Sparkly Cake Mix Mini Donuts

Mini donuts with rainbow sprinkles2I’m a sucker for little food. Little bites are so cute and delightful. I especially love little bite size desserts. I also appreciate the time it takes to make them and thus only make them on special occasions. And usually just for my daughter. When I asked my daughter what she wants to bring to her class for her birthday treat she immediately requested donuts. Most people would plan to make a Krispy Kreme run.

I felt ambitious and happen to have a 50% off coupon for JoAnns. I ended up getting the Wilton Mini Donut pan because they had deeper cavities than the other options I found. To save time, I use a local bakery white cake mix for these donuts (for those in Austin I love Make it Sweet Bake Shop). I find their cake mix is denser than boxed cake mixes from the grocery store. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bake shop close to you because you can also jazz up regular cake mix by adding an additional egg, replacing the water with milk, and using melted butter in lieu of the oil. You’ll still follow the instructions on the box to make the mix but just use the suggested substitutions.

To keep the glaze warm I used the Crock Pot Little Dipper that came with my 6-quart Crock Pot. I was in charge of dipping since the glaze did get really warm when you got to the bottom of the pot. Before glazing make sure you have something under the cooling racks for the glaze drippings.

Mini donuts with warm glaze2

These mini donuts don’t taste like the real thing (how can you replace the taste of fried bread) but are perfect for little (and big) kids. They are fun to make with little ones too. They can get their hands dirty and feel like they are a part of the process. My daughter loves helping and I hope to instill a love of baking to her.

Making mini donuts with my helper2

My daughter’s donuts are rustically decorated (a nice way to say messy). My OCD kicked in and glazed the remaining donuts and dipped them into small bowls of sprinkles. They definitely look more like mini donuts with the defined circle of sprinkles.

Mini donuts with purple sprinkles2

The glaze tastes exactly like the glaze from “real” glazed donuts. My favorite sprinkles are the sugar ones. I love the crunch. YUM!

Mini donuts with sugar rainbow sprinkles2


  • Your favorite cake mix, any flavor
  • Sprinkles
  • Vanilla Glaze
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare cake mix as directed on the box.
  3. Spray the mini donut pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Spoon batter into each donut pan cavity (fill each cavity no more than half way). Alternately, transfer the batter into a large plastic storage bag and make a small cut on one corner when ready to pipe the batter. I prefer this method since it is less messy. Make sure your cut is smaller than you think you need so you have control over how much batter comes out of your make-shift piping bag.
  5. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  6. Allow donuts to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. You may need to help them out of the pan with a gentle nudge from a fork.
  7. While waiting for the donuts to cool make the vanilla glaze and cover your decorating area with butcher or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  8. For the vanilla glaze, add the milk, sugar, and vanilla directly to our Crock Pot Little Dipper and stir until everything is combined without any lumps. The mini Crock Pot keeps the glaze warm so you don’t have to rush. I was in charge of dipping and my daughter was in charge of sprinkles. You can also place the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until everything is combined without lumps. The glaze will cover approximately 35-40 mini donuts.
  9. With your cooling racks over the butcher paper (or anything to catch the drips), dip the donuts into the glaze and place back on the cooling rack for your little helper to add the sprinkles.
  10. If you don’t have a little helper, pour the sprinkles in small bowls and dip the glazed donuts. I prefer the look of the dipped donuts since you’ll get even coverage. My little helper preferred the hand sprinkle method.

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