I love cake doughnuts; they are my favorite type of ‘nut. To say that I love them indiscriminately, though, would be inaccurate. I can take or leave an average cake doughnut, but a well-made example is practically a work of art. I especially enjoy the chocolate-frosted (but not double chocolate!) variety, but would happily eat a (dozen) plain just the same. That’s a sign of a great doughnut.
Frosting on cake doughnuts, as you may have inferred, is nearly always a welcome addition. Again, chocolate wins the day here, but caramel, vanilla, pumpkin, etc make for acceptable substitutes. It’s important that the frosting be just on the verge of being a shell; so that it crumbles a bit as you’re eating it and isn’t gooey enough to dirty your hands.
From here we can proceed to garnishes like nuts, sprinkles, or coconut. Again, these are welcome (but not critical) components – the additional texture just makes for a more satisfactory experience, in my opinion.
But no glaze! That’s where I draw the line, and a doughnut with glaze is like a sundae with so many toppings you can no longer tell where the ice cream is. At that point it’s no longer a doughnut so much as a glaze delivery system. Glaze an average cake doughnut says “well, this is the best we can do”, and on a great doughnut it’s just a travesty.