Donut Reviews

Paczki Polish Doughnuts – Zabawa Polish Heritage Festival – Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Erie, PA

I had some unexpected, very limited edition donuts this afternoon at the 25th Annual Zabawa Polish Heritage Festival. For pretty much the first time in a month I decided to leave my house for a social outing with my husband ❤ ❤ ❤ following the lure of handmade pierogis. We navigated to the east side for the weekend festival and stood in lines and blah blah, ate the pierogis, and saw only people I liked so overall it was a success. Since my pregnant body only lets me out of the house for an hour or so, we were in and out and stopped to get pie before exiting the festival. But it wasn’t pie time – there were donuts! Paczki Polish Doughnuts to be specific. We got eight more food tickets and I was then the proud owner of three of these powdered sugar concoctions.

Holy Trinity Catholic ChurchThe Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church where the 25th Annual Zabawa Festival is being held in Erie, PA

I was already in festival/fair/amusement park mode just from the energy of the crowd – some rude people, some drunk people, families, and so on – and then add the food and I was ready for Paczki Polish Doughnuts to finish off the day. They are basically (or essentially…I guess exactly?) fried dough covered with powdered sugar. What set them apart from regular funnel cakes and fried food fare was the denseness of the dough. They were similar to NOLA style beignet thickness, but were soft and not crunchy. I also enjoyed that there was minimal grease residue that often can ruin a funnel cake. To top it off they were served hot, which enhances many donuts and I believe is the case here as well. Overall these donuts were sweet, doughy, fried to perfection, and a good once a year treat. Try them yourself at the festival tonight until 10PM or tomorrow from noon to 6PM or forever hold your peace (or piece I guess) until next year (which is probably the only time most Erie area residents traverse to this neighborhood).

Paczki Polish DoughnutsBringing these beauties home

THE BREAKDOWN: Paczki Polish Doughnut

Store: 25th Annual Zabawa Polish Heritage Festival at Holy Trinity Parish

Address: 2220 Reed St, Erie, PA 16503

Cost: 3 donuts for $4 (8 tickets)

What they want to highlight: Raising money for Holy Trinity Parish while showcasing Polish heritage

What I thought was the highlight: Foood food and more fooooood

Rating out of 5 stars: 2.6

Would I buy it again?: Honestly, probably not. It was good for fried dough but the Cherry Pie looked super good that was selling alongside the donuts.

What could make it better?: Really nothing that seems feasible…maybe adding an amazing filling or a dipping sauce? But would that be traditional? Is this donut even traditional now? I guess I didn’t learn a lot about being Polish.

Paczki Polish Doughnut SignThe sign that lured me

Paczki Polish DoughnutFor fair-fried dough it was top notch. For a donut…it was a sweet dough with sugar so I’ll eat it.

Leave a comment about your love for fried dough or being Polish or festivals or really anything you want to talk about 🙂 Please and thanks.

 

Donut Reviews

Chocolate Coconutty Donut – Dunkin’ Donuts – Erie, PA 12th Street Location

Despite avoiding caffeine in general, I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts in Erie, PA before heading on my road trip in July to get a delicious Cookie Dough Iced Latte and added on a Chocolate Coconutty Donut. I love coconut and chocolate…so needless to say I knew this would be good. After pulling out of the drive-thru, I checked my bag and my Everything Bagel was included but no donut 😦 I parked and entered the store and the girl at the counter gave me two Chocolate Coconutty Donuts. Even though DD makes their share of mistakes, they always make up for it. Even better, I used a free donut coupon so I got 2 donuts for the price of none!

IMG_1059She looks goooooood!

The taste overall I give an A+, especially compared to other Dunkin’ Donuts donuts. If you love Mounds candy bars you will enjoy this donut because that is exactly what it tastes like but morphed into donut form. The chocolate topping was typical DD chocolate. The cake was the run-of-the-mill DD cake, which I do thoroughly enjoy because it is light and fluffy and sweet. If you get fresh dough it is even more lovely. But what sets this donut apart is the coconut filling – the rich frosting isn’t too thick or too whipped. It has the perfect frosting filling consistency with coconut flecks are so thinly sliced you don’t know if they are grains of sugar or some heart of coconut. Personally, I prefer not to be chomping on mush coconut shreds so I thought this (possibly toasted?) mini coconut flakes worked great with the white frosting filling. Buuuuuut it is DD, so there has to be a letdown. Again the letdown is not enough filling 😦 It looked majorly promising when I looked at the filling entrance that appeared to be overflowing with sweet goodness but working through the donut proved otherwise.

img_1063.jpgThat dollop just isn’t enough. 😦 😦 I guess if this was a Twix the “left side factory” would win :/

THE BREAKDOWN: Chocolate Coconutty Donut

Store: Dunkin’ Donuts

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

Cost: Free for me with a coupon + 1

What they want to highlight: I’m not even sure anymore.

