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Turn a Humble Cake Mix into Fluffy, Decadent Donuts in Minutes

Turn a Humble Cake Mix into Fluffy, Decadent Donuts in Minutes

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Are you craving donuts but don’t have the energy to leave the house and pick some up? Well, if you have a boxed cake mix lying around, you won’t have to make the trip.

You can whip up a batch of fresh, fluffy, and decadent donuts using cake mix and a few other pantry ingredients.

All it takes is around 30 minutes, and it’s much healthier than the traditional fried option.

You also have a wide range of flavors to recreate, whether you want to enjoy a strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla-flavored cake mix donut.

Here’s how to make donuts from cake mix, along with everything you need to know about the topic:

Can You Make Donuts With Cake Mix?

Yes, you can create a batch of freshly baked donuts using a cake mix. While it’s not the traditional way of making donuts, it’s easier and quicker than other methods.

Why Should You Create Donuts With Cake Mix?

Aside from the easy and quick preparation, making cake mix donuts offers several other benefits, including:

  • Cost-Effective: Rather than going to your nearest Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme, you can make the baked goods at home and save your money.
  • Easy to Customize: Since you’re technically making a donut cake, you get to customize it with various flavors and frosting to your heart’s content. You can also include your little ones in this fun-filled activity.
  • Tasty Results: While everyone typically dreads the “We have food at home” sentiment, your family will enjoy munching on these delectable homemade bites.
  • Ideal for Occasions: Building on the customizable benefit, you can tailor your cake mix donuts to fit several events and seasons, like a gender reveal or a Halloween party.

Will Cake Mix Donuts Taste the Same as Regular Donuts?

Cake mix donuts sound great and all, but how do they measure up to regular donuts? They taste different, but they’re still enjoyable.

Traditionally made donuts use yeast, which creates a denser and more wholesome bite. Meanwhile, donuts made from cake mix will hold a fluffier and lighter texture.

They’ll remind you of—you guessed it—cakes! You can add ingredients like sour cream to achieve a similar denser quality to regular yeast-based donuts.

Are Donuts from Cake Mix Healthier than Regular Donuts?

The good news is that the donuts you make from cake mix are healthier than regular donuts because they’re baked. Meanwhile, their traditional counterparts are fried.

The latter creates greasier results with more saturated fats.

A baked cake mix donut contains less fat and sugar, thanks to the lack of sweet, calorie-dense fillings.

How to Make Donuts from Cake Mix

There are plenty of ways to bake cake mix donuts. You can find various recipes with different spices and flavors. Here are some below.

Recipe #1

This recipe requires the least number of ingredients.

You can customize it by choosing different flavors for your cake box mix, like strawberry or vanilla. If you prefer an extra crunch, sprinkle a few crushed nuts into your batter.

Ingredients (Donut)

  • 1 portion of cake box mix
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Ingredients (Glaze)

  • 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  • 1 and ½ cups of powdered or icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk


  • Donut pan
  • Whisk
  • Wire cooling racks
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic bag or piping bag


  1. Grease the donut pan with a non-stick spray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Add cake mix, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil to the mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk all the ingredients until you’re left with a thick, creamy batter.
  5. Transfer the batter to a piping or plastic bag with a snipped end.
  6. Squeeze the mixture into the donut pan, making sure you only fill it halfway.
  7. Place the donut pan in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Whisk the glaze ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.
  9. Turn the oven off and leave the pan to cool for five to ten minutes.
  10. Take the baked donuts out and place them carefully on a wire rack.
  11. Flip each donut over in the glaze bowl to coat it, or pour the glaze over all the donuts.

Recipe #2

The main difference between this recipe and the first one is that it’s denser because of the added sour cream. Here’s how to create this version.

Ingredients (Donut)

  • 1 portion of cake mix
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Ingredients (Glaze)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 and ½ cups of powdered or icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Wire cooling racks
  • Donut pan
  • Piping bag or snipped plastic bag


  1. Spray your donut pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Whisk all ingredients, including sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, cake mix, and eggs in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end snipped off.
  5. Press the mixture into the donut pan.
  6. Allow donuts to bake for around ten minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Create a glaze by mixing the ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Take out the donuts and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Drizzle the chocolate glaze on the donuts or dip them in for full coverage.
  10. Optionally decorate with sprinkles.
  11. Let the glaze sit for about five to ten minutes. It should be dry to the touch before serving.

Can You Use Cake Flour to Make Donuts?

Yes, you can use cake flour in your donut recipe. It gives your donuts an even fluffier texture than regular cake mix donuts.

Cake flour typically contains fewer gluten proteins than all-purpose flour. More protein means more kneading and mixing, which often leads to a tougher mix with more texture and a firmer build.

Using cake flour will create a looser crumb for your donuts because of how finely ground the baking ingredient is. It’s why pastry chefs particularly use it for delicate sponge cake recipes.

Tips When Making Donuts from Cake Mix

Since donuts aren’t meant to be made from cake mix, there’s considerable room for error. You can dodge a few beginner errors by following these tips:

  • Don’t Overfill Donut Pans: Overfilling the pan can result in a messy spill or your donut losing its original shape. Try to keep it no more than halfway to ¾ full.
  • Store at Room Temperature: Keep the cake donuts at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or two.
  • Glaze After Donuts are Cooled Down: Cake mix donuts tend to be extra absorbent. If you pour the glaze over them when freshly baked, the liquid could seep into the donut rather than sit on top.

Final Thoughts

How can you make donuts from cake mix? In short, all it takes is mixing your cake mix and other ingredients listed, piping them into a greased donut pan, and popping them in a preheated oven.

Once they’re ready, you can whisk a smooth batch of glaze in your desired flavor and drizzle it over the cooled donuts.

I like to squeeze in a decorative frosting element like flowers for special occasions.

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Barb A. J.

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

What to use if I don’t have a donut pan ? Can I use individual muffin pans ? They are made of aluminum, the throw away kind. Maybe I could use cupcake liners in my cupcake pans ? I have regular size and miniature size pans. I only have Lemon Cake Mix, & Spice Cake Mixes. Both sound good for a breakfast treat. Thanks !