You love donuts. You love cake. So a donut cake must be extra loveable, right?
That’s what I told myself when I saw the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts cake mix ($2.54) in the baking aisle at my Walmart Neighborhood Market. It had a sort of glow about it, as if it has just been transported by fairy dust from a magical realm of cross-bred pastries. It also had the Betty Crocker red spoon, so I figured that was a good enough endorsement for me.
The instructions are as simple as any box mix so I whipped this up one evening to take to work the next day. Because the picture on the box was a bundt cake I figured that was the way to go, but there are also instructions to make the cake in other pans, or as cupcakes.
And this was the first disappointment. Although it says to use a 12-cup bundt pan, the batter didn’t even fill it halfway. I shouldn’t have expected it to. At just about 15oz. this mix is no bigger than a standard Betty Crocker cake mix, so unless you use an 8″ round pan you’re going to wind up with a tiny, unimpressive cake. If I did this again I’d use my 9-cup bundt pan. Mix sizes just ain’t what they used to be when I was a kid.
Aside from the smallness, the cake puffed up nicely in the oven. I’d coated my trusty Nordic Ware pan with baking spray before filling it and the cake came out easily once it had cooled a few minutes. It didn’t deflate either, but kept it’s (small but proud) size.
As it baked it definitely smelled like cake. Yellow cake. Maybe a little bit sweeter, but still cake, and not like a batch of donuts. The pouch of glaze that’s provided though does have a very donuty smell. It went on a bit thick, but because the cake was still warm it smoothed out nicely, and once the cake was coated it did look like a big, over-sized donut.
Finally, it was time to taste test. My coworkers all said the glaze is what made them feel like it was what made them feel like they were eating a donut-cake hybrid. A few said the cake itself had a donut-like flavor, but most agreed that it could have been any box cake mix, but with a donut glaze on top. They did all comment that the cake was super light and fluffy, and overall delicious.
Personally, the glaze was too too sugary sweet for me, with a little bit of a chemical aftertaste from the glaze. I think it’s an issue you’ll always have with anything that isn’t made from scratch.
I’d say this cake would be a fun treat for the donut lover in your life, but wouldn’t replace your standard cake mix, and certainly won’t compete with a made-from-scratch cake.
And if you make it, set it out with the box. The best reactions were from people who saw it, grabbed the box to make sure it was real, and said, “This is a thing?!”
Yes, this is a thing.