How to Make Layered Doughnut Cake

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How to Make a Layered Doughnut Cake

I’m back again as promised.  I made two Doughnut Cakes for my granddaughter’s birthday party and I thought I’d do a post about the second one.  It doesn’t look as good as I wanted it to.  When your posting on the internet you work get it Pinterest worthy, but I’m learning to do better (one mini course later) It looked and tasted great.  Best of all, she loved it!  So follow along and I’ll add the tips I learned to do a better job on How to Make a Layered Doughnut Cake!

Themed Parties

There are so many cute ideas out there for birthday parties and so many creative people make it easy to create the look!  My Daughter in Law got the letters from a store on Etsy and the large “2” in the same color from Party City.  I looked around on Pinterest (my go to for inspiration) and couldn’t find a good tutorial on making the cake I wanted so I went from some pictures.  Did it turn out perfect?  No.  But since then I took a mini cake course from a friend (instagram karibakescakes) and watching her in actions (and practicing on cupcakes) gave me a lot of tips.  Let’s see if I can help you at all!



    • When baking the cakes use Evenbake Cake Strips.  In the past I’ve used an old towel, ripped into 2″ strips.  Soak them in water and pin them tight to the top on the pan, just below the rim. The cake will rise but stay flat.  Here’s a good video
      It does make a difference.  
    • When putting the frosting (or ganache) between layers, leave about 1″ inside the edge so it doesn’t ooze or squirt out. You’ll get frosting in there when you do your skim layer
    • If you have one of those cake turntables, use it.  It does make it simpler
    • Sift all your powdered sugar beforehand into a large bowl.  It makes the frosting fluffier 
    • Use butter and real cream for the frosting…..and vanilla and powdered sugar.  Whip the butter for about 5 minutes prior to adding anything.  It really makes a difference.  Make it light and fluffy.  If it’s too stiff add more cream. That does make a big difference
    • Freeze your cake before.  No crumbs get in the way.  Then between each step, put it back in the freezer
    • Use a flat icing smoother to give it a nice smooth look.  If you haven’t got one, get a metal one.  That way you can dip it in super hot water (nuke it) between smoothing and it really makes it uniform and easier to do.
    • Last but not least, if you want to do the “drip” edge over the top, heat heavy cream (whipping cream) in the microwave.  Add your chocolate or melting wafers.  Look for a recipe or you can start with 1/3 Cup of heavy cream.  Bring to a boil in the microwave.  Add some chopped chocolate (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) (chipits or even melting wafers, which is what I used for the blue)
      Once it’s mixed, let it sit until it’s melted.  Cool slightly or it will just run down the cake.  If it’t too cool, just heat it up a bit again.  Put this in a disposable frosting bag or zip lock bag and cut the end off.  Drizzle it along the edge of the cake, letting it drip down as you move along the edge.  After you are done that, fill in the top.  Here’s a few pictures that might help


Layered Doughnut Cake


    • 3 round cake pans ( I used 8 or 9 inch)
    • Cake ingredients

      – you may choose to make a Funfetti cake.  I did mine with pudding in the mix (it makes it a bit firmer, or make a Funfetti Cake from scratch, but multiply the recipe by 1.5 so you have enough for three cakes (you could also make cupcakes from the leftovers)

    • 1 lb Soft Butter
    • 2 lb bag of powdered sugar
    • about 1/4 cup of heavy cream.  You’ll add it a bit at a time (and maybe not all of it) to make the frosting fluffy 
    • Vanilla.  If making white frosting, you can find clear vanilla made by Wilton in the party/wedding isle at Walmart.  You’ll need a couple of teaspoons
    • Cake Stand or Plate
    • Mixer
    • Metal spatula(s) and a metal icing smoother (This is a great kit to have)
    • Container to heat water for the smoother
    • Sprinkles……(If making a Funfetti cake from scratch, you’ll need another 1/2 to 3/4 cup of long sprinkles to add to the mix.  Don’t use little balls as they dissolve very quickly. Joann has a great assortment called Sweet Tooth Fairy (I got mine at Bulk Barn in Canada)
    • 3 Assorted Doughnuts 
    • Toothpicks


    1. Bake the cake according to directions on cake box (adding 1 pkg of vanilla instant pudding to each mix.  4 serving package) If using cake strips, you’ll want to lower the oven to 340 and bake a little longer as you’re cooling the sides of the cake so it will bake slower.  Make sure you butter and flour each pan.  It’s best to bake the day (or night) before so you can freeze the cakes.
    2. Beat the butter for about 5 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.  Add 1/2 the bag to the butter, beating until incorporated.  Add the vanilla and the rest of the powdered sugar.  It will be a little stiffer at this point (check it) and add some cream, beating and checking after adding a bit at a time
    3. Remove cakes from the freezer.  I put my first layer on a glass cake stand and put some frosting in the middle, smoothing it close to the edge but leaving a bit of space.  Add the next layer, repeating the frosting until the top layer is on.
    4. Using a metal spatula, spread frosting on the cake in a very thin layer.  Use your cake smoother to make this layer thin (you’ll want to see a little of the cake through frosting.  Freeze
    5. Using a metal spatula, spread frosting on the top of the cake, smoothing.  Add frosting to the sides of the cake, smoothing and evening it out.  Heat water to very hot in the microwave.  Dip your smoother in the hot water and then run it along the outside of the cake.  It will smooth it out nicely.  Use your spatula on the top to smooth off the top edge.
    6. Put you ganache in a zip lock bag or a disposable frosting bag, cutting the end off and pipe along the top edge, letting it drip down.  Finish spreading the ganache over the top of the cake.
    7. Using your sprinkles (there are so many fun types to use) Place them all around the bottom of your cake on the plate (or stand) using your hand or a cake spatula, lift them and press them lightly into the cake.  Keep going until you are satisfied.
    8. Cut one doughnut in half and place on cake.  If you want to, put a little line of the ganache along the edge and put on some sprinkles.
    9. On the other glazed doughnuts, I used the blue ganache on one and a little thinned pink frosting on the other and covered them with sprinkles.  I used 2 toothpicks on each doughnut to secure onto the cake.  
    10. Add candles and voila!

I apologize for not having as many pictures as I thought I would have.  As you get going through a project, you’re so into it you forget to take a picture and, well, you can’t really go back:)

Have fun with your creating!

Here’s the other Doughnut Birthday Cake

Want to remember this?  Post How to Make a Layered Doughnut Cake to your favorite Pinterest board!

Doughnut Birthday Cake

Doughnut Birthday Cake

Layered Doughnut Cake


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I love to do anything creative and enjoy learning new things. Once I know how, I also love to teach it to others. Homemade by Cheryl, teaching homemade one project at a time! Have fun learning!

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