The donut is a near-perfect dessert. For starters, it’s fried dough — which sort of automatically makes it delicious. It also often comes in a perfectly circular shape — and who isn’t a fan of symmetry? Plus, the variations! You can go basic, with cheap sugar icing and rainbow-colored sugar sprinkles, or get as snobby as you want and opt for more “culinary” donuts topped with fresh fruit and organic ingredients. There are cake donuts, glazed donuts, jelly-filled donuts, donuts with cereal on top, donut twists, donut holes…
F***ING BACON DONUTS!
Sorry, I got a little overexcited there. Point being, the donut is a culinary canvas for an infinite number of wild dessert/ breakfast ideas, which is why it’s no surprise that Krispy Kreme — probably the most famous donut chain nationwide next to Dunkin’ — has linked up with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups every year since 2017 in an effort to craft the perfect combination of the two beloved snacks. This year, instead of dropping a fourth iteration of their collaboration, Krispy Kreme is mixing it up a bit. They’re serving up all three Reese’s Krispy Kreme donuts for a limited time, to give fans the chance to single out which year’s donut deserves a permanent place on the menu.
Naturally, we had to throw our two cents into the mix. And you’d better believe we have pretty strong opinions about which of these three donuts — 2017’s Classic Reese’s Donut, 2018’s Reese’s Outrageous Donut, or 2019’s Reese’s Original Filled Chocolate Lovers Donut — deserve that permanent menu spot. If you disagree with our pick (which would be insane) you can vote by tagging @krispykreme across your social accounts this weekend.
3rd Place: Reese’s Filled Chocolate Lovers
2019’s Krispy Kreme Reese’s Original Filled Chocolate Lovers Donut ranked last for us. It’s not bad, it is a donut, after all. But it may be proof that Krispy Kreme is running out ideas on how to utilize the Reese’s name. A chocolate ring makes up the base of this donut, which is dipped in Hershey’s icing (you’ll actually be able to tell its Hersey’s, which is cool) filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Kreme, and topped off with some Reese’s peanut butter icing.
This just doesn’t really scream “Chocolate Lovers” to us. It’s certainly chocolate cake, but with the peanut butter filling and minimalist three-stripe peanut butter icing on top, this feels more like peanut butter’s show than chocolate’s. While the flavors combine nicely (hence the success of Reese’s), with the peanut butter acting as a sweet contrast to the semi-bitter chocolate, this donut just left us underwhelmed.
Don’t worry, it gets much better from here.
2nd Place: Reese’s Outrageous
We went back and forth on 2018’s Reese’s Outrageous donut quite a bit. On appearance alone, it was the clear winner. When someone says “Reese’s donut,” you won’t necessarily imagine the Reese’s Pieces toppings, but the Reese’s Outrageous Donut is probably pretty close to what comes to mind. At the very least, the Reese’s Pieces act as a visual signifier that you’re about to experience a Reese’s donut, something 2019’s Filled Chocolate Lovers didn’t have going for it.
Diving into the donut, you’ll find a soft, yeasty chocolate ring dipped in Hershey’s chocolate, with the Pieces adding some crunch and texture to play off of the sponginess of the donut. While the contrasting textures are the first thing your mouth will notice, once the flavors begin to work their way across your palate you’ll begin to understand why they called this one “Outrageous.”
The combination of Hershey’s chocolate and the crunchy chocolate and peanut butter filled Reese’s pieces is an intense combination of flavors in itself — this donut will make you feel like a Reese’s lover, at the very least — but the whole thing is really pulled together by the salty caramel peanut butter drizzle on top. Those toasted notes of caramel and that creamy hint of peanut butter help to add some complexity to the donut that makes this feel less like a Frankensteinian collision of brands, and more a legitimate snack worthy of your time.
We wouldn’t be mad if this one takes the permanent spot!
1st Place: Reese’s Classic
Which brings us to the final and best tasting Reese’s donut Krispy Kreme has ever made — and it also happens to be the first. Krispy Kreme really knocked it out of the park with 2017’s Classic Reese’s Donut. And it’s not even a ring!
While the Outrageous definitely meets the visual expectations, at the end of the day that one just feels like an expensive chocolate-sprinkled donut with Reese’s pieces instead of sprinkles. The Reese’s Classic tastes like an actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in donut form and that experience is one we want to enjoy. Over and over.