Chocolate Doughnut Cake
Chocolate Doughnut Cake

Chocolate Doughnut Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with frosting adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: 8-10 servings

Another absolutely delicious “doughnut cake.” Just as tasty as it is adorable!

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients:
7 tablespoons cocoa powder
7 tablespoons warm water
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
sprinkles (optional)

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and sugar before adding the eggs, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into a 10-inch cast iron skillet (alternatively, I think this would work fine in a 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out with a few moist crumbs (don’t wait for the top to get golden brown, necessarily — mine stayed pale). Cast iron skillet cook times can be variable, so check early and often. Cool completely.

Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa and warm water. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the melted, cooled chocolate and the cocoa mixture. Let this sit for exactly 30 minutes (no really, exactly 30!) before you use it to obtain the perfect spreadability. Pile the frosting on the top of the cake and smooth it out to an even, thick layer. Top with sprinkles!

18 Comments on Chocolate Doughnut Cake

  1. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    May 12, 2014 at 7:06 am (8 years ago)

    Have the best time in Europe, Italy and France are amazing… and the food is all SO good.

    Now I have to donut cakes that I want to make!

  2. Tricia
    May 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm (8 years ago)

    I lived in Florence for nine years and you will run out of time there’s so much to do. TripAdvisor highlights most of the best of Florence so check it out. Locals get slices of pizza at any of the Panificio’s or bakeries, outside of the center. If the crowds in the center are too much take the #7 bus from San Marco up to Fiesole for a beautiful view but watch out for pick pockets and any one who wants to rub up against you. Palazzo Strozzi is a gorgeous museum if you don’t want to wait on the long lines at the Uffizi. Piazzale Michelangelo also has a gorgeous view. Go to the Mercato Centrale and go inside the building to see all the wonderful food. Avoid the stuff being sold outside in the stalls because it’s mostly junk. Try the gelato every chance you get.
    If you see any gypsy children go the opposite way because they will swarm you and try to grab your wallet. You can’t had a bad time in Florence as long as you take it easy and kick back and enjoy it all slowly. Sit, eat, drink and savor it all! And by the way, in Rome go to Giolitti Gelateria, Via degli Uffici del Vicario, not far from the Trevi fountain. Best bets in Paris are the lunch specials at some of the off the beaten path bars where you only see locals, or grab a baguette with ham and cheese and have a picnic by the Seine or the Luxembourg gardens. Food always tastes better al fresco. And if you have a chance try a buckwheat crepe! Have an awesome time!

  3. Liren
    May 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm (8 years ago)

    And I’m so happy for you! How exciting! I’ll be living vicariously through you, enjoy Italia!

  4. Sarah R.
    May 12, 2014 at 6:18 pm (8 years ago)

    I spent a semester abroad in Florence and made a couple trips to Rome then spent half a week in Paris with my mom at the end of the semester. I have a couple suggestions for each, but I have the most for Florence because I spent the most time there.

    Al Tranvai in Piazza Torquato Tasso — one of the best meals I had in my life. Very authentic and very nice owners!
    Antica Gelateria Fiorentina — best. gelato. ever.
    Bondi — sandwiches near the San Lorenzo markets that are AMAZING and very inexpensive. It’s located behind the souvenir stalls.
    Trattoria La Casalinga — near Santo Spirito. Another place with really, really delicious food.
    La Carraia — more great gelato (though not quite as good).
    Boboli Gardens — Gardens in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic styles behind Palazzo Pitti.
    La Specola — a weird museum with lots of taxidermied animals and bugs and an entire collection of wax body parts.

    Basilica San Clemente — a 13th century basilica on top of a 4th century basilica on top of a Roman villa. You basically walk DOWN THROUGH TIME. It’s pretty cool.
    Borghese Gallery — a museum that has the best sculptures ever created (in my humble opinion) and is surrounded by a beautiful park. You need to call ahead for reservations!
    In general, Frascati (wine) is great there.

    Fat Tire Bike Tours — this company exists in various cities, but my mom and I did a tour of Paris this way, and it was so much fun. I think they meet at the Eiffel Tower, so it combines well with that activity. They have ones at night time as well.
    Versailles — definitely a day trip but definitely worth it if you can be flexible. We rode bikes around the grounds here too.

    I’m very jealous! I hope you have the best time!

  5. Kelly
    May 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm (8 years ago)

    Have an amazing time in Rome, Florence and Paris! There’s nothing like the magic of those cities. Oh, and in Italy you just have to ask for a “coca light.”

    I would just echo some of the safety tips that another reader noted above; the pickpockets and certain groups of children are pros at either grabbing your wallet or making you drop your bag. Something for you and the kids you are with to be aware of!

    Other than that, enjoy wandering the streets and taking in all the sights! Oh, and bring back some laduree jam from Paris !

