We’ve come a long way since the simple glazed or jam-filled doughnuts. These days, doughnuts have gone all creative on us, they’ve got bigger, bolder, more outrageous and far more decadent and we simply cannot keep up. Alas, here we are writing a lip-smacking guide and craving doughnuts like there’s no tomorrow. Dough-not look away now, hole foods are good for you after all…
Think of Borough Market and chances are, as well as the French cheeses and larger than life paella pans you’ll be thinking of Bread Ahead who bake everything in their bakery just round the corner. Their doughnuts are stuffed so generously that rather than topping with a delicate garnish they shove a chunk of honeycomb on the side, right on top of where the custard cream filling is oozing out. Their doughnuts are so iconic that they now offer workshops so you can learn the art of the perfect vanilla custard doughnut. Oh mama!
Where: Borough Market, Cathedral Street, London Bridge, SE1 9DE
You’ve feasted on bacon burgers, dug into ribs, slurped your way through a milkshake, you can’t possibly think about pudding… can you? Yes you can, you just have to find a space somewhere in that stomach of yours. Because you shouldn’t miss out on the deep fried Oreo doughnuts, just as deliciously, dirty as they sound. Dip them in chocolate sauce and rejoice.
If something is baked rather than fried then it makes it more healthy. So it doesn’t matter if they’re then stuffed with cream and chocolate does it? That’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway… Dum Dum doughnuts are the finest artisan baked doughnuts with flavours like crême brûlée, toffee apple, almond cream and pistachio. The godfather, though, is the ‘Zebra’. Arrive early before it sells out: layers of croissant dough and chocolate croissant dough filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache sell like hot cakes – but as we said, they’re baked not fried, so still healthy… shhh!
Where: Various locations
Hot, fresh and straight out of the fryer – that’s how doughnuts should be and that’s just how Betsy and Jo of You Doughnuts make them. Except theirs are bite-sized and covered in equally indulgent toppings – bite-sized equals bite more. Find them at Street Feast’s Dinerama every Thursday to Saturday, or if you’re hosting a party then get them involved, you’re going to be the host with the most, aren’t you. What are you waiting for, you doughnut?
Where: Dinerama, 19 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3EJ
Anywhere that seals their doughnuts with a loving kiss is fine by us. The piped ‘x’ on Crosstown Doughnuts has come to be a mini mark of quality – and proves pretty photogenic too. Still serving from stalls at Broadway Market, Spitalfields and Leather Lane, they now have a permanent spot in Soho for when the craving for a plump sourdough ball of dulce de leche gets a bit much. There are also plenty of award-winning vegan options available too!
Where: 4 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DA
As one of London’s most popular bakeries, St. John’s doesn’t let the side down when it comes to doughnuts. Available daily from Bread & Wine Spitalfields, Smithfield during the week at weekends in their Druid Street bakery as well as various cafes and delis across London, the message here is clear: get there early to avoid disappointment. Vanilla, chocolate, spiced apple and honeycomb are regular features, with seasonal fillings including rhubarb and cranberry and port throughout the year. Limit yourself though, or you’ll be needing St. Johns of the ambulance variety, rather than the bakery.
Rivalling the ring shaped doughnut, Longboys are the tasty treats bringing some serious patisserie credentials to the dessert scene. But what exactly it is you ask, panicking that you’re not the doughnut aficionado you once though! Well, a Longboy is an eclair/doughnut hybrid that combines traditional techniques and creative fillings. Bursting with ingredients, you can expect flavours such as sticky toffee, triple choc brownie, raspberry rose lychee and their brand new flavour, vanilla creme brûlée!
Plus, they’ve just introduced a pineapple and passionfruit finger doughnut available in Selfridge’s which pays homage to the store with its yellow hues. You can find them in the Bakery Counter on floor G!
Where: 400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1A 1AB
At Doughnut Time it’s always doghnut time – goals! Their incredibly cool doughnuts come in shapes, sizes and colours and there’s really never a dull day inside their various stores splattered across the city. From a Chris Hemsworthy red velvet vegan doughnut to the Nutella-filled Donutella Versace, there really is something for every palette.
Where: Various Locations
Just look at these doughnuts! Is your mouth not watering?! Bird’s doughnut hatch pushes out treats that are so good they should be trademarked. All are fresh, yeast-risen, made by hand and boast glazes that change daily. Flavours we absolutely champion are maple syrup, cinnamon sugar and Oreo, oh and anything with lashings of cream oozing out to be honest! You should also try the Ice Cream Doughnut Sandwich – an Oreo doughnut, halved and filled with vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce… the gym can wait!
Where: 42-44 Kingsland Road, E2 8DA
Never heard of Dominique Ansel’s bakery? Well, you’ve likely been living under a rock. Ansel is in fact the sole creator of the hugely popular Cronut; the most virally talked about dessert item in history that TIME magazine labelled as “one of the best inventions of the year.” The delight was born in 2013, in the New York chain and has since been labelled as a croissant-doughnut hybrid. You can feast on sweet treats left, right and centre at this bakery – what’s not to love?
Where: 17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9RP
Family run Rinkoff Bakery has been around for a good ol’ while – since 1911 in fact. Due to this, we think they’re a pretty trustworthy bunch, especially when producing doughnuts that look as scrumptious as the ones pictured. Their famous Crodoughs are creations that bring out the best in both croissants and doughnuts, in flavours of creme egg with the inside cleverly oozing out, toffee apple, s’more and more!
Where: 222-226 Jubilee Street, Stepney Green, E1 3BS
Doughnuts with a difference are available at Savage Garden and we need to try them! The offering includes dusted doughnuts with a science-y twist! Simply grab a bag of them and inject them with tasty ingredients of raspberry jam and salted caramel. Sometimes you’ve got to work for the reward!
Where: 7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill EC3N 4AF
Nearest station: London Fenchurch Street (0 miles)
If you’ve got a sweet tooth like us then check out our round-up of the best spots for coffee and cake here