What I thought was the highlight: Specialty donuts that knock it out of the park like the Chocolate Coconutty Donut 🙂 (Another win was the Vanilla Cake Batter – A MAJOR fail was the Royal Love Donut)

Rating out of 5 stars: 3.4

Would I buy it again?: Yes, but who knows when it will come and go?

What could make it better?: MORE FILLING ALWAYS!

Comment and Like this post 🙂 Share it with your Dunkin’ Donuts loving friends. Tell us about your DD experiences 🙂

IMG_1056Idk what that sprinkle was on top but it was sweet and good. Was it coconut? Was it sugar? Does it matter? No.

Happy Donut Hunting ❤

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.

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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

Chocolate and Vanilla Glazed Donut – The Doughdrop Inn – Erie, PA

The past week is historically significant for many reasons – I was born on July 2nd, the United States’ birthday was July 4th, and a new donut shop emerged in Erie, PA. The Doughdrop Inn caters to the upper west side of Erie. Although there are many great donut options in Erie, (such as Mighty Fine, H & K Do Nut Shop, and Jack Frost) I think the more the merrier. Since opening on July 5th, the Doughdrop Inn can’t keep their donuts on the racks. They sold out Thursday and when I arrived Friday around 8:30AM they were almost sold out again, despite making more donuts than they had the day before. This made my heart happy but made the brains of many Erie residents visiting the donut shop basically implode today. They couldn’t grasp the idea of not getting exactly what they wanted (a full selection) when they wanted it (any time from opening to the shop’s 2PM closing time). They talked back to the nearly empty shelves. One man remarked, “This is no Barbatos,” referring to the restaurant that once resided in the same space and has been out of business for who knows how long. Basically, what I’m getting at is the people of Erie were showing their ass and it wasn’t cute. However, the staff of the Doughdrop Inn was professional, kind, and their smiles did not waiver. Instead of giving a lecture on how to handle your mouth in public and respect people trying to make your city better and offering a SERVICE you that you CHOSE to employ, I’ll stick to reviewing a donut.

I will certainly visit again to try out more of the many from scratch donut varieties that they offer but this review is about the Chocolate Vanilla Glazed Donut. They don’t have official names for the donuts so I’m hoping they change this one to Marble Cake or something. Anyway, names don’t mean anything. The cake cake cake cake is all anyone cares about and this is the best cake you can get. I am still thinking about it and when I will get to have another one. It’s like a bundt cake or a sweet bread but like the best one you have ever had. The cake has a real chocolate taste that is rich and not overwhelming but definitely will give any chocolate lover their fix. The vanilla is a nice balance to the chocolate. The cake is soft and the texture is not spongy or dry. It is perfect. You can tell that it is made from scratch. The glaze isn’t too sweet or thick or thin. It perfectly covers each bite.

I’d highly recommend any of their cake donuts and can’t wait to get back and try their sandwiches. Specifically, I want the Donut Monte Christo breakfast sandwich that is described as a savory, sweet grilled donut with ham, turkey, and Swiss served with a side of homemade raspberry preserves for only $3.29. My fat mouth is watering.

THE BREAKDOWN: Chocolate Vanilla Glazed

Store: The Doughdrop Inn lives here

Address: 1529 W 38th St, Erie, PA 16508

Cost: About $1

What they want to highlight: They make donuts from scratch.

What I thought was the highlight: They make donuts from scratch.

Rating out of 5 stars: 4.2

Would I buy it again?: Yes, for sure.

What could make it better?: If Erie residents would have more chill.

LEAVE A COMMENT about your Doughdrop Inn experience. What’s the best chocolate glazed donut you’ve had? LIKE this post if you like it – it’s basically the easiest thing you can do today.

IMG_0975Outside

IMG_0999Happy customers 🙂

IMG_1014Seating area

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IMG_1024There it is. One of the best cake donuts you’ll have with super chocolate taste and a perfectly balanced vanilla cake offset.

Donut Reviews

Glazed Creme Filled – Beiler’s Doughnuts – Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, PA

So I have been super lucky and hit some donut hot spots since starting my donut diaries endeavors. Beiler’s Doughnuts (located in the Reading Terminal Market situated in my own personal hedonistic city of Philadelphia) continually tops lists as the #1 donut in Pennsylvania. (Google it.) When I lived in Philly in the early 2000s, Reading Terminal topped my personal list of places to eat. I didn’t know Beiler’s by name. I called it the Amish bakery – but they’re actually Pennsylvania Dutch. They had a small collection of donuts offered and I always chose the powdered cream filled. Delicious. Also, their restaurant had a not-of-this-world chicken and waffles special that is hard to pin down the day it’s offered and a bakery that every single things is way below big city prices and doesn’t offer anything less than the best *fill in the blank* you have ever bought. My favorites are the cheesecake cupcakes and raspberry pie. Any Beiler’s product can change souls and make grown men cry.

Keep in mind when I tried these donuts I had high standards – holding onto my past over-the-top fantastical experiences and now reading from multiple food journalists these are the best donuts IN ALL OF PA. The first donut I tried from the all-donut Beiler’s shop was the Glazed Creme Filled. Maybe I should have gone big and tried the peanut butter and jelly or the key lime donut to have felt the true essence of a number one donut shop. Glazed is glazed and this is DEFINITELY a delicious glazed donut. It’s similar to the cloud-like sweetness of a hot Krispy Kreme glazed but encompasses elevated taste, meaning the ingredients are of a better quality and it didn’t have to be hot to equal Krispy Kreme’s goodness (they gotta be hot from there or else they’re mediocre at best). The creme was not that nasty whipped cream or a grainy sugar – it’s light and fluffy and sweet and smooth. Of the fluff and sweet cream-filled variety, it is probs the best I had. I want to rave and say it’s the best donut I’ve had in Pennsylvania but I’m not sure. It was definitely the best glazed cream filled I have had because usually they aren’t mixed so major 🙂 🙂

THE BREAKDOWN: Glazed Creme Filled

Store: Beiler’s Doughnuts – Visit them virtually here

Address: 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Cost: About $1

What they want to highlight: They sell donuts.

What I thought was the highlight: They sell donuts.

Rating out of 5 stars: 4.0 – I mean if I said cream filled and glazed donuts weren’t my favorites/go-tos I’d be lying so a mix is 2 for the price of 1 🙂

Would I buy it again?: Probably, but they have so many kinds I might branch out.

What could make it better?: More frosting like cream – but that is just my sweet tooth – I think the majority of people would say this is the best cream filling they have ever had.

Do you think Beiler’s Doughnuts are the best donuts in Pennsylvania? Are they the best even in Philadelphia? How much do you love Reading Terminal? LEAVE A COMMENT and tell the world about it. Please 🙂

IMG_0838A sign of glory

IMG_0827IMG_0828Filling paradise ❤

IMG_0831Husband ❤ Waiting to check out

IMG_0836Lunch was at The Original Turkey in Reading Terminal. Honestly, I could write a whole blog just about this place’s 4 sandwiches and 4 sides. Phenomenal. And that husband is cuuuuuuuute.

img_0842.jpgIt looks homemade in the best way.

IMG_0843Crispy glaze, soft cream, good filling coverage, and almost croissant textured dough. Love.

If you made it all the way to here you must love the blog or love to hate it. Either way, sign up for Marie’s Donut Diaries by clicking follow in the bottom right or go here.

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

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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

Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery, Kelly’s Bakery, Ross Bakery, The Donut Spot, Jupiter Coffee & Donuts, Central Pastry Shop – Day 1 – Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio

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

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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

img_0474.jpgThe 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? 🙂

img_0477.jpgIMG_0478Zee 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.

IMG_0499

The lovely cream cheese filled donut. Might have been called a Cheesecake Donut? Details don’t matter when you’re in love.

IMG_0498Oreoooooooooooooo.

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.

IMG_0507Moon and Star? Planet and Rising Sun? Parallel Universe Donuts.

IMG_0531Best jelly donut if I had to say so 🙂

Stop 6 – Central Pastry Shop – 1518 Central Ave, Middletown, OH 45044

IMG_0511When 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.

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IMG_0526So. 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.

Donut Reviews

Mighty Fine Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons, Papa John’s – National Donut Day – Erie, PA

So it’s been a donutful day and I think I’m done consuming, for now, so here’s the rundown of how I celebrated National Donut Day in 2018. There are FIVE STOPS so keep reading 🙂 Comment below and tell me how you celebrated.

First stop this morning was Mighty Fine donuts. There was nowhere to park on the street side near the shop. Good sign. The place was packed with frantic customers. Everyone seemed happy to be celebrating National Donut Day. I ordered a chocolate cream filled donut, which is pretty much my all-time favorite donut ever, and I have some disappointing news. It’s not the donuts fault 😦 But for some reason that I’ve decided can only be explained by reasoning that some higher power is punishing me….my favorite donut has not been appealing since I got pregnant. It really is tragedy at its finest. I could give the excuse that I need one every day because the baby likes chocolate cream filled donuts from Mighty Fine, but written like a Shakespearian Play, tragedy has struck my house and the baby DOESN’T like them. BUT I still loved the fritter I had the other day from Mighty Fine and I know it’s just my pregnant body being picky so I’m excited for when I can pick back up where I left off worshipping these donuts after I give birth to a better set of taste buds.

IMG_0421Lots of traffic at 26th and Parade today.

IMG_0426 2The less photographed Mighty Fine sign. Couldn’t get a better pic cause too much traffic.

img_0427.jpgAgain my weak photo skills don’t capture the bustle of the donut shop but It was full of donut lovers and people being rude 🙂 Thankfully the servers were nice and pleasant. Thank you for everything you do for me Mighty Fine 🙂 ❤

The Chocolate Cream Filled Donut from Mighty Fine. A fan favorite. Crowd pleaser. My baby hates it 😦 I’m crying.

Next, I headed up to Krispy Kreme. They offered a totally free donut so I figured, why not? Plus I haven’t had one in a millennium and I’ve heard so much hate spewed about them since I had one last so I had to see if they weren’t as good as I remember.

UM IT WAS BETTER THAN I REMEMBER. I think the baby has a thing for glazed donuts because every one I have had she has loved. They had a ton of variety in their display cases but I wanted the hot glazed. (Is that still free every time the hot light is on?) Oh, it was hot. It was better than I remember. Sinful. I wanted to go back in, buy a whole dozen, go home and finish them off. It was amazing. Most worthwhile stop of the day. So when you see that hot light bling you best get yourself a hot glazed donut.

img_0428.jpgThis is the sign to look for. The HOT NOW sign ❤ ❤ ❤ Lit up like me before I was pregnant.

Felt like home. Those are all hot donuts. My fat mouth is watering.

IMG_0437I ruined the perfection with my thumb. GO GET ONE OF THESE TODAY 🙂 FREE

I didn’t want to eat another donut and especially not one I had to pay for from Tim Horton’s. BUT I wanted to see if they had the “Gold Timbits” in Erie. So I asked the girl at the counter for Gold Timbits. She was like “Whhhhaaa….I don’t think so.” That’s what her face said. She was a little less talkative than that. How did I know this was going to be embarrassing?

Next, I went to Dunkin’ ’cause I woke up extra early and wanted an iced latte. I got the cookie dough iced latte and it was v delicious. Love their ice cream flavor drinks in the summer ❤ Since I got a free donut I decided to try their glazed. No comparison to Krispy Kreme but despite the minimal glaze and my general indifference towards their donuts it was better than expected. A win. And it was FREE (with my purchase). *Side note – THE APP WOULDN’T LET ME ORDER. Usual DD Dramatics. Please get your sh!t together.

IMG_0438Would you look at that? A glazed donut….

