I’m all for simple party food: dishes that are sure to impress, but dead easy to make. Enter cake-mix doughnuts. People love doughnuts, from Voodoo in Portland to Cartems in Vancouver… Maybe it’s a Pacific Northwest thing.
I recently hosted a Portland-themed housewarming. Honestly, the theme was mostly an excuse to whip out my new doughnut bake pan. With a couple boxes of cake mix and a menagerie of toppings, I set to work on a DIY doughnut bar.
To accompany these doughy delights, I also assembled some candy kabobs. These are so simple—just stick gummy candy on skewers—but they’re a fun twist on the regular ol’ bowl of candy. And who doesn’t love a sugar rush with their craft beer?
You will need:
- Cake mix
- Ingredients specified on the cake mix box
- Butter to grease the pan
- Doughnut bake pan
- Piping bag, or ziplock bag
I roughly followed the directions on It’s Always Autumn: where my cake mix box said three eggs, I edited it down and used one egg. Mix your cake mix with your wet ingredients. Grease your baking pan with a little butter, so the doughnuts will slip out easily. Put a piping or ziplock bag inside a cup, with the wide end at the top of the cup. This will hold the bag open and in place while you fill ‘er up.
Carefully spoon your batter into the bag. If you’re using a ziplock bag, you’ll snip of a small corner of the bag once it’s full. Carefully pipe batter into the doughnut pan’s wells. I accidentally overfilled on my first batch: be sure to only fill the doughnut pan with one to two layers of batter. The doughnuts will rise, and if the pan is too full your doughnuts will emerge looking like muffins.
Your box of cake mix will probably give directions on making cupcakes—follow this guide for baking time. Remember, these doughnuts won’t come out like normal ‘nuts. They’ll be light and fluffy, a little like cupcakes.
Set your doughnuts out on a cooling rack, and try to resist devouring them all.
For the doughnut bar, I provided a crushed Crispy Crunch chocolate bar, crushed Aero bar, crushed Reese’s Pieces, mini Oreos, mini Cadbury eggs, and Captain Crunch cereal. I also set out some cake frosting: chocolate and vanilla, to match the fudge and funfetti doughnut options. Provide some variety, and let your guests do the “hard” work of assembling their doughnuts.