Emergency Birthday Cake




About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Mart...

Have you ever been camping, or driving through Small Town, USA when you realized that you forgot your travel companion's birthday? Need an Emergency Birthday Cake, but there are no bakeries or bigger grocery stores around? Well have no fear, I'm going to show you how to make an easy no-bake emergency donut layer cake from things available at most truck stops and small corner stores.

(You can thank me for saving the day by posting photos of your trip and cake successes in the comments section below... )

Step 1: Supplies

  • 2 raised donuts* (preferably, one that is glazed with sprinkles)
  • 1 can pre-made frosting
  • paper plates (3 + however many pieces you need to serve)
  • 2 plastic knives
  • birthday candles

*Try and find two donuts that are roughly the same shape/height and as round as possible.

Step 2: Cut 1

Cut the non-frosted donut into four equally thick slices, using one of the plates as a cutting mat.

Step 3: Cut 2

Repeat for the frosted donut, being extra careful to cut the frosted top off evenly. (This will serve as the top of your cake.)

Step 4: Building Your Layers: Part I

Place the bottom slice of the non-frosted donut, cut side up, on one of the paper plates.

Spread a layer of icing on the top using the second plastic knife.

Repeat for the next two layers.

NOTE: You will not be using the top rounded slice of the non-frosted donut. Set it aside for a midnight snack.

Step 5: Building Your Layers: Part II

Continue adding layers using the middle two slices of the frosted donut.

NOTE: You will not be using the bottom rounded slice of the frosted donut. Add this to the midnight snack plate.

Set aside frosted/sprinkled top.

Step 6: Ice Ice Baby

Now carefully cover the sides of the cake with icing until the sides (and top) look even and smooth.

Then take the frosted/sprinkled donut top and place it carefully on top.

Yay! Your emergency cake is now built.

Step 7: Light Their Fire

Add candles, light them, an then SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY setting the dial to 'embarrassment' (= super loudly)!

Step 8: Make a Wish + Serve

Have the lucky birthday boy or girl make a wish and blow out the candles. (FYI: It may be a mini cake, but they get a regular sized wish.)

Then serve up the tiny cake pieces!

I don't know the nutritional value of this creation, but I'd guess that for healthy caloric intake, one tiny piece will do... :)

Happy Emergency Birthdays everyone!

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35 Discussions


3 years ago on Introduction

Really enjoyed this one. Kinda sneaky and I mean that in a good way.


4 years ago on Introduction

I want someone to forget my birthday now. :D


4 years ago on Introduction

Its a great idea, but when would I ever have a donut just laying around? (Can't leave donuts in the cupboard like you can the icing, and if I had them they would get eaten) So if I were to go out and buy a donut, why wouldn't I just go buy a cake xD

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Come to England, spend a day by the sea, remember your friend's birthday at 8 o'clock on a Sunday the evening. Emergency!! :¬D


4 years ago on Introduction

This could be the best Instructable ever!! Yes, I want induction lights for my bicycle, but those will never beat an emergency birthday cake!! I shall make myself several on the day that I remember my own b-day. And this one even has a less fattening center!! :¬D


4 years ago on Introduction

Excellent idea! My wife recently celebrated a birthday and although different members of the family got with her/us to celebrate, the one item missing was a birthday cake. I will make her one of these "Emergency Birthday Cakes" and i'm sure she will be thrilled.


4 years ago on Introduction

maybe if there was leftover/more donuts u could mash it up and add frosting to it then stuff it into the whole or just straight frosting to add a touch? cute def making it in the future

Just4Fun Media

4 years ago

Great idea! I have seen this done with whole wheat bagels and hummus, but donuts and icing are a MUCH tastier option!

Have a great day! :-)

1 reply