This oversized “donut” will be the hit of any brunch gathering. Or, when topped with candles, it makes a fun and clever surprise for a donut-loving birthday boy or girl.
Although this dessert looks straight from the donut shop, the recipe itself is a moist and tender pound cake with added leavening, which gives the cake the cracked and craggy appearance of an old-fashioned donut. The cake is baked in an ordinary Bundt pan (any shape Bundt pan will work, although the less fancy, the better) and served upside down, which creates a surprisingly realistic donut shape. Nutmeg and vanilla extract add that classic cake donut flavor, while buttermilk provides a tangy note to balance out the sweetness. But the most important element is the simple powdered sugar glaze, which creates a shiny coating and makes it look like the real deal. Be sure to brush the glaze over the entire cooled cake, including the sides.
Baking spray with flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (about 14 7/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon 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 water
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12- to 15-cup Bundt pan with baking spray.
Beat granulated sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until just combined.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda in a medium bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared pan; gently tap on counter 3 to 5 times to release air bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Invert cake out of pan onto a cutting board or platter, then gently flip cake back over so rough side is facing up. Let cool on wire rack completely, about 1 hour.
Whisk together powdered sugar and water in a medium bowl until smooth. Brush over cooled cake. Slice and serve.