It’s February 29th! Happy Leap Year! Let’s celebrate this once-every-four year occurrence with a giant donut cake. I bought these cake pans at Williams-Sonoma a few years ago and decided to finally put them to use. I’m not sure if WS still sells the pan, but if they don’t, I bet you could find one on eBay or Bed Bath and Beyond. I’ve always been a fan of oversized or undersized novelty items. A giant donut? YES PLEASE!
Giant Donut Cake
Recipe source: Williams-Sonoma
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
1. Have all the ingredients (except the hot water) at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour both halves of a giant donut cake pan.
2. To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and tap the pans on the countertop to eliminate any air bubbles. Spread the batter up the sides of each pan so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
6. Set the rack over the cakes, invert the pans onto the rack and lift off the pans. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.
7. To assemble, return both halves of the cooled cake to the pans. (This is easily done by placing the pans over the cake halves and inverting the rack onto the pans.) Level the cakes by using a serrated knife to gently saw off the part of each half that rose above the edge of the pan; discard the scraps. Remove the cakes from the pans. Place one cake half, cut side up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; place the other half, cut side down, on top.
8. To make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the top pan of the double boiler, combine the butter and chocolate chips and heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water until combined. Pour the glaze over the cake all at once in one layer and immediately decorate with colored sprinkles. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving the cake.