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Cake Mix Donuts (4 Ingredient Recipe)

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Cake mix donuts are an easy dessert! With only 4 ingredients, you can use your favorite cake mix, make donuts and decorate for any holiday.
halloween cake mix donuts on a cutitng board

Cake mix donuts are an easy dessert that everyone loves! With minimal ingredients, you can satisfy your sweet tooth and create homemade donuts from cake mix in no time at all.

These are a sweet treat without the fuss! You just combine a few ingredients, bake ’em up, and have fresh, hot donuts ready to enjoy.

top view of cake mix donuts

And here’s why they’re great:

  • They are simple – with only 4 pantry staple ingredients, you don’t need much planning.
  • They are versatile – Any cake flavor, from a basic yellow cake mix to a gourmet German chocolate mix will work.
  • They are cheap – Sure, grocery prices are up, but I can still get a box of cake mix for less than $2.
  • They are fun – Kids love to decorate them with fun toppings and, of course, eat them! Serve donuts for breakfast as a treat.

Looking for more simple recipes for desserts? Check out my Frozen Lemonade Pie, Cake Mix Cookies, and Church Window Cookies.

🧈Only 4 Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

This easy recipe uses only 4 simple ingredients – cake mix, butter, milk, and an egg. So you can make these donuts with very little planning! Just pull the ingredients out of the pantry and surprise your family with this fun treat.

You will also want to decorate them, which is pretty simple. I describe how to use store-bought frosting and make a simple glaze in the recipe card, or check out below for more creative decorating ideas.

labeled ingredients cake mix donuts

🍩Do I Need a Donut Pan to Bake Donuts?

Yes, you do need a donut pan or a mini donut maker to make cake mix donuts. A hole in the middle is essential for a classic donut, and it is tough to get the shape without a pan. I like this nonstick donut pan at Amazon.

I also have a Baby Cakes mini donut maker and a mini bundt pan that works in a pinch. What can I say? I like donuts! A donut pan is also great for making Rice Krispie treat wreaths at Christmas, so check that out if you own one!

But if you don’t have a donut pan, all is not lost! You can still make yeast donuts, like these pumpkin donuts, or my cheater Air Fryer Donuts made with refrigerator biscuits.

🥣How to Make Delicious Cake Mix Donuts

1. Mix the Batter

Making the donut batter is simple. Put the cake mix in a medium bowl. Then melt the butter in the microwave and stir it into the cake mix, egg, and milk. There is no need to get out a mixer.

2. Fill the Pan

Spray your donut pan or donut maker with nonstick cooking spray. If you pipe the batter into the pan, you will get the best results. A piping bag with a large tip works, or just put the batter into a large resealable bag.

mixing the cake mix donuts
donuts in donut pan

Cut one of the corners off and pipe the batter into the pan, only filling the wells up about 3/4 of the way.

3. Bake (Oven or Donut Maker)

Oven: Bake the donuts in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then put a cooling rack on top and flip the pan over so the donuts fall out.

Donut Maker – Bake these for about 7-8 minutes in a donut maker. Then take them out and set them aside to cool.

👩‍🍳How to Glaze

Using Store Bought Frosting

Take store-bought frosting, put it in a microwavable bowl, and microwave it until it is runny, about 30-60 seconds. Dip the top of each cooled donut in the chocolate glaze and set it aside to harden.

donuts after baking
chocolate cake mix donuts on a cooling rack with frosting

Simple Vanilla Glaze

Mix powdered sugar and milk in a bowl until it is smooth and the glaze is runny. Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze and set them on wire racks.

🎃Decorating Ideas

There are so many ways to decorate these cake mix donuts! The simplest is to use colored sprinkles and holiday decorations, as I did here with Halloween sprinkles and candy eyes.

You could make some tasty chocolate peppermint donuts for Christmas with crushed candy canes or add hearts for Valentine’s Day. But you don’t just have to make these for a holiday celebration. Here are some other decorating ideas.

  • Funfetti: Use rainbow sprinkles or funfetti for any time of the year.
  • Powdered sugar donuts: Dip them in powdered sugar after they cool for a simple yet tasty topping.
  • S’mores: Add mini marshmallows and chocolate chips for s’mores-themed donuts.
  • Candy bars: Chop up your favorite candy bar and put it on a donut.
  • Triple chocolate: Make chocolate donuts with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles for the ultimate chocolate treat.
top view of Halloween cake mix donuts on a cutting board

💭How to Store

Leftover donuts keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Let the frosting harden before stacking the donuts. You can also freeze them for about 2 months, although they will freeze best before frosting or glazing.

⭐Tips for Making the Best Cake Mix Donuts

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Use a nonstick donut pan and coat it with cooking spray, so they don’t stick.
  • Pipe the batter into the pan using a resealable bag or piping bag.
  • Don’t overfill the pan. Fill each donut cavity about 3/4 full.
  • Let them cool before dipping them into a glaze.

📝FAQ

Are baked cake donuts healthier than regular donuts?

Since these donuts are baked and not fried, like the donuts you’d get at a chain donut shop, they are healthier. But they are still a dessert and not something you’d want to eat all the time!

What cake mix flavors can I use?

All the cake mix flavors can be used to make cake mix donuts! Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Funfetti, Lemon, whatever you can find in the baking aisle of your grocery store will work. This is a versatile recipe that you can make differently every time.

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halloween cake mix donuts on a cutitng board
5 from 17 votes

Chocolate Cake Mix Donuts Recipe

Cake mix donuts are an easy dessert! With only 4 ingredients, you can use your favorite cake mix, make donuts and decorate for any holiday.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Total Time28 mins
Servings: 18
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix or your favorite flavor cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup milk

For Decorating

  • assorted fun sprinkles

Chocolate glaze:

  • 1 container chocolate frosting

Vanilla glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Oven Baking:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease donut pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Beat the cake mix, egg, melted butter, and milk in a mixing bowl.
    1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 egg, 1/3 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup milk
  • When the batter is well mixed, transfer the mixture to a large piping bag or a resealable bag. Pipe the mixture into the donut pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip the pan over onto a wire cooling rack and allow the donuts to cool completely.

Electric Mini Doughnut Maker:

  • Preheat the donut machine as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Beat the cake mix, egg, butter, and milk in a mixing bowl.
    1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 egg, 1/3 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup milk
  • When the batter is well mixed, transfer the mixture to a large piping bag or a resealable bag. Pipe the mixture into the donut pans.
  • Bake in the donut machine for 7-8 minutes until the middle of the donut is cooked.
  • Remove them to a wire rack to cool.

Store Bought Frosting:

  • When the donuts are cool, remove the lid from the frosting and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until the frosting is slightly runny.
    1 container chocolate frosting
  • Drizzle the melted frosting over the top of each donut, then decorate with sprinkles, chocolate chips, or whatever you like.
    assorted fun sprinkles

Simple Vanilla Glaze:

  • Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a bowl. Stir until all the lumps are gone. Add extra milk if necessary to get it to a runny consistency.
    1 cup confectioners sugar, 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Dip donuts into the glaze and set them aside on racks to decorate.
    assorted fun sprinkles

Notes

Use any box cake mix you like for this recipe.
Use a resealable bag with a corner cut off if you don’t have a piping bag.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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cake mix donuts decorated with sprinkles and candy eye balls
By on August 12th, 2022

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