Donuts have totally been living through a pop culture moment. They’re on phone covers, t-shirts, and all kind of kitschy goods. Everyone wants to show off their donut love and Butler County in Ohio is taking full advantage of the trend. On National Donut Day, Friday, June 1, 2018, my mom and I set off across the lovely state of Ohio to travel the Butler County Donut Trail. After a mostly pleasant ride (minus construction and rain at the end – why does it always have to get bad at the end) we arrived in Hamilton, Ohio at the Courtyard Marriott Hamilton. They were nice enough to host us for the weekend and had a cute welcome basket for me when we got into the room. I was dead tired and we only had 5 hours to sleep available to get up and get on the trail. Unfortunately, my excitement for the donuts that were ahead kept me up and Saturday morning I was basically running on adrenaline and sugar. Here’s my sleep-deprived recollection of day 1 on the Donut Trail.
Stop 1 – Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery – 2267 Millvale Ave., Hamilton, OH 45013
I *think* the favorite donut here was named the Reese’s Donut. It had peanut butter filling, chocolate frosting, and a sprinkle of peanut butter flavor crunch on top. There were a lot of peanut butter filled donuts throughout the trail – most were called Buckeyes – but this was the best peanut butter filled available that we had.
They also had glazed donut holes – like the actual punctured out middle of a donut. I was just complaining about no good donut holes last week lol. These were soft and airy with a thin glaze shell. It’s how I remember donuts holes from DD being back in the day – but better.
The peanut butter donut on left and donut holes on right. Also pictured is a blueberry cake with lemon frosting and a jelly filled. The lemon frosting was real lemon tasting with a good sweetness and the jelly was jelly 🙂
Stop 2 – Kelly’s Bakery – 1335 Main St., Hamilton, OH 45013
The shop is cute with a retro/aqua/check floor design and obviously tons of delicious donuts to choose from on their racks. Of what I tried, I’d go with the fritter. It was better than the Mighty Fine fritter because it had a better texture and the sweetness crept into the crevices more delightfully.
I had my first cereal donut here – it was “like a cinnamon toast crunch” according to the girl at the counter. Cereal donuts are like the most trendy of the donut trend. I tasted it probably about 2 hours after we left the store and the cereal on top didn’t have much crunch left. It’s like the donuts are going through a phase – super trendy, looks intriguing, and doesn’t live up to the hype when you finally get it. The Buckeye was delicious – it’s peanut butter and chocolate I mean what could go wrong? 🙂
Zee winner from Kelly’s – Fritter Power.
Stop 3 – Ross Bakery – 1051 Eaton Ave., Hamilton, OH 45013
Ross Bakery was totally delightful – and there are 2 locations you can visit on the donut trail to qualify your passport. (Learn about the passport here.) Each shop had a Donut Trail sign (as shown in the image above) that you could take a picture with to commemorate your visit. I was amazed at how many people had their Donut Trail Passports. The majority of people we saw in the shops were on the Donut Trail and bringing in tons of cash for Butler County, OH.
Anyway, onto important things like DONUTS – the Pretzel Donut was the BEST. It was like eating one of those delicious rectangular pastries from the grocery store – like an Entenmann’s danish that comes in those long packages but THIS DONUT was in the shape of a pretzel, with glaze ❤ I could eat one a day. Also feeling Pretzel Donut’s trendy vibes – it’s non-binary – it doesn’t have to be a danish despite its dough having the look, feel, and taste of a danish because it calls itself a donut but presents as a pretzel. SO progressive.
I also had my second cereal donut from here. The Fruity Pebbles Donut is like EVERYWHERE – again the cereal was soggy and I think cereal is so delicious that it is best to be left as cereal. It photographs nicely though 🙂 And isn’t that all that reallllly matters in the world of clicks and trends? They also had Buckeye Donuts – the cake was very good on this one and had a Hershey Square on top (why is it called a square when it’s a rectangle?). The knotted donut also was super yum with crunch and layers of different dough textures. I say anything from here will be above average but eat your cereal separate.
