Orange-Olive Oil Cake Donuts Recipe

Whether you enjoy your donuts for breakfast, as a delicious daytime snack, or even a decadent dessert option, these orange-olive oil cake donuts will be right up your alley. There's nothing quite like a glazed donut to kickstart feelings of nostalgia along with sugar cravings, however, homemade donuts can often be tricky, especially if you don't want to handle a pan full of hot oil. That's why baked cake donuts are the perfect solution; light, fluffy, and delectably sweet, these cake donuts take out the dangerous side of donut-making, giving you a whole batch of the delicious ring-shaped treats in under one hour. They also make a great donut option for those following gluten-free diets; just swap out the flour for a gluten-free version, and you've got yourself a celiac-safe treat. 

Recipe developer Jennine Rye has used orange and olive oil to flavor these cake donuts. The classic sweet citrus flavor of orange is enhanced through the addition of cardamom and the rich, complex fruity flavor of the olive oil, which also has the added bonus of creating deliciously moist donuts. Finished off with a glaze made using vanilla seeds straight from the pod, these sweet treats truly are sophistication in donut form. Read on to find out how easy it is to make these orange-olive oil cake donuts at home.

Gather the ingredients for this orange-olive oil cake donut recipe

To begin these orange-olive oil cake donuts, first you will need to gather the ingredients. The dry ingredients you will require are flour, baking powder, salt, ground cardamom, and granulated sugar. You will also want an egg, buttermilk, milk, olive oil, and two oranges to complete the cake donuts. Additionally, you will need confectioner's sugar and a vanilla pod for the glaze.

To finish off these donuts you may want to use store-bought sprinkles or jellied orange segments for decoration. Or, if you are feeling extra crafty you may want to have a go at making your own homemade cake sprinkles.

Start making the batter

To make these cake donuts, you will want to start by preheating the oven to 350 F and lightly greasing a silicone donut mold with a small amount of olive oil. To mix the batter, begin by whisking the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and sugar in a bowl until they are thoroughly mixed. In a seperate bowl, add the egg, the buttermilk, the olive oil, the orange zest, and the orange juice, and whisk until combined. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and then mix them together until your cake donut batter has formed. Mixing the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately before combining them helps to evenly disperse the baking powder, and also helps to prevent over-mixing the batter. This results in the most light and fluffy donut cakes.

Fill the donut mold

When your batter is ready, you can choose to fill your mold one of two ways. The easiest and tidiest way to do this is by transferring the batter to a piping bag with a large round nozzle and then piping the batter into the pre-greased molds. However, if you don't have any piping bags or a large enough nozzle, it is also perfectly acceptable to spoon the cake mixture into the silicone mold. It might be a little messier, but the donuts will still bake beautifully and taste delicious. Either way, it's important to not overfill the mold: fill each space in the mold two-thirds full to achieve that perfectly round donut shape.

When ready, place the donut mold into the oven and allow the cake donuts to bake for 15 minutes until they have risen and spring back to the touch.

Glaze the cake donuts

While the cake donuts cool, it's time to mix the vanilla glaze. Combine the confectioner's sugar with water, along with the seeds from the vanilla pod, to make a delicious vanilla-flavored donut glaze. Then, one at a time dip the cooled orange-olive oil cake donuts into the glaze and set them onto a wire rack to harden. As they will likely drip during this step, it's worthwhile placing a sheet of baking paper under the wire rack for easier cleanup. At this stage, you can choose to decorate your cake donuts if you wish, or you can enjoy them plain. 

Serve them and enjoy or save them for later

Allow your donuts to rest to let the glaze set. Once it has hardened, they're ready to enjoy! Store the cake donuts in an airtight container at room temperature, somewhere cool and dry, and consume them within two days. These donuts can also be frozen to be enjoyed at a later stage.

Orange-Olive Oil Cake Donuts Recipe
5 from 43 ratings
Finished off with a glaze made using vanilla seeds straight from the pod, these orange-olive oil cake donuts truly are sophistication in donut form.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Glazed orange olive oil donuts
Total time: 42 minutes
  • 1¼ cups plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, extra for coating donut mold
  • 2 medium-sized oranges, zested and juiced
  • 2½ cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
Optional Ingredients
  • Sprinkles or jellied orange slices, to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a silicone donut mold with a splash of olive oil.
  2. Add the flour, the baking powder, the salt, the ground cardamom, and the granulated sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the ingredients together.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg, then add the buttermilk, the whole milk the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of the freshly squeezed orange juice. Mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and then mix them together until they are just combined.
  5. Use a piping bag with a large round nozzle, or a spoon, to fill donut molds ⅔ full with the donut batter. Bake for 15 minutes, until the donuts are risen and spring back to the touch.
  6. Allow the donuts to cool and then remove them from the donut molds.
  7. In a small bowl, add the confectioner's sugar along with 4 tablespoons of remaining orange juice or water. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the glaze. Stir well to combine.
  8. One at a time, dip the cooled donuts into the bowl containing the glaze. Add sprinkles or decorations if desired. Set the donuts onto a wire rack glaze-side up to allow the glaze to set.
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