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For A Delectable Donut Cake, Don't Skimp On The Leaveners

pink iced and sprinkled donut cake
pink iced and sprinkled donut cake - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

If you frequently find yourself enjoying a sweet cake donut alongside your morning cup of coffee, you may want to try baking up a donut cake. Donut cakes are just larger versions of the pastry that can be sliced up and served. Individual donuts are a can't-go-wrong treat for a casual party, but a donut cake feels more special. They're perfect for special occasions where the guest of honor likes donuts more than a classic cake (and also great for those of us who just love the idea of a gleefully oversized donut).

Part of what makes a donut cake so delicious is its texture. A perfect donut's texture is what really defines it, and most of us have a favorite kind. While some donuts are light, puffy, and slightly crisp, others have a softer, more cakey crumb. Regardless of the texture you're aiming for, a non-negotiable element for a perfect donut cake is its rise. No one likes a flat and dense donut, and this can be avoided by using enough leavening agents in your recipe.

Leavening agents, such as baking soda, baking powder, and yeast, use chemical reactions to add lift and volume to baked goods. While they're definitely important in classic cakes or loaves of bread, you really want to use them to your advantage to make the best donut cake. Without them, the cake won't be able to rise properly, resulting in a sad, deflated dessert.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

How More Leaveners Can Help Out Your Donut Cake

Adding baking soda to batter
Adding baking soda to batter - etonastenka/Shutterstock

If you prefer the taste of yeasted, deep-fried donuts, you can take your favorite recipe and upscale your ingredients, creating one giant donut that you can deep-fry as usual. But if you're intimidated by frying, you can also bake your donut cake, in which case you'll be using baking soda or powder.

Leavening agents like baking powder and soda are activated when they come into contact with liquid, acid, or heat. Once activated, they begin to bubble and foam up. This produces carbon dioxide, trapping air bubbles inside the batter as your donut cake bakes in the oven. For an impressively tall cake, you may want to include a little extra baking soda or baking powder in your recipe. Smaller donuts don't need as much rising action as one big donut, and some extra leavening gives your formula the boost it needs to lift up a bigger portion of donut batter.

While standard cake recipes may only ask for one or two teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour, some donut cake recipes suggest adding quite a bit more — or using more than one leavening agent. One way to ensure the cake comes out with the fluffiest texture is to use both baking powder and soda in your recipe. Some popular donut cake recipes use 2 ½ teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of leavening ingredients in total.

How To Make Sure Your Leaveners Work

Glazed tube cake
Glazed tube cake - scozma85/Shutterstock

Adding both baking soda and baking powder into your donut cake recipe can yield fluffy results, but you need to make sure your recipe has the right elements to activate the rise. Baking powder contains acid, and only needs liquid to work. Water, milk, or another liquid in your recipe will ensure the powder does its job. Baking soda has no acid in it, so it requires some to activate. You'll need an acidic ingredient in your recipe, or your cake could come out flat.

Some donut cake recipes call for buttermilk, which has the right pH to activate baking soda. Citrus juice, yogurt, or sour cream can also accomplish this task. Once your donut cake batter has been mixed, it's time to bake. For the perfect donut-like shape with a hole in the middle, be sure to use a tube cake pan or Bundt pan.

The most fun part of making this dessert is recreating the flavors of your favorite donuts. A classic glazed donut-inspired cake will need some vanilla and sour cream for flavor, and a simple sugar glaze on top completes the look. If you prefer fruitier flavors, recreate blueberry, cherry, jelly-filled, or apple fritter donuts by mixing diced fruits or jam into the batter. A layer of powdered sugar, chocolate ganache, or cinnamon sugar can be a simple way to finish off your bakes. And, of course, a shower of chocolate or rainbow jimmies is always welcome.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.