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Vanilla Bean Donut Cake – a winning recipe

Are you looking for something delicious to eat, special to serve, and simple to make? THIS IS IT!

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This Vanilla Bean Donut Cake brings the beautiful taste of vanilla to the forefront, highlighted with a cinnamon sugar crust. The cake itself is delightfully light – a cake of this texture surely can only be made by a master baker? Not so! You can do this, and you will amaze yourself and your family & friends.

In the past this was my ‘go to’ cake. If I had to make something for an occasion, and didn’t have time to think about something different, I would make this. Why? Because I have total confidence in it to be a winner time wise, and taste wise.

I must have had the time to find and create some different things, because I haven’t made this cake for ages. I was going through some recipes last week, and came across it. It was like seeing a long lost friend. I felt so bad that I’d forgotten about it.

This cake certainly didn’t deserve to be forgotten about.

You see, this cake has never failed. It has never failed to elicit comments and wows from those eating it. It has never failed to rise, or be anything other than it promises to be. It has never failed to have people ask me for the recipe.

And today, my friend, I’m sharing it with you. So you too can present to the world (or at least family and friends) one simple and delicious cake.

Just like my Gingerbread Banana Loaf, this recipe is going to blow your socks off for more than one reason.

  1. It’s delicious
  2. It’s simple
  3. It makes two loafs with the one recipe
  4. You can gift the second loaf or pop in the freezer

Winner winner donut cake.  In fact, this recipe was originally named Vanilla Bean Teacake, but whenever I made it my friends would go “oooh, Megan’s Donut Cake, yum”, so it became known as my donut cake.

Here’s how you’re going to make it;

Vanilla bean donut cake

Megan’s Vanilla Bean Donut Cake

Moist, light as air, vanilla butter cake, topped with cinnamon sugar. Heaven in every delicious mouthful.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course afternoon tea, baking, Dessert, Snack, supper
Cuisine American, english


  • 6 ½ oz butter (185g), softened
  • 2 cups superfine (caster) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar (extra)
  • 1 oz butter (30g), extra


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line the base and sides of two 8.5" x 4.5" loaf tins.
    Put the softened butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour and milk alternately until just combined.
    Spoon evenly between prepared pans and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven.
    Combine the cinnamon and extra sugar in a small bowl. Turn the cakes onto a wire rack and evenly brush with extra butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keyword cinnamon sugar, delicious, vanilla bean, vanilla bean donut cake

Top tips for making your Vanilla Bean Donut Cake;

  1. When beating the sugar, butter and vanilla in the first step, do this for at least 5 minutes. This is the stage where you create the beautiful lightness.
  2. You will always get a better result if your eggs and milk are at room temperature when you begin.
  3. Make sure you’re using a good quality vanilla paste (versus vanilla essence).
  4. Pop a plate under your wire rack when you dust with cinnamon sugar. It’ll collect any sugar that falls off, and you’ll be able to tip it back over them at the end.

Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe have you think it’s anything less than wow.

BUT, because first impressions can count, there is a way you can make an incredible first impression with this cake – use a decorative loaf pan.

 I purchased this beautiful loaf tin to help complement this cake. And it so does! It provides the wow factor that this cake deserves.

Vanilla bean wonder cake aka Megan's donut cake using the beautiful Nordic loaf tin

So there you have it. A beautiful stunner of a cake, that is even more delicious than it looks.

I found this recipe in Notebook magazine (Australia) in 2010 – that’s how long this recipe has been a favourite of ours.

If you’d like the recipe card for your box, make sure you fill in the pop up form, and I’ll send it straight to you.

Happy baking

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I am a participant in several affiliate programs including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you. All linked items are ones that I truly love.

Don’t forget to pin this before you head away.

Vanilla bean donut cake pin


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  1. Megan Lawrence says:

    5 stars
    This truly is a winner

  2. Sue McLeely says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious, it makes two loaves. I made it for a gathering I was having and ladies loved it. Such an easy recipe, and boy was it yummy warm from the oven. I certainly will be making this again.

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