Blueberry Cake Donut Bars

June  2, 2014
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 8 large bars (plus some scraps)
Author Notes

Cake donuts cut into bar form, with no special donut pan needed! —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • For the donut bars:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups blueberries
  • For the buttermilk glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  1. With a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until well-combined.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  4. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture alternately, in 2 or 3 additions each. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 9- by 9-inch cake pan, then bake in a 350° F oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completely, then cut into 8 bars.
  6. To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, buttermilk, and milk together to combine. Make sure the glaze is runny. Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
  7. Place the bars on a wire rack and pour the glaze over top. Letit set completely before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paula Makar
    Paula Makar
  • Sharon Steinhoff
    Sharon Steinhoff
  • Maggie
  • Adrianne Shelton
    Adrianne Shelton
  • Jess
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

16 Reviews

tia March 21, 2022
These were tasty, but they don't taste like doughnuts to me. I was hoping for old fashioned-style, but no, it's pretty cakey. It reminded me of the soda bread I just made for St. Patrick's day, only sweeter and less crumbly. Good flavor, and I'd make this again when I have buttermilk on hand.

I did NOT read the comments first, and baked mine in a 9x9. I had to bake them quite a bit longer than called for, maybe more like 45 minutes (I didn't keep track, so I'm not sure) but they turned out well. I shamelessly ate one before they were cool enough to glaze and it's pretty tasty that way. I've never been much of a fan of glazed doughnuts anyway. I think I'd make this as a coffee cake and just skip the glaze. Or maybe a snack cake. I'm going to try freezing half of it because I live alone and I don't need to be eating THIS much cake. I'll try to remember to post an update on how that goes.
butterscotch March 13, 2022
I used only a scant 1 and 1/2 cup blueberries (which was plenty) and I added 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to the batter since nutmeg is what gives cake doughnuts their distinctive flavor. Next time, I'll also add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Baked in a 9" x 13" pan, this turns out to be more like a nice, albeit plain, blueberry cake and not at all like a chewy bar.
I made only half the glaze and found that it covered the bars nicely. For a thin layer of glaze, half the quantity called for in the recipe works fine. Next time, though, I will use my own tried and true recipe for vanilla glaze as the one in the recipe is too liquid and did not set up even after an hour in the refrigerator.
Tracy August 6, 2020
I baked in a 8x11 dish for 35 minutes. Very tasty but I may try baking in a half sheet pan next time for thinner bars. Great flavor.
NXL February 24, 2020
This turned out great and was delicious. I baked in a 8X11 dish and it took 40 minutes to bake. The twelve bars came out well over an inch thick. Glaze was a perfect consistency, but I didn't care for the flavor, so I added some lemon juice and zest before pouring.
Kelli H. June 21, 2019
Based on the picture with this recipe I’m certain the intended pan size was 9x13. Had I attempted to use a 9x9 I’d have had WAY too much batter in the pan to cook through properly. A 9x13 was perfect. The finished result was delicious. (I used chocolate chips instead of blueberries bc that’s what I had on hand!) Big hit as a coffee cake though.
meme S. December 10, 2017

These are absolutely delicious! Like others I used a 13 x 9 pan in a 350 oven for 35 minutes... they come out perfect! Thank you Paula. And many thanks for a wonderful produced program!
Paula M. February 15, 2017
I loved this! I'm glad I read the comments before I started baking. I usede a 13 x 9 pan in a 350 oven for 35 minutes. I'm going to look for a larger pan to make this in the next time. This really don't taste like a donut, but it is an excellent coffee cake, and I will definitely make it again. I'll probably try it with different kinds of fruit, possibly peaches and raspberries!
Sharon S. October 7, 2016
I was thinking these would be a great addition to our farmers market mornings, but am confused on how the glaze portion, made with all the milk, is to hold up without refrigeration. Even in a lunchbox it will be hours before eaten without a cold pack, which seems something kids tend to forget.
Joanna October 6, 2016
So.... how do they taste?
Maggie March 28, 2016
Okayyyyyy, but do they really taste like donuts? Really??
Barb R. June 14, 2015
SO thankful I read the comments first and learned that the recommended 9" x 9" pan leads to disaster. I used an 11" x 16" sheet cake pan instead and increased the glaze by 50%. Got a lot of compliments at a potluck.
Adrianne S. March 9, 2015
Wish I would have read the comments first! I have some very thick donut bars baking away... Hopefully they're still good
Jess February 1, 2015
Another confirmation that the recipe ought to be updated to indicate we should use a 9x13 pan. It's definitely necessary for the volume of batter. Even cooked in that size pan, mine needed much more than the allotted baking time. I took it out after 20 minutes, the minimum time indicated above, because the toothpick came out clean and the bars looked a good golden color. Turned out to be a bad idea; when it was almost cool enough, I started to score it for cutting and batter oozed out. So this one needs a knife test rather than a toothpick test for sure!

The baking time even in the larger 9x13 pan will likely be around 40-50 minutes instead of the stated 20-30. Mine took about 45 total, though this was with turning the oven on again and putting the nearly-cooked bars back in the oven, so I can't vouch for that being the exact cooking time. I'd recommend starting to check after 35-40 and go from there.

I had thought I'd be able to comment on taste at this point, but the bars are, once again after their second visit to the oven, hot and need to cool. Missed the mark for this Sunday's brunch, unfortunately! I may check back to update on how they turned out whenever they're actually ready to glaze.
nancy G. January 27, 2015
Unfortunately I didn't read the comments first. Definitely too much batter for one pan. I baked it for 50 minutes before it seemed done and even then, the middle was still uncooked. Came out like cake, not bars. Might try again in a 9x13.
Kate F. August 29, 2014
Yes, I had enough mix for 2 9-inch cake pans!
Joe C. August 4, 2014
Made this last night. Mine are much thicker than the picture. Not sure if the pan should be 9 X 9 or a 9 X 13. Texture and taste are great - I added a little lemon zest to the glaze.