Doughnuts or Donuts?/Cake or Risen?

Joined Jan 1, 2001
Ok--new project needs new research!

Which do you think is the proper spelling of those little quickbreads with holes in the middle? Doughnut? or Donut?

Which is your favorite basic doughnut/donut? Cake or Risen?

What is your favorite Doughnut shop? Yeah, yeah, I know all about Dunkin' and Krispy...What are some other, lesser known, but fabulous donut joints?
I want to visit them all!
So where do I go?


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Tim Horton? Just kidding. I am not a big fan of donuts, At Eaton, downtown, there use to be a little machine that would make, fry and turn donuts. It's the only one I liked and I'd buy them only if they were hot.

If you'd like to find out more on the history of donuts:

The next time you dunk your favorite donut, thank The Salvation Army. While The Army may not have invented the first donut - that distinction is lost in history --it can certainly take credit for the popularity of donuts today...

For more, click here


"For over two hundred fifty years, doughnuts, which originated with Dutch bakes did not have holes in the center; the hole was an American modification that, once intoduced, redifined the shape of the pastry. The deep fried batter doughnut originated in the sixteenth century Holland, where it was known as an Olykoek..."

More websites to explore:

The Food Time Line

The Partially True History Of The Doughnut

P.S. In the Webster there is no donut only dough-nut
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I like mine square without a hole.....BEIGNETS!!!!! yeast, butter, milk, flour, sugar, salt.....powdered sugar to top, of course chicory coffee with warm milk to drink along side.
Joined Apr 24, 2001
It's either zeppole at the San Genaro fetstivals in NY when I was growing up or sopaipillas I had in New Mexico when I was moving to California.

The zeppole was definitely yeasty, irregular in shape, crisp outside, soft inside, meltingly sweet with powdered sugar sticking on from the grease. MMMM!!:lips:

The sopaipillas were warm pillowy squares of tender fried dough that came in a basket accompanied with a squirt bottle of honey. They didn't really taste yeasty but I can't really remember. Been looking for a recipe for these things since I set up my computer after settling in California. Six years and still zip.

The only donuts I don't really care for are the hard ones sold at the supermarket. Although, there was one night at 3 in the morning when I was coming home from work and stopped by the Safeway. I could smell them frying as soon as I walked in through the doors. Had to buy one. It was the only time I ever had a fresh supermarket donut. And on that final note, you see how I spell the word.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
A few years back, one of the better food mags (either Food Arts or Saveur) did an article on the "10 Best Doughnut Shops" in the country. I don't remember where most of them were but one was way out in Vernal, UT. The only reason I remember it, is that I had just gotten back from a white-water rafting trip and we had outfitted out of Vernal.

As for types of doughnuts, I love both risen and cake, though I am partial to raspberry jelly filled, and of course beignets!
Joined May 26, 2001
FnF -- Most people probably have no idea why it's funny; certainly at the time few if any commented on the gaffe. Hey, it was the sentiment that counted!

The current issue of Nation's Restaurant News (4/29) has an article "N.Y. franchisee works to get McD out of hole with mini-doughnuts" -- about a 6-unit franchise owner who has introduced "Mini McDonuts" to increase sales and profits.

And here in NYC, there's also Twin Donut.

My own taste leans toward cake "donuts" -- when I was little, my mother used to make a plain cake batter and pour gloms of it into a big pot of hot oil -- they came out all gnarly and fantastically-shaped with lots of little knobs, golden brown and crunchy. :lips:

The first restaurant I worked in after culinary school was called Zeppole. When we got reviewed, Ruth Reichl did a whole riff on the memories they brought back. Yeast batter, cooked to order -- they really were pretty good.
Joined Jan 1, 2001
Suzanne-Do you still have the recipe for Zeppoli?

Funny--Thanks for the baked donut recipe. Where did you get the baked donut pan?

Thanks a million!
BTW-where are there Twin Donuts stores?

Suzanne-do you know about the guy who has the shop in Harlem that's supposed to be great? Lines out the door at 6AM Donuts gone by 9?
Don't know th name, just 125th St I think.

Help anyone?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/3 cups plus 2-4 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk or water (Use water if you on a dairy-free diet.)
2 tablespoons sugar
Cooking oil for frying

Mix the the dry ingredients and then add water or milk. Mix and knead a little until dough forms a ball. Roll out dough using a rolling pin. Form into shapes using a knife or a cookie cutter. Fry in a preheated 425 degree F. oil until slightly brown on one side and then turn over. Place on paper towels and let it soak up the excess oil.

Serve with honey, top with white sugar or powdered sugar.
Joined May 26, 2001
Sorry -- I don't have the recipe for zeppole they used at the restaurant, but here's one from Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni:

Zeppole di San Giuseppe from Apulia

8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cakes compressed (fresh) yeast
about 2 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
6 T. butter

Oil or lard for frying
confectioners' sugar

Sift the flour into a large, warmed bowl and make a well in the center. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the lukewarm milk and pour it into the well. Work it with the flour, gradually adding more of the milk, until the dough is workable but fairly stiff. Knead until smooth and elastic, then cover the bowl and leave the dough in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the risen dough and work in the eggs, beaten with the sugar, lemon rind, and salt. Knead until thoroughly blended and smooth again. Then melt the butter over low heat in about 7 tablespoons of milk, cool to lukewarm, and gradually add to the dough, kneading vigorously all the time. The dough will now be fairly soft and sticky. Continue to knead it until it comes away cleanly from the fingers.

Sprinkle a pastry board lightly with flour and roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick (not thinner) with a floured rolling pin. Cut it into circles about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Spread the circles out on a lightly floured cloth and leave them to rise again until doubled in bulk.

When ready to fry the doughnuts, heat plenty of oil (or lard) in a deep pan. Test the temperature to make sure that it is not too high (350-360 degrees F.): a cube of bread should brown in 1 minute. Fry the doughnuts, two or three at a time, until puffed and golden brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper and dust generously with sifted confectioners' sugar.


Twin Donuts are really just these cheap places, with the donut display at the front behind the counter. I thought they were all over, but I only found a few listings (in Manhattan), one on 23rd Street @ 6th Ave and a couple way, way uptown. I think there's also one on 14th street at 7th Ave. But these are like a junior version of Dunkin' Donuts.

Not sure where the Harlem guy is that you meant. I think I've heard of him, but don't know where he is.

And then there's The Doughnut Plant, on the Lower East Side (379 Grand Street, between Essex and Norfolk, 212-505-3700). Now that the guy has a professional kitchen -- he used to make them at home, and deliver them to restaurants by bicycle -- the doughnuts are available longer. But he still uses real fruit, Valrhona chocolate, etc.
Joined May 11, 2001
Donuts in Springfield,IL are Mel-O-Cream