The 12 Best Types of Donuts, Ranked

Jonas Salk. Nikola Tesla. Marie Curie. Alexander Fleming. Thomas Edison. These are some of the individuals whose discoveries changed the world forever, making life better for all mankind. Among them stands another, someone whose name has been lost to time despite serving no less an important role in our planet’s history: they found a way to make eating cake for breakfast acceptable. We speak of the person who made donuts a breakfast staple. (As well as a lunch, dinner, and “any time of day snack” staple.) In honor of them and National Doughnut Day, here is the definitive and indisputably accurate ranking of the twelve best types of donuts.

Note: Number 13 was the donut you think should have made the list. Yup, that specific donut you’re furious didn’t make it juuuust missed. Like it was cut by that person in the office who keeps slicing all the donuts into way too small pieces so everyone can “share” instead of anyone being happy.

12. Powdered

Powdered sugar makes everything better, except for your shirt and face. No one would ever turn down a powdered donut, nor should they (especially mini ones which are far more enjoyable than their normal sized brethren), but they cause quite a mess. We don’t need to look like Tony Montana at eight in the morning.

11. Strawberry Frosted

Probably the most “childish” donut thanks to its unnatural pink color (frequently accompanied by sprinkles), you can look like a big goober eating one. Sooooo what? It’s like eating a round cupcake, and no one would side-eye you for that just because it was pink. Sometimes you just want something super sweet and delicious, no matter your age, and if you think you’re too good for a strawberry frosted donut you were probably a hall monitor.

10. Jelly

Our first huge surprise is that one of the most iconic donuts of them all, a staple of every donut shop and a must-have member of any dozen purchased for an office, the jelly donut comes in at only number ten. It’s not an indictment on the quality of the donut, easily the best (and only truly good) jam-filled donut, but rather that it’s not better than any donut above it based on its merits and not its reputation. Plus it’s often the victim of over and under filling, because the perfect ratio of filling-to-donut is hard to master, and its floor is lower than its ceiling is high.

9. Blueberry Glazed

A regular blueberry donut is fine. It’s fine. But a glazed version is the only way to go. It’s crispy yet soft, sweet yet….well it’s still really sweet even with the fruit. It’s not like the blueberries make it especially healthy, but we’re not worried about things like “calories” or “living a long life” when we’re digging through a box of donuts.

8. Chocolate Frosted

It’s chocolate icing on a donut. What else do you need, not just in a donut but in life?

7. Old Fashioned

If someone served you a plain cake you’d have them arrested, and yet a crispy, delicious old fashioned donut is wonderful all on its own. It’s also all we want sometimes for one very specific reason – it’s perfect for dunking in coffee or milk. Without icing or frosting they aren’t as sweet as other donuts obviously, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want, and if you get one that’s especially light and fluffy it’s fantastic even without dunking it in anything.

6. Maple Frosted

The most “mature” of the frosted donut family, the maple donut is still just as sweet and wonderful as all the others icings. That said, it’s also a flavor you don’t get a chance to enjoy as often (unless you live in Canada or a tree in Vermont). You run into vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry icing all the damn time, but maple isn’t as ubiquitous despite being delicious, which is another reason it’s the best frosted donut. It fills a desperate dessert-need in our life.

5. French Cruller

The most distinct doughnut in terms of texture. The French cruller (which is glazed and far, far superior to a boring old plain cruller) is crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside. A real delight for the senses. It’s also one of the most satisfying to dunk in milk. All of that plus its unbeatable taste mean I might actually have ranked it too low.

4. Apple Fritter

It’s almost like someone said, “People might think a doughnut made with apples won’t taste good, so slather it in icing and make it look enormous and messy so they know it isn’t.” That captures the beauty of this chewy delight.

3. Glazed

The true baseline test of any donut shop’s worth is the glazed donut. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. It’s a soft, light donut dipped in a honey glaze, that if done correctly will have you asking important personal questions like, “How many donuts can I eat before I’m a bad person?” and “Could I afford all new pants?” A glazed donut is nearly a perfect food. Nearly.

2. Chocolate Glazed

It’s a glazed donut, but with chocolate. Now that’s perfection.

1. Boston Kreme

Soft and sweet, like a warm hug in your mouth, a Boston Kreme combines chocolate icing and a pudding filling. This is everything a doughnut can be all wrapped up into one treat. The only issue is that some donut shops overfill it, and others under fill it. We do prefer consistency in our consistency. It’s still number one though, because the ideal Boston Kreme, made to perfection with the right ratio of icing, donut, and filling, is the best you can have.

And thanks to one anonymous hero, the best part is you can have doughnuts for breakfast.

Featured Image: Baking a Moment/YouTube

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