Powdered Donut Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Heavy on the butter and nutmeg, this cake has all the flavors of your favorite cake donut in a convenient square shape.

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This donut cake comes from the wonderful new cookbook Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings by Yossy Arefi. I’m having so much fun baking my way through this sweet book—all the cakes are made using just one bowl (no electric mixers needed!) with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. Yossy writes, “Heavy on the butter and nutmeg, this cake has all the flavors of your favorite cake donut in a convenient square shape—no frying necessary! Just take my word for it, and don’t wear a black shirt when you eat it. You are definitely going to get confectioners’ sugar all over yourself with every bite.”

Powdered Donut Cake Ingredients

donut cake ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and eggs.

egg and sugar in mixing bowl

Whisk until pale and foamy, about 1 minute.

whisked eggs and sugar

Add the sour cream, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.

adding sour cream, butter, nutmeg and vanilla to mixing bowl

Whisk until smooth and emulsified.

whisked wet ingredients

Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

adding dry ingredients

Whisk until well-combined and smooth.

donut cake batter

Pour the batter into a parchment-lined pan. donut cake batter in pan - ready to bake

Bake the cake until puffed and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.

donut cake cooling on rack

Set the pan on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and set it on the rack to cool almost completely.

Finish the cake: While the cake is just warm to the touch, brush the top with the melted butter. brushing cake with melted butter

Dust with the confectioners’ sugar — you should have a nice thick layer, more than you think might be necessary. Cut into squares and enjoy!

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Powdered Donut Cake

Heavy on the butter and nutmeg, this cake has all the flavors of your favorite cake donut in a convenient square shape.

Servings: 16 squares
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For Topping

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter or coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with a strip of parchment paper that hangs over two of the edges.
  2. Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar and eggs until pale and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake the cake until puffed and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and set it on the rack to cool almost completely.
  5. Finish the cake: While the cake is just warm to the touch, brush the top with the melted butter and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. You should have a nice thick layer of confectioners' sugar—more than you think might be necessary. (Store the cake, covered, at room temperature for up to three days. The cake will absorb the sugar on top, so it might need a fresh dusting of confectioners’ sugar after the second day.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (16 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 square
  • Calories: 181
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg
  • Cholesterol: 46 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,

    Would self-rising flour work if the baking soda, baking powder, and salt were left out?

    • — Lily on October 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lily, for the most predictable results, I’d stick with all-purpose flour — sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Would this be good in a bundt pan? If so, any adjustments to the baking time? Thx!

    • — Jenny C. on September 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenny, I haven’t tried it so not sure how stick-proof it is, but it should work. Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to increase the recipe which may impact the baking time so make sure you keep a close eye on it. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • Just made it today and it’s outstanding!!! I make my own vanilla (super simple) and I scraped a skosh of the vanilla bean into the batter….wow!!! Mind blown! My 94 year old neighbor said that, “It’s a keeper!”

    • — Sarah on August 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oh…and yes, I also used fresh grated nutmeg.

      • — Sarah on August 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • Excellent recipe. This really tasted like a donut. I was worried that I did something wrong because my batter was so thick but it came out perfectly at 35 minutes. I baked it in a glass baking dish as shown in the pics. I didn’t have powdered sugar but took another reviewer’s tip and made a cinnamon sugar topping so it tastes like a cinnamon sugar donut. I subbed ground nutmeg for fresh nutmeg 1:1 ratio.

    • — Stella on May 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oops, I forgot to rate this: FIVE STARS!

      • — Stella on May 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • I don’t know about donut cake, I would consider it more a nutmeg vanilla cake, but WOW is it good!! It took a while to bake but so worth it.

    • — Lilli on May 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • It’s a donut cake because it’s based off sour cream cake donuts, not your average yeasted glazed donut (different yet also uniquely delicious). Think of the type of donuts you’d get in a bag at the fair.

      I made this cake per the recipe and it turned out great! 35 minutes on the dot, came out of the pan beautifully, I ate two pieces last night and just had a 3rd for breakfast with coffee (recommended). Obviously this is why I can’t have cakes around. Well done!

      • — Zsazsa on May 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • I whipped up this Powdered Donut Cake last minute for family dinner and it was SUCH A HIT! All of the men in my family loved it. It tastes just like a donut! It was simple and smelled oh so good in the oven! Thanks for another great recipe, Jenn 🙂

    • — Sally on May 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi there!

    Recipe sounds delicious! Would it be too thin if baked in a 9×13 pan? Or could I double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 Pan? If so what would be the bake time? Looking to get 24servings.

    Thanks!
    Sam

    • — Sam on April 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Sam, If you want to use a 9 x 13-inch pan, I’d definitely double the recipe. Bake time may be a touch different so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • This cake is absolutely delicious. Like, CRAZY delicious. Very light and tender, actually does taste like a cake donut, and stays fresh for at least a few days. An 11/10.

    • — Amanda on March 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was quick and delicious. More than half gone in one afternoon!

    • — Jan on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • Yum, this surprisingly tasted like a donut! My whole family enjoyed this and didn’t last us very long. I do think I slightly overbaked it on accident but was still delicious.

