What is the difference between a cake donut and a yeast-raised donut?

Type of Doughnuts
Doughnuts are fried sweet dough that are either yeast leavened (yeast-raised doughnuts) or chemically leavened (cake doughnuts).

Cake Doughnuts
Cake doughnuts (or cake donuts) are made from sweetened dough that is leavened with baking powder [1], and generally dense and cake-like. A popular type is the traditional doughnut dusted with sugar and cinnamon. Cake doughnuts are versatile that it can be made with different shapes and flavours, and can be filled, iced or glazed.

Yeast-raised doughnuts

Yeast-raised doughnuts are generally made from sweet dough fermented with yeast to obtain its leavening action or expansion. After being fermented, the doughs are sheeted or rolled to the desired thickness and cut out by an automatic cutter. The pieces are made into typical doughnut shapes or rolled into a variety of shapes. Then they go through a proof box and are allowed to rise before frying.[1]

Yeast-raised doughnuts are lighter in texture than cake doughnuts, but because of the proofing time, they take longer to produce.

Comparison of cake donut and yeast-raised donut

1. Weight

In this particular sample of two equal sized donuts, the cake donut weighs heavier than the yeast-raised donut.

2. Texture

The different leavening action produce different textures. The yeast provides more expansion resulting in a more lighter texture.

3. Method and length of cooking

More steps are involved in preparing yeast-raised donuts. Because of time required for fermentation and proofing, it also takes longer to make yeast-raised donuts.

A cake donut, generally, involves a simpler method of preparation. Once mixing and a short rest time (10-15 mins), the batter is ready to use on a donut fryer.

Please click here to view the flowchart of donut production.

4. Shape possibilities

However, cake donuts can only derive its form from the type of plunger or attachment connected to the depositor. The selection is still wide: cake donuts in shapes such as old-fashioned, star, French cruller, krinkle, ball, stick or Long Johns, crescent or dunkerette, in addition to the regular ring and the mini donuts.

While yeast-raised donuts take longer preparation time than cake donuts, it makes it up for the wider variety of shapes it can be formed into, as more elaborate shapes can be cut out from the dough.


1. Lawson, H., Food Oils and Fats, Technology, Utilization and Nutrition. 1995: Chapman & Hall.



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