Doughnuts are already over the top – it’s fried dough covered in sugar after all – but I wanted to see if I could make doughnuts OTTT (over the top…top), so here they are in cake format. This is one of those things you didn’t know you wanted until you saw it staring back at you, and I can’t help but make Homer Simpson drooling noises at the idea of it. I based this recipe off of a Boston cream pie and ice box cake. Pastry cream is the main binder and the doughnut cake sits overnight to bind everything together to make it sliceable. It’s delicious, it’s silly, and it goes best with boozy coffee – obviously. Enjoy!
16 yeast doughnuts, cut in half, horizontally
1 recipe pastry cream (recipe below)
3 cups jelly
Take four of the halved doughnuts and cut again, vertically, into quarters, creating 32 wedges total.
On a large cake plate, arrange 6 bottom halves onto the plate. Take 8 bottom wedges and fill in any gaps between the halves. Drizzle with as much jelly as you like, then top with pastry cream. Top with 6 top doughnut halves, plus 8 top wedges. Layer with jelly and pastry cream, and repeat with the next layer of 6 doughnut bottom halves, wedges, filling, and ending with the top halves. You should have 3 layers of pastry cream and jelly. You can serve as is, but for smoother slicing, place the cake in the fridge to rest overnight. Serve from fridge and enjoy.
INGREDIENTS (PASTRY CREAM)
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Warm the half and half in the saucepan until steaming, careful that it doesn’t boil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the dry ingredients. This will form a thick, sandy paste. Pour a little of the hot half and half into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the half and half slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously.
When all the half and half has been added to the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan. Set a strainer over a bowl nearby.
Set the pan back over medium heat, whisking constantly. When it has thickened to a loose pudding-like consistency, pause whisking to see if the cream has come to a boil. If large bubbles pop on the surface (watch out, they splash quite a bit) the cream is ready to remove from heat.
Stir the vanilla into the pastry cream and then pour everything through the strainer set over the bowl. Stir to push it through the strainer. This will catch any bits of cooked egg and the lemon peel that are in your pastry cream.
Cover the pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right up against the surface of the cream – this will prevent a skin from forming – and chill completely. When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, and fold into the pastry cream.