Doughnuts, pretty much everyone can agree, are delicious. Whether you like yours filled with creme, cake-based, dough-based, powdered, glazed or sprinkled, these sugary treats are delightful. But did you know that doughnuts can also be weird? Like, really, really weird? Doughnuts are experiencing an explosion of creativity, with oddball flavor and food combinations that might surprise you and even replace your favorite old reliable. Here are 20 of America’s most creative doughnuts.
Most oddball doughnuts are sweet, but Gourdough’s in Texas makes some unusual savory doughnuts, including a whole series of baked goods based around cream cheese icing (for example, the Sin a Bomb with cream cheese icing and melted butter and cinnamon sugar). But the specialty category really takes it up a notch. The Squealing Pig is a doughnut with bacon, cream cheese icing and strawberry jalapeno jelly. Just the last ingredient alone is a headscratcher!
Over at Campbell, California’s Psycho Donuts, it’s not just the names of the confections that are odd, but it’s also the flavors. There’s a Raspber Ry Pucker, with cheesecake icing and “real raspberry dust.” The Cereal Killer appears to have cereal on the crust. And there’s the Kooky Monster, which satisfies two sweets cravings at once: doughnuts and Oreo cookies. Yum!
The aptly named Rebel Donut, this Alburquerque, New Mexico shop has the “usuals” for folks who want to live the straight and narrow. But for those who are breaking bad, they can get the Blue Sky (Breaking Bad) doughnut, named after the show, which was filmed in town, and made with vanilla cake, blue cotton candy icing and rock candy crust. (Blue Sky was the name of the ultra-pure, uh, product, Walt and Jesse made, for those unfamiliar with the show).
It seems that doughnut makers are obsessed with a certain era of bad-for-you-but-delicious-cereal from their childhoods. Behold this doughnut dipped in vanilla icing and covered with Fruity Pebbles, which is available at Doughology, a Long Island, New York-based shop.
Well, it says right there what kind of doughnuts they are—strange! How strange? At Strange Donuts, you could get a classic glazed doughnut, but why do that when you can order something called Grasshopper Steve or Green Hawaiian Punch from this Missouri-based business?
Voodoo Doughnuts has stores in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, California and Texas. Their tagline is, “Good things come in pink boxes.” They specialize in unique designs and employ the help of their “doughnut” artists to create something you love to order. Or you can just pick from one of their creatively designed and named specialties like Viscous Hibiscus or Oh, Captain, My Captain (made with actual Cap’n Crunch cereal).
The Great Maple
You’ve heard of chicken and waffles, but have you heard of The Great Maple’s chicken and doughnuts? The doughnut itself is a great combination of flavors–bacon and maple syrup– but pairing it with fried chicken as a combo is genius. There are a few places around the country that put these two together, but this Pasadena spot’s merging of maple bacon doughnuts and fried chicken looks amazing.
I’m not sure about you, but when I think about doughnut flavors, “zucchini” is not at the top of my list. But Dynamo Donut, a San Francisco-based doughnut shop, is known for its specialty goods (it’s got lots of vegan and gluten-free sweets). So, it’s not surprising they’d have something called the Zucchini Oat, which is made of zucchini and nutmeg spice dough and topped with nutmeg glaze, toasted oats and powdered sugar.
“Welcome to Donut Heaven!” beckons the homepage of DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, California. DK’s is home to the double decker O-nut, which is a croissant/doughnut hybrid. The Double Decker O Nut Galaxy is a vanilla-coated icing confection with gold sprinkles on top of a mashup of doughnut and croissant.
Pop Pasta, a Brooklyn shop, boasts that it’s home of the original spaghetti doughnut, as if there are many other places doing this! The doughnuts are more like doughnut-shaped spaghetti pies, with baked pasta, difference sauces and cheeses, bound together with egg and press into a convenient doughnut shape. You’ll recognize classic pastas like carbonara and mac and cheese. To make it really weird, I’d go with a vodka doughnut.