    • — Jenny G on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is very yummy!
    This cake does taste like a cake donut. It is lighter of course since it’s a cake but surely takes me back to my donut eating days. The cake is light and moist. It’s not chiffon light, but it’s not real dense either. You can taste the right amount of nutmeg. I would use this cake as a snack during the day but still is nice enough for after dinner. Ok, well maybe breakfast too if you want to imagine eating that donut on your way to work. Do place a napkin on your lap while driving so you won’t have powdered sugar all over your pants, or shirt for that matter.
    I would recommend this recipe and definitely share it with family and friends. Easy to put together. Just one bowl. Takes about 10 minutes to put together and pop in the oven. I did use an aluminum pan and not the glass one that Jennifer shows in the picture above. In my oven, it took the full 35 minutes to completely bake. Glass usually bakes up quicker. It was just a personal preference on my pan choice. Hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did.
    Bon Appetit!

    • — LENDELL on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Super moist and simple! Love recipes that use ingredients that are already in my pantry. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes!!!

    • — Cindy W. on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • When I think of powdered donuts, it brings to mind those bagged things we ate in the 70’s and for me it is not a great motivator to make this cake! Despite the name and my personal negative association with the name, I made this because the ingredients remind me of a muffin I made all the time for my kiddos called “French Breakfast Puffs” that were simple muffins with a nutmeg flavor and cinnamon top. I am SO glad I went ahead and tried this cake because it was super easy and delicious. Perfect with a cup of tea and something you can just easily whip up. The nutmeg is really essential, and if you have the fresh stuff, use it. You won’t be disappointed. Thumbs up from the whole family. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • — Kelly on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • I know those breakfast puffs, I make them all the time too.

      • — Mardi on September 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • The Powdered Sugar Donut Cake was easy to make. It turned out just like the pictures. My recipients loved it and really enjoyed the nutmeg flavor coming through. I will make this again.

    • — MaryB on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Easy and delicious cake. Sometimes you just need something simple! Great flavor.

    • — Mcarla on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • What delicious donut cake. Light and wonderful. Will be making this again.

    • — Trevor Kent on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe! Very flavorful with the nutmeg and super moist! It’s a keeper!

    • — Denise Boltseridge on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I was looking for a donut recipe and this one caught my eye.
    It was easy and very tasty.
    Will make again.

    • — JT on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe was easy, quick, and yummy. Perfect for an impromptu morning coffee klatch. My family and friends loved it. I loved the strong nutmeg flavor and the sensation of having a powdered donut without the hassle of making donuts. I will make this recipe again, for sure.

    • — Mary Rose on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Aloha! Made this cake yesterday and it was delicious…. I’ve become parchment paper obsessed so I always line my pan with parchment… cutting the slits on all 4 corners so the paper lays flat. After baking it just lifts out and the pan is easy to wash out.

    • — Leslie Mirseyedi on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This donut cake is absolutely wonderful. I was skeptical that the nutmeg could really make it taste like a donut. But sure enough, it does! The family loves it and asks for it regularly (along with Jenn’s French Apple Cake). It’s an easy recipe to pull together quickly.

    • — Jill Johnson on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This cake was easy to make, and my family enjoyed it so much that I ordered the cook book Snacking Cakes that you mention above. I have only baked one other cake from the book, but it was equally easy and delicious. I highly recommend this cake!

    • — Cathy Rodrigues on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made the cake exactly as instructed. Came out perfect and delicious. Didn’t have time for a picture because it was eaten warm and thoroughly enjoyed. Immediately shared the recipe and received raves from friends. The recipe is easy to follow and perfect for kids and grandkids to make with you. It was a great break from chocolate!

    • — ARLENE STEELE on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was delicious and easy. Yum!

    • — Sharon Fine on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of the best cakes I have had in a while, and it REALLY does taste like a donut! You will be pleasantly surprised how simple and delicious this cake is, and taste great with shaved chocolate on it 😉

    • — Sage on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe will blow your mind! It’s a nostalgic cake that tastes like a donut from your childhood. Directions are easy to follow and your scrumptious cake is done in a snap!

    Thank you Jen for sharing this recipe 😉

    • — Cindy Delgleize on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a keeper!! I made it in a Bundt pan for my daughters birthday. Everyone enjoyed it.

    • — Sarah on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this cake just this past weekend and it was absolutely Devine! Will definitely made again,it’s a favorite in my household now

    • — Stacey Chouati on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I thought this recipe was wonderful and so simple. My husband and I enjoyed the strong nutmeg and vanilla flavor combined in a not too sweet cake. The crumb was light and airy but strong enough to prevent crumbling. I plan to make it again and try a orange glaze on the top. I did add a bit more vanilla that the recipe called for, but this was my preference because I like vanilla.

    • — Marga C. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Very easy to make. Light taste, not heavy. I made them as a dessert for Chanukah. There were good but not our favorites. My kids love and devour your pumpkin loaf whenever I make it, but the powdered donut cake were not as successful .

    • — Cindy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hands down this has become my kids’ favorite cake! I did change the spices a little: I only use a sprinkle of Nutmeg, and instead add 1 1/2 tsp organic ground ginger. SO GOOD! Thank you for this quick and simple recipe!

    • — Michaela Kocoglu on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this wonderful cake yesterday – it taste like a old fashioned donut but better! It was a hit, one on my favorite list now. It’s not too sweet & the powdered sugar on top makes the cake so perfect – the nutmeg taste is simply amazing! Thanks Jenn – I love all ur recipes!

    • — Julie Moore on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This donut cake reminds me of my favourite doughnut shop, Peterson’s, which makes the best cake doughnuts ever.

    • — Jen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was absolutely delicious! I didn’t change a thing.

    • — Claudia Henning on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a tasty recipe and very fast to make! It reminded me of the donuts my mom used to make.

    • — Paula Reed on January 28, 2021
    • Reply

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