Event · Recipes

Donut party ideas, recipes and favors

Donut you want to know how to throw an epic donut party?

Ok, I’m sorry. That was pretty cheesy.

But seriously, National Donut Day was Friday. And it got me thinking … what better way to celebrate your next special occasion than with a donut party? Here are ideas for invites, decorations, favors and recipes for your next donut party.

For my daughter’s first birthday, I nixed the cutesy monkey, zoo, or baby animal themes that seem to dominate the baby birthday section of most stores. I figured the rest of the crowd would much rather be sinking their teeth into hot, fresh doughnuts. And my daughter would happily swap her graham cracker for a doughnut.

For starters, I combed Pinterest for donut invite ideas. Nothing caught my eye. So I made my own. Here’s a tutorial!

Donut party invites
Make these donut party invites in 7 easy steps.

Then, I searched for decorations. Hobby Lobby has a great section of decorations at reasonable prices. They also had invites if you don’t feel like making your own. Home Goods also had donut party favor cones that I turned into birthday hats with a little curling ribbon and tape.

Donut party
I snagged a bag of donut party decorations at Hobby Lobby.

My crafty sister-in-law made us a donut banner to hang up at the party. It’s become a tradition for her to make banners for each of my girls at all our themed parties and she’s very good at it!

Donut party banner
My sister-in-law made this banner for our donut party.

Then it was time to plan the menu.

Hot, fresh, homemade donuts were a must. But I knew I didn’t want to spend the entire party in front of the stove either. I quadrupled this recipe for Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts and had two batches made before the first guests arrived. I supplemented the homemade doughnuts with some chocolate frosted, jelly and cream filled doughnuts from our local bakery.

Baked Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts
These Baked Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts are unbelievably good. Like so good, you might just eat the entire batch before the party guests arrive.

Guests could also enjoy a cheesy Sausage, Egg and Hashbrown casserole that I could prep the night before and bake right before the party. Hot coffee was a must, as was some fresh fruit to round out the meal. I also had some fruit juices out for the kiddos (with a bottle of bubbly to make mimosas for the adults).

Donut seeds
Guests could grab donut seeds (aka strawberry Cheerios) with or without milk.

And when it was time for the birthday girl to blow out the candles, she had a choice. I went a little crazy and made three donut cakes, thanks to this awesome donut cake mold I found at Hobby Lobby.

donut party
I was going to use a bundt pan to build and shape a donut cake, but am so glad I sprang for the donut cake mold. Absolutely worth it.

I went the semi-homemade route with the cakes, so I wasn’t a total stressball. A box of golden yellow cake mix got an upgrade with a homemade chocolate ganache. A box of strawberry cake got a sweet infusion from a fresh strawberry cream frosting. And a lemon cake mix got a gourmet spin with a lemon-mascarpone frosting that wowed the party guests (recipe below).

Donut party cake
Chocolate ganache and some sprinkles made this donut party cake look like a giant chocolate frosted donut. Here’s the recipe for that satiny, just iced look.
Donut party
The strawberry donut party cake was colorful and flavored with sweet, juicy strawberries. I added more strawberry puree to give this frosting a thinner, pourable consistency.
donut party cake
The Lemon Mascarpone donut party cake was finished off quickly.

Guests loved the cake choices. And they were even happier to find that the Dunkin’ Donut munchkin cases I’d decorated with doubled as party favor boxes. I told everyone to load up their box with donuts before they left.

I was so happy with how everything came out for our donut party. It was an easy theme to plan around and seemed to be a crowd pleaser. I can’t wait to plan the next one!

Try it at home:

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


1 jar lemon curd

1 c. chilled heavy whipping cream

1 (8 oz.) container mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar (adding more until desired consistency is reached)


Mix whipping cream and powdered sugar in a stand mixer until peaks form. In a separate bowl, mix mascarpone and lemon curd. Fold in the whipped cream mixture.

Use this to frost your next lemon cake – donut or otherwise. (Psst….If you have extra, this rich and delicious frosting is amazing on scones!)

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5 thoughts on “Donut party ideas, recipes and favors

    1. Haha! I am trying (and failing) not to get sucked into buying random kitchen tools, but this one was definitely worth it. Easy to bake with and the cakes held their shape.

      Liked by 1 person

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