Sisters Golden Hair: Surprise!!
Friday Food: Nutella Cupcakes

Friday Food: Rainbow Doughnut Pinatas

Hot pinata This week I have baked using the doughnut trays that came with this month's Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I made the Rainbow Cake with Surprise Filling, which is such a bland name for such colourful (and I mean colourful) cakes. I thought about people without a doughnut tray, and I think you could just use an ordinary muffin or cupcake tray and then cut the centre out to make doughnut shapes. Of course the ring-shaped cakes could be cut from a thin sponge, but the fact that there are no cut edges to ice means there are no crumbs to contend with.

I used the Wilton gel colours I bought on sale at The Spotlight. And let us all pause for a moment and realise that darker colours may, when baked, turn out even darker. Oh well, it is a rainbow cake!!! Ordinarily I would have just used the colours from the supermarket. I also think these would be nice as ombre cakes. Ombre cakes are the Bee's Knees, along with Rainbow cakes.

I weighed my batter and it was a little over 360g, so I spooned 60g into the bowls for each colour- it was about two heaped 20ml tablespoons. I will not deny that these are fiddly to make, and in a way it would be better to be making a larger batch of 12 pinata cakes. You could just use a piping, or ziplock, bag to fill a tray with 6 of the same colour. 

I would recommend making maybe half as much again of the buttercream, so 180 g of butter and 2 1/4 cups of icing sugar mixture. I also added a teaspoon or two of milk as I felt the buttercream was too thick. I read today that you have to trust your gut when you bake, and not just blindly follow the recipe!!!

Also, for an unknown reason, some of my photos are rubbish today. This is not unusual, just annoying!!



Rainbow Doughnut Pinatas     makes 4

  • cooking oil spray to grease, or wipe with some baking paper
  • 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 60g (1/4 cup) melted butter
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • food colouring: yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple
  • M&M, mini or ordinary, or Smarties or whatever you like
  • 100s and 1000s to decorate

For the buttercream

  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter, softened   (I recommend 180g)
  • 1 3/4 cups icing sugar mixture    (I recommend 2 1/4 cups)


Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease the doughnut tins. I don't have oil spray, so poured a little vegetable oil into the tin and then used some kitchen towel/baking paper to grease each hole.

Dry and wet

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the wet ingredients together.


Pour the wet ingredients into a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the cake batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly between 6 small bowls and mix in the colours you like, so that no pale streaks remain.

Yellow orange red

Green blue purple

Spoon the batter carefully into the doughnut tin, 2 of each of the 6 colours. I started with the lightest colour, and to save spoon washing, I then just went to the next colour and mixed the batter from the spoon into the bowl. So, from green to blue eg.

Not washing the spoon

Bake for 12 minutes.

Fill tin

I turned the trays at 6 minutes.

Bake, half baked

I tested them 5 minutes later and they bounced back so they were done. Cool in the tins for 2 minutes and then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Done and cooled

Meanwhile make the buttercream icing. Beat the softened butter for 2 minutes with an electric beater and then add all the icing sugar at once.

Butter and icing sugar

Beat on a slow speed until it is incorporated. Then beat on a high speed for 4 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Mine was not, so I added one, and then another, teaspoon of milk and beat for a further 4 minutes. It was perfect.


I made "hot" and "cool" coloured pinatas: yellow, orange, red and green, blue, purple. Construct the cakes on the plates you plan to use. Try not to get the buttercream on the inside of the doughnuts, for purely aesthetic reasons!! Put a little icing on the base of the first doughnut cake (red), and use this to stick it to the plate. I found that icing the doughnuts before I put them on the stack was much easier. Sandwich the three cakes together: red/orange/yellow, with buttercream icing. I used the top of the cake for the top of the stack as it was flatter than the bottom of the cake- which was rounded.

Ice stack fill

Even the sides of the stack as you look from above and fill the centre with M&Ms. I used orange and yellow for the "hot" cakes and blue and green for the "cool" cakes.

Final icing and topping

Frost the top and sides generously. Use a butter knife, or I used a new clean icy-pole stick, and even off the sides and top. Sprinkle on some 100s and 1000s. Repeat this with the rest of the "hot" doughnut cakes, and the green, blue and purple ones to. You should have four, and then you are ready for the big reveal!!!

Rainbow pinata cakes

These little cakes will not keep very well. Once they are iced they will have a slightly longer life. I watched Ann Reardon, on The YouTube, brush a simple sugar syrup onto some cakes to make them moist, and this could work here with maybe a lemon syrup???



These look great! I bought BHG for the donut tray :)


Made me hungry just looking at the pictures of you making them. They look delicious, I must try them when I get time.


They look like fun :) I like the idea of having a piƱata surprise in them.

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