Insider asked 11 pastry chefs about their favorite doughnuts of all time. Some pastry chefs chose ones you can find at chains, like Dunkin's blueberry-cake doughnut and Krispy Kreme's classic glazed variety. Powdered-sugar and vanilla-glazed doughnuts were also beloved by some pastry chefs. Some told Insider that their favorite doughnuts are specific to certain locations, like the coconut-cream doughnut from Doughnut Plant in New York City or the white-chocolate tres-leches doughnut from The Salty Donut in Miami, Florida. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Even pastry chefs, who specialize in crafting desserts, pastries, and other baked goods, have preferences when it comes to doughnuts. We asked 11 pastry chefs about their favorite doughnuts of all time and their answers ranged from chain-specific options to general varieties and everything in between. This baking pro said she loves how powdered-sugar doughnuts make her feel.
For Sefika Kaya, pastry chef of Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, her go-to dessert is a sugar-coated doughnut. "I love sugar doughnuts. Not only do they look great, but they are so messy and they remind me of my childhood. No one can eat a sugar doughnut and complain about the mess," Kaya told Insider. "I think everyone is taken back to their childhood for at least those few minutes when eating one." Some believe you simply can't beat the classic glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme.
"Call me basic, but a classic Krispy-Kreme glazed doughnut will always be my crush," said pastry chef Ella Stone, CEO of SWIRL Bakery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read More: I tried 12 different doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and found that you can't beat the classics The cinnamon old-fashioned doughnut from Do-Rite in Chicago, Illinois, is this pastry chef's favorite.
Danielle Marelli, pastry chef of Travelle at the Langham, told Insider that her favorite doughnut is an old-fashioned that's dusted with cinnamon sugar from Do-Rite, a fried-chicken and doughnut shop in Chicago, Illinois. "It's perfectly crunchy on the outside and so soft inside," she said, adding that the doughnut's exterior is the best part. This pastry chef agrees that vanilla-glazed doughnuts are a classic for a reason.
"My favorite doughnut is a classic vanilla-glazed. I love how soft they are and the vanilla glaze offers a perfect amount of sugar without being too sweet, especially if they have orange or lemon zest," Santiago Torres, executive pastry chef of LondonHouse in Chicago, Illinois, told Insider. "They are the perfect breakfast," he added. Some chefs stand by the simplicity of an old-fashioned doughnut.
"My all-time favorite doughnut is an old-fashioned cake doughnut with a maple glaze," said Syd Berkowitz, a pastry chef located in Denver, Colorado. This old-fashioned variety is usually a cake doughnut made with flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and leavening agent. This Florida-based pastry chef opts for the white-chocolate tres-leches doughnut from The Salty Donut in Miami, Florida.
Jessica Scott, the corporate executive pastry chef of Barton G. Restaurants, said her favorite doughnut is from The Salty Donut, a shop located in Miami, Florida. She said she particularly favors The Salty Donut's white-chocolate tres-leches flavor, explaining that it's "the perfect combination of an on-the-go morning pastry and a full-on plated dessert." "The brioche-based doughnut is soaked in rum and milk, with the bottom dipped in white chocolate. [Then, it's] topped with a toasted meringue and tart fruit," she explained. Apple fritters offer a perfect blend of textures, spices, and fruit, according to this chef.
"I love a good apple fritter. Just the smell, to me, is the first signal of fall. The apple fritter is the perfect balance between fruity and sweet. [And it's] deep-fried (like all good doughnuts should be), crisp at the edges, and fluffy in the center," explained cookbook author Tiffany La Forge, pastry chef of Parsnips and Pastries. "In my opinion, a good apple fritter should be glazed, perfumed with cinnamon sugar, and paired with a strong coffee," she told Insider. This pastry chef's favorite is the coconut-cream doughnut from Doughnut Plant in New York City.
If Clarice Lam, pastry chef of The Baking Bean, had to choose her favorite doughnut, it'd be the coconut-cream one from the NYC-based bakery, Doughnut Plant. "It's so soft and pillowy and is glazed and coated with coconut flakes. It's also filled with a coconut creme made with fresh coconut juice," she told Insider. The creme- or jelly-filled bomboloni is an Italian classic and a favorite for some pros.
"The Italian-style bomboloni is my favorite, go-to doughnut … they are very versatile, delicious, and can be filled with almost anything, said Kevin McCormick, executive pastry chef of Onward in Chicago, Illinois. Bomboloni typically come stuffed with either jam or cream. "I prefer my bomboloni lightly fried and dusted with powdered sugar — the simpler, the better," he added. This chef told Insider their go-to pick is Dunkin's Boston-cream doughnut.
Some pastry chefs have a soft spot for the offerings at Dunkin', a popular American coffee and doughnut chain. This includes Kristine Antonian-Vilarosa, pastry chef at Cira in Chicago, Illinois. "My all-time favorite doughnut is [the] Boston-cream from Dunkin'. They never disappoint," she said. The blueberry-cake doughnut at Dunkin' delivers balanced flavors, according to this NYC-based pastry chef.
"I prefer a yeast-risen doughnut … but I have a soft spot for that blueberry cake doughnut from Dunkin'," Abby Swain, executive pastry chef of Temple Court in New York City, told Insider. Read More:
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