Frosted Strawberry Ciambella: (Italian Donut Cake)

Here’s a little story of how this beautiful Frosted Strawberry Ciambella was born. Every close family member gets a homemade cake from mumsy on their birthday (some even get two).

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Now, both my children grew up loving strawberry sprinkle donuts so recently when I asked my daughter what flavor cake she wanted for her birthday she sent me a picture of a box strawberry cake with a can of frosting. 

There is nothing wrong with box cake and canned frosting – you can actually create some fabulous desserts from both by adding your own twist.

But Mamma B a.k.a. Mumsy was not going to make a simple boxed cake with canned frosting for her own daughter’s birthday. That would have been way too easy.  Instead I decided to make a giant Frosted Strawberry Donut Cake with sprinkles. Donut in Italian translates to Ciambella. And so was born my Frosted Strawberry Ciambella: (Italian Donut Cake). It was incredible (if I say so myself).

Che buona!

Special Ingredients/Equipment

10 cup Bundt cake pan

For the strawberry flavor I used Lorann Oils Super Strength Strawberry Flavor (Amazon)

For the Sprinkles I used 365 brand Rainbow Sprinkles from Wholefoods

For the food color I used William Sonoma Red Food Paste

For the cake flour I used King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour



We had the cake the day before my daughter’s birthday and it was good. The day after I brought it to her house again per my grandkids request and it was even better! Once the flavors had time to settle in together and cozy up it was moist and more cake-like. My tip would be to make the cake the day before you have to serve it and leave it at room-temp overnight.

For more Italian recipes visit The Best Of Italian.

Frosted Strawberry Italian Ciambella

Recipe by Bianca DeMasi


  • For The Cake
  • 1 ½ cups organic granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup buttermilk (room temperature)

  • 2 tablespoons full fat plain greek yogurt (room temperature)

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean extract

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup rainbow color sprinkles

  • 3-5 drops red food color (or pink if you have it) 

  • 2 drops super strength strawberry flavor extract

  • For The Glaze
  • 1 ½ cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jam

  • 2 drops super strength strawberry flavor extract

  • 1 drop red food color (or pink if you have it)

  • Rainbow sprinkles


  • Spray your bundt cake pan with non-stick baking spray with flour.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment beat together the granulated sugar and the eggs on medium/high until the mixture is thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes. Add the oil in a slow drizzle until well combined. Add the vanilla bean extract, strawberry flavor extract, buttermilk and yogurt and mix until thoroughly combined. Turn mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients to the wet mixtures one heaping tablespoon at a time until just combined (do not overmix or the cake will be tough). Turn the mixer off, add sprinkles and pulse until just combined.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the pan and level off.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
  • My Connecticut oven runs hot so I usually need the lesser amount of time.  My Newport Beach oven cooks more in the back than the front so I always turn my baked goods 180 degrees ¾ of the way through the cooking time to ensure even coloration.
  • When the cake is done, let it rest on a wire rack for ten minutes.  Then run a thin knife around the edges and the middle to loosen the cake from the pan.  Invert the cake onto the wire rack and let cool completely.  I always place a kitchen towel under the wire rack to absorb any condensation moisture from the cake, otherwise I risk that the moisture rises back into the cake and ends up having a soggy bottom cake.
  • Once the cake is fully cooled, mix all the icing ingredients in a bowl and pour evenly over the cake top and let the icing drip over the sides and the middle to resemble a donut dipped in icing. 
  • Shake some of your sprinkles onto the cake and wah la! Cover the cake with a cake dome until you’re ready to serve. The cake tastes a lot better the day after it’s baked because the flavors have a chance to meld together.

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