Fresh Cherry Cake Doughnuts

Most so called National Insert Random Noun Here Days are kind of a sham. Sure, it’s great to have any reason to celebrate, but it seems that there are a few to many National Days that are created by lobbiest. I admit, I thought National Doughnut Day was kind of the same thing. Just another way to get you into the doughnut shop (or to buy my book! Shameless self-promotion alert!).

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Not that doughnuts aren’t worth celebrating on their own right, but as it turns out, there’s a little more to this holiday than that. The first US National Doughnut Day was celebrated in 1938, by the Salvation Army, as a way to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers and to raise money to help those in dire circumstances at home during the Great Depression. According to Wikipedia (and, of course if it is on a wiki, it must be true… right, right?):

“About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purvian) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an “instant hit”, and “soon many soldiers were visiting Salvation Army huts”. Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.”

Well, that seems worth celebrating. How about some Fresh Cherry Cake Drop Doughnuts?

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To make your own, simply follow a basic cake doughnut recipe (like the Basic Cake doughnut recipe in Doughnuts), and mix about 10 pitted and chopped fresh cherries into the dry flour mixture before adding the butter, the proceed as normal with the rest of the recipe. For the light pink glaze, I simply squeezed some juice from a handful of cherries and used it in place of the liquid in the standard glaze recipe. A teensy pinch of salt will help bring out the cherry flavor in the glaze.



  • Nicole

    I love cherry doughnuts. Thanks for the little history lesson, I also thought it was just a ploy to sell more doughnuts. I have to ask, where did you get that super cute mug?

    • L

      Thanks Nicole! The mug is from one of my favorite vintage shops in Chicago, Posh. It looks like they still have some as well as some other similar and very cute ones for pancakes!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    They look better than the free donuts Dunkin Donuts is giving away today…by a long shot they look way better :)

  • Belinda @zomppa

    These are delightful and would pop too many in my mouth. A great way to celebrate!

  • Neil Butterfield

    This hurts so much as I want them so badly !!!

  • Allison

    Beautiful! I have been going nuts on fresh cherries lately and this looks like a great way to use them!

  • Recipe contests

    I wish I had come to this site earlier in the week – had no idea it was National Doughnut Day! (I agree with the sham thing, but I’ll take whatever excuse I can to whip up something tasty.) I do a very similar doughnut recipe but with blueberries. I have my mother’s old doughnut rolling pin, so the grandkids and I will do that several time when they come to visit in the summer. We will have to try with cherries next time!

    Take care,

  • Diana @

    I’m dying at how freaking awesome these look & sound. Holy yum!

  • Nicole

    Thanks for the info about POSH. I just placed an order. :)

  • Maureen

    Such cute donuts! I haven’t made donuts for years. You’ve encouraged me to give it a go!

  • Mgl√≤ria


  • CupcakeKiller702

    These immediately caught my eye. They look delish. A moment on the lips, a lifetime in the hips. I am going to get me a pitter tomorrow! ;oP

  • Veronica

    Just acquainted with your amazing blog and work… thank you so much for sharing all this doughnuts inspiration!

  • myfudo

    Gorgeous, dangerous, little bites! “Munchkins” can’t even compare.

  • Mark

    Just got your book. Love it!

    I was hoping to find in it a recipe for buttermilk donuts.

    Do you have a good one that you could post in the future?


  • Le Rocher

    Simply wonderful!!!!

  • Scott at Real Epicurean

    Say doughnuts and I’m there, simple as that!

  • roboconnectfour

    These doughnuts looks so delicious. I think I will make some in the morning!

  • betty

    these look amazing & delicious!

  • rose mary malfatti

    is there anyone out there that knows of a dough machine baker cook book??? i have two i received at christmas but they give you one small booklet, that gives one recipe and nothing about all the glazes and flavor of different frostings !! PLEASE SOMEONE IF YOU HAVE A DONUT MAKER I WOULD APPRECIATE IT!!!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Rose,

      I don’t know if there is a book specific to doughnut machines, but there are a few different homemade doughnut cookbooks (mine included) that will give you lots of recipes for glazes and frosting. My book is called Doughnuts: Simple & Delicious Recipes to Make at Home… although it is currently out of stock on Amazon, more are on the way and you can also find it at places like Sur La Table or Barnes & Noble. There’s also the Top Pot Doughnut book, and one from Williams Sonoma. Any of these will give you new flavors to try with the basic recipe that came with your machine (as well as some new recipes for the dough).