POWER RANKINGS: The Top Three Donut Types (THE DEFINITIVE LIST)

August 5, 2015 | By | Comments (8)
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Photo: Scott Suchman

On Wednesday mornings, our editorial staff meets to discuss top-secret things (hint: most of these things will arrive in your mailbox later this year, in the form of a glossy magazine packed with reported stories and beautiful photographs). Unfortunately, today that meeting was complicated by an overstuffed box of Dunkin’ Donuts donut holes—all flavors represented—sitting in the middle of our conference table.

BEFORE I CONTINUE, LET US NOTE I’m in strong favor of the spelling “donut.” So that’s what we’re working with here. If you’re a “doughnut” purist, let’s hear it in the comments.

I spent far too long staring at the box, trying to decide which flavors were worth the expendable calories—Chocolate glazed? Jelly? Powdered sugar? Is that one cinnamon sugar or just kind of burnt?

Desperate to decide and to validate my own list of favorites—don’t worry, said list comes below—I reached out to friends. And by that, I mean I tweeted about it.

To which I received a less-than-robust response (i.e. ZERO). So I tried again, using the day’s most popular hashtag.

Still nothing! I suppose underwear and donuts repel each other like oil and water. So I simply went to work on my own list.

While I think the list below is utterly definitive, my editor says I have to state that I don’t speak on behalf of Southern Living or any other human being aside from myself.

That said, I can’t imagine any sane person disagreeing with this list. But if you do, let’s hear it: What are your top three donut types? Sound off in the comments, ladies and gents.

Donuts

THE DEFINITIVE LIST

1. CHOCOLATE GLAZED: This seems incredibly obvious to me, though the opinion has been met with rolled eyes and strangely exasperated sighs. Look, people like chocolate. And the plain glazed is a staple. Why wouldn’t you mix the two? That’s called progress people. Just like mixing bacon and bourbon. I don’t see anyone complaining about that. [NOTE: We’re not talking about the lazy abomination that is glazed donuts covered in chocolate. We’re talking about chocolate donuts, which are then glazed. The distinction is vital.]

2. CINNAMON SUGAR: What ever happened to you, dear old friend? A classic favorite that’s faded from view much like muscle cars, “American Pie” singalongs, and letting apple pie cool on a window sill. It’s not that anyone disliked the cinnamon sugar donut; they simply moved onto flashier things. But I believe in American industry. I believe in a time when children said “sir” and “ma’am.” I believe in democracy. I believe in freedom. I believe in bald eagles driving Corvettes down Highway 1 while blasting tracks by Springsteen, Tom Petty, and The Beach Boys. I believe in a simpler time, when you could wear a hat with a piece of paper that said “PRESS” and no one asked why you busted out your Halloween costume early. I believe in the satisfying crack of the bat on opening day. I believe in stretching during the Seventh Inning Stretch. And goshdarn it, I believe in the cinnamon sugar donut.

3. CAKE: Upon confiding in one friend my love for cake donuts, her response was, “That is horrible. You are a disgusting human being, and I no longer like you; in fact, I hate you.” The obvious takeaway here is that I need new friends, but also that there’s been an unfortunate smear campaign against the cake donut. Sure, it’s a little heavier, but it carries that weight with grace. IT DOESN’T NEED TO CHANGE JUST BECAUSE SOCIETY SAYS IT SHOULD. It’s a bold donut, willing to admit its admiration for cake. It never imitates—no one would confuse the soft sweetness of a cake donut for actual cake. Plus, sometimes it has surprise blueberries inside, and everyone loves surprise blueberries. SO WHO IS DISGUSTING NOW, SHARON*?

(*Sharon is not my former friend’s real name.)

Again, definitive as this list is, we’d love to hear your top three donuts in the comments. Or someone could just finally tweet at me, so I can stop drowning my feelings in donut holes.

Travis M. Andrews is an associate editor for Southern Living. Follow him on Twitter @travismandrews.

Photo: Gify

Photo: Gify

COMMENTS

  1. Nathan

    I basically love them all. Glazed is the standard please all favorite but I really love a GOOD jelly filled doughnut. Not the kind of jelly that is like a smooth red transparent puddinglike jelly but the good old fashioned jelly that I’d get at the corner grocery store made by Cloverleaf bakeries.
    You mention a chocolate glazed donut but do you mean the glaze like on the white “glazed” donuts or do you mean chocolate glaze on a chocolate donut?
    The cinnamon sugar doughnut to me is more of a cup of coffee and a donut thing. I think it’s more like a piece of coffee cake.
    Whatever the case you just can’t beat a warm cottony soft inside doughnut with the glaze just set enough that it doesn’t melt off the slightly crustlike outer surface of a ring of fried dough!

    We have a local supermarket that makes some pretty darn good doughnuts, Dorignac’s.

    What about the French Cruller?????

    August 6, 2015 at 9:10 am
  2. Ann

    You are SO wrong and unAmerican. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the best. Fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts (I’m using both spellings to prove that I have am open mind.) At some stores you can even watch them moving alone a conveyor belt and see the wonderful glaze poured over them. Got to go now, I’m starting to drool.

    August 6, 2015 at 5:57 am
  3. AngelaS

    Dunkin glazed, cake, lemon filled

    August 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm
  4. joan

    beignets with lots of powdered sugar

    August 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm
  5. Lauren

    Agree with Craigy. Krispy Kreme glaze donuts with the hot now sign on have no competition.

    August 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm
  6. BR

    Your list is correct.

    August 5, 2015 at 4:24 pm
  7. aMy

    What a waste of time this article is — it doesn’t even MENTION raspberry jelly donuts. What you should have asked us is — “Raspberry Jelly donuts — sugar raised or powdered sugar?” Now that is a conversation worth having. What is all this stuff about cinnamon sugar donuts? Just give me the MUNCHKINS. Give me EVERY FLAVOR of MUNCHKIN and you don’t have to worry about which are the top three. Why are you so anxious about donuts anyway? Just reach your hand in, pull out a munchkin, and put the munchkin in your munchkin-hole… Munchkins are like natures Xanax, for crying out loud!! THEY ARE MUNCHKINS!!

    August 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm
  8. Craigy

    2) I agree, cinnamon sugar donuts are terribly underrated.

    1) Where can I get these so-called chocolate glazed donuts? Is this a dunkin thing? Sounds promising but I’ve never had it.

    3) Cake donuts sound gross. I know you say it’s not cake, but all I can think of is that awful fad that started a couple years ago for “cake balls” and they’re nasty.

    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, the best type of donut, hands down, is the fresh, still hot and crispy wonderful piece of heaven that is a perfect fresh hot glazed donut. If you go in the morning, or when krispy kreme’s hot light is on, you can get an amazing fresh glazed donut. However, all the other kinds of donuts are almost guaranteed to be cold. So by default, the standard glazed has to be king, because it’s the only one that you can pretty reliably count on to be fresh if you make an effort.

    August 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm

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