One of my boys isn’t too keen on birthday cake, which means I usually need to come up with an alternative dessert on which to display his birthday candles. In the past, I’ve made Nutella brownies and ice cream sundaes, but this year I think I might gives these adorable baked birthday cake donuts a go.
Even if your child happens to love cake, these would be a great addition to any party you may be throwing, or you could make them for a classroom celebration as an alternative to cupcakes. I like that the sprinkles can be customized the suit the theme of any party, and the icing can be chocolate or vanilla.
Another fun idea is to make these for a half-birthday, if you’re family is into celebrating that sort of thing. Instead of buying or making half a cake, you can whip up a batch of these beloved donuts to serve to your child on his special day.
Donut pans can be sourced at most kitchen supply stores. They’re small enough to store with your standard baking pan and are relatively inexpensive (less than $15) making them worth the purchase. I’m not a fan of buying gadgets and gizmos that only have one use, but I do make a few exceptions, like my prized ice cream maker. Now, I’ve adding a donut pan to the list.
P.S. A quick note about one of the recipe ingredients. Birthday cake emulsion is a flavouring that makes the donuts taste like cake. It’s no different than an extract, like vanilla or almond, only an emulsion is more flavourful. It can be purchased at most cake decorating stores, but I almost always buy mine at Home Sense. They have an extensive collection of flavourings for baking at a fraction of the price. If you can’t find it, just use vanilla extract in its place.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- For the donuts:
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp birthday cake emulsion or vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp multi-coloured confetti sprinkles, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup milk
- For the glaze:
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp light cream
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
Prep and Cook
- 1Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard donut pans.
- 2In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
- 3Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and birthday cake emulsion/vanilla. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the sprinkles and stir to ensure everything is well combined.
- 4Transfer the batter to a large zip top bag. Seal and snip the end off one of the bottom corners to create a piping bag. You’ll want this hole to be similar in size to a large round piping tip as the batter is thick.
- 5Pipe the batter into the lightly greased doughnut pans, filling the wells to about 1/4” shy of the rim.
- 6Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.
- 7Meanwhile, make the glaze by putting the sugar in a medium bowl and whisking in the cream and corn syrup, a little at a time, to make a smooth and pourable glaze.
- 8When the donuts are completely cool dip them in the glaze and cover with additional sprinkles. Allow to set for 15-20 minutes before serving.