My variety from Ross Bakery on the left and the WINNER – Pretzel Donut on the right ❤ I will be back for you someday…
Stop 4 – The Donut Spot – 5148 Pleasant Ave, Fairfield, OH 45014
Lines were out the door at the Donut Spot. And I get it – it was a small shop but had lots of delicious choices including one of my favs from day 1 – a cream cheese filled donut with white icing. It was bomb. The cake was unique and a great vanilla/yellow cake flavor and bouncy texture. The white frosting wasn’t layered on too thick so its sweetness wasn’t overwhelming. BUT THE FILLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was cream cheese like a Bavarian cream cheese filling that was filled throughout the insides from edge-to-edge. Cream cheese in every bite. My eyes were like ❤ ❤ Love is love and I loved it. I also am a major cream cheese lover so if you feel the same then get this donut! I also had an Oreo Donut from here. It was good. I liked it. I didn’t die over it but I can say that it didn’t taste just like a donut that had frosting and some Oreo thrown on as an afterthought. It had a little something special. So if you like something like an Oreo Thin maybe you’ll be into this.
The lovely cream cheese filled donut. Might have been called a Cheesecake Donut? Details don’t matter when you’re in love.
Stop 5 – Jupiter Coffee & Donuts – 5353 Dixie Hwy # 5, Fairfield, OH 45014
Jupiter Coffee & Donuts – it’s trendy-ish, it’s got lots of breakfast pastry options, and better than average coffee (so says my mom). This shop holds a special place in my taste buds. They had a Raspberry Cheesecake Donut – so obvi I was pumped. Then I saw the emphasis was on the raspberry and not the cheesecake – that left me deflated. THEN! I ATE IT! And truly was impressed. I have a little chip on my shoulder when it comes to jelly filled donuts. They just aren’t it for me. Especially the chunky jelly I had in DD’s Royal Love donut. *Tears thinking about it* But Jupiter Coffee & Donuts restored all faith in jelly donuts. The filling was smooth, and sweet, and tasted like what a pastry filling should – a compliment to the soft delicious donut around it. If I was comparing it to a grocery store product it would be on frozen Toaster Strudel level – except this was fresh and 1,000 times better so maybe no comparison lol. And if you don’t like those but like jelly you’ll still love this donut. I also got a fried, glazed croissant. It pains me to knock a croissant or anything glazed, but I am going to err on the side of if this was fresh like out of the fryer, and especially if it was still warm it would be amazing. But after sitting on the shelf…pass. For me, Jupiter Coffee and Donuts was a fitting name for this shop because it was like another dimension – I loved the jelly filled and didn’t finish the glazed croissant.
Moon and Star? Planet and Rising Sun? Parallel Universe Donuts.
Best jelly donut if I had to say so 🙂
Stop 6 – Central Pastry Shop – 1518 Central Ave, Middletown, OH 45044
When we pulled up it looked like it wasn’t that busy but as soon as we entered the shop people started filtering in – all loyal Donut Trail travelers too. The shop stood apart from the rest as a true Donut Trail beacon. Not only were they the most friendly, they were the most excited to have donut trailers. The owner explained the geocaching that happy people on the Donut Trail were using to check in to each destination and was truly delighted when she exclaimed, “People are having the time of their lives out here!” She also had these maps that were only up for 4 days and already had tons of pins from all over the world.
So. Many. Pins. People are loving the Donut Trail. You will too 🙂
How cute are the backdrop and my mom? In the bottom left is a Passport from in stores. I didn’t see them at all the shops so I would print one online and pick this pretty one up if you see it. Oh and that’s me at the top. Looking ready to have some more donuts lol.
Highlights – Onto the donut. It was delicious. Almost like a crumb cake donut – pretty sure it was named an “Ugly.” I am bad with names. Very bad with names. Good at remembering details and how it made me feel though 🙂 This donut had crunchy parts and soft parts but it wasn’t a strudel. It was different. Unlike the others. A true original and stand out in textures and in the world of donuts – which not only resonated with their baked goods but the energy of the shop.
My back hurts but I can’t tell if it’s from walking today or extra bad heartburn. Tell yo friends (and yourself if you haven’t!) to SUBSCRIBE for more posts about the Butler County Donut Trail and all things donuts (or doughnuts if you’re sophisticated). Get you some.