How To Make An Old-Fashioned Donut Cake?

Are you making a family gathering but you don’t know what to serve as dessert? If your family is into traditional desserts and donuts, we have the perfect recipe for you. The old-fashioned donut cake is an absolute hit at family gatherings, especially if your relatives have sweet tooth for doughnuts. We’ll help you make a juicy yet tender old-fashioned donut cake, so stay tuned and continue reading this article to learn more!

The History of Old-Fashioned Donut Cake

Old Fashioned Donut Cake
Image Credit: allrecipes

Cake doughnuts have been around since the late 1920s, while the old-fashioned donut cake can be considered another version of the donut cake. Initially, the cake donut came around in 1929, thanks to the chemical leavener that replaced the yeast.

Yeast-raised donuts are fun to make, but because yeast would take time to raise, especially in a cold environment, these donuts are not always a good option for a fast dessert. However, when the chemical leavener known as pearlash arrived in the USA, cake donuts and old-fashioned donut cakes became a thing.

After pearlash, other chemical leaveners were introduced, some of them we still use to make donuts, including baking soda and baking powder. That led to the development of other types of doughnut cakes, including the old-fashioned donut cake.

Interestingly, by the beginning of the 20th century, doughnuts and doughnut cakes became the standard dessert in most households in the USA. People snacked on them and invented other donut variations that we still eat today.

As World Wars I and II raged across the world, doughnuts were served to the front lines as comfort and energizing food, which is an initiative taken by the Red Cross and The Salvation Army, according to Eater. This gesture was a campaign of establishing donuts as America’s signature creation.

Ingredients Needed for the Old-Fashioned Donut Cake

Old Fashioned Donut Cake
Image Credit: kingarthurbaking

Below are the ingredients and tools you’ll need to make the old-fashioned donut cake everyone will enjoy!

  • 3 and ½ cups of all-purpose flour, or the gluten-free flour mixture if you want to make the gluten-free doughnut cake
  • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of whole buttermilk
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar


  • Bundt pan
  • Baking spray with flour
  • Whisk or a stand mixer
  • A medium bowl or two

Step By Step on How to Make An Old-Fashioned Donut Cake

Step 1: Prepare the Oven

You will have to ensure that the oven is warm enough, so it’s best to preheat it immediately as you are preparing the dry and wet ingredients. Make sure that the oven is set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After that grab the Bundt pan and use the baking spray with flour to spray it.

Alternatively, you can use baking paper, although you will have to do a little cutting and shaping so that all the parts of the pan are filled. For this recipe, we used the 15-cup Bundt pan, you can use 12- to 15-cup one.

Step 2: Prepare the Wet Ingredients

Now it’s time to mix the melted butter together with the granulated sugar. You can either use a hand whisk or a stand mixer, although the electric mixer may yield better results faster. Keep whisking on medium speed until the mixture becomes fluffy.

It’ll take about 2 to 3 minutes for the mix to become perfectly fluffy with a bright, pale texture. Now, add eggs, one at a time, and combine them together with the mix. As the mixer works, add the vanilla extract and let it all combine properly.

Step 3: Add the Dry Ingredients

As the wet ingredients are mixed, whisk baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and flour. Finally, add the baking soda and slowly pour the mix into the mixing wet ingredients, with the mixer running at low speed. You shouldn’t add the flour all at once, add it gradually, and watch the texture become more uniform.

Step 4: Pour the Batter Into the Pan

As all the ingredients merged, it’s time to add everything to the pan that you already prepared with either the flour spray or the baking paper. Make sure to spoon it all evenly across the pan, so that the final product looks even on all sides, making the dessert look classier.

Step 5: Bake the Donut Cake

Place the pan into the preheated oven and let it bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. It all depends on the type of oven you are using, so while the ideal time should be around 50 minutes, it’ll be ready either a bit earlier or a bit later.

Whatever may be the case, the best way to test whether your old-fashioned donut cake is ready is to insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake and see whether it comes out clean or dry. If some dough has been stuck to the pick, you’ll have to bake it for a few more minutes.

Step 6: Let it Cool

Once you finished baking the donut cake, place the pan on a wire rack and let it cool for 15 minutes. After that, you’ll have to remove the donut cake from the pan by inverting the pan over a wooden platter and then flip the cake upwards. Once out, it should rest for another hour.

Step 7: Make the Coating

While the old-fashioned donut cake is cooling off, mix water and the powdered sugar and whisk it until the texture becomes smooth. After the cake cools down, pour it over the cake. Let it cool in the fridge for 15 more minutes and then serve it!

Tips for Making the Old-Fashioned Donut Cake

Old Fashioned Donut Cake
Image Credit: reddit
  • Instead of making the mix with powdered sugar and water, you can steam the black chocolate above boiling water and pour it over the donut cake. You’ll probably have to cool it later if you go with this approach, but the recipe is worth it.
  • Make sure to measure the flour correctly, as if you add too much, the texture may be rough and clumpy. The donut cake may come out too dry, which will ruin the recipe.
  • Don’t let the donut cake dry too much to apply the powdered sugar coating, it should still be slightly warm so that it can make the cake juicier.
  • You can also sprinkle the slice of cake with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for a deeper flavor.
  • Keep the thermometer by your side, because the correct temperature of the oven is super-important

How to Preserve the Old-Fashioned Donut Cake?

If you want to make your sliced old-fashioned donut cake last longer, the best way to do is to store it in an air-tight container. Since donut cakes have eggs in them, you can’t expect that they’ll last more than 2 days outside the fridge.

However, if you store them in an air-tight container, away from direct sunlight, you can make them last up to 3 days a room temperature. Still, it’s a much better option to store them in the fridge, on a cool surface where they can last up to 5 days.

Those who want to munch the old-fashioned donut cake later without having to make it all over again can keep it in the freezer, where it’ll stay fresh for about 3 months.


We hope that you enjoyed making the old-fashioned donut cake as much as we did. The recipe is easy and incredibly fun, especially if your family members are also looking forward to trying out the Bundt-style donut cake.

Make sure to experiment with glaze and coating until you find the unique flavor that you’ll enjoy every time you make the old-fashioned donut cake. Have you made the old-fashioned donut cake? How did it taste?


What’s Another Name for Old Fashioned Donut Cake?

There are many names for the old-fashioned donut cake, inspired by different cultures and traditions. But, because they’re made in the Bundt pan, the old-fashioned donut cakes are also often called the Bundt cake.

1. What Makes an Old-Fashioned Donut Different?

The old-fashioned donut is considered a subset, or rather a cousin to the cake donut. The key difference is the looks where the cake donuts don’t have a cracked surface like the old-fashioned donuts do. The sides of the old-fashioned donuts have a more traditional approach with petal-like sides that make them more recognizable compared to the typical cake donuts. According to the donut cakes are still rougher than most yeast-raised donuts but don’t have a cracked surface like the old-fashioned donut.

2. How Many Calories Are in an Old-Fashioned Donut?

It certainly depends on what kind of mold you used to make them, as well as the size of the Bundt pan, and all the ingredients you used, including those for the topping too. One slice of the Bundt donut cake we made should be anywhere from 350 to 370 calories.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 47

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Leave a Comment