Donut Taco Palace
Yes, you read that right. In steep competition with Pop Pasta for weirdest mashup of doughnut and regular food, Donut Taco Palace is a doughnut-taco confection created in Austin, Texas. You no longer have to choose between a doughnut or a taco (because apparently that was a choice people had to make…). You can now get them both at the same time! Or you can get an all-meat doughnut with taco with cheese, which features fried dough instead of a taco. The combo is so unusual that there’s even a song by Shinyribs about the place.
Blue Star Donuts
Billing itself as “donuts for adults,” Blue Star Donuts is an Oregon-based chain that puts a foodie spin on the humble doughnut and specializes in unusual combinations. Popular items include the Blueberry Bourbon Basil doughnut, the Passionfruit Cocoa Nib (made with a glazed brioche ring, topped with passion fruit and a dash of cayenne and cocoa bits) and the Grapefruit and Smoke Paprika, a buttery-citrus combo that uses a grapefruit juice glaze topped with smoked paprika.
The Doughnut Project
Experimental is the name of the game at The Doughnut Project, a NYC-based doughnut palace. Best known for their everything doughnut, this is a spin on the Everything bagel, making it a mashup of sweet and savory. On the savory side, you have the topping: sesame seeds, poppy, pepitas roasted with garlic and sea salt. On the sweet side, you have a cream cheese glaze covering the doughnut. Another intriguing option is Those Beetz are Dope, a house favorite that’s glazed with beet and filled with ricotta.
Billed as “the enlightened donut,” Fönuts offers faux doughnuts (get it?) that are baked, never fried, and gluten-free, with some vegan versions. The flavor combos are bold, such as olive oil raspberry and blueberry earl grey. Others like peanut butter chocolate are familiar pairings but not necessarily found on your run-of-the-mill doughnuts.
Tom and Chee
What if a grilled cheese sandwich was made with a mild glazed doughnut instead of bread? That’s the philosophy behind the Famous Grill Chee Donut from Tom and Chee, an Ohio-based restaurant. Judging from the photos, it’s like a grilled cheese sandwich on steroids.
Another doughnut shop that uses gluten-free baked, not fried, doughnuts, Mokiko Donuts, a Portland favorite, went from pop up shop to select grocery stores around the country. The unorthodox flavors rotate. Current eyebrow raising flavors include passionfruit curd filled, ube and Li Hing Mui (a creamy, Philippine sweet potato with tangy li hing powder) and a Thai tea and condensed coconut milk combo.
TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth
TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth is an Indianapolis doughnut shop that combines the best of two worlds–ice cream and doughnut–for a made-to-order ice cream doughnut sandwich. You get a warm glazed doughnut filled with the ice cream and toppings of your choice. You can choose from specialty toppings like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Oreo, Fruity Pebbles and Lucky Charms.
At what point is a doughnut not really a doughnut, but something else entirely? Guru Donuts, a Boise, Idaho shop, makes vegan and gluten-free doughnut (as well as “regular” treats), and specializes in a potato doughnut that’s made with potato flour. They also have a specialty raised doughnut, which looks like an exploding croissant. (Current flavors include Boston Cream and Whinnie the Pooh.)
Kamal Grant’s Sublime Doughnuts in Atlanta has many “regular” doughnuts on offer, but some of their more offbeat flavors include S’mores, salt and vinegar, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Most intriguing is the salt and vinegar, made with a balsamic vinegar reduction and a salted caramel glaze to give it that perfect savory-sweet combo.
Say what? Dunkin’? Yes, the beloved store has entered the modern age and is offering more than the traditional maple bar, chocolate glazed and powdered doughnuts. They’ve got a Matcha-dusted doughnut, they are offering vegan doughnuts in some locations, and they have oddball items like the sour cream doughnut and the Peanut Stick in certain regions.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.