During the off season from wedding photography, I knew my parents would be coming to visit us in Washington, DC for my dad’s birthday. Traditionally we drive up to PA to see them, but my sister in law is giving birth to our first nephew and we did not want to miss it by being away! My dad is obsessed with anything donuts. He is always talking about how he wants to have a cake made out of donuts and this year, I was determined to make that happen. If you simply search for donut cakes, you’ll find a lot of towers made out of Krispy Kremes or something of the sort, but that wasn’t what I had in mind. Eventually, I was inspired by this donut cake image that I originally found on Pinterest, but I didn’t end up actually using this recipe (I did follow her steps on how to assemble the cake, so if you plan on making this, have it up for that reason specifically!). I wanted to make it a different flavor entirely, so I used three different recipes and created my own version — a Caramel Glazed Donut Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing!
First, I used baked donuts instead of fried because I knew it would lighten the cake up a bit so it wouldn’t be as dense and heavy when eating. Plus, I absolutely hate deep frying almost anything in our house because of the odor it produces! I just left the sprinkles out of the recipe above and then did not ice them after they baked. I only have one donut pan that makes 12 at a time, so this was definitely a labor of time! I made these a few days in advance and then froze them until I was ready to use them in the recipe.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Again, since this is such a large cake (I mean, 4 layers is just crazy!), I knew whipped icing would be a little easier to handle than traditional icing. It has spread much nicer and filled in the holes inside each donut. I would recommend making this about one day before you plan to serve the cake and prepare it up to this point — place the iced cake back in your fridge so it can really soak into the donuts, making them even more moist!
Caramel Glaze Sauce
And finally, the caramel sauce! This added a little bit more flavor to the cake and, of course, made it look pretty! I waited until it cooled considerably so as not to melt the whipped icing below — make sure it’s still pourable, but not hot off the stove either. Top it with a few leftover donuts and sprinkles for a beautiful finish!