Building a Better Donut

Building a Better Donut

If we take a look back in time we can trace the origin of the donut back to prehistoric ruins in the Southwestern United States. It is unclear how Native Americans were able to create these fried cakes back then, so many historians begin discussion of donuts in the mid-19th century.

When donuts were first created in modern America they had trouble cooking the cake all the way through, often leaving the center undercooked. This is where many people believe that the hole in the center comes from.

However, not all donuts have holes in them. Donuts have grown and adapted to new desires and demands. The possibilities that donuts provide are endless and continue to evolve every day.

The Donut

A doughnut, or donut, is a small fried cake of sweetened dough, typically in the shape of a ball or ring.

This is the bare bones definition of a donut, which leaves many avenues of enhancing the creation.

After the donut is fried, it can be enhanced with many toppings or fillings.

Traditional Donuts

Traditional donuts are the ones you are likely familiar with. These are the kinds of donuts that you will encounter most often at mainstream donut shops. There are many kinds of traditional donut that are all equally delicious.

Old Fashioned Donuts – Old fashioned donuts are cake donuts with an imperfect and irregular ring shape. They are often a little more cooked on the outside than normal cake donuts.

Cake Donuts – Cake donuts are donuts made from a cake-like batter and are leavened with baking powder or baking soda. These donuts are dense and crumbly, and have more of a crust than a yeast donut.

Yeast Donuts – Yeast donuts use yeast as the leavening agent, which makes them fluffy and airy. They are more doughy and less cakey, making them lighter more malleable. They are also known as “raised donuts” because the yeast raises the dough.

Glazed Donuts – Glazed donuts are usually yeasted donuts with a sweet and sugary coating, but other kinds of donuts can be glazed as well. Glazes can come in many different flavors, from fruity to sweet, and even savory. Glazed donuts are one of the most well-known and classic ways to prepare a donut.


Filled Donuts

Filled donuts are exactly what they sound like, a donut with filling inside. This phenomenon started around the same time as the creation of the donut. People often had difficulty cooking the center of the donut, so they would remove the center and replace it with fruit or other sweets.

Jelly Donuts – These round and complete donuts are usually leavened with yeast and then filled with jelly, jam, or preserves. They may also be glazed or covered in powdered sugar.

Creme-Filled Donuts – These, generally yeasted, whole donuts can be full of any kind of cream filling. You could fill a creme-filled donut with any flavor creme you could think of. They may also be glazed or covered in powdered sugar.

Boston Creme Donuts – The boston creme donut was created out of inspiration from a Boston Creme pie. It is a holeless donut with a vanilla custard filling and a chocolate glaze on top.


Donut Variants

The term “donut” is open to interpretation and fits many items that have a fried dough base. Here are some examples of donut variants that stretch the mainstream idea of what classifies a donut. Each and every one of these treats has the taste to back up their claim to donut fame.

Cruller – Crullers are a different shape than the traditional donut shape. They have more of an oblong or straight strip shape. There are many variations of crullers in different parts of the world, but they all share the same delicious twisted fried dough.

French Cruller – French crullers are very similar to the regular cruller, but are presented in the more traditional shape. They may appear layered or extremely raised. They may also be called French Doughnut, or French Twist.

Long Johns and Eclairs – Long Johns and eclairs are also long straight shaped treats. They may also be called sticks, or bar donuts. These snacks are made of fried dough and are usually covered in a chocolate glaze; imagine it as a donut hotdog or a sweet breadstick. If the long john is filled with a creme or other filling, it then becomes an eclair. Eclairs can either be baked or fried.

Beavertail – Beavertails are another uniquely shaped donut relative. They are made from fried dough that is flattened out to create a shape similar to that of a beaver’s tail. The flat surface is great for adding icing or other sugary-sweet topping options.

Potato Donuts – Though these donuts are the traditional shape, they do not use the traditional ingredients, thus causing for a complete change of foundation in the donut. Potato donuts are made with mashed potatoes or potato starch, replacing some or all of the flour in the dough. They resemble yeasted donuts, but have more discrepancy from the exterior and interior of the pastry.  

Cider Donuts – Cider donuts are cake donuts that are usually made during the apple harvest season. They include apple cider in the batter along with cinnamon and nutmeg. These are some of the original flavors attached to the history of the first popular donut. Some are covered in sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Donut Holes – Donut holes are a creation satisfying the idea that the center of the donut is removed; they complete the missing “hole” in the traditional donut shape. They can be yeasted, cake, or any other type of donut, and can even have fillings, glazes, or coatings.

No matter what kind of donut you choose, you can almost guarantee to be satisfied by it. With all of these options to choose from it can be hard to find the right one, but there is never a bad time to try a new kind of donut!

We here at Zombie Coffee and Donuts understand the idea of customer satisfaction. That is why at Zombie Coffee and Donuts we provide you with over 80,000 combinations of toppings and ways to prepare and customize your very own donut. From base, to glaze, to topping, you can make your cake donut the way you like it. We give you the power to build your best donut.