In the world of fast food, it’s very, very rare that we’d advocate for taking your time. Not only is that sort of missing the point of fast food, but regular purchasers of french fries, chicken sandwiches, and just about any other grab-and-go delight understands the peril of letting this stuff sit for too long. As your fast food order begins to settle, the delicate alchemy of oils, salt, and sugar that make crispy magic at higher temperatures rapidly congeals into a chewy, inedible mass. Some companies, like Wendy’s, are redesigning menu items to withstand delivery times and stay crispy. Meanwhile, with its new Glazed Pull Apart Donut, McDonald’s appears to have taken a slightly different approach: design a pastry that gets tastier after about 15 minutes of sitting in its bag.
The Glazed Pull Apart Donut is McDonald’s latest addition to the all-day breakfast pastry lineup, which was introduced in 2020 to replace the all-day breakfast menu of things like McGriddles, McMuffins, and Sausage Biscuits. The current iteration of all-day breakfast already has a Blueberry Muffin, an Apple Fritter, and a Cinnamon Roll; of those offerings, we liked the Blueberry Muffin best.
“What a pleasant surprise it was to bite into a muffin that was soft and pillowy, with a springy crumb and loads of actual blueberries!” wrote Allison Robicelli in The Takeout’s review of the new pastry menu, adding that the muffin was a touch too sugary sweet, but that’s to be expected with fast food breakfasts. The Glazed Pull Apart Donut is a sensible addition to the lineup, because it’s a lighter, airier offering that is nonetheless generous with the sticky-sweet glaze that fans of the Cinnamon Roll and Apple Fritter will enjoy.
We also must commend the design of the new donut. It’s got a bubbly shape akin to a mochi donut, a dessert that’s currently enjoying viral fame thanks to its highly Instagrammable aesthetic. The sharable nature of the seven pull-apart donut holes means it’s also an easy item to tack on to any order; throw one of these onto your ticket and everyone in your party has the perfect amount of sweetness to pair with their coffee, or a small dessert to cap off a meal of Crispy Chicken Sandwiches. Just be careful as you pull it apart; considerable shards of glaze are going to crumble off and fall onto your car’s floor mats. (But this happens whether you’re sharing it with others or not.)
As I pulled it from the bag, the donut was extra wobbly, raring to be ripped into seven pieces. I popped the first bite in my mouth and was initially disappointed: light and airy, yes, but not exactly fluffy. A bit dry through the middle, like a second-day burger bun. The glaze was slightly stiff on top; you can see it splintering on the surface in the photo above. Pairing it with a few sips of coffee greatly improved things. Then I got distracted on a phone call and left the donut abandoned on the counter for 25 minutes.
When I came back, things had considerably improved. The glaze no longer sat rigidly on top; the warmth of the sunny countertop had melted it slightly, and it seemed to have been partially absorbed by the surface of the donut. What had been a dry interior was now a bit moist, and while the glaze was still turning my hands extra sticky (a consideration for any road trips you might be taking), it was more adhered to each donut hole, less flaky and crumbly as I ripped each section away.
After eating five of the seven donut holes—which, again, you’ll want to pair with coffee to eradicate any lingering dryness!—I felt like I’d had a perfectly sized midmorning snack, one that you can pick at, set aside for a while, and return to with no decline in quality. I paid $1.98 after tax, a price point that makes this an easy way, if not a super exciting one, to treat yourself all day long. We all miss the all-day McMuffins, but for a consolation prize, you could do a lot worse than this cute little donut.