So I didn’t know if I would get hungry again after all that consumption, but so strange – I DID! So I ordered a Hawaiian “low fat” pizza or something online from Papa John’s to get their free donuts they made especially for National Donut Day. I thought they were going to be just plain dough with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them. They were bite-sized little guys so if you eat the whole box it’s like totes no big deal. So I popped one and it was filled! I think it was apple. So I tried another! It was filled! I think with apple? So I tried another! I think it was filled but this time I thought it might be caramel??? I don’t know but I like it. So I dissected one. And two and three and decided it is some sort of super sweet syrupy thing that could be either apple and/or caramel but I didn’t see any additional filling that distinctively had fruit so I’m saying they are caramel filled. AND THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE FOR DINNER TONIGHT! I love their pizza, really I do, and so does the baby apparently. And this one time only donut was more than just hype – it was probably the best donut hole I’ve had since I was little and donut holes were really actually donut holes. Not these bs overcharged wads of dough not holed from a donut for sale nowadays.

IMG_0450“That’s a really great photo.” – Me

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  1. The dawning of a new donut. 2. Lobsta donut. 3. What is that? 4. Another one?

If you have brains you will get Papa John’s tonight. Please, someone, tell me what that filling is. LIKE THIS POST! Comment below too!!

Uncategorized

Get Your Line Up for National Donut Day – June 1st, 2018

Untitled design (1)If you haven’t subscribed to donut-diaries.com CLICK HERE to sign up for my guide to National Donut Day. If you don’t see the popup, click follow at the bottom right of the screen. The list includes a super healthy donut option that is nationwide, one-day-only donut treats you can eat with your dinner, and FREE donuts from some of your favorite shops. If you’re having trouble signing up you can email me at mariesdonutdiaries@gmail.com

Make sure you’re following Marie’s Donut Diaries on Facebook and Instagram for all of my National Donut Day info and my trip on the Butler County Donut Trail this weekend 🙂

Donut Reviews

Strawberry Fritter – Mighty Fine Donuts Review – Erie, PA

I started writing and rewriting this post 10 times because, how do you start talking about the love of your life? Mighty Fine Donuts was the reason I went to confirmation classes, a place to smoke cigarettes and play lottery any time of the day or night, and my all-time favorite donut shop. I’ve been lucky to have a close relationship to the donut store for many years and will never turn down an invitation to go there. Sometimes when I’m alone, I have to stay away because the force of my love is so great I could self-destruct. So after fighting with myself back and forth deciding to go or not to go today – I rationalized to buy their fancy donuts that don’t come in the regular dozen pricing so I wouldn’t go nuts and eat a dozen donuts as soon as I got home.

Mighty Fine’s Fritters are delicious. They contain the balance of crispy outsides and sticky insides that all glazed confections should encompass. I chose the Strawberry Fritter this morning and was served by a friendly lady who shared some of her baby stories with me ❤ I left feeling happy and ready to EAT. I had the shakes when I finally got home and opened the bag. The fritter had the taste of what I was craving in my head. The outside had the fried crunch and glaze that was fresh and flavorful. The dough was fluffy inside with cinnamon (?) swirl throughout so it was not short on taste and never was a flat one-note donut. There was a pink tinge but overall I didn’t detect a lot of strawberry flavor. I didn’t care. It was so good.

THE BREAKDOWN: Strawberry Fritter

Store: Mighty Fine Donuts – Here’s their Facebook

Address: 2612 Parade St, Erie, PA 16504

Cost: $1.35 (I think :*)

What they want to highlight: They make good donuts.

What I thought was the highlight: Their display. ***GLORIOUS***

Rating out of 5 stars: 4.0 – It was exactly what I wanted, but didn’t really feel the strawberry connection, but also did not care.

Would I buy it again?: Yes, definitely when I need to buy a one-off donut and I’m not hoarding a whole dozen.

What could make it better?: To change the name to just fritter?

Leave a comment about Mighty Fine the Mighty Finest BELOW. Please 🙂 Ask me anything about them. If I don’t know I’ll try to find out. Hope you get some Mighty Fine soon!

Pre donut glory. My Presque Isle walk and Lighthouse visit got me HYPED!

IMG_0383.JPGI’ve seen better pictures of this storefront taken by accident. Still needed to show the Mighty Fine sign despite my poor skills.

IMG_0388IMG_0390Man, my photography was on point this morning! lol But really, the donuts still look amazing. A testament to their perfection.

The Strawberry Fritter ❤ Mighty Fine Goodness.