Dunkin’ Donuts is about to dunk on some of its donuts. The pastry-and-coffee outlet, facing down Starbucks, McDonalds, and your local bespoke artisanal donut shop, is about to turf at least a third of its permanent menu of donuts, possibly even half. Though, to be fair, the current menu is staggering.
Some of these donuts will survive this great pasty purge: People will eat anything with chocolate frosting on it, and good ol’ glazed isn’t going anywhere. It’s the more unusual donuts, the cult favorites, that need our support. Besides, as you’ll see below, it’s the quirky donuts the tiny bakeries are turning out. So, for Dunky’s future and our tastebuds, here are ten donuts that deserve to stay.
Donuts are sweet, sweet, sweet. But the snap of lemon in a lemon donut brings it back and gives it a tang you don’t often find in fast food places. Donuts need to be different, and some tart lemon is a good start.
Chocolate and vanilla are common flavors for a reason, and they often enhance each other. Ever left the vanilla out of a chocolate cake?
It’s easy to write off the Marble Frosted as a gimmick donut, but it’s a different taste from the rest.
Yes, it sounds goofy. Cinnamon is a spice from Asia, and guava is from central America. The two were never meant to meet. But they’re not a taste you’ll soon forget.
Dunky’s shows its New England past by featuring butternut toppings. The butternut topping is actually coconut, cornflower and sugar, but you’d be hard-pressed to put that together by tasting it.
Sour Cream Donut
As the name implies, this old-school donut is made with a generous dollop of sour cream. That distinctive look, with the big cracks and crannies, are a function of the recipe and back in the day, it was a common donut. This isn’t just a delicious shift from the norm for many of us, but a connection to America’s grand history of fried goods.
Speaking of grand histories, Canada also has a long history and deep affection for the donut, and often donut ideas would cross borders as American bakers saw the French influence. The French Apple reflects that fine history, even if Canada does continue to spite us by refusing to export the Timbit.
Spiced Dulce De Leche
Dulce de leche, on its own, is just sugar. It needs a contrast that a simple donut just can’t provide. The spice ensures you taste more than just sugar and gives the donut a more complex flavor than your typical sweet bomb.
Maple Crumb Cake
Maple frosted sits on diner counters across the land, but maple crumb cake offers a different texture and, made right, a different stripe of maple than the sometimes overly sugary frosting Dunks ladle’s on their fried dough.
Oddly, despite being chocolate on top of chocolate, something people supposedly love, the double chocolate donut is something of a dark horse. Some people can’t handle the chocolate one-two punch (or can’t lie to themselves that it’s part of a balanced breakfast), but hopefully double chocolate being delicious is enough to help it survive.
Okay, we admit, these could stand to improve. But they offer a valuable island of flavor in a company with nine different vanilla donuts.
What about you? Any donut you want to see kept? Let us know!