Who doesn't love a good donut? But sometimes, I don't have the patience to rise a bread dough, then shape it, only to rise it again before frying it. This is a simple solution: cakes baked to look like donuts. 

The choice of topping is completely yours, but I love a pink icing with multicoloured nonpareils, or a simple cinnamon sugar coating.  

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 125g unsalted butter 
  • 125g caster sugar 
  • 1/2tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 medium eggs 
  • 125g self raising flour

For the Toppings

  • 120ml icing sugar 
  • 3tsp water 
  • A drop of pink food colouring 
  • Multicoloured nonpareils
  • 2tbsp caster sugar 
  • 2tbsp water 
  • 50g granulated sugar 
  • 1tsp cinnamon 

Essential Equipment

  • 4 x Mini savarin moulds, well greased
  • Piping bag (optional but handy)


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until very pale and fluffy, either in a freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl with handheld electric whisk. Add the eggs and beat those in until well combined then sift over the flour and fold in gently. Divide between the 4 prepared tins as evenly as possible - this is where the piping bag comes in handy. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely out of the tins on a wire rack. 

For the pink icing beat together the icing sugar and water until thick but pourable. Add enough colouring to give a baby pink colour. Spoon this over the cooled cakes before shaking over some of the nonpareils. 

For the cinnamon sugar coated donuts, boil together the caster sugar and water for a minute or two, then use this syrup to paint over the donuts. Toss the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Dip the donuts, syrup side down, into the sugar, twisting the donut to ensure a generous coating.