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Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze

These baked doughnuts are flavored with lots of delicious spices and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze.

This recipe for Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze was originally developed for Clabber Girl, where I am a paid contributor.

Happy fall, everyone! This is my favorite time of year, with its cool days, changing leaves, and great clothes. It won’t be long until you’ll find me in our neighborhood park taking endless photos of leaves and sipping a hot chocolate, all while wearing some new favorite scarf, sweater, and boots.

And, of course, I love fall baking. Besides the obvious apples and pears, there are some flavors that I tend to associate with fall. One of my favorite fall flavors is actually a combination of flavors, specifically spices. Combine some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc., and I’m positively giddy. I just love adding those great fall spices to all kinds of things.

In fact, one of my favorite things is just a simple spice cake. So, I thought I would take the idea of a spice cake and turn it into doughnuts. You wouldn’t believe how good my apartment smelled when I was baking these. I really expected the neighbors to track the scent to my door and start demanding samples.

Delicious fall spices make these Spice Cake Doughnuts irresistible!

Then, I topped each one in a simple vanilla glaze to add a little extra sweetness. I used one of my favorite ingredients, vanilla bean paste, for the glaze. If you prefer to use a vanilla bean, I’ve included info on how to do that in the recipe. Or, if you just have vanilla extract, it’s a straight substitution. You will, however, miss out on those lovely vanilla specks!

I baked these in my doughnut pan, which I must confess I don’t use nearly as much as I should. Being able to bake homemade doughnuts so simply is both good and bad. Good because hello, doughnuts. Bad because it’s so tempting to make batches and batches of them. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, don’t let that hold you back from making these beauties. Although I’ve not tried it, I believe these would work just fine in muffin pans.

I have to tell you that we absolutely loved these little guys. They have such a wonderful flavor and texture. And that sweet vanilla glaze gives them just enough extra sweetness to make them pretty perfect. These doughnuts are a great weekend treat. Or for all you coffee drinkers out there, I bet one of these would be just lovely with a cup of your favorite coffee.

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Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Yield 6 doughnuts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Delicious fall spices make these Spice Cake Doughnuts irresistible!

These baked doughnuts are flavored with lots of delicious spices and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze.


For the doughnuts:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*


To make the doughnuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 6-cavity doughnut pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of sour cream. Mix just until combined. Batter will be thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among doughnut pan cavities, filling each almost full.**
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of a doughnut comes out clean.
  7. Allow doughnuts to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove doughnuts to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make the glaze:

  1. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and vanilla bean paste. Add more milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  2. Dip each cooled doughnut into the glaze and place glaze side up on a cooling rack to allow glaze to set.


*You can substitute seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean. **You’ll use 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter for each doughnut. They need to be filled almost to the top to get the classic doughnut shape when baked. Don’t worry if you have a bit of batter remaining.

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    11 Comments on “Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze”

  1. Cinnamon sugar cake donuts are my favorite. I think these sound just as good!

  2. I bet this has a nice clean taste!

  3. Just made them. They are easy to make, delicious and the house smells wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love these doughnuts with all those warm spices, and that vanilla bean glaze sounds like the perfect topping! 🙂

  5. These look incredible. Love those vanilla flecks!

  6. sent you an email. just want to make sure it didn’t go into your junk mail. please let me know you received.

  7. I’m shocked I didn’t smell these all the way from Manhattan! I kind of wish I had…I would have come knocking at your door!

  8. I just made these, and must have done something wrong because they never rose or browned even after 15 min.Disappointing 🙁

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