Add a DIY Donut Bar to Your Next Party

DIY Donut Bars, they are still popping up all over Pinterest.  Why? Because they are wonderfully delicious, super simple, and are so much fun!!! They are being used at weddings receptions, brunches, baby showers, graduations and birthday parties.  I did a DIY donut bar two years ago for my mom’s 60th birthday and I don’t know why I didn’t think of sharing it earlier because it was really easy to put together.  Although even then donut bars were all over Pinterest, I didn’t do it because everyone else seemed to be, I did it because I knew my mom would love it!  She has told me a story a few times about the fresh donuts on Friday mornings that were served in her dorm cafeteria.  Not only did they serve fresh hot donuts but had a bucket of  frosting to spread on top.   My mom has one of biggest sweet tooths that I know of,  so she would skip class sometimes just to make sure she made it for fresh donuts and frosting!  Anyway I had to recreate this special treat for her and a DIY donut bar seemed like the perfect way!  

Donut Bar for birthdays, baby showers, weddings & graduations

 DIY Donuts with toppings: cinnamon & sugar, cookie crumbs, sprinkles, candy, cereal & coconut

WHAT YOU NEED for a diy donut bar: 


I went to my local ordinary donut shop and asked them for a few dozen un-glazed raised donuts.  I choose the raised as opposed to the cake donuts, because I didn’t want them to be too heavy and filling, so the guests would have room for 2nds and 3rds.  Un-glazed so we could add our own frosting to them.  Most donut shops don’t normally sell un-glazed raised donuts, so I just ordered them ahead of time and it was no probably.  However the sweet woman at the donut store couldn’t understand my I would want plain un-glazed donuts but after I explained to her my plan she was happy to make them for me.

Donut toppings for a DIY donut bar for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, graduations.


This is the fun part, anything and everything goes.  Sprinkles, cereal, nuts, coconut, bacon, candy, chocolate chips, cinnamon & sugar, cookie crumbles, and list goes on.  I did a total of 9 toppings: cinnamon & sugar, coconut flakes, fruity pebbles, chopped peanuts, crushed Oreo’s, rainbow sprinkles, crushed butterfingers, chocolate chips & chocolate jimmies.  I tried to accommodate different tastes but mostly they are some of my mom’s favorites.  Having 9 different toppings was plenty of options, you probably could get away with less.  When considering quantities of the toppings you’ll need more of bigger items liked chopping up candy bars because people will naturally use more of them to cover their donut then they would use to cover it with sprinkles.  

Toppings for donut birthday party


These should be on the smaller side, there is no need to go through the expense of filling mixing bowls with sprinkles unless you are serving a few hundred people.  What bowls or trays you choose can be used to tie in the theme and colors of the rest of your party.  I used clear plastic divided trays because I wanted the toppings to really be the center piece, so the trays just disappeared.  


You will need to determine what type of serving utensil is important for each topping, either a spoon or small tongs.  The frosting will also need some sort of spreaders, even butter knives will work.  One thing you may want a few spreaders in each frosting, people can be a little slow sometimes at spreading, so allowing two or three people at a time to spread will help to prevent long waiting times.  


You could really get crazy here with as many frostings as toppings, white, chocolate, caramel, cream cheese, orange, and the list goes on.  However just one would be just as good with all the toppings to choose from.  I choose to to do two flavors: buttercream (my mom’s absolute favorite) and chocolate.  I recommend making your own frosting for your DIY donut bar because it really is less expensive and tastes sooo much better than canned frosting in my opinion.  Also you can easily make the frosting a day of time and keep in the refrigerator.  If you have never made frosting before don’t worry it is really simple to do.  My go to buttercream recipe is Wilton’s Buttercream Frosting recipe,    If you aren’t a baker don’t be intimidated by  using a mixer or if you don’t have one, its no big deal it takes a little more arm work to get the frosting smooth but it’s simple.  

An extra tip


My mom’s birthday party was in May in California but it turned out to be a very warm day.  I had the table set up under a shaded canopy and the party started late in the afternoon, so I didn’t think chocolate would be a probably.  I was so wrong, because it was late in the afternoon, the sun came right under the canopy and by the end of party the chocolate chips were one big melted clump!  So try to think ahead of the temperature or wind and plan accordingly.  However you can try and it still might not work out, like it didn’t for me. Really in the scheme of things melted chocolate chips was not the end of the world, mother nature is what she is and your guests will understand.  

Have fun creating your DIY donut bar!  My mouth is watering after writing this, these donuts are so yummy and delicious!!!!  I think I need to come up with another excuse to use a donut bar again!  

If this has helped you in any way in creating your DIY donut bar, please tag  your photos @SweetLaneEvents so I can see your beautiful creations!  

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