Donut Reviews

Blueberry and Coconut Cronut – Dominque Ansel Bakery – New York, NY Soho

So I basically took one of those European month long holidays away from writing that we actually can’t grasp the concept of in the United States. I’m included in the Americans who can’t comprehend a month-long vacation because I never stopped researching. From these research archives, why save the best for last?

I was lucky enough to have the July Cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery in Manhattan. The bakery’s July order form describes the month’s cronut as Blueberry Coconut with Lemon Zest Sugar, filled with blueberry jam and coconut ganache. I preordered four of these lovely treats. The order form is intimidating with strict times for pick up and a warning to consume within 6 to 8 hours of purchase. But when you’re a donut-croissant hybrid with a trademarked name, I guess you have right to be a diva.

IMG_1148

The cronut tension grew as I pulled into the *best* boro (in my opinion) and eventually drove down Spring Street in Soho looking for parking. My pick up time was 11 AM and I made good time leaving the Hamptons (Haaaaaaaamptons – yes, I dropped it and am not ashamed) but got worried when I saw the massive line in the bakery (you could have seen the bakery’s inside on my Instagram stories). Would I not make it through the crowd before my hour time window was up and my cronuts were sold off to the highest bidder? I got lucky again – it didn’t go down that way – it didn’t even look like I needed to preorder. I also don’t think I had to stand in that super long line and maybe the short line in the front would have been OK since it was a preorder but it was chaotic and my nerves got me nervous but more so I wanted more time to soak in the city so waiting was alright. When I finally showed my order paperwork and requested my cronut and an extra bonus DKA, the counter people were super nice by any standards and especially by NYC standards.

adult affection baby belly
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Me waiting patiently in line.

My food journey didn’t end there. Before I could consume the cronut within its short lifespan of freshness, I HAD to go to Magnolia Bakery. I drove over to the Bleeker Street location and about 15 tourists (not exaggerating) (also not including myself as a tourist lol) piled into the teeny storefront. I was like I don’t care if I wait another hour. I NEED THESE CUPCAKES. While the French talked amongst themselves and all I comprehended was “The Sex and the City,” (said just like they do when Carrie moves to Paris and disappoints her awaiting fans) I was able to cut everyone (in line – not with a knife) and get my dozen cupcakes. I tried the S’mores cupcakes and a blueberry lemon specialty cupcake but I recommend sticking with their basics – yellow cake with white or chocolate frosting or chocolate cake with white or chocolate frosting – which I did and I had many of them.

img_1157.jpgOriginal Beauty – chocolate cake with vanilla frosting – and OMG major epiphany I just had….is the little sugar flower they adorn many-a-cupcakes with a MAGNOLIA? So much clicking happening right now. You don’t understand what a moment of clarity feels like in the midst of baby brains unless you have had baby brains.

Enough with the backstory. Let’s break down the July Cronut from Dominique Ansel New York. It looks like a donut that is saying “I’m better than you” with a French accent. I didn’t let it talk back to me and consumed my first one in traffic in New Jersey so take that for a social status downgrade…. I was expecting a tastebud battle French and Indian War style when I took my first bite. There were no bombs or bayonets poking my taste buds. I took another bite. The dough was chewy but not like that chewy, gooey, flaky croissant or light fluffy donut cake chewy…more like old angel food cake chewy. 😦 I mean what else can I say? 😦 I didn’t get the “lemon zest sugar” flavor either and I LOVE FLAVORED SUGAR! Sugar on sugar with flavor sugar is ❤ but this sugar was not a flavor stack. It just tasted like sugar. The filling was where the love lived. The blueberry jam was smooth and authentic blueberry. No artificial nastiness or (vomit) chunks. I gave another kudos to jelly-filled pastries, which I have always basically despised. But the coconut ganache and the (I think it was coconut) frosting on top made the pastry. Coconut and ganache are like two peas in a pod – classy and fun and make for a great summertime dessert pair. The frosting was thick and placed perfectly circular on top. I’m convinced the pastry chef who ices the cronuts has never even SEEN Dunkin Donuts or some other mass-produced donut. It was frosting perfection and the consistency tasted just as good as it looked.

THE BREAKDOWN: Blueberry Jam and Coconut Ganache July 2018 Cronut

Store: Dominique Ansel Soho

Address: 189 Spring Street (between Sullivan and Thompson) New York, NY 10012

Cost: $6 each

What they want to highlight: They are the cronut originators. They have the name trademarked.

