The Donut: 35 Different Delicious Versions

A dozen donut

You might think you’re a donut expert from all your impromptu visits to Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme, but trust us – there are more delicious donuts out there than in your wildest dreams.

A good donut can be a nostalgic nosh that’ll take you back in time every time you sink your teeth into one. When you think of donuts, though, the standard flavors – old-fashioned, powdered, jelly – are probably the first to come to mind. While those are classics for a reason, there’s a myriad of other donuts out there, coming in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and flavors. 

You can find many of these flavors at your local donut shops, but if you want to try your hand at baking them yourself, go right ahead! Once you master donuts, you’ll be able to make all kinds of variations.

Donut #35: Lemon Glazed

Lemon Glaze Donut

Sure, glazed donuts are good, but sometimes you want a little more from your donut. Enter lemon glazed. It’s got a citrusy twang covered with a sweet glaze that’ll satisfy all your sweet n’ sour needs.

Donut #34: Blueberry Cake

blueberry cake donut

This is a sugary sweet treat that takes all your favorite things about cakes and donuts and leaves you wanting more. The blueberries are an added (and welcome) bonus – they’re baked right into the donut itself. 

When it comes to glaze or frosting, it all depends on your preferences. If you decide to go for it, we suggest using vanilla and adding some blueberries as toppings. If vanilla bores you, though, crush up a few blueberries and mix it into your frosting for more fruity flavor.

Donut #33: Maple Bar

Maple bar or long john on a white background

Maple bars don’t look like your traditional donut, but are just as yummy. Though they’re rectangular in shape, they’re made with the same method and ingredients as any other donut, topped with a thick frosting made from maple syrup. 

If you’re making this at home and have leftover frosting, you can fill the donuts with it. Aside from that, we suggest that you stick to the tried and true recipe. Maple is the main flavor here; you don’t want to overpower it by adding any chocolate.

Donut #32: French Cruller

French Cruller Donuts

Originating from western Europe, French crullers are lightweight, twisted donuts that have since found a home in North American cuisine. They tend to be a bit smaller in size, and their dough is piped, rather than hand rolled, like most donuts. 

Their small, twisted shape gives them a uniquely elegant look, heightened by their versatility. Since French crullers are a more plain donut, you can add any flavor you want to them with different types of glazes or frostings.

Donut #31: Apple Cider

Sweet and savory apple cider donuts on a table.

Apple cider donuts are delicious fall snacks that can usually be purchased at your local apple orchard. Contrary to what their name suggests, they’re not as tangy as apple cider is – expect, instead, a warm sweetness that you’ll be hard pressed to find in any other donut. 

Similar to French crullers, these also tend to be smaller. They’re also a cakey type of donut, with a denser feel. They can be glazed, but usually aren’t. They’re already sweet; a sugary glaze could be overkill.

Donut #30: Sour Cream

 sour cream donut

Sour cream might seem like a weird ingredient to put in a donut, but it’s actually pretty common – and delicious. These are a type of classic, plain donut that usually has a simple vanilla glaze. 

What sets it apart from similar donuts (like the old-fashioned) is the sour cream. This gives it a tangier flavor than it would have had otherwise. Still, it’s not too overpowering; the sugar and vanilla glaze complements it with sweetness.

Donut #29: Sugar Raised

Overhead view of a delicious sugar donut. Isolated on white.

Remember how we referred to apple cider donuts as “cakey”? Well, raised donuts are generally puffier than their cakey counterparts. They’re made with live yeast, like bread, which makes them rise. These are the kinds you’d find at Dunkin’ Donuts or similar donut chains, like Krispy Kreme. 

Sugar raised donuts are – you guessed it – sprinkled with sugar. They’re perfect for people who want to satisfy their donut cravings but don’t want to stuff themselves. While you can make these at home, they’re usually more difficult to make than cake donuts. If you are going to make a homemade raised donut, though, a sugar one is probably simplest.

