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.
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
In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and eggs.
Whisk until pale and foamy, about 1 minute.
Add the sour cream, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.
Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
Pour the batter into a parchment-lined pan.
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.
Finish the cake: While the cake is just warm to the touch, brush the top with the 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!
You May Also Like
- Doughnut Muffins
- Sufganiyot (Israeli Donuts)
- Sticky Toffee Banana Cake
- Blueberry Coffee Cake (Boy Bait)
- Crumb Cake
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.
- 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
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
Can you freeze this cake?
Yes, I think you can freeze this but I’d wait until thawing it to add the melted butter and confectioners’ sugar. Hope that helps!
I’ve been wanting to make this recipe since the first time I saw it here. However I never have sour cream on hand. I decided to make it with mayonnaise with a splash of vinegar for tartness. It turned out really well and I can say this cake really does taste like my favorite cake donuts. I will most definitely make it again and once again, thank you Jenn for a great recipe!
Do you think you could pipe this batter into a silicone donut mold?
Sure, I think that would work. Please LMK how they turn out!
Can I make the batter as written but then use the melted butter cinnamon/sugar topping from your donut muffin recipe? My daughter’s partner is not a fan of powdered sugar, so I thought this might be a good option? I have yet to make a recipe of yours that I don’t love! Thanks.
So glad you like the recipes, Andi! And, yes, what you’re suggesting should work just fine. Hope everyone enjoys!
Can I use powdered nutmeg instead of fresh? It’s what I have on hand
Hi Virginia, powdered nutmeg will work (and you’ll need the same amount). Enjoy!
I made this with “plain” gluten free flour that I buy in the UK. So the only thing that I added to your recipe was 1/2 t. of Zantham gum.
I baked it 35 minutes, and then had to wait till it had cooled to try it!
It was fabulous, and that’s rarely a word that I use when talking about a gf baked good.
I didn’t taste it with regular flour of course, but this was so good that I want to sit and eat the whole pan! Love the powdered sugar and butter topping, it really looks pretty too.
Will be making many more times! Thank you so much Jen!
I am looking forward to trying this! What are your thoughts on adding a cup of blueberries to the batter before baking?
Hi Kate, it could make the cake a bit tart depending upon how tart your blueberries are, but I think it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!
A quick question : is it safe to use such a big quantity of nutmeg? The recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of nutmeg.
Yes, that quantity of nutmeg is correct. That’s what helps to give the cake its donut-y flavor. Hope you enjoy if you make it!
All your recipes are delicious.
Is this cake ok to be made a day before? Will I still put the powdered sugar after baking it or put it the day I am serving it?
Hi Sheila, So glad you like the recipes! Yes, it’s okay to make the cake a day ahead. I’d put the confectioners’ sugar on after baking it; some of it may get absorbed while it sits, so the cake may need a fresh dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving. Hope you enjoy!
I found this recipe by mistake and glad I did It was delicious. Yes it tastes like baked donuts and quick and easy to make
I thought it was impossible to get that classic donut thrill without all the classic donut questionable ingredients, but WOW–this recipe is IT. I’ve subbed in whole Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream and I think the recipe might even be a tad more delicious that way 🙂
This cake is incredible! The flavor reminds me of those donuts from the neighborhood bakeries when I was growing up. It’s so simple to make, such a perfect crumb – moist and comforting – like a hug! This will be baked many times!
Made this tonight and topped with a glaze instead of powdered sugar. Very nice. Not as dense as sweet as a donut but absolutely delicious! Definitely a keeper!
Hi, Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream? Also, on the nutmeg I have only ground how much should I use? I can’t wait to bake this cake. Looking forward to your answer. Have a wonderful day. Joan
Hi Joan, yes, Greek yogurt will work in place of sour cream and ground nutmeg will work. You’ll need the same amount as the fresh. Hope you enjoy!
Hi! I was wondering if I could substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream?
Sure, that will work. Enjoy!
Would self-rising flour work if the baking soda, baking powder, and salt were left out?
Hi Lily, for the most predictable results, I’d stick with all-purpose flour — sorry!
Would this be good in a bundt pan? If so, any adjustments to the baking time? Thx!
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!
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!”
Oh…and yes, I also used fresh grated nutmeg.
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.
Oops, I forgot to rate this: FIVE STARS!
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.
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!
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 🙂
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.
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!
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.
This was quick and delicious. More than half gone in one afternoon!
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.
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.
Super moist and simple! Love recipes that use ingredients that are already in my pantry. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes!!!
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!
I know those breakfast puffs, I make them all the time too.
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.
Easy and delicious cake. Sometimes you just need something simple! Great flavor.
What delicious donut cake. Light and wonderful. Will be making this again.
Wonderful recipe! Very flavorful with the nutmeg and super moist! It’s a keeper!
I was looking for a donut recipe and this one caught my eye.
It was easy and very tasty.
Will make again.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
This was delicious and easy. Yum!
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 😉
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 😉
This is a keeper!! I made it in a Bundt pan for my daughters birthday. Everyone enjoyed it.
Made this cake just this past weekend and it was absolutely Devine! Will definitely made again,it’s a favorite in my household now
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.
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 .
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!
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!
This donut cake reminds me of my favourite doughnut shop, Peterson’s, which makes the best cake doughnuts ever.
This was absolutely delicious! I didn’t change a thing.
This is a tasty recipe and very fast to make! It reminded me of the donuts my mom used to make.