National Doughnut Week (7-14 May) is upon us for a historic 25th year, with official sponsor CSM Bakery Solutions and a host of other bakeries raising money for child brain injury charity The Children’s Trust.
Soft, sweet and fluffy, the doughnut is perhaps the ultimate comfort food in patisserie and can be full of variety, from iced ring doughnuts to jam-filled round ones.
Here at British Baker, we have rounded up 10 of the best places to enjoy doughnuts in the UK:
Bread Ahead Bakery – London
Who? Bread Ahead is a bakery and cookery school in London, founded in 2013 by experienced bakers Matt Jones and Justin Gellatly. It trades at a stall in Borough Market, as well as running premises at Old Street and Westfield Stratford City.
Why go? Artisan doughnuts are big with Bread Ahead. With a mission statement of bringing quality baking to the masses, Bread Ahead specialises in producing artisan breads and doughnuts, including running regular half-day doughnut courses which promise to teach you how to make your own “custard grenades”.
One TripAdvisor review from stiegnu, of Zurich, Switzerland, raved: “Wow! As a donut lover and US citizen, I have had my fair share of tasty, cakey, fluffy, and generally scrumptious donuts. Although, whether they’ve been from the largest and most popular chains, or a small independent donut shop, they were never nearly as good as the donuts we tried here at the Borough Market.”
Crosstown Doughnuts – London
Who? Crosstown Doughnuts positions itself very clearly at the trendy, highly artisan end of the market with innovative flavours and hip marketing campaigns such as launching its 2015 autumn range with the help of street artist Nathan Bowen. It sells its wares from its flagship Soho store, a variety of market stalls across London and a few selected retailers including Selfridges.
Why go? Crosstown specialises in producing unusual, on-trend flavours such as matcha tea, dulce de leche and rhubarb & raspberry. The doughnuts are made fresh every day with a sourdough base and the company prides itself on being a completely from-scratch bakery, producing all its own jams, fillings and glazes.
Dum Dum Donutterie – London
Who? Founded by Paul Hurley in 1997 with the vision to create “The Best Doughnut in the World”, Dum Dum runs several stores in London including one in Harrods. It also sells online and has recently launched its first international outlet in Dubai.
Why go? Dum Dum’s doughnuts are made using a patented patisserie-style baking process rather than being fried, which results in fat content being slashed by up to a half. The company also produces giant 10- and eight-inch doughnuts for special occasions.
You Doughnut – London
Who? A mobile doughnut producer which trades every Thursday-Saturday at Street Feast’s Dinerama street food arena. It also attends other food festivals and private events.
Why go? Serving up something a little different, You Doughnut specialises in producing cups of artisan mini doughnuts which are filled or covered with a variety of sauces and toppings.
The London Evening Standard raved about the doughnuts, saying: “Tiny and light as a feather, these doughnuts are cooked to order in front of you by a pair of street foodies with a growing following.”
Pippin Doughnuts – Wiltshire
Who? Pippin Doughnuts is a family business which exclusively makes doughnuts. It sells its wares at a variety of farmers markets in the area surrounding the Cotswolds, including in Bristol, Oxford and Swindon. In 2011, the company won a gold award at the Great Taste Awards.
Why go? The doughnuts are handmade on the morning they are due to be sold using fresh and local ingredients. In addition to six classic lines, including vanilla custard and lemon curd, Pippin always offers three seasonal choices: a seasonal jam, a glazed doughnut and a double filling option such as rhubarb and custard.
The Nottingham Doughnut Co – Nottingham
Who? A doughnut company located in the heart of Nottingham city centre, The Nottingham Doughnut Co was launched after Wade Smith and Megan Scaddan started making doughnuts to raise some holiday money. So successful were they that they launched a full-time shop last October.
Why go? The business is already wowing customers and building up a loyal following. mossop100 of Loughborough said on TripAdvisor: “The best doughnuts I have ever eaten! The Simpsons and the Reeses [sic] doughnuts are amazing. Will be visiting again very soon.”
The Donut Kitchen – York
Who? Founded by Nicola and Alex Slee, The Donut Kitchen slow-cooks its doughnuts to order to form a light, fluffy texture. The business trades out of a mobile catering unit with a permanent pitch in Silver Street, York, and also attends food and drink events in the Yorkshire area.
Why go? In addition to offering traditional sugared doughnuts served with Belgian chocolate dipping sauces, the company also sells the harder-to-find loukoumades. Essentially the Greek answer to doughnuts, the little balls are served with a honey glaze and come with a nut and cinnamon topping.
Tantrum Doughnuts – Glasgow
Who? Tantrum Doughnuts is a small producer of seasonally-flavoured doughnuts, fried in small batches throughout the day in high-quality rapeseed oil. The company also sells homemade milkshakes and freshly ground coffee and makes its own fillings and toppings.
Why go? Customers seem to love the company, with Joanna D saying on TripAdvisor: “Amazing donuts we were rushing off and made a quick stop for donuts and so, so glad we did. Each one was amazing in its own right. Just do it, your future self will thank you for it.”
Fisher & Donaldson – Fife
Who? A fifth-generation family bakery producing a wide range of bread, cakes, chocolates and morning goods. Founded in 1919, the bakery is fast approaching its centenary and runs seven shops in St Andrews, Cupar and Dundee.
Why go? The Fisher & Donaldson Fudge Doughnut. A combination of fluffy doughnut, custard and creamy fudge icing, the doughnut is so popular it has its own Instagram hashtag (#fdfudge) and causes the bakery to get through 10 tonnes of fudge a year.
The company says of its secret recipe: “Some families leave silverware and jewellery, but ours hands down recipes. This, the most prized, is kept in two parts in five locations.”
And just for National Doughnut Week…
Dunn’s Bakery – London
Who? Dunn’s Bakery is based in Crouch End, London, and run by fifth-generation baker Christopher Freeman and his wife Christina. A traditional bakery, it produces a wide range of wares including breads, cakes and doughnuts.
The bakery has traditionally been a big supporter of National Doughnut Week and this year is donating (or should that be doughnating?) 25p to the Children’s Trust for every doughnut it sells.
Something Special… To raise the profile of National Doughnut Week, Dunn’s created a special batch of Leicester City-themed doughnuts to celebrate the club’s heroic victory in the Premier League. The doughnuts were sent to members of the local press including at BBC Leicester and the Leicester Mercury.