What I thought was the highlight: The DKA – I bought it because my friend said I had to have it and she liked it better. She was right. It had the croissant but not a croissant dough that the cronut could have had.

Rating out of 5 stars: 3.8

Would I buy it again?: Yes, because every month is a different flavor.

What could make it better?: If the dough texture tasted like a harmonious marriage of a cake donut dough and croissant. Instead, it tasted like an overworked pastry.

Look at the images below and tell me what you think by leaving a COMMENT below. AND let me know if you had the July Cronut or any other Dominique Ansel creation. Or just say hi. If you’re too shy, just like this post!

Dominique Ansel Bakery BoxEveryone loves a box with symmetry and unique design.

July 2018 Cronut by Dominique AnselCronut Stack

Blueberry Jam Coconut Ganache Cronut July 2018 Dominique AnselDoesn’t look like the cross-section on Dominique Ansel’s Instagram but still delightful filling. *Oh also wanted to add I didn’t notice a lot of taste difference from the cronut I ate within an hour of picking up and the one I are 30 hours later. SO buy a lot and bring them back to your family far outside NYC and they will be loving you.

The DKA – doesn’t it look more like a Cronut than a Cronut? Loved the texture, flakiness, sweet outside. Grab a box of these for true pastry bliss. ❤

Donut Reviews

Holtman’s Donuts, Stan the Donut Man, The Donut House, Martin’s Donut Shop, Milton’s Donuts – Day 2 – Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio

Day 2 of the Butler County Donut Trail had me hyped because on Day 1 of our journey many of the Day 2 shops were described by locals and others on the Donut Trail as their favorites. I was tired but determined. We spent the day prior exploring Hamilton, Ohio where we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Hamilton. If you love little towns and can appreciate the small things you will love Hamilton. They have little shops, a scenic river, biking and walking trails, and unique restaurants plus a lot more if you would just go and visit! Plus, it was a great starting point for both days of our donut journey.

Stop 1 – Holtman’s Donuts – 9558 Civic Centre Blvd, West Chester Township, OH 45069

IMG_0566

Without referencing a map, my senses say this was the closest shop to Cincinnati. It def had more of the “city” feel than the mom and pop, local diner donut shops. They had all the trends: cereal, bacon, and unicorn varieties. And, like a true city girl, these donuts won in the vanity competition.

img_0574.jpgFrom the Top Left – Maple Bacon Crueler, Unicorn Blueberry Cake, Red Velvet

Bottom Left – Twisted Knot Glazed, Samoa, German Chocolate

So obvi the bacon donut you can’t go wrong. Having the maple-bacon combo on top of a crueler is definitely different. Not sure if the donut cake could hold the substance of the bacon. It was still good because, well, bacon.

Not going to be a major surprise, but my favorite was the Twisted Knot Glazed – not the technical terms if you couldn’t guess 🙂 It was that lovely knotty dough that is soft and crunchy and then glazed. It really doesn’t get much better.

If you have eyeballs you can see how beautiful the remaining donuts are. The Samoa could be mistaken for the Girl Scout Cookie if photographed just right. But I was most impressed by the Red Velvet insides. The donut cake tasted just like red velvet cake and if you aren’t into frosting this donut would be your most desired snack in the world. I, however, love frosting so I thought it could use more glaze but I’m sure most Red Velvet Cake fanatics would disagree.

Behold that beautiful red color ❤ ❤ – that’s no filter.

Stop 2 – Stan the Donut Man – 7967 Cincinnati Dayton Rd, West Chester Township, OH 45069

IMG_0576Stan the Donut Man – standing in the midst of a strip mall minding its own business. Strip mall status isn’t a diss – a lot of the shops on the Donut Trail are in strip malls. Stan’s fulfills the traditional donut feigns love for cake donuts and rolls. It is unassuming and obviously delicious. It isn’t going to have the same glitz as the trendy donuts – minus the pineapple fritter. The glazedness and cake were delicious. I didn’t looooove the pineapple chunks along the bottom but that is totally personal preference. I just don’t like eating a piece of fruit and would rather have it flavored or the fruit mixed in because the texture difference is too jarring. That being said it didn’t TASTE bad. I would go back again for the blueberry cake donut. Nothing there is too sweet but this had a really great blueberry flavor in the cake and no blueberry chunk pieces.

