Baked Birthday Cake Donuts

Baked Birthday Cake Donuts are the perfect alternative for birthday-loving cake-haters. And everyone else, too.

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

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As much as I’d like to pretend it’s not happening, I have a birthday coming up. The only thing is: I’m not really a cake person.

I don’t usually discriminate when it comes to desserts, but I am super picky about cake. Like, unnaturally picky.

Don’t get me wrong — I do eat cake. And cupcakes.

Lemon cake, coffee cake, carrot cake and chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting are all fine and dandy. But I’ll say ‘no, thank you’ to all red velvet varieties and pretty much any cake with too much icing.

Actually… wait a second. My beef is just with red velvet cake and too much icing. So nevermind this rant, but know that cake is all about that frosting ratio.

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

At my last job, everyone got to pick out a cake from a local bakery to share with the office for their birthday.

I chose key lime pie. I got some weird remarks from my boss, but at least pie doesn’t come with buttercream. (By the way, I wasn’t the only cake hater! Several of my co-workers always picked out ice cream cakes.)

If I did have to pick a favorite cake, it would be vanilla cake with minimal amounts of chocolate frosting.

So plain, but a classic nonetheless. Sprinkles optional. Homemade sprinkles preferred.

This combo of vanilla, chocolate and copious amounts of sprinkles has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. Funfetti forever. (See also: birthday cake cinnamon rolls and birthday cake popcorn.)

Interestingly, this combo is exactly what I’d pick out at a doughnut shop, too.

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

For an early birthday present, I treated myself to a donut pan and a cookbook.

I’ve been dying to try baking doughnuts for forever, so I thought this would be a good time to give it a go. My inner kid would be so happy with these Baked Birthday Cake Donuts.

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

This is an easy cake donut recipe with colorful jimmies added into the batter and sprinkled on top for a little birthday fun. The mocha glaze I used is chocolate-y but not overbearing.

Just right. Just how it should be. Make these beauties for a special occasion like a birthday breakfast or in lieu of a birthday cake.

And if you need a birthday cocktail to go with this unique birthday dessert? Try this birthday cake white russian or this birthday cake martini.

Or heck, make them just because! In the meantime, happy birthday to me!

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

More donut recipes

Make Baked Birthday Cake Donuts for a birthday breakfast or dessert. (via

Baked Birthday Cake Donuts with Mocha Glaze

Yield: 12 to 16 3-inch doughnuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Baked Birthday Cake Donuts are the most fun way to start a birthday morning.
5 from 1 vote
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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sifted cake flour see note
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sprinkles

Mocha Glaze

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons espresso or coffee
  • 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • sprinkles for garnish


Make the doughnuts.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two standard-size doughnut pans (12 wells in total) with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Whisk together to add air to the mixture.
  • With an electric mixer or pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse, sandy crumbs.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, then gently whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles until evenly distributed.
  • Using a spoon and spatula or a piping bag, divide the batter among the 12 doughnut wells. Do not cover the center. Tap the bottoms of the pans on the counter to eliminate any bubbles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Turn out the doughnuts onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Add glaze.

  • While the doughnuts are cooling — in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine chocolate, cream and espresso, stirring until chocolate has melted. The mixture should be thick and smooth.
  • Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until the mixture is smooth and very warm, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Spoon glaze over doughnuts. Top with sprinkles. Allow glaze to cool slightly before eating.
  • Store in an airtight container up to 3 days. Best eaten warm.


If you don’t have cake flour, you can make a substitute. Adapted from Joy the Baker: Measure out 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and discard or save for a later use. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Sift flour 5 times.
Recipe loosely adapted from A Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts: More than 60 Warm and Fresh Homemade Treats by Dede Wilson.

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nutrition information

Yield: 12 to 16 3-inch doughnuts

amount per serving:

Serving: 1oz Calories: 322kcal Carbohydrates: 44g Protein: 4g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 8g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 260mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 25g
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  1. grace says

    i’m a cake lover and hater of key lime pie, but that’s what’s great about this world–to each her own! i don’t think anyone could be a donut-hater, and these are marvelous. 🙂

  2. Ashley @The Olive and The Sea says

    Yum! These donuts are so cute and such a fun alternative to cupcakes for a single serving desert. And Ditto on the red velvet. It’s not my thing either.

  3. Jenna @ A Savory Feast says

    Oh my goodness gracious. These donuts sound AMAZING! I’ll just pretend it’s my birthday and make some, ok? 😉

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