  6. Nicole de Bruijn
    May 13, 2014 at 7:29 am (8 years ago)

    Don’t miss Montmartre, which was our favorite spot in Paris. Sacre Coeur is beautiful, with the city spread out beneath you. And there is so much life in Montmartre! And really, make time for Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Pere Lachaise is indescribable– you feel the past in that place more so than you do in an cathedral. I walked away a bit melancholy, but somehow connected to Paris. Make sure to visit the grave of Jim Morrison, such interesting characters hang around his grave (I embarrassed myself by weeping like an emo school girl). Also the grave of Edith Piaf where you will find many sentimental French people paying their respects. And of course, Oscar Wilde with the lip prints on his magnificent tombstone and the tomb of Heloise and Abelard, one of the greatest love stories of all time.

    Eiffel Tour is amazing at night. And the lines are shorter.

    Best ice cream in Paris is Berthillon on Île de la Cité/Île Saint Louis. There’s lots of stands that sell it, and they have a shop, too. Don’t buy in the shop, it’s more expensive. Buy from one of the stands and take it to the Seine and enjoy it with a lovely view of Paris.

    We stayed in the Latin Quarter very close to Maison Georges Larnicol. He’s a M.O.F. and his shop is informal and easy to navigate. The macarons are divine! And the kouignettes are super buttery and chewy and deliciously sinful. Eat them OFTEN. Like three times a day.

    And whatever you do– watch out for thieves in Paris! I had someone try to pick my pocket within five minutes of stepping off the train, and three other times in a four day period. I also had someone try to steal my luggage. Just keep things difficult to reach, and don’t put bags down and step one foot away from them. But I’m sure you’ve been told this before!

    Enjoy your trip! May it inspire you to cook even more amazing food! Europe has that effect on me. I look forward to hearing about it!

  7. Cate!
    May 13, 2014 at 11:36 am (8 years ago)

    Go to the Eiffel Tower just before dusk, and after you go up as far as you want to, come back down and get a Nutella & banana crepe and sit on the steps and watch the sky go dark and the lights on the tower light up. You will be entranced. Oh, and don’t forget to use that fancy iPhone to buy your ticket for the Eiffel Tower in advance and keep the tickets on your phone to be scanned so you don’t have to wait in quite so long a line. 🙂

  8. Joshua Hampton
    May 15, 2014 at 5:34 am (8 years ago)

    I’m so happy for (and envious of) you. Have a marvelous trip!

  9. Diana Gorski
    May 15, 2014 at 9:16 am (8 years ago)

    Have a wonderful time on your trip.
    One question about the cake. Do you think it would work in a 12″ skillet?

    • Julie Ruble
      May 16, 2014 at 6:37 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks! It would work but come out thinner and bake faster, I think. Enjoy. 🙂

  10. Renee @ Awesome on $20
    May 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm (8 years ago)

    This cake is gorgeous. I can’t wait to hear about Europe. I’ve never been to the continent. Someday…

  11. Ace (@toastedsprinkle)
    May 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm (8 years ago)

    Oh enjoy the trip! I adore Paris, the food is so delightful. Just make sure to TRYALLTHETHINGS 🙂 And barring that definitely try at least an almond and/or chocolate croissant. I studied in France for a month and every single day I tried a new item from a different bakery. It was the best decision I ever made.
    If you have time definitely check out the Tuilleries, it’s so delightful to wander. I also thoroughly loved Monmartre, it’s as romantic as you make it of course but the Sacre Coeur was one of my favorite cathedrals. 2nd only to Notre Dame of course.

    On an unrelated side note – where did you get your skillet? and/or what brand is it? I believe I have ruined forever my Lodge skillet with a test batch of skillet brownies that went horribly awry. I’m currently looking for a replacement.

    • Julie Ruble
      May 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm (8 years ago)

      Aw, thanks, Ace! Mine is a Lodge skillet also, and I think I bought it at Williams-Sonoma 🙂

  12. Amy J.
    June 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm (8 years ago)

    I made this yesterday in the suggested alternative 8 by 8 pan lined with parchment and it came out fine, in case anyone is glad of the info. (It’s delicious, and the chocolate frosting is so glossy and beautiful!)

    • Julie Ruble
      June 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm (8 years ago)

      So glad you enjoyed it and the pan size worked, Amy! Yay!

  13. Natalie
    June 20, 2015 at 7:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Tardy to the party! I made this last August as my husband’s birthday cake. The year prior his “birthday cake” had been a tower of donuts so I felt this would be a perfect marriage of his favorite things. And it was. It’s so adorable and something everyone from kids to adults love. We loved it and as such, I’m making it again tomorrow for Father’s Day. Thank you!

    • Julie Ruble
      June 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm (7 years ago)

      Hooray! I’m so glad to hear that, Natalie!! Hope you all enjoyed <3


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *