Donuts

547. Donut Cutter – February 7, 2022 – Berkley, MI

Donut Cutter for the win on a Monday morning! Or any morning . . . because the Berkley-based donut shop’s wares are definitively delicious any day of the week!

During my visit to Donut Cutter, I ordered the donuts pictured above: the sour cream glaze, the cruller, and the frosted chocolate cake with sprinkles. All three were fresh and tasty, with perfectly crispy deep-fried exteriors and soft, cakey (or airy, in the case of the cruller) interiors. All three were answers to the question of why Donut Cutter is so beloved by Metro-Detroiters!

28173 Woodward Ave.

Berkley, MI 48072

520. The Home Bakery – August 14, 2021 – Rochester, MI

The Home Bakery: purveyor of sweet treats for over 90 years!

The bakery based in downtown Rochester has been in business since 1930, according to its website. It mixes up all manner of baked goods, including beautifully imaginative cakes (check out the Zombiecorn and PB&J cakes on its website!).

Have a craving for a cupcake, cookie, cannoli, or eclair? The Home Bakery has you covered. How about a donut, danish, muffin, or pie? The Home Bakery makes those, too! It also bakes up one of the most wonderfully decadent desserts I’ve ever eaten: the cronut.

The Home Bakery’s cronut is a hefty iteration of the donut-croissant hybrid that had so many going gaga at its 2013 debut. This cronut’s layers of flaky croissant are formed into a square shape, dusted with vanilla-infused sugar, and thickly coated with vanilla bean glaze.

When I bit into that cronut, my taste buds exclaimed with joy! The juxtaposition of the deep-fried, sugar-kissed, vanilla-glazed exterior and the flaky-soft interior was SOOO good.

And that wasn’t all! Hiding inside The Home Bakery’s cronut was the pièce de résistance: a creamy filling the bakery’s website describes as “vanilla bean pastry cream.” I describe it as “WOW!”

All of these elements melded together to form one supremely rich, SUPREMELY DELICIOUS dessert.

At $4.50 apiece, The Home Bakery’s cronuts are not cheap. But they are worth every penny. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks that, as they routinely sell out (as I learned the first time I attempted to buy them). Calling ahead of your visit and ordering over the phone is an option – one you likely won’t regret!

300 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

www.thehomebakery.com

502. Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts – March 20, 2021 – Detroit, MI

The donut-shop theme continues on 100 Places in the D, with a visit to Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts!

This Detroit-based shop offers fresh-made donuts in a variety of fun flavors, including out-of-the-box varieties such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Cherry Almond, and Brown Butter Plantain. Check out the photo above to see these brightly-hued beauties!

The base of each of Yellow Light’s donut is a plain cake donut; the flavor enhancements are in the glaze and toppings. Of course, I couldn’t get just one or two of these guys; I had to try a bunch of them. I got: Cookies and Cream, Chocolate, Brown Butter Plantain, Mint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Bean, Cherry Almond, Lemon Poppy, and Plain Old Fashioned.

All of the donut varieties were tasty, but my favorite was Brown Butter Plantain. I loved its rich, banana-flavored glaze! The Mint Chocolate Chip was fun to eat, too, with its mini chocolate chips and subtly mint-flavored glaze. Cherry Almond, with its deliciously fruity flavor, was another favorite.

Besides offering delectable donuts, Yellow Light has house-roasted coffee and biscuit sandwiches ranging from Hot Chicken w/ Pickles to the vegan Soysage with w/ Egg & Sauce. At the time of my visit, only its drive-through window was open to guests.

Two things I loved about this visit to Yellow Light: 1) The staff was wonderfully friendly and 2) they had daily-special donuts! These were donut varieties offered in addition to the regular menu – Cookies and Cream being an example. Check out Yellow Light’s Instagram account (yellowlightdetroit) to see more special flavors such as Coconut Macaroon, Cinnamon Cheesecake, and Mango Strawberry. The flavor creativity is inspiring – inspiring me to return to this place!

14447 E. Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48215

www.yellowlightdetroit.com

501. Donut Castle – March 6, 2021 – Warren, MI

Blog Year Eight of 100 Places in the D kicked off right, with a visit to Donut Castle!

This one lives on in my memory. Donut Castle is this unassuming little bakery in Warren producing the most PHENOMENAL donuts. Their crullers . . . OMG, are they good. During my visit back in March, I got some super fresh ones that were the PERFECT blend of deep-fried, glazed-kissed outsides and airy, melt-in-your-mouth insides. The buttermilk sticks I purchased were great, too: crispy-crusted cake donuts coated in a honey-sweet glaze. I’m swooning recalling these donuts!

The donuts weren’t all that was swoon-worthy about my visit to Donut Castle. Besides offering its namesake confection, the bakery has fresh-baked bagels and bagel sandwiches. I got a club sandwich on a cheese bagel, and it was A-MAZING. Everything was so fresh. I remember marveling at the time, “This sandwich is so good, it has me liking iceberg lettuce!” I usually think iceberg lettuce is a total waste of space on a sandwich. But the iceberg on this Donut Castle club was fresh and crispy, enhancing the deliciousness of the turkey and the ham, the provolone and bacon and tomato.

This Donut Castle club sandwich wasn’t skimping on the portions, either; it was amply layered with meat. And the bagel was so soft and fresh, with a thick layer of melted cheese on top – I believe it was parmesan. The name of the bagel escapes me, but the epic deliciousness of it and that sandwich and those donuts are burned into my memory!

11831 E. 13 Mile Rd.

Warren, MI 48093

467. Knapp’s Donuts – February 21, 2020 – Troy, MI

February2020Knapp'sDonuts1 (2)February2020Knapp'sDonuts2 (2)As of the writing of this post, Knapp’s Donuts is one of the many Metro-Detroit-area businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic; its doors are currently closed. With any luck, both its Rochester and Troy-based locations – the latter of which I recently visited – will reopen soon, and we can all enjoy its delightful donuts again.

After years of hearing my mom rave about Knapp’s Donuts and wanting to try them myself, I finally made that happen when I stopped there on a Friday morning in February. I was on my way to my last day at a job that I’d worked at for 4.5 years, and I thought it would be nice to bring my team (and myself) some donuts.

I picked out eight donuts in a variety of flavors, including Boston crème, chocolate glazed, cinnamon-sugar, and sour cream.

I knew I had to try the sour cream, as that varietal has become a personal favorite in recent years. It was SO delicious: perfectly moist on the inside and crispy-fried on the outside, with a honey-sweet glaze. I could see from eating that sour cream donut what all the hype around Knapp’s was about!

I also got to try one of its chocolate glazed donuts, which was quite tasty, too; my coworkers who opted in on the baked goodies enjoyed them, as well.

Once Knapp’s is open again, I have a feeling its patrons are going to be rejoicing by grabbing its delectable donuts by the dozens! May that time come quickly.

6057 Rochester Rd.

Troy, MI 48085

(with an additional location in Rochester)

363. Dutch Girl Donuts – September 28, 2018 – Detroit, MI

September2018DutchGirlDonuts1 (3)September2018DutchGirlDonuts2 (2)DUTCH GIRL DONUTS is gracing 100 Places in the D!!!!

After several years of fantasizing about tasting the Detroit-based donut shop’s much-lauded wares, I resolved to finally make the dream a reality last Friday morning and planned a pre-work visit.

Part of the reason I’d put off visiting Dutch Girl Donuts for so long was the parking situation. The bakery doesn’t have its own lot; street parking is required. And if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that I legit have a phobia around street parking in city settings and generally avoid it at all costs. Thusly, the idea of parallel parking along oft-hectic Woodward Avenue in order to visit Dutch Girl Donuts was not tickling me.

And then there was the whole bullet-proof glass thing. Some online reviewers had mentioned the fact that Dutch Girl Donuts had bullet-proof glass separating the bakery employees from patrons, leading me to speculate on why such protection was needed. Was it wise to visit Dutch Girl Donuts on my own?

These worries around parking and security swirled in my head as I contemplated making the visit. In the end, I decided to go for it and trust my gut. If I got to the donut shop and didn’t like the look of parking options or of the neighborhood itself, I could just drive on by and find another bakery to visit.

It turned out – as is generally the case – that my fears were unfounded. The stretch of Woodward Avenue near Seven Mile that Dutch Girl Donuts is located on felt totally safe to me. Given that the donut shop is open 24 hours, perhaps the bullet-proof glass serves more as a necessary security precaution in the evening hours, or perhaps it’s a relic of the past. Either way, I felt comfortable in the area in and around the bakery – as I did parking along Woodward.

I was easily able to procure a parking spot near the donut shop, parking behind a few other cars. There was enough space to maneuver so that parallel parking wasn’t a traumatic experience, and traffic along Woodward was more sparse than I expected, so I didn’t feel like I was walking out into an onslaught of oncoming traffic when I exited the car.

(Interesting parking-related tidbit: there is a fire hydrant right at the curb near Dutch Girl Donuts, which people were flagrantly disregarding and parking right in front of; park if you dare in that premium zone).

Dutch Girl Donuts had a decent amount of traffic coming in and out of it when I walked up – mostly pleasant-looking older folks. I joined the line formed in the donut shop’s tiny interior and watched the goods get made while waiting to be helped. Freshly fried twisted donuts being plopped into a pool of glaze caught my eye. Glorious!

I only had to wait a few minutes before it was my turn to order. I decided on a half-dozen donuts, which were $4.50. I got one plain cake donut, two cake donuts with chocolate frosting, a sour cream, a glazed chocolate-cake stick, and a twisted glazed. I paid in cash; it’s worth noting here that Dutch Girl Donuts accepts credit cards but requires a maximum purchase of $5 when paying with them.

I practically skipped out of the donut shop with excitement. Cruising along I-75 en route to work, I knew I couldn’t wait until I got there to sample the procured goodies; I grabbed one of the cake donuts with chocolate frosting out of the bag and took a bite. The donut was delicious, incredibly soft and fresh-tasting.

And then there was the sour cream donut.

When I got to work, I decided I wanted to sample another donut before I walked in. I went with the sour cream, and O.M.G.

Perfectly soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, dunked in an irresistible glaze, ridiculously fresh, this sour cream donut was quite easily the best donut I have ever had. I instantly wished I had gotten a half-dozen of them.

That’s not to say the other donuts I got from Dutch Girl Donuts weren’t wonderful. The glazed chocolate-cake stick donut ranked right up there with the sour cream, with that perfect crisp and glazing on the outside and pillowy softness on the inside. The plain cake and twisted glazed donuts were also very good; as with the others, they were obviously very freshly made.

This premium on freshness is huge; so much of what makes a donut wonderful is how recently it was made. So thank you, Dutch Girl Donuts, for doing the work and producing AMAZING donuts 24-7. Perhaps I’ll skip the cider mills this fall and do a revisit to your delightful donut shop in the D instead!

19000 Woodward Ave.

Detroit, MI 48203

(Open 24 hours Mondays through Fridays;

closes at 6 p.m. Saturdays and reopens at 1 a.m. Monday mornings)

322. Holy Moly Donut Shop – April 25, 2018 – Detroit, MI

April2018HolyMoly1 (2)April2018HolyMoly2 (2)April2018HolyMoly5 (2)Holy Moly: what an apt name for this donut shop!

After my visit last Wednesday, Holy Moly Donut Shop in Detroit is my latest obsession. Its donuts are out-of-control good; its ultimate pièce de résistance, the donut ice-cream sandwich, BLEW MY MIND with its epic deliciousness.

Sandwiched between a marijuana dispensary (what a convenient location for that!) and a strip club on Eight Mile Road near John R. Street, Holy Moly Donut Shop opened earlier this year. I found out about it a few months ago when a friend of mine stumbled across its brightly colored, bountifully-topped donuts on social media, and I knew I had to go there. From its website I saw that it employed the same concept as Daddy’s Doughnuts in Utica (which I visited back in January), where donuts are topped to order with patrons’ frosting glazes and toppings of choice. Count me in for a repeat of that scenario!

I stepped into the small, clean interior of Holy Moly Donut Shop on the afternoon of my visit, scanned the menu board, and considered my choices. One of those choices was the donut ice cream sandwich, which my friend who’d brought the shop to my attention had mentioned.

I’m admittedly not a huge ice cream person, so I wasn’t set on trying the donut ice cream sandwich. But then I got to Holy Moly and was like, how can I not try this? A donut ice cream sandwich is an intriguing culinary concept, and I dig culinary intrigue. So I ordered one with a glazed bun donut (a plain glazed donut with no hole in the middle) cut in half to make the sandwich’s outer layers and a filling of chocolate ice cream and Nutella sauce.

Next my eyes fixated on the list of available donut toppings. The Better Made Red Hot potato chips grabbed my attention. Spicy chips on a donut? I had to try it. I love spicy, and what better representation of the area was there than a Detroit-made donut decked with crushed Better Made chips? I requested a plain cake donut with a vanilla frosting glaze coated in those spicy crisps.

I wanted to try another of the topped donuts, and I knew I had to go full-on chocolate for that combo, because chocolate is LIFE to me. So I requested a chocolate cake donut with a chocolate frosting glaze and [DRUM ROLL. . . ] chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I rounded out my order with a red velvet donut sans toppings, because red velvet is a classic on its own. Then I bid adieu to the two friendly Holy Moly employees who’d assisted me and jaunted out excitedly to my car, where I planned to immediately tuck into that ice cream sandwich.

And I did: I sat in my car in the back parking lot of Holy Moly Donut Shop and devoured that ice cream sandwich. And OH MY WORD, it was much better than I’d imagined it would be. It was, quite simply, PERFECTION.

The glazed-donut bun was wonderfully fresh, melt-in-your-mouth baked goodness. The chocolate ice cream was rich and creamy; the warm, chocolate-hazelnut Nutella was the ultimate in decadence. The three ingredients melded together to form one of the most delightful desserts I can ever recall eating.

It was then that I knew with conviction that Holy Moly is not f’ing around: they are indeed doing the good work when it comes to crafting confections that are next-level, brighten-your-day-with-a-million-unicorn-sparkles happiness-boosters. I had to let them know I appreciated it, so after the consumption of that donut ice cream sandwich, I flew back into the shop to thank the employees for creating it for me.

When I got home later that day, I sampled the other three donuts and verified that they were indeed as addictive as that donut ice cream sandwich.

The vanilla-frosted donut with the coating of Red Hot potato chips was bomb! I was digging the thick layer of vanilla glaze with the spicy potato chips. You might not expect spicy potato chips to work on a sweet donut, but they did here.

How about the chocolate donut with the chocolate frosting and chopped Reese’s? Man, was that rich, chocolatey goodness! Holy Moly was not skimpy with the frosting or the peanut-butter-cup chunks.

And the red velvet donut, while simple, was simply YUM.

While my visit to Holy Moly Donut Shop was a week ago, you know those donuts and that ice cream sandwich are still on my mind! I’m telling friends about this place and plotting my next visit to again procure its delectable wares. These are magical donuts, my friends – give them a try if you haven’t yet and prepare for your taste buds to declare, “Holy Moly!” with every bite.

201 W. 8 Mile Rd.

Detroit, MI 48203

www.holymolydonutshop.com

311. Golden Donuts – March 3, 2018 – Clinton Township, MI

March2018GoldenDonuts1 (2)March2018GoldenDonuts2 (2)Donuts, glorious donuts! How I adore those little glazed nuggets of goodness and having an excuse to purchase them – and to try a new bakery for this blog, of course.

Visiting a dear friend on a Saturday morning is as good an excuse as any to purchase a half-dozen donuts from a new-to-the-blog bakery. Thusly, my visit to Golden Donuts on Harper Avenue in Clinton Township commenced a few weeks ago.

Stepping into the tiny storefront located inside a strip mall, I was reminded of another local donut shop I’d visited in the last year: Donut Factory of Warren – mainly because both had an old-fashioned vibe and elderly gentlemen hanging out in them at the time of my visit. I got the impression that the two elderly gentlemen hanging out in counter seats at Golden Donuts were regulars, that they were familiar to the woman working behind the counter, that they were killing time in the companiable way that a certain type of retiree is wont to do.

The presence of these older dudes, it was oddly comforting to me. Maybe because I aspire to one day be able to pass time that way, in the practice of sitting and doing nothing much, really; maybe it’s because elderly people remind me of my beloved grandmother who passed away last summer. Regardless of the reason why, I saw Golden Donuts being the kind of place where elderly gents like to hang out as a plus-sign, as random as that sounds.

Of course, the most critical component of a donut shop is not its perceived desirability as a hangout spot by senior citizens but whether its donuts are any good. I set out to determine this out by ordering a half-dozen of Golden Donuts’ namesake wares: a white-cream-filled donut, a custard-filled, a red-velvet glazed, a honey-glazed chocolate, a chocolate-and-sprinkle-topped glazed, and a vanilla-and-chocolate-drizzled variety that looked to be jelly-filled and that was called a Napoleon.

While the donuts I tried that day – the red velvet, the honey-glazed chocolate, the white-cream-filled – were tasty, the true star of the show was the Napoleon, the one I randomly threw into the mix because I thought my friend or her husband might like it but which I didn’t expect to try. When it ended up left in the donut box and back at home with me, I decided to give it a whirl, not really expecting it to be my thing (I’m not really a jelly-donut girl) but not wanting to waste it.

This Napoleon turned out to be not just any jelly donut: it was quite possibly the best jelly donut EVER MADE. Certainly, it was the best jelly donut I can remember eating.

First of all, this Napoleon donut wasn’t a regular donut in terms of the dough used to make it: it was more of a flaky, puff-pastry kind of consistency. And it wasn’t simply filled with strawberry jelly; half of it was, but the other half was filled with CUSTARD. This was a half-jelly-filled, half-custard-filled, puff-pastry-esque, vanilla-AND-chocolate drizzled donut! It was AMAZING!

Based off of that glorious Napoleon donut alone, I would say that Golden Donuts passes the good-donut test. If the Napoleon sounds at all intriguing to you, I encourage you to give it a try! Or if you want to check out Golden Donuts’ other wares, such as its pasties and other baked goods – or to simply sit and hang at the counter with the old dudes – that is of course cool, too.

34155 Harper Ave.

Clinton Township, MI 48035

305. Daddy’s Doughnuts – January 25, 2018 – Utica, MI

January2018DaddysDonuts1 (3)January2018DaddysDonuts2 (3)January2018DaddysDonuts5 (2)Utica is represented on 100 Places in the D! It’s crazy to me that it took me nearly four years to visit a place there given that I live in close proximity to it, but there you go: Utica is the 12th of the new-to-the-blog-cities visited in Blog Year Four (goal achieved!).

Blog Year Four ended on Wednesday, February 7, and Daddy’s Doughnuts in Utica was my last visit during that period. So look out for a Blog Year Four review soon, where I’ll nerd out on all of the stats related to this most recent of the completed 100 Places blogging years, as well as a top-ten post where I’ll gush over my faves of the bunch visited during this time period. There have been some gems!

Daddy’s Doughnuts might have to be in contention for that top-ten list. I’d been intrigued by it since the sign for the bakery – which is (dangerously) along my route to work – appeared in the weeks preceding its opening.  There are certainly things in this world less intriguing than fresh-baked, frosting-coated little rings o’ cakey goodness, am I right?

And Daddy’s Doughnuts has an angle on the way it presents its rings o’ cakey goodness: it tops them to order. You can either choose from the twelve signature Daddy’s Dozen frosting-and-toppings-bedecked offerings or create your own custom-topped donuts by mining ingredients such as maple glaze, marshmallow drizzle, crushed Oreos, graham cracker crumbs, and Fruity Pebbles. Either way, the Daddy’s crew will bedazzle those babies with icing and toppings right in front of you.

For nine dollars, I got a half-dozen of select Daddy’s Dozen donuts (one Minty Thin with its chocolate frosting, chocolate sprinkles, and mint drizzle; one Breakfast with its maple frosting and bacon pieces; one Chocolate Covered Pretzel with its chocolate frosting, pretzel pieces, and caramel drizzle; one Peanut Butter Jelly with its peanut butter frosting, crushed peanuts, and grape jelly drizzle; and two Blackouts with their chocolate frosting, Oreo pieces, and chocolate drizzle, because chocolate is LIFE).

Plus, in compensation for signing up for Daddy’s rewards club, I received another (free) donut – how awesome is that?

I dig this bakery not only because of its made-to-order approach, myriad of toppings options, and rewards club but also for its friendly employees, whimsical donut pillows piled onto the window-seat bench seating, and digital clock on display counting down the seconds, minutes, hours, and days until National Donut Day – which is June 1, FYI (how fun is that?).

I also adore that in addition to dealing up donuts, Daddy’s offers fresh-brewed coffee and tea from Michigan-based companies. Yay to that!

But most of all, I love Daddy’s Doughnuts for its donuts. The frosting-slathered, toppings-loaded beauties taste as good as they look, all fresh and soft and gooey and flavorful – and that’s the most crucial component of why this bakery is so awesome. If you’re in need of a pre-work pick-me-up, you know where to go!

8413 Hall Rd.

Utica, MI 48317

www.daddysdoughnuts.com

262. Donut Factory – August 9, 2017 – Warren, MI

20170809_13060620170809_13061620170809_143236Four words, people: CHOCOLATE HONEY-GLAZED DONUT. Those four words equal pure shining goodness and love, in my vocabulary!

Last month, I discovered that the people at the Donut Factory – a bakery/café on Mound Road just south of 12 Mile in Warren – most definitely know what the heck they are doing when they craft their namesake pastry. For a mere 95 cents, I got in return a little nugget of Heaven named CHOCOLATE HONEY-GLAZED DONUT that was delectably crispy and sweet-honey-kissed on the outside and sumptuously soft and chocolatey on the inside. YES QUEEN!

I’m thrilled that I decided to make the detour to the Donut Factory that afternoon while en route from an offsite work meeting, because discovering one more place where top-notch baked goods are crafted makes me feel that much more equipped to deal with life (donuts are an effective antidote to have in one’s back pocket when adulting gets squirrely). I stopped there because I thought it was one of two donut shops in Warren that I have on my 100 Places to-visit spreadsheet (one of my nerdiest and most beloved creations). I realized when I looked there later that it wasn’t (the shops on my list are Donut Castle and Daily Dozen. Apparently Warren is loaded with delightful independently-owned donut shops).  I guess it was Fate that brought me to the Donut Factory – so thank you for that, Universe!

According to its Yelp profile, the Donut Factory is open 24 hours Tuesdays through Fridays (so you can get your donut fix at any time of day! Imagine donuts after a visit to another Warren gem, Dragonmead Microbrewery – NEXT-LEVEL). On Saturday, it closes at 4 p.m. and is wholly closed on Sunday (good, because the saints who make these babies deserve to live a life outside of donut cobbling). It reopens on Monday at 4 a.m.

Besides donuts, the Donut Factory offers other food, too – soups and sandwiches and pasties. You can go in there and sit in one of the booths or at the counter and enjoy a meal in a pleasant, low-key, kinda quaint environment where time feels like it is standing still – in a good way. Because time moves too quickly sometimes, doesn’t it?

There’s a massively popular corporate-chain donut/coffee shop right next to the Donut Factory. I like this chain; I frequented it regularly at one point in my past. But when I see this chain store parked next to the Donut Factory, a humble, locally-owned establishment cranking out fried rings of pure deliciousness at a 24/7 pace, I feel like shaking my fist at them and screaming, “No! No! You will not threaten the Donut Factory!” I mean, not cool, corporate chain, not cool.

But the profound thing about buying power is that we can decide which place of the two we want to support with our dollars – or whether we want to support both. It’s our choice. So the next time you’re in the 12 Mile-and-Mound area and feel like doing a little experiment, give ’em both a taste test and see what you think. For the record, my vote is with the Donut Factory.

28805 Mound Rd.

Warren, MI 48092