We rode the cupcake wave a few years ago with giddy, sprinkle-covered glee. Then came cake pops, which really only made it big on the wedding circuit.
Macarons (note the single 'o') were the next drool-worthy bandwagon we hitched a ride on, thanks to the so-called dark lord of pastry, Adriano Zumbo. Supermarket 'Zumbaron' kits sadly ruined the illusion.
Cronuts reignited our passion for over-the-top desserts, with creator Dominique Ansel following up his buttery smash hit with cookie shots, which KFC in the UK has now adopted (see: pinched) in the form of edible cookie coffee cups.
Are people tiring of these frankenfood creations? A reawakened appreciation for the humble doughnut says yes, but this doesn't mean sacrificing artisan technique and complex flavour profiles.
Move over Dunkin' Donuts, these doughnuts in the United States are the 'hole' package.
Glazed & Infused – Chicago
Glazed expressions are unavoidable at Glazed & Infused. These doughnuts have been voted the best in the Windy City, with handcrafted tasties from classic red velvet to posh chocolate maraschino cherry, all for just three bucks along with bite-sized doughnut holes ($US5 for a dozen).
Owner Scott Harris' personal favourite is the Chocolate5, the Chocolate4 dunked in chocolate milk, while others rave about the Maple Bacon Long John, which looks but tastes nothing like a sausage roll.
Voodoo Doughnut – Portland
Hipsters and dessert tragics worship at the altar of Voodoo Doughnut. In the grand tradition of keeping Portland weird, two dudes decided to bring their manic doughnut creations to the good people of Oregon (and later, Colorado).
Choices extend from the slightly creepy but still delicious Voodoo Doll, doughnuts topped with Cap'n Crunch and Froot Loops, bubblegum dusted, lemon filled, lavender sprinkled doughnuts, and even phallic shaped delights. There's some kind of black magic going on here, and we like it.
Doughnut or donut? Doughnut is the original and still preferred spelling, while donut is the simplified American term that has been made popular through chain stores. Donut isn't 'wrong' per se – donuts are NEVER wrong – but doughnut is the preferred terminology.
Doughnut Plant – New York City
I have personally tasted the round morsels of heaven born of Doughnut Plant. When I did, there were actual NYC police officers grabbing doughnuts and coffee to start their morning rounds. I even booked accommodation I knew was within walking distance of Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side. Doughnuts are serious business.
I recommend the vanilla bean yeast doughnut (even better than a Krispy Kreme, if you can believe it), a dense tres leche cake doughnut, and a creme brulee filled doughnut (opt for a tiny doughseed version if you're already overloaded).
Dynamo Donut + Coffee – San Francisco
With a name like Dynamo, you know these babies are going to pack a punch. Dynamo's artisan doughnuts are lightly, fluffy and provide a big serving of nostalgia for those who grew up eating these simple, wholesome treats.
They've earned honourable mentions from the likes of Buzzfeed and Thrillist, with 15 rotating flavours from the crowd favourite maple glazed bacon apple (they put bacon IN the dough!!) to chocolate rose, cardamom apricot, and plenty of gluten free options for our coeliac compadres.
Dough-Notable mentions also go to...
Sublime Donuts – Atlanta
Gourdough's – Austin
Bouchon Bakery – California
Dough – Brooklyn
GBD – Washington DC
Doughnut Vault – Chicago