From early morning meetings, to late nights out on the town, doughnuts seem to be one of the few food items that are acceptable to eat at any time of day and in virtually any setting. Not only that, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like doughnuts. They seem to be universally loved. There has been a long-running debate of which chain is home to the superior doughnut, Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’. It’s all a matter of taste, and that’s not an argument we plan on getting into. Today, it’s all about positivity. This top ten list focuses on Krispy Kreme, and the ways in which it manages to consistently produce some of the most delicious doughnuts out there.
10. The Smell That Started It All
Krispy Kreme doughnuts were never intended to be sold directly to customers. When Vernon Rudolph, the mastermind behind this phenomenal pastry, opened his first bakery in 1937, he exclusively did business with grocery stores. However, the smell of freshly made doughnuts wafted from his bakery into the streets of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, drawing townspeople to his door. The locals were so entranced by the amazing scent, Rudolph decided to begin selling fresh pastries straight to the consumers. In order to sell his coveted Original Glazed Doughnuts, Rudolph had a hole cut in the wall of his bakery. It was through this hole that the exchange of money for doughnut occurred. We have the irresistible smell of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to thank for the fact that we’re now able to purchase them fresh off the conveyer belt. We can probably all agree that having to resort to buying them from the grocery store after they’ve been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long just wouldn’t be the same. If you’re as in love with the smell of Krispy Kreme doughnuts as the people of Winston-Salem were back in 1937, then you’re in luck. You can actually buy candles scented to smell like some of the most popular Krispy Kreme varieties. There’s Maple Iced Glaze, Raspberry Filled, and, of course, Original Glazed. Unfortunately, these are no longer available in stores, but you can still find them on Amazon and eBay. Although, if you do choose to buy one of these candles, be warned. Your guests may be sorely disappointed if they’re greeted by the smell of fresh doughnuts, only to find that they’d been led astray by a candle. If you plan on burning the Krispy Kreme scented candle, it’s only right that you pick up a box of doughnuts as well.
9. Don’t Mess with Perfection
Something else that makes Krispy Kreme doughnuts so incredible is the fact that they haven’t tried to mess with perfection. While Krispy Kreme has come out with new, creative doughnut varieties over the years, their recipe for their classic Original Glazed Doughnut hasn’t changed since 1945. This is their signature doughnut and it dates all the way back to Krispy Kreme’s opening in 1937. Over the first few years, the recipe was tweaked slightly but, once it was perfected, they let it be. Clearly this was the right move, since the Original Glazed Doughnut is still their most popular product. This doughnut keeps people coming back time and time again because they know they can rely on it to be consistently delicious. Nostalgia is also a big factor at play, because many people have been eating this doughnut for as long as they can remember. With the Original Glazed Doughnut, parents and grandparents have the opportunity to share one of their favorite childhood treats with younger generations. That’s a really special thing that can’t be said about many other food items. When it comes to food, people don’t tend to take kindly to change. Krispy Kreme gives the people what they want and, in this case, what they want is the same old reliable, delicious doughnut they’ve been eating since they were young.
8. The Glaze
They’re called Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a reason. Without their famous glaze, these doughnuts are all crisp and no cream. In response to a post asking what makes Krispy Kreme doughnuts so good, one Reddit user testified to the importance of the glaze by sharing a story about the time they specifically asked for a doughnut without it. Needless to say, they quickly came to regret their decision and implored others not to make the same mistake they did. Everything about the doughnut this Redditor received was perfect – it was fresh out of the fryer and at the optimal temperature to be eaten, but even the ideal conditions weren’t enough to salvage it. Without the glaze it was bland and disappointing. The Redditor described it as practically tasteless and said that the texture was all wrong. Turns out that, especially in the case of the Original Glazed Doughnut, it’s the glaze that makes the pastry. It’s what brings the flavor and brings the doughnut up to that perfect level of sweetness. So please, respect the glaze. It’s the real reason behind the amazing reputation of Krispy Kreme. If you’ve ever had the (very strange) urge to order one of their doughnuts sans-glaze, we ask that you repress it. Don’t insult the doughnut like that. Honor the art of baking and eat the pastry as it was intended to be eaten. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Anyone who knows anything about doughnuts knows that they’re supposed to be fried, not baked. What you may be surprised to discover is that many establishments receive a shipment of frozen doughnuts, which are then baked and sold. Naturally, cutting corners in this manner doesn’t do the doughnuts any favors. This is not the way of Krispy Kreme. Since the company’s opening in 1937, all their doughnuts have been manufactured in house. While their recipe is a closely guarded secret, they’re very open about the production process. The doughnuts were made by hand until 1963, after which machines were brought in to maximize efficiency. The dry doughnut mix used at all Krispy Kreme locations is identical and is shipped out from the main production plant. The mix is made into dough on location. After the dough is prepared, it’s sent through a machine called a hopper, which carries it into an extruder. The extruder is what shapes the dough into rings. The rings are then carried on a slow conveyer belt that travels in an escalating zig-zag pattern through the hot and humid proof-box. This is where they rise and take the form of doughnuts. After this step is completed, the dough is deep-fried in vegetable oil, one side at a time. The final steps are cooling and glazing. The freshly fried doughnuts travel by conveyer belt through a waterfall of newly prepared glaze, which coats them instantly. And that’s how Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made. This finely-honed technique ensures the production of perfect doughnuts every time.
6. Always Fresh
It might be the Tim Hortons motto, but the term “Always Fresh” could just as easily be applied to Krispy Kreme. Freshness is, of course, a key component of a good doughnut. A dry, cold, day-old doughnut just doesn’t have the same appeal as one fresh out of the fryer. Most places that sell doughnuts prepare a fresh batch once per day, typically early in the morning, before opening. This means that you won’t be disappointed if you grab a doughnut on the way to work. However, if you plan to pick up a box in the evening to bring to a dinner party, you might not be thrilled with the results. Fortunately, Krispy Kreme is aware of this issue and strives to combat it. They know their doughnuts have a 12-hour shelf life, and so they make two batches a day. Just like other establishments, one batch is manufactured quite early in the morning, but, unlike many of their competitors, they also produce a second batch around midday. This means that, regardless of when you stop by your local Krispy Kreme, you’ll be greeted with fresh, still warm doughnuts. The fresher the doughnut, the better it tastes, and Krispy Kreme’s dedication to quality has won tremendous customer loyalty. Knowing that they can rely on Krispy Kreme to always deliver fresh, delicious doughnuts is what keeps people coming back.
5. The Krispy Kreme Hot Light
While Krispy Kreme tries to deliver fresh doughnuts all day long, nothing beats a freshly glazed doughnut just out of the fryer. This is the prime time for the doughnuts to be eaten, and it’s at these moments that Krispy Kreme locations turn on their Hot Lights. A concept originating in 1992, the Hot Light is something like the Bat Signal in Batman comics. However, instead of summoning a superhero, it calls to hungry customers. The Hot Light signifies that a fresh batch of doughnuts has just been made and invites consumers to come and get them while they’re hot. Of course, not everyone can while away the hours watching the Hot Light, waiting for it to begin glowing red. Thankfully, you no longer have to watch it 24/7 in order to be alerted to the sale of fresh doughnuts. With the new Hot Light app, you can be notified whenever the Hot Light at your local Krispy Kreme has been turned on. Then, of course, you drop everything and run. Thanks to the Hot Light and its corresponding app, you know when to stop by Krispy Kreme in order to get your hands on what is essentially the perfect doughnut. The recipe and manufacturing process are just part of what makes a great doughnut. Freshness and temperature have a major effect on its taste and texture as well. If you can get all the variables to perfectly align, your taste buds are in for a truly incredible experience.
4. Free Food Tastes Better
Krispy Kreme is nothing if not generous. It seems like they’re giving out free doughnuts every other day. Many locations will participate in holiday promotions, for example, giving away free doughnuts on National Doughnut Day or Veteran’s Day. Other giveaways require some customer participation. On Election Day, Krispy Kreme locations across America gave out freebies to anyone wearing an “I Voted Sticker” and, on Halloween, many locations will reward those in costume by giving them a pastry on the house. Additionally, in the name of reducing waste, Krispy Kreme will often give away leftover doughnuts around closing time. These obviously aren’t their freshest products, but let’s be real here, no one’s saying no to free doughnuts. So, how exactly does Krispy Kreme’s generosity factor into their doughnuts’ great taste? Technically, it shouldn’t, but for some reason free food just always tastes better. It’s like the feeling you get when you’ve earned a free coffee by acquiring enough stamps on a membership card. It’s a small thing that really saves you very little money, but you end up feeling the slightest bit triumphant afterwards. A free doughnut is the highlight of any day and not having to pay makes the pastry taste even sweeter. Since Krispy Kreme has regular promotions, keep an eye out at your local location to see when they might be participating. It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss out on.
Something that sets Krispy Kreme doughnuts apart from the crowd is how light they are. Many doughnuts are incredibly dense and leave you feeling like you just consumed an entire cake, not just a small pastry. With Krispy Kreme you’re guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth without the subsequent sugar rush and ultimate crash. Knowing this makes eating one of their doughnuts that much more enjoyable. It’s the perfect compromise. Surprisingly, the Original Glazed Doughnut has only ten grams of sugar – that’s less than what some people put in their morning coffee! By not being too heavy-handed with the sugar, Krispy Kreme has created the perfect dessert. Some people like their desserts sweetened to the point where you can feel cavities forming upon the first bite, but, in general, people seem to like their desserts with a little more going on than just pure sugar. That’s where Krispy Kreme really delivers. There’s a lot of flavor going on outside of the sweetness, which shows just how good these doughnuts really are. As Goldilocks would say, they’re not too sweet, they’re not too sour, they’re just right. Even more impressive is the fact that people are able to complete a race after eating a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts! An annual hospital fundraiser involves participants running two and half miles, eating twelve doughnuts, then running two and a half miles back to the start. That seems pretty supportive of the fact that these doughnuts won’t weigh you down!
2. The Super-Secret Recipe
The manufacturing process and freshness are both big parts of what make Krispy Kreme doughnuts so great, but the real hero here is the secret recipe. You can have the best equipment in the world, but if the recipe’s no good, then the final product won’t be either. And when we say secret, we mean secret. Kept in a safe, the ingredient list for these renowned doughnuts is as guarded as Fort Knox. As previously stated, the doughnut mixture arrives at locations premixed, so even Krispy Kreme employees don’t know exactly what goes into the pastries they sell! Several rumors about this secret recipe have cropped up over the years, one of the more popular one’s being that mashed potatoes are the secret ingredient. While this would account for how light and fluffy the doughnuts are, we’ve decided to label that rumor as false. But who knows? Anything is possible. Since Krispy Kreme makes what are arguably the best doughnuts out there, it’s logical for them to want to keep their recipe quiet. It would be a nightmare for them if that information were ever divulged. We’ll likely never find out what actually goes into making a Krispy Kreme doughnut, but we can’t say we have any complaints about that. They haven’t let us down yet, so as long as they keep doing what they’re doing and we get to keep eating their doughnuts, we’re perfectly happy to leave that mystery unsolved.
1. Specialty Ghostbusters Doughnuts
For some reason, the knowledge that you’ll likely never get to eat it again makes special edition food items taste so much better than the originals. Krispy Kreme has broken our hearts a few times with limited time offers, such as their specialtyGhostbustersdoughnuts. These celebratory doughnuts were sold in honor of both the thirtieth anniversary of the original Ghostbusters film and the upcoming release of the franchise’s reboot. Two new doughnuts were released: one with a frosting drawing of the Ghostbusters’ logo, one designed to look like the Marshmallow Man’s face. The artwork on both was pretty impressive. There’s very little as universally loved as doughnuts and Ghostbusters, so this was a winning combination. Those who were fans of both the pastry and the franchise were living their best lives during this promotion. People love pairing pop culture and food – we see it in cereal all the time. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t make the food taste better, but it absolutely does. We hope Krispy Kreme doesn’t draw the line at Ghostbusters. There are so many other pop culture references for them to explore. It’s a pretty great way to boost sales as well. Kids are reliably drawn in by seeing their favorite movies or TV shows represented on food, and adults aren’t immune to the marketing move either. It’s the kind of thing that puts a smile on your face. And that kind of joy makes the already delicious Krispy Kreme doughnut taste even better.