A Cake So Good You Can Literally Feel It: Powdered Donut Cake

I have a weakness for doughnuts, but I also hate the mess and hassle of deep-frying, so I only make baked doughnuts at home. Shauna Sever has a recipe for a "Donut Loaf" in her cookbook Midwest Made that's been on my to-bake list for ages. But while I haven't managed to get to Shauna's recipe yet, I jumped right in to try Yossy Arefi's "Powdered Donut Cake" from Snacking Cakes.
You can make this cake by hand, and you don't even need to wait for butter to soften to make it. You whisk sugar and eggs until foamy; add sour cream, melted butter, freshly grated nutmeg, vanilla, and salt; and add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. You pour the batter into a parchment-lined pan to bake.
You let the cake cool a bit, and while it's still warm, you brush on melted butter and then add the topping of your choice. You can go with straight powdered sugar, or Yossy suggests other variations, including a cinnamon sugar topping and several different flavored glazes. I made two cakes and added powdered sugar to one and cinnamon sugar to the other. Instead of making my own cinnamon sugar (the recipe specifies a sugar to cinnamon ratio of 3:1), I just grabbed a jar of Penzey's cinnamon sugar that I had handy and sprinkled away. 

I waited until the cakes were completly cooled to slice them. It might seem odd, but I could tell the moment I first put my knife into a cake that the texture was perfect. I knew the cake was luxuriously dense and springy just from the sensation of pushing my knife through it. And my first bite confirmed that tactile impression -- the cake was awesome. It was so dense and soft and delicious. I gave a slice to my husband, and he had a similar reaction. Completely unprompted, he said that he could tell from the instant he put his fork into the cake that it was good.
And the cake did in fact taste just like a cake doughnut. My personal preference was for the cinnamon-sugar version, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with the powdered sugar version, aside from the mess it created. However, the powdered sugar cake was definitely did not look great on day two. Much of the sugar had been reabsorbed and I needed to re-powder the cake to make it presentable. The cinnamon-sugar version also needed a touch up on day two but it would have been passable without. 

Honestly, my only criticism of this cake is that there were some large airholes in the crumb. Perhaps I would run a knife through the batter, or bang the pan on the counter before baking, to try and minimize this. But it's a minor quibble. This cake was absolutely as satisfying as a fried doughnut. It was a joy to slice, savor, and share. 
Recipe: "Powdered Donut Cake" from Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi.