Powdered Donut Cake

December  8, 2020
4 Ratings
Photo by Yossy Arefi. Photo styling: Ali Slagle.
Author Notes

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.

How to use another pan: For a Bundt, double the recipe for the cake and bake in a prepared 15-cup Bundt pan until puffed and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to cool completely. Brush the warm cake with 4 tablespoons (65 grams) melted butter and dust with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar. For a loaf, bake in a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan until puffed and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. For a round, bake in a 9-inch round pan until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.

Browned Butter Donut Cake: Brown the 1/2 cup (113g) butter using the instructions on page 24 and then proceed with the recipe as written.

Cinnamon-Sugar Donut Cake: Brush the cake with the melted butter, then sprinkle a combination of 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon over the top instead of the confectioners’ sugar.

Reprinted with permission from Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Yossy Arefi. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.Yossy Arefi

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves one 8-inch square cake
  • Donut Cake
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (220 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
In This Recipe
  1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &