It’s a fool’s errand trying to select the best type of doughnut, so instead, let’s land on the best 13, fittingly a baker’s dozen. On any given day and at any given doughnut shop, any style can be the best or the worst with variables beginning with ingredients, then freshness but must also take into account size, appearance/aesthetics, value, and quite simply what kind of mood you’re in.
Doughnuts are not all round with a hole in the middle. Many are yeasted, but cake doughnuts beg the question, should they be called batternuts since they’re not made from dough? From bars to Bismarks, fritters to “donut holes”—and that’s even before we tackle oliebollen, frybread, zeppole, pączki, and loukoumades—it stands to reason that one of America’s favorite treats boasts plenty of diversity.
Americans eat over ten billion doughnuts a year, meaning the average person eats over 30 annually. From veering your car toward the illuminated “Hot Now” neon sign at Krispy Kreme, to the late-night grease traps in mini malls, to the bougie morsels designed (and priced) for Instagram influencers, there’s a doughnut out there for every budget, mood, and palate. Here is the unquestionable, indisputable, irrefutable countdown of the 13 best doughnuts out there.