. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool.

To prepare the glaze

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and food coloring in a bowl.
  2. Adjust consistency of the glaze, by adding a small amount of sugar if it's too watery, or adding water if looks too thick.
  3. Pour the glaze over the cake and add sprinkles, candles, or jimmies.

A Donut Cake asubtlerevelry.com

For the sweet donut glaze you’ll follow the directions above and be sure to follow our tips on how to make donut glaze that is colorful & bright.


Let the donut cake cool completely before frosting for the best looking donut cake around.

Pour the glaze over the cake and add sprinkles, candles, or jimmies. Enjoy a birthday treat that everyone will love!

Photography and styling by Athena Plichta. Creative direction by Victoria Hudgins for A Subtle Revelry. Recipe adapted from Catherine Newman.