PVDonuts doughnuts

Doughnuts have become well-rounded treats. Today, you’ll find doughnuts not just for breakfast but dessert, too, and made from non-traditional ingredients. Here, we give rise to the new doughnut, with a round-up of uniquely-crafted doughnuts that are trending across the country.

Chef Shawn Burnette’s secret behind the doughnuts at Circa Brewing Co. in downtown Brooklyn, is using the spent grains from the brewery—as part of his mission to keep the grains from landfills. After the grains are used in making the beer in the brewery, they are added to a weighted filter bag until they are dried most of the way. The grains are then milled in a food processor with salt. Once they are the correct texture, they are used in the same ratio as flour in the dough. Even better: The brewery’s stout is used for the doughnut glaze.

Brewnuts beer donuts in Cleveland

Rachelle Miller Photography / Brewnuts

Beer is also behind the doughnuts at Brewnuts. The Cleveland, Ohio brewery makes small batch, craft beer-based doughnuts. The beer is used in different ways depending on the doughnut recipe. Sometimes the beer is used in doughnut batter, sometimes it is reduced and used in an icing, and sometimes even as a liquid component in a filling, says co-owner Shelley Pippin. Flavors include Maple Bacon Bourbon Ale, Gooseberry and Elysian Brewing Dayglow IPA jam-filled doughnuts topped with ginger icing and brown sugar oatmeal crumble, and a classic doughnut made with Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Dortmunder Gold Lager.

Brewnuts beer doughnuts

Rachelle Miller Photography / Brewnuts

Looking for healthy doughnuts? Registered dietician and nutritionist Lindsey Bristol with Swanson Health, a wellness solutions company, recommends baked doughnuts combined with fruit or veggies, like bananas or carrots, and spices with beneficial antioxidants, such as cardamom or turmeric. One of her faves is a baked banana doughnut recipe, which uses unsweetened applesauce and coconut sugar. Check it out here. Another of Bristol’s favorites: A vegan doughnut made with spelt flour and organic cashew topping. Get the recipe.

baked banana doughnuts

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Lisa Hayim, MS RD, owner of the Well Necessities blog, makes a doughnut with tiger nut flour. Despite its name, tiger nuts are nut-free. The tiger nut is a root vegetable with a naturally sweet taste, and a good source of prebiotics thanks to resistant starch (prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that essentially feeds the good bacteria in your gut, not to be confused with probiotics, the beneficial live bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods). In addition to tiger nut flour, the recipe calls for almond flour, vanilla almond milk, baking powder, and chocolate chips. A chocolate or nut butter drizzle and dried cranberries are sometimes added. Here’s the recipe.

The doughnuts at ROCKsalt in the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa are made with poi, one of Hawaii’s staple foods. The recipe uses a poi starter (similar to a sourdough starter) that’s made from a combo of dehydrated poi, flour, and water. The poi helps the leavening process while also evening out the sweetness and providing a vibrant purple shade to the doughnut dough. For added depth of flavor, the poi starter is left to proof for about 90 minutes, before it is mixed with the rest of the traditional doughnut ingredients (butter, eggs, salt, and milk). The dough is then left to retard overnight. “The longer fermentation process allows the dough to achieve a good rise and also contributes to a more prominent flavor from the poi,” says a spokeswoman for ROCKsalt. Once the dough rests, it is rolled, cut, and dropped in the deep fryer, then served with a salted lilikoi caramel dipping sauce (made from a combo of caramel, Maui lilikoi puree, and a pinch of Hawaiian sea salt), and dusted with powdered sugar tableside.

poi donuts at ROCKsalt at the Sheraton Maui


Brioche dough is also trending in doughnuts. “Brioche doughnuts typically have stretchy interiors, rather than crumbly, and feel much airier and lighter,” says a spokeswoman for PVDonuts in Providence, Rhode Island. One of the popular options at PVDonuts is the brioche yeasted doughnut, which contains more butter than sugar. And because the doughnuts are less sweet, it allows them to be covered with sugary toppings like butterscotch crunch.

broiche douhgnuts with Fruity Pebbles


The doughnuts at Earth at Hidden Ponds in Kennebunkport, Maine, are also made from brioche dough, using Casco Bay butter, which is locally crafted in Scarborough, Maine. This season’s doughnut stud: a sassafras and sarsaparilla glazed doughnut.

doughnuts at Earth Hidden Pond Restaurant in Maine

Heidi Kirn / Earth Hidden Pond Restaurant

And the doughnuts at Stan’s Donuts & Coffee in Chicago are made from European-style croissant dough. “The dough has multiple laminations using European-style butter, high in butterfat, creating crispy layers that would impress Mary Berry,” says Rich Labriola, owner and Chief Doughboy. The doughnuts are then filled with “just the right amount of pastry cream, coated in granulated sugar, and topped with a thick glaze of royal vanilla icing.”

croissant laminated doughnut at Le Stan in Chicago

Stan’s Donuts & Coffe

Header image courtesy of PVDonuts.

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