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. In celebration of National Doughnut Week (which starts tomorrow) we’ve rounded up some of the capital’s best doughnuts. Get ready to feel hungry:
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.
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.
Baked Not Fried
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 just that 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.
Crispy duck doughnuts
Think of doughnuts and you probably don’t think of duck. Hush do, which is why they’ve filled mouth sized balls of dough with crispy Asian-style duck, a pot of hoi sin and little cucumber batons. You won’t be able to roll them up like the normal duck pancake, but you will probably be able to roll home. OK, OK, not really, they’re only small. Room for pudding, then.
Where: 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London, W1S 1EY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)
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.
Where: Dinerama, 19 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3EJ
Sourdough doughnuts, sealed with a kiss
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.
Where: 4 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DA
Savoury doughnuts, served sky high
Duck and Waffle are known for their sweet/savoury mashups so it’s no surprise that this extends to the humble doughnut. A ball of dough, yes, this is filled with spicy ox cheek and then rolled in smoked paprika sugar and accompanied by apricot jam. Pricier than your average doughnut, what you’re really paying for here is the view. But the fact it’s Executive Chef Dan Doherty’s favourite dish hints at how good it is.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, City of London, EC2N 4AY
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.