Don’t I look so joyous? My cheeks look full that’s for sure lol. Here are the selections – as you can tell the pineapple fritter is a favorite cause there’s only 2 left next to the apple fritters – if you zoom 🙂 And this is cake on cake donut heaven if that’s what you’re in to. Cake cake cake cake cake cake.

Stop 3 – The Donut House – 8268 Princeton Glendale Rd, West Chester Township, OH 45069

IMG_0582Maybe my expectations were too high because I liked the sign. Maybe it was the fact that you could pick a filling for multiple donut shells that were filled in front of you…I don’t want to say I hated it but this was probably my least favorite of all the shops. I was PUMPED to pick the filling for my donut shell – I got a chocolate frosted, white cream filled and a glazed bun with chocolate filling. The donut dough was OK and the filling was way too fluffy for me. Almost a whipped cream filling. People who hate sugary cream filled donuts would probably love these. I am not those people. Not to mention the girl at the counter’s attitude was SO BAD. I think her misery oozed into the donuts. Maybe her dog died that morning but she is loyal and showed up anyway, maybe it was her last day and she couldn’t bear to smile because her heart was broken, or maybe she is miserable and made their mediocre donuts worse.

img_0589.jpgThat blooming glazed at the top left looks tempting, but it was decently flavorless but would I eat it again? Yes, it’s a glazed donut. The fritter was alright too…but yeah of course it is it’s a fritter. And then the 2 filled on the spot on the right side. Just all was flat for me 😦

Stop 4 – Martin’s Donuts – 4 W State St, Trenton, OH 45067

IMG_0590Who doesn’t love a pink building? Probably a lot of people lol but I love a bright building! Martin’s was cool because the donut making area was to the left of the entrance. Considering they open as early as 4AM I think it might be hard to catch them processing 🙂 This shop was as old school as it gets with friendly old men walking out and the man at the counter taking his time to go over and explain any questions from each customer. They were sold out of many of their favorites but I was able to try an Orange Creamsicle Donut and an Apple Fritter. I’m not a usual fan of orange flavored pastries, but this is worth leaving your comfort zone. The cake was good, the filling not too sweet or plain and the frosting was sweet deliciousness. I think the secret ingredient is love.

The Apple Fritter is in another category. The donut maker explained how they are widely requested and featured at an annual festival that they get a gazillion orders for these fritters each year. There weren’t any dirty apple chunks. Only all the dough and glaze and magnificentness of your fritter wishes. Sweet and apple-tinged and no gross textures of goo or hard apples pieces. Possibly the best apple fritter I’ve had? It’s a definite must try if you ❤ fritters or any kind of donut 🙂

Almost empty trays, a #DONUTTRAIL sign, and where the magic is made.

img_0599.jpgThe beautiful Apple Fritter.

img_0597-2.jpgAnd the Orange Creamsicle Donut – love the color.

Stop 5 – Milton’s Donuts – 3533 Roosevelt Blvd, Middletown, OH 45044IMG_0606The last stop – Milton’s Donuts. You’d think that I would be tired of donuts by now but that is only partially correct. I’m tired from growing another heart and liver and all the other organs that compose a human and carrying around a ton of extra pounds but I am in no way tired of donuts. Milton’s had a super big chalkboard menu of donuts and when I asked for their best they said they had been sold out of those for a while. They said with their most popular flavors it doesn’t matter how many they make, they are gone long before my arrival time, which was around 10:30AM. Might want to start here if you want their best. So the man at the counter who softened the more we spoke, offered a fresh glaze, which I consumed before memorializing its beauty with my sub-par photo skills. It was a regular ring glaze in looks and a hot, fresh glazed better tasting than Krispy Kreme in consumption. So if their “best” are sold this is still a major winner. Also, I loved them because their donuts were gigantic but just because they had the size appeal they didn’t skimp on taste.

IMG_0601IMG_0604Still lots of donuts and big delicious ones but I’d go earlier next time 🙂

If you want to overindulge in sweetness, see some cute towns, and meet some nice people, then get on the Butler County Donut Trail. You have a whole summer and what else are you gonna do? Go to a museum to pretend you like artifacts that you’ll never remember the details of or go to a crowded beach and burn your porcelain skin after this long winter? No! Go get happy with some donuts and more southern accents than I heard when I was in Savannah.

Follow this blog for more #donuttrail info and reviews of donuts across the US (and world :)). Go to the sign-up page to subscribe. Leave a comment about what you want to know about the Butler County Donut Trail or any of your reviews of these shops.

Donut Reviews

Angel Cream Filled Donut – Jack Frost Donut Shop – Erie, PA

I woke up needing a cream filled donut. I visited the Jack Frost Donut Shop website and saw they offered multiple filled donut varieties. 🙂 🙂 🙂 The short 10-minute drive to the donut shop was well worth making the trek. Luckily, I arrived in what seemed to be the nick of time…there were a few scattered donuts hanging out but still a wide variety. **BLESSED**

The ride home was not quite as fast. The donuts smelled delicious and I kept worrying I would starve to death…probably should have eaten one at Jack Frost’s cute, diner style donut shop. When I FINALLY got to enjoy the angel cream filled donut I was not disappointed. The dough was super light and pastry-like and delicious. No overly greasy taste. The filling was just like an angel creamed – super light and fluffy emulating the dough and no granular texture. All you can want in a good cream. If an angel food cake was reimagined as a donut this would be the donut. The chocolate frosting was very….settled (trying to put it nicely). It was hardened but still had a good taste, but I feel like a lighter frosting would have been the best compliment.

THE BREAKDOWN: Angel Cream Filled Donut

Store: Jack Frost Donut Shop Visit their site here

Address: 2119 Buffalo Rd, Erie, PA 16510

Cost: Half dozen for $4.75

What they want to highlight: Old fashioned donut shop

What I thought was the highlight: Old fashioned donut shop! WIN!

Rating out of 5 stars: 4 – very good and will probably crave it again

Would I buy it again?: Definitely!

What could make it better?: The chocolate frosting on top. It wasn’t even that bad. It just wasn’t as good as the rest of the donut.

IMG_0342.JPGThey’re open! I got there at about 9:45AM and almost missed out so get there early for a full selection 🙂

img_0338.jpgAlmost gone!

IMG_0336Where I should have dined so I didn’t almost die.

IMG_0354Little smooshed from sitting at the bottom of the bag. But still so good.

Have you been to Jack Frost Donuts? What your favorite cream filled donut? LEAVE A COMMENT. And have a nice Saturday 🙂

Donut Reviews

Royal Love Donut – Dunkin Donuts – Erie, PA 12th Street Location

I was musing with my friend yesterday about Dunkin Donuts sponsoring me and she sent me an image of what could be me 🙂

960x0I would have gladly posed with a dozen of Dunkin Donuts’ Royal Love donuts, but unfortunately, I am not a real-life princess like this lady. The carriage looks pretty sweet. WTF IS ON HER HEAD?

I did the next best thing to posing with donuts in Central Park and used my free donut coupon from before – last week? – and got me a free Royal Love donut. It was a hard buy because DD had a wide display this morning including vanilla cream that I love and seasonal Spring Fling and Comet Candy donuts that I neeeeeed to try. And Royal Love….is….jelly filled 😦 The donut always left after meetings in the conference room, on the tray at church, or in your cupboard getting mold on it. And for everyone out there saying, “I like the jelly filled – they’re my favorite.” You are probably the same type of liar as those who told me they “loved being pregnant.” A people pleaser liar, which is fine – we need you people so women will still enter pregnancy optimistically and someone will eat the jelly donuts.

Regardless of my personal bias, I tried to intake the Royal Love optimistically for the sake of Megan Markle. She won the lottery, she looks AMAZING – as does anyone who used to open cases on that game show – and she’s getting married tomorrow so YAY. Sadly, I can’t feign as much enthusiasm for the donut. It was typical DD dough, so average. It was typical DD chocolate frosting, so a little below average, but the fruit icing swirl (strawberry but tasted like fake raspberry?) was not a good compliment to the chocolate. The jelly was chunky 😦 I never want to think of chunky while eating something that I KNOW is making me chunky. At first I thought it was pieces of real fruit – gross but acceptable – but no it was like some old Smuckers that expired from the back of the cupboard 😦 So actually, I didn’t let any of my bias out of this review. If you like jelly donuts, I recommend.

THE BREAKDOWN: Royal Love Donut

Store: Dunkin Donuts lives here online

Address: 2545 W 12th St, Erie, PA 16505

Cost: FREE with my coupon

What they want to highlight: According to Dunkin’ Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nigel Travis, a dual U.S. and British citizen born and raised in Woodford, Essex, “As the U.S. donut leader, we love helping our guests make special occasions both big and small even sweeter with fun donut designs and flavors. The Royal Wedding represents optimism, happiness and joy, and thus is a perfect opportunity for our brand to celebrate. We hope all donut lovers, royalty or not, will enjoy the new Royal Love Donut…” Read more about it here.

What I thought was the highlight: The cute heart shape! And yes, I totally felt the optimism. Like, there’s a royal wedding, the bride’s from the United States, we are the best country in the world, and now Dunkin Donuts is gonna sell more jelly donuts than any other fiscal quarter in donut shop history.

Rating out of 5 stars: 1 – maybe less but I still love DD. Be a real princess and look at the donut, don’t eat it.

Would I buy it again?: No! But you should buy into their marketing and get it before it’s gone.

What could make it better?: Maybe a Boston Cream filling? To show we are still rebels? A lemon filling? I heard the royal wedding cake might be lemon? Something relating to a krumpet? Idk anything but jelly filled 😦

Are you going to try the Royal Love donut? Did you try it and LOVE IT? DO YOU LOVE JELLY DONUTS AND WANT TO FIGHT ABOUT IT? Leave a comment below 🙂 Or if you’re sane just like this post.

IMG_0334Cute shape ❤

IMG_0328Pretty, clean display as always. I heard DD was minimizing donuts offered and maximizing drinks. Good strategy cause their beves are BOMB! Truly why I love DD and the main reason I go.

Donut Reviews

Cinnamon Roll – H & K DO Nut Shop Review – Erie, PA

After the pain of rejection from H & K DO Nut’s shop last week, I valiantly returned to get some donuts. Just as I had pictured, the inside was a diner style with counter seats and then a little display case with traditional donuts laid out on trays. Everything looked much more enticing than Giant Eagle’s selection, but I was much in the mood for something glazed and chose the cinnamon roll. **Disclaimer – I forgot my phone in the car and took a FULL 20-MINUTE SPEED WALK before arriving so I was famished and my sugar was low and my muscles were spazzing – so I don’t have any interior photos – but they have a lot of images on their Facebook. So click it or go there and see yourself 🙂 ** **Also think it was called a cinnamon roll but not totally sure if that is the official name. You all know what a cinnamon roll looks like or you wouldn’t be here.**

After doing like an 8-point turn to get out of their parking lot because I seem to forgotten how to drive this past week, I got home quickly and tried out H & K’s cinnamon roll. I am happy to report that the outside was crispy with flaky glaze and no grease, just how cinnamon roll perfection should be always. It wasn’t that gross gooey either that tastes like it was dunked in day-old sugar water. Interestingly, the middle was not super soft, which is good because I hate when the center is undercooked like yuck you’re basically eating a raw egg, but it was almost a little dry. I’m not sure how that happened but the middle was the least flavorful. Also not upset about this because it sucks when the middle is the best part of the donut and the middle is only a teeny portion.

THE BREAKDOWN: Cinnamon Roll

Store: H & K DO Nut Shop aka H & K’s aka H & K Do-Nuts Click for their *official* site

Address: 3712 West Lake Road, Erie, PA 16505

Cost: $.90

What they want to highlight: Good old-fashioned donuts 

What I thought was the highlight: Good old-fashioned donuts

Rating out of 5 stars: 3.2 – Better than average

Would I buy it again?: Yes, when in the mood for a traditional cinnamon roll.

What could make it better?: Whatever is happening on the outside of this donut should happen in the center more and it would be like a 4.

IMG_0315Where my vigorous walk started and ended today at Presque Isle. #calorieburn #fitfam

IMG_0316.JPGOnly pic I got of H & K cause I slack. You can see more pics on their Facebook.

Really wanted to showcase my Mother’s Day flowers from my parents <3. Kind of still failed at that lol. But the real focus –  You can actually see the nice outside crust of this donut and how it downward spirals int he center.

Like this post! Comment on your favorite cinnamon roll! Please.