Donut #28: Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Donut

If you’ve ever been inside a Dunkin’, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Pink frosting. Rainbow sprinkles. A raised donut that melts in your mouth. Sure, it doesn’t taste much like the fruit it gets its name from, but that’s probably not why you got it in the first place.

If you’re making this at home, though, you might want to consider adding thin strawberry slices on top of the icing. It’ll add a bit of freshness and some real strawberry flavor, if you find yourself missing it.

Donut #26: Cinnamon Twist

Cinnamon Twists

This is another donut that doesn’t have the traditional shape. You might’ve seen them before, without actually realizing that they’re donuts. 

The dough for cinnamon twists is braided together and baked until crispy. Depending on the recipe, you can either fill them with cinnamon and sugar, like a Cinnabon, or coat them with those toppings like a churro.

Donut #25: Bear Claw

Bear Claw

Bear Claws are pretty unique in the world of donuts, often viewed as a special type of pastry in a class of their own. Depending on how you make them, they can lean closer to donuts or danishes. Regardless, they all share one thing in common: their claw shape. 

Bear Claws also tend to be pretty large, and are ideal for sharing (though no shame if you decide to keep one all to yourself! We can’t blame you). They’re glazed with vanilla icing and often contain some type of filling, usually with cinnamon, apple, or almond flavors.

Donut #24: Pumpkin Spice

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Donuts Ready to Eat

Who doesn’t love a bit of pumpkin spice? Pair one of these with an apple cider donut, and you’ve got an autumn match made in heaven. These donuts can be cakey or raised, powdered with sugar or eaten plain. Whatever you decide, what matters most is the pumpkin flavor. Decorate with pumpkin-shaped or orange sprinkles for a cute, fall-themed dessert.

Donut #23: Bavarian Cream

Custard filled doughnuts

These are fluffy, raised donuts with whipped Bavarian cream at the center and a light coating of sugar. What separates this from other cream-filled donuts is this specific cream’s lightweight consistency.

When making Bavarian cream, whipped cream is folded into the mixture. If you’re a fan of Boston creams but don’t want to fill up on desserts, opt for this instead. Bavarian cream donuts are a lot lighter than you’d expect, but still get the job done.

Donut #22: Apple Fritter

Apple Fritter

Though they may not look like donuts, expert bakers know that apple fritters fit the bill. They’re a great pastry to make at home, and will use up any apples you’ve got lying around from the last time you went apple picking. 

Even though apple fritters are technically donuts on their own, you can still opt to make them into that recognizable donut ring shape, complete with a vanilla glaze.

Donut #21: Chocolate Iced Glazed

chocolate glazed donut

Not to be confused with a chocolate frosted donut, this is a purely chocolate donut with a vanilla glaze. It’s perfect for chocolate lovers who find plain glazed donuts to be…well, plain. Even with its chocolatey goodness, it’s a relatively simple donut, no sprinkles or special techniques required.

Donut #20: Mochi

Mochi donut

Mochi donuts are a relatively recent phenomenon, combining the popular Japanese and American snacks for a delicious dessert that’s as chewy as it is delightful. They owe part of their popularity to Mochinut, a rapidly-growing food chain that specializes in East Asian-inspired snacks.

If you’re unfamiliar with mochi, you’re missing out. These tiny rice cakes are usually stuffed with ice cream or red bean paste, and are becoming more popular in the western world. While mochi donuts tend to skip on the filling, they’re made out of rice flour, giving them a chewier consistency.

Donut #19: Vanilla Frosted

One bite missing of donut on blue background.

We’re getting back to basics with this one. This is a plain, raised donut coated with vanilla frosting. Sure, it’s not as complex or trendy as some of the other donuts on this list, but when has it ever let you down? 

If you’d rather take the time to bake these yourself instead of picking them up on your next Dunkin’ run, we’ve got a one-word tip for you: sprinkles. With some rainbow sprinkles, they’re bound to catch everyone’s eye.

Donut #18: Old Fashioned

Old Fashion Donut

The old-fashioned is the mother of all donuts. It’d be pastry heresy to make a list of the best donuts and not include it. These are dense cake donuts that have a similar make to their sour cream counterparts, except they use buttermilk instead. So, if the sour cream donuts kind of grossed you out, don’t feel bad. The old fashioned, as always, has your back.

Donut #17: Powdered Sugar

Powdered Sugar Donut

Famous for covering your hands, clothes, and anything within a five mile radius in powder, the powdered sugar donut is probably one of the messiest snacks you’ll ever eat. We wish we could turn it down in favor of something that doesn’t smear sugar on our pants, but we can’t. It’s just that good. 

These donuts are moist and cakey, with an unmatched sweetness that’s hard to find anywhere else. Doesn’t matter if you’re getting your next donut from a gourmet shop, a chain, or straight from your kitchen – powdered sugar will always be a favorite.

Donut #16: Chocolate Frosted

Did vanilla frosted not hit the spot? Is strawberry frosted just not cutting it? Never fear – chocolate frosted is here. Like vanilla and strawberry, chocolate frosted refers to plain, raised donuts topped with chocolate icing. 

These can be eaten with or without sprinkles, but come on, you don’t really want to eat this plain, do you? Get fancy with it! Rainbow sprinkles, chopped peanuts, coconut shavings – the world is your oyster when you’re eating a chocolate frosted.

Donut #15: Honey Dip

A small doughnut lies on a cardboard stand on a wooden table

Also known as “honey glazed,” honey dips have subtle sweetness anyone can appreciate. Instead of glazing the donuts with any sort of frosting or icing, these are dipped into a cold mixture of honey and water immediately after frying. 

Even if you’re usually not a fan of glazed donuts, these are worth a try. The honied flavor can be preferable to the sticky, sugary sweet taste of your average plain or chocolate glazed. If you’re making donuts at home and want to experiment with your glazes, try a honey dip!

Donut #14: Buttermilk Bar

Young blond woman enjoying eating great donut at the bakery store.

As the name suggests, these donuts are baked with buttermilk and shaped into bars, rather than rings, putting a twist on the old-fashioned. It maintains that same crispy texture and golden color, though, despite the unconventional shape. 

Buttermilk bars are usually glazed with vanilla, but a honey dip can work too – have fun with it. These are versatile donuts that allow for a lot of experimentation.

Donut #13: Raspberry Filled

 raspberry donuts

Technically, any kind of donut can have a raspberry filling, but they usually end up being plain or powdered. Regardless of the type of donut, what matters most is the raspberry jam at the center. The raspberry filling has a tart edge to it you won’t find with grapes. 

These are ideal for those who dislike the grape jam that typically fills jelly donuts, but still want a gooey, fruity addition to their dessert. If you want to buy these from a store, make sure you specify that you want raspberry jam.

Donut #12: Double Chocolate

Preparing doughnuts with chocolate glaze on a cooling rack, on pink background. Flat lay of hot donuts with melted chocolate topping. Delicious mini donuts.

If chocolate frosted or regular chocolate donuts don’t do it for you, and your favorite kind of dessert is chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate syrup, this is your donut. It’s made of chocolate and frosted with chocolate icing, giving you that extra wham! of chocolate you’ve been needing. 

Double chocolates are only for real chocolate lovers and sweet-tooth-havers – if you find yourself satisfied with a regular chocolate donut, steer clear of this one.

Donut #11: Cinnamon Sugar

Cinnamon and Sugar Mini Donuts-Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera

Topped with both cinnamon and sugar, this donut is the perfect blend of sugar, spice, and everything nice. We like to think of it as the powdered sugar donut’s cool cousin. If you want to bake donuts for the winter holidays, try these out.

Donut #10: Coconut

Close up Donut

Fan of Samoas? Then you’ve got to get your hands on some coconut donuts. These are completely covered with coconut shavings, either raw or toasted. You can have your pick, but we suggest toasted – it’ll add that extra crunch and bring out the flavor.

If you really want to replicate a Girl Scout Cookie, drizzle some melted chocolate on top.

Donut #9: Jelly Filled

German Berliner doughnut with raspberry jam filling on a blue seamless background. Macro image of a donut with jam. Homemade dessert. Famous sweets.

This is a broad term, but, as we mentioned earlier, it usually refers to a donut with grape jelly filling. Since the jelly filling is plenty sweet on its own, you’ll want to avoid going overboard with toppings. These are usually served with just a little sugar sprinkled on top and nothing else.

You can add some powdered sugar, but you’ll be fine without it.

Donut #8: Maple Iced Glazed

Maple Glazed Donut

These are similar to maple bars, but in the typical donut ring shape. With these, feel free to dip the entire donut into the maple glaze for a sweet, syrupy treat.

You can honestly use this glaze for any type of donut, but we think it’s best that you stick to plain – the maple icing has a distinct flavor that should take center stage. If you’re still itching to experiment with the icing, though, add some honey for a honey/maple twist.

Donut #7: Chocolate Long John

chocolate long john donut

Think of a Chocolate Long John like a Maple Bar with chocolate icing. With these, though, the icing isn’t exclusively reserved for the top. If you don’t mind getting a little messy, you can coat the whole thing in chocolate.

These can be made plain, but don’t be surprised if you bite into this donut and find heavy cream inside. Chocolate Long Johns, more often than not, are filled with cream or custard, sort of like a rectangular Bavarian Cream.

Donut #6: Glazed Twist

Glaze twisted donut

The sticky, sweet versions of Cinnamon Twists, these are closer to donuts than they are to churros. If you’re not into cinnamon, try these instead. They’re also raised, so they have the same shape and texture, except they forego the spices for a more traditional vanilla glaze.

Light, fluffy, and oh so good.

Donut #5: Plain

A group of plain donuts cooling off

A plain donut is pretty much self-explanatory, though they usually refer to raised donuts. A “plain” cake donut would be an old-fashioned.

You might say boring, but we say delicious. There’s no need for all the bells and whistles when your dessert is already this good. And if your donut doesn’t hold up when it’s got no toppings to hide behind, is it really that good? No glaze, no toppings, no icing or filling – just a regular, ring-shaped donut, plain and simple.

Donut #4: Glazed

Glazed donuts

This usually refers to a glazed plain donut, but you can really glaze anything, from creme brulee donuts to French Crullers. When you think of glazed donuts, though, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Krispy Kreme classic, and with good reason. With dough just as sweet and delicious as the glaze, these donuts prove that, sometimes, a simple vanilla glaze is all you need.

Donut #3: Chocolate Glazed

Chocolate Donut

Think of this as the balance between a chocolate frosted and a double chocolate. If your regular chocolate frosted just isn’t doing it for you, but a double chocolate is a little too much, then a chocolate glazed is the perfect compromise.

This donut is plain, but completely dunked in a chocolate glaze. Sure, it’ll probably stick to your fingers, but one taste of that chocolate, and you’ll kiss all your regrets goodbye. 

If you’re making this at home, try making a dark chocolate glaze instead. Most stores will only give you a milk chocolate glaze, so dunking your donut into some melted dark chocolate will add a layer of richness.

Donut #2: Sprinkles

sprinkled donut

Sprinkles are a great addition to most donuts, especially when you want to make them more visually appealing. Why do you think they’re a staple at Dunkin’? Of course, you’ll need to add sprinkles to donuts that are already iced or glazed, ideally before it’s hardened, so that they stick. 

The type of sprinkles you choose depends on the effect you want the donuts to have. For example, pearl sprinkles can make any donut look elegant, while chocolate sprinkles can add a much-needed chocolatey flavor to an otherwise simple donut. With sprinkles, the sky’s the limit.

Donut #1: Boston Cream

Boston Creme Donuts

Think of this popular donut as a round Chocolate Long John. This miniature version of the Boston Cream Pie is made with a plain, raised donut, chocolate icing, and a heavy cream filling. If you tried a Bavarian cream donut and still felt hungry, get yourself a Boston cream instead. This dessert isn’t made to be elegant or put on airs: it’s filling, heavy, and sweet. Eat it with a napkin.

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