Cake/ Desserts/ Muffins & Pastries

Baked Vanilla King Cake Donuts

Here I am on my baked donut kick again!  These donuts are inspired by the King Cake traditionally served during Mardi Gras.  Just in case you missed Mardi Gras, which ended yesterday, we can celebrate today with these donuts.  Because I am obviously a little late in sharing my Mardi Gras inspired recipe.  These donuts have a special filling that I know you will love any day or time of the year…whether it’s Fat Tuesday or not!  And what is a King Cake?  Read on for some fun facts, and to find out what makes these donuts stand out!

I have never been to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, and I am not sure I really would want to.  Huge crowds aren’t really my thing.  I would love to go to New Orleans, any other week other than Mardi Gras, to go site seeing and eat my way through the city though!  Someday maybe.  But until then…we can celebrate quietly at home while enjoying some Baked Vanilla King Cake Donuts.  So what is a King Cake?  The King Cake is oval shaped, which symbolizes the unity of faiths, and is decorated with purple sugar to represent justice, green sugar representing faith and gold (yellow) sugar representing power.  Usually a small plastic baby is baked into the cake to symbolize the baby Jesus (I left that part out of my donuts).  If you get the baby in your piece of cake, then you get to buy the King Cake for next years celebration.  And Mardi Gras?  It’s French for Fat Tuesday, which reflects the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual of fasting for Lent.

Whew.  That was a lot of religious history.  Bringing me back to my Religious Studies course I took in college!  Ok but really?  Donuts!  And since these donuts are baked, I think they are perfect for eating the day after Fat Tuesday.  Which I have now named Skinny Wednesday, since we got (healthier) baked donuts to eat.  Ya with me?!  🙂  I was inspired by the traditional King Cake recipes I found and took a spin off of those traditional recipes, to come up with a fun filling for these donuts.

You will need a donut pan to make these…and this recipe makes just six donuts.  Skinny Wednesday, remember?

I used my Vain Tongan Vanilla Extracted in Orange Spirits for these donuts.  And I could not stop smelling the extract in the bottle.  It is heavenly.  And I have good news for my readers here in Modesto!  I recently spoke with the owner of Vain Extracts, and Kate told me that they are now selling their extracts at Sciabica’s & Sons Shop, 2150 Yosemite Boulevard, Modesto!  I will be heading there this week to go check out the goods 😉  You can buy Vain extracts online too though!

Put your donut batter in a ziplock bag, fashioned like a pastry bag, to evenly disperse the batter into the donut cavities.  Just cut off a corner of the bag when you are ready to fill the donut pan up!  Ahhhh…and the yummy filling.  A sweet surprise when you bite into these donuts.

Fill the donut cavities just 1/3 full of batter…we need to leave room for the filling and then top it off with more donut batter.

I might have added a bit too much filling…I scaled back the filling recipe in half for you guys though, because when I made it originally, I had way too much filling.  And a ton leftover.  So the recipe below should yield the perfect amount of filling for your donuts!

Top donuts off with the remaining batter…covering the filling completely!

Bake these babies up.  And donuts baking in the oven smell amazing.  It’s that nutmeg.  Mmmmmm.

Baked Vanilla King Cake Donuts

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 10-minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vain Tongan Vanilla Extracted in Orange Spirits
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vain Tongan Vanilla Extracted in Orange Spirits



Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Spray a donut pan with baking spray and set aside.




In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the butter and oil, white sugar and brown sugar. Stir until combined and creamy. Stir the vanilla extract into the sugar mixture. Add the egg and stir until combined with the sugar mixture. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg to the wet ingredients. Stir slowly while adding the milk to the mixture. Mix until just combined. Set aside.




In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, flour and raisins. Stir until combined. Pour melted butter into the bowl and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.




In a large ziplock bag, scoop all of your donut batter into the ziplock bag, on one side (like a piping bag). Cut off the corner of your ziplock bag big enough to pipe the batter into the donut pan. Pipe batter into each donut cavity, only filling 1/3 of the way full. Use a spoon to spoon the King Cake filling evenly onto the batter. Gently press the filling into the batter. Pipe remaining donut batter on top of the filling, covering the filling completely.


Bake in 425-degree oven for 10-minutes. Remove the donut pan from oven, and once donuts have somewhat cooled and set, transfer the donuts to a wire rack to finish cooling.




In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the powdered sugar to the melted butter and stir. Add hot water a tablespoon at a time to the mixture, until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in vanilla extract. Dunk cooled donuts in the glaze and immediately top with sanding sugar or sprinkles.


If you want to skip a step, or hate raisins and nuts, then you can totally leave out the filling and just make a yummy vanilla donut. Bake time is the same. Donuts are best enjoyed the same day as the are made, but they will stay fresh 2-3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Once your donuts have cooled, dip them in your glaze and add sprinkles or sanding sugar!  So not only am I late posting a Mardi Gras recipe, but I went to add the yellow sprinkles to my donuts to find that out of all the sprinkles I have, the only sprinkles I was completely out of was…….can you guess?  Yellow.  So I added yellow food coloring to the glaze to get that yellow color on there.

Happy Skinny Wednesday!





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I have linked this recipe up at the following link parties: What’s Cookin Wednesday, Funtastic FridayMeal Plan MondayWeekend PotluckFriday FrenzySugar and SpiceThe Pin Junkie


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