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Powdered Donut Cake

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

Powdered Donut Cake

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

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1¼ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ 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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Comments

  • Just tried this recipe for Sunday brunch and it is a winner! I made it exactly as written except that I substituted ground nutmeg because that’s what I had. The texture of this cake is dreamy; it’s got a lovely crumb and is really moist. This would be so good with fresh apple cider.

    • — Elise on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe does not taste anything like a powdered donut. More like good cornbread, actually. This recipe and the donut muffin recipe do not taste like donuts at all. I made the powdered donut cake recipe because I anticipated that is what I would find, based on the many commenters’ review. However, that is not what I experienced at all. And I followed the recipe as written.

    • — Jessica on September 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m very interested in making this cake, but I’m concerned about the melted butter. I’ve made cakes with melted butter that end up being very dense after refrigerating. Will that happen with this cake? Should I replace half the butter with oil?

    • — Victoria on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Victoria, this cake isn’t overly dense despite using butter and I don’t think it’s necessary to swap it out for any oil. I wouldn’t recommend refrigerating it though — as cakes always taste better (and have a better texture at room temperature). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made this cake today and it turned out perfect! Great recipe!

    • — Rachel F on April 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is soooo good!!! Tastes just like a very fresh powdered donut! I was looking for something that was fairly quick and ingredients I already had in the pantry. This fit the bill… can’t wait to have with our morning coffee. Thank you again!

    • — Sharon T on March 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious! We accidentally bought a big tub of 0% fat, very tangy European style yogurt instead of Greek and I was looking for ways to use up a bunch before it went bad. Worked out terrific! I used dried nutmeg and wasn’t sure how much to use, so I used 3/4 teaspoon it was still wonderful. Tastes exactly likes a classic powdered donut. Perfectly baked in 25 minutes for me. Did a ton of powdered sugar as you recommended!

    • — Ula on March 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is the favorite cake recipe in my home. I have baked it in an 8×8, 9×9 pan, and even a 9×13 pan (doubling the recipe), and it always comes out great! I have even put the cake in the freezer for a month or two, with and without the butter and confectioners’ sugar topping, and no one could tell the difference from fresh baked – I just added some extra confectioners’ sugar to the top prior to serving.
    I would like to make this cake and frost it so I could decorate the top for a celebration. Is there a frosting you could recommend that would complement this cake?

    • — Shellie on January 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Shellie, So glad that you’re a fan of the cake! I’d suggest using a cream cheese frosting. I’d suggest a thin layer as the cake is very sweet as is.

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this cake tonight and it was delicious. Later, I found the melted butter still sitting in my microwave :). So honestly, I think you can leave out the butter and no one will know! I did use full fat sour cream so maybe that helped.

    • — LPD on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Thanks for the Excellent recipe. Very easy to make, creamy and delicious. I always get best results with any of Jenn’s recipes. I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

    • — Rashmi on January 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • So delciious! Made with gluten free flour blend and additional xanthan gum. Turned out perfect!

    • — Teresa Valeri on January 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn, I made this cake and it was delicious!! Just have a question. I whisked everything by hand, not in my stand mixer. I tested the cake for doneness and there were no crumbs so I figured it was done. The center of the cake fell and was wet, in contrast to the rest of the cake. What would cause this? Should I have used the stand mixer instead?? Thank you!!

    • — Edie on December 9, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Edie, I don’t think the mixer would’ve caused the problem as long as everything was very well blended. Although a cake tester coming out clean should predictably let you know that the cake is done, it sounds like in this case, it could have been a little underbaked. If you make it again, I’d give it a few extra minutes in the oven. Alternatively, if you initially used a glass pan, I would switch to metal, which conducts heat more evenly.

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious!!! Thanks for another awesome recipe!! 😀

    • — Jenn on August 1, 2022
    • Reply

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