8 Easy Desserts That Start With Store-Bought Doughnuts

dessert made with donut, whipped cream, and marmalade
Photo: lutzflcat

Doughnuts aren't just for dunking anymore. These clever recipes transform store-bought doughnuts into something totally new — and even more decadent. Scroll through to see how to use leftover doughnuts to make semi-homemade recipes for bread puddings, trifles, cake pops, and more. Many of these sweet and savory recipes are even better with stale doughnuts; talk about a clever way to upcycle leftovers and cut down on food waste!

01 of 09

Cider Donut Bread Pudding

Make the most of day-old cider doughnuts in this fall-inspired, ultra-easy bread pudding. Apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup offer ample autumnal vibes. Even if you don't follow the instructions exactly, the results will be delicious, according to Allrecipes home cook dgessner. "I didn't have cider doughnuts but I did use pumpkin doughnuts, and it was fantastic. I drizzled it with caramel sauce instead of the maple syrup and it was awesome!"

02 of 09

Coffee and Doughnuts Icebox Cake

Why choose between coffee and dessert after dinner when you can enjoy both in one package? This ice cream and chocolate doughnut dessert is packed with flavor courtesy of instant coffee-scented cream. It's one dessert recipe that's actually better when you make it ahead: Freeze for at least two hours before slicing and serving for best results.

03 of 09

Campfire Pineapple Cakes

closeup of Campfire Pineapple Cakes with a slice of pineapple sandwiched between two halves of a sliced doughnut
Matt Wencl

"I first made it at Girl Scout camp when I was 7 and have made it on every camping trip since," says recipe creator Sillyconniegirl, who says this cake doughnut creation tastes remarkably similar to pineapple upside-down cake — just with far less effort. A pinch of brown sugar is all you need to score the tempting caramelized fruit vibes.

Tip: No campfire is required to whip up this doughnut dessert. You can also cook it on a grill or in the oven.

04 of 09

Donut Trifle

"Necessity is the mother of invention," the old saying goes, and it certainly rings true for this recipe that was created to use up stale leftover cake doughnuts. Slice them into bite-sized pieces to stack between layers of creamy vanilla pudding — that's easy too, thanks to a box of pudding mix! — and whatever seasonal fresh fruit you have handy.

05 of 09

Strawberry Peach Parfait

Whether for breakfast or dessert, you can't go wrong with this 10-minute treat. In addition to being easy, you can make it totally unique every single time. Start with any flavor of store-bought doughnut, sliced into bite-sized pieces. Then alternate small layers of the baked good bites with your favorite flavor and style of yogurt (Greek, regular, plant-based; this is your party!), and a little or a lot of chopped fresh fruit.

06 of 09

Cake Pops

homemade Cake Pops decorated with white chocolate drizzle, mini chocolate cookies, and candy sprinkles on popsicle sticks
IrishMom Luvs2Bake

Most cake pop recipes feature a filling of crumbled up cake pieces mixed with icing. Why not let the store do the baking step for you and trade in plain doughnut holes? Slide in a lollipop stick ($6.59 for 100; Amazon.com) and decorate as desired to match the season or party theme. "This is so much better than making the cake and mixing the icing. It was so hard to make the cake balls perfectly round before dipping," admits Allrecipes community member Flychick. "What a great idea this is!"

07 of 09

Doughnut Bread Pudding

Orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and almond flavors permeate this quick and customizable dish you can serve for brunch or dessert. "Just about any kind of raised yeast doughnuts work, except for jelly. Apple fritters are even good. I sometimes use a combination of cinnamon, glazed, sugared doughnuts and apple fritters for an interesting combination," suggests Allrecipes home cook EMERALDCITYJEWEL, who created this easy "bread" pudding.

08 of 09

Orange Surprise

With reviews like "This was fantastic and so, so simple! I made it for a dinner get-together with friends and everyone raved about it," and "very quick and easy and almost elegant in its presentation," you'll wish you discovered this 10-minute store-bought doughnut creation sooner. To try it yourself, simply top any flavor of doughnut (the recipe creator suggests buttermilk if you can find it) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a spoonful of orange marmalade, and a splash of orange liqueur. Finish with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

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