Easy Vanilla Cake Donuts

vanillacakedonutI am a donut fiend.

Maple bars, old fashioned, cream-filled, sprinkle cake.. I love them all so very much.  I am an equal-opportunist donut eater & lover.

Usually, I’m not much a fan of making donuts at home.  Why?  Because it either takes too much work OR I find that they don’t taste the same as the ones at the bakery, even if I do fry them.  Why donuts have to be so complicated, I’ll never know.

But when I found this recipe for vanilla cake donuts, I figured I’d give it a shot.  I was desperate, hungry, and craving something smothered in sprinkles.  A sprinkly vanilla cake donut was kind of a no-brainer.  And this recipe?  Foolproof, y’all.  Never will you ever find donut making to be arduous again.

DSC_0218ALemme break down this donut science for you.  These donuts are baked, not fried, which A) makes them more figure-friendly, and B) makes them super light and tender on the inside.  That tenderness because this recipe contains some cake flour, which tends to be lighter and creates a more tender product since it has a finer texture and a higher starch content than regular all-purpose flour.  And if you subscribe to the belief that baked donuts aren’t as soft and moist as fried donuts, I have news for you: this recipe totally blows that theory out of the water, homie.  There’s nothing dry or crumbly about these plush, chewy donuts… which makes them incredibly difficult to resist.

Can we eat already?  I’m starving.

DSC_0217A*adapted from The Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts

5.0 from 4 reviews
Easy Vanilla Cake Donuts
Recipe type: Donuts
Serves: 12
I love donuts, but making them at home can be arduous and not produce the same texture and flavor I love from my donut-shop staples. These Easy Vanilla Cake Donuts will debunk that thought with each soft, tender and moist bite of this vanilla-scented donut!
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour, sifted if clumpy
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • Rainbow sprinkles, for garnishing
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease TWO 6-cavity donut pans with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg together until combined. Begin cutting the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, fork, or electric mixer or until combined and sandy in texture. Try to make sure the butter is as evenly distributed as possible.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until frothy, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and begin stirring to combine.
  4. Scrape the batter into a large zip-top baggy and seal out the air OR scrape batter into a piping bag attached with a large open tip. Snip a corner off of the baggy and pipe the donut batter into the donut pan cavities about ⅔ full. Gently tap the donut pans on the counter to dislodge any bubbles.
  5. Bake for approximately 9-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Allow the donuts to sit in the pan for about 5 minutes before gently removing (by turning the pan upside down and gently shaking the pan).
  6. To make the glaze, bring the powdered sugar, water, and vanilla together in a small pot over medium heat until melted and combined. Dip each donut into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Immediately sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles as the glaze hardens VERY quickly. Reheat the glaze/add more milk as necessary to keep it smooth.

DSC_0223ASimple, quick, and tastes like a bakery donut.  Can’t ask for much else!  Except maybe some more sprinkles because obviously.

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

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  1. These sound AMAZING! Plus they are sooo soooo pretty! I want a donut pan STAT!

  2. And now I want donuts for lunch!

  3. I think I need these!!! The first time I tried a cake donut I was a little surprised but I LOVE the taste. Plus that practically makes them healthy (being baked not fried at all…).

  4. How adorable! Sprinkles makes everything better. 🙂

  5. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    Do you deliver?! 🙂 I so need one of these, STAT!

  6. Doughnuts! Donuts! However you spell it, I LOVE THEM!! YAY for being figure friendly, because well, bikini season is upon us!

  7. I love donuts too! My favorite is the kiddie-sized chocolate donut with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles. It must be rainbow sprinkles, not chocolate or 4th-of-July-themed or coconut shavings or anything else. (But I don’t really like sprinkles anywhere else… Go figure!) Love the tip about the cake flour — I definitely need to give that a shot!

  8. Dude Hayley these are adorable! I must now eat ALL the donuts! If they are baked it means I can eat them all and not feel bad, right? 🙂

  9. You’ll have to come to Hawaii and try malasadas. I live across the street from the most famous malasada shop on Oahu, Leonard’s Bakery. If you’re ever on my island, you must go there.

  10. I love how LIGHT these donuts look! So pretty and airy and delicious!

  11. I swoon over vanilla the way most people swoon over chocolate. These vanilla donuts will be making a command appearance in my kitchen soon! The frosting and sprinkles seal the deal!

  12. I just made these. While the texture is wonderful I find the flour taste overwhelming. I was wondering if the all purpose flour could be reduced to 1 1/2 cups since there is 1/2 cup of cake flour.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Nancy! Sorry the flour taste was too overwhelming; it is possible this was a mistake on my part. I apologize for that, and will look into revising the recipe. Thank you!

  13. Just made these. They taste as good as they look!


  1. […] we have to stick to simplicity, and these vanilla cake doughnuts are just that. Pure vanilla flavor, a classic glaze and the comfort of a traditional […]

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