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Birthday Cake Donuts

Birthday Cake Donuts

Our What's Baking host this month, Beantown Baker, chose sprinkles as our theme! We could either bake something that had sprinkles in it, or decorate a baked good with sprinkles.


March also happens to be my birthday month! Actually, today is my birthday. No, I'm not telling you how old I am.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of decorating with sprinkles, I think birthday cake. I was thinking about past birthdays as a child, and I always had a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Then another memory popped into my mind.

My father, a law enforcement officer, worked the overnight shift for much of my childhood and teenage years. He was often just getting home from work when I woke up to get ready for school. On his way home on the morning of my birthday, he would stop and get me a birthday donut — always a chocolate glazed, my favorite.

Birthday Cake Donuts

So, for What's Baking, I decided to bake my own birthday donuts. I slightly adapted a recipe I found on, who adapted his recipe from Tasty Kitchen. The resulting donut reminds me of both the yellow birthday cakes of my childhood and the chocolate glazed birthday donuts from my father. The yellow cake mix adds the yellow cake flavor and the cake texture. The chocolate glaze reminds me of the chocolate frosting from my birthday cakes.

The sprinkles I used were are "confetti" sprinkles from a Wilton variety pack, available at Target and most craft stores. You can substitute just about any non-chocolate cake mix you like (the original recipe uses Funfetti). I wouldn't use a chocolate mix without adding additional cocoa powder to the batter. Using chocolate cake mix alone wouldn't provide enough chocolate flavor.

Birthday Cake Donuts


Birthday Cake Donuts

Slightly adapted from


For the donuts:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅔ cup yellow cake mix
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the glaze:

  • 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup hot water

For topping:

  • Sprinkles (a few tablespoons)


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and whisk just until combined. Add in the melted butter and whisk until incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into a pastry bag, or heavy duty zip-top bag. Snip one corner of the zip-top bag to pour. Divide the batter evenly among the donut wells, filling each ½ to ¾ of the way full.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the donuts spring back when touched.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12 (3-inch) donuts

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Wendy J. St. Christopher

Saturday 1st of February 2014

Loved the sweet(!) story about your dad. :-) Also love the idea of turning cake into donuts -- two major food groups = Nirvana!

Thanks for sharing.


Monday 13th of May 2013

These are so cute! I can't wait to try them.


Monday 25th of March 2013

Happy birthday! What a great recipe to make to celebrate. Chocolate donuts with sprinkles are definitely my favorite kind.

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