This oversized “doughnut” will be the success of any brunch. Or, when filled with candles, it’s a fun and clever surprise for a birthday boy or girl who loves doughnuts.
Although this dessert looks like it’s straight out of the doughnut store, the recipe itself is a soft and tender pound cake with added yeast, which gives the cake the crackling, crunchy look of an old-fashioned doughnut. The cake is baked in a regular Bundt pan (any shape of Bundt pan will do, but the less fancy the better) and served upside down, giving the cake a surprisingly realistic doughnut shape. Nutmeg and vanilla extract add the classic donut flavor, while buttermilk adds a tangy note to balance the sweetness. But the most important element is the simple powdered sugar icing, which creates a shiny coating and makes the cake look authentic. Be sure to brush the icing all over the cooled cake, including the sides.
Flour baking spray
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (about 14 7/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking yeast
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole buttermilk
2 cups (about 8 oz) powdered sugar
1/4 cup of water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12 to 15 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.
Beat granulated sugar and butter with stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping scraping sides of bowl if necessary. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until well blended.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared pan; gently tap countertop 3 to 5 times to release air bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the cake onto a cutting board or tray, then gently turn the cake over so the rough side faces up. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar and water until smooth. Brush over cooled cake. Cut into slices and serve.