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Doughnut cake, filled with custard, and topped with chocolate ganache.

Doughnut Cake

Heather Smoke
This doughnut cake is made with fluffy, glazed yeast doughnuts, layered with vanilla custard and buttercream, and topped with dark chocolate ganache.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 9 large doughnuts
  • 1 recipe vanilla bean custard
  • 1 recipe vanilla buttercream (x3)
  • 4 oz good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz heavy whipping cream
  • toffee bits, sprinkles, flaked coconut, etc, for garnish


Getting Ready

  • Make 1 recipe Vanilla Bean Custard. You should make the custard the day before, so you can chill it first.
  • Make 3x the recipe for Perfect Buttercream.
  • Make the ganache, right before you're ready to assemble the cake. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Warm the cream in a saucepan over low heat, just until it simmers around the edges.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir until smooth and shiny.


  • Cut 6 of the doughnuts in half for a total of 12 halves. Keep 3 doughnuts whole.  There will be 3 layers of cake, each with 1 whole doughnut and 4 halves.
  • Place a whole doughnut in the center of a 10-inch cake board, using a little buttercream under the doughnut to adhere it to the cake board.  Arrange 4 halves around the sides.  Spoon 1/3 of the chilled custard into all the cracks and crevices.  Sprinkle with some of the coconut, toffee bits, or whatever topping you’re using for texture and crunch.  Pipe 1/3 of the buttercream on top of the doughnuts.
  • Repeat with a 2nd and 3rd layer of doughnuts, custard and buttercream.
  • Pour the ganache over the top, letting it drip over the sides.  Top with the coconut or other toppings before the ganache sets.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
  • This cake is best served the same day it’s assembled, since doughnuts become rather stale after a day or two, but it’s still good the second day, since the custard will keep the doughnuts moist.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate Ganache, Custard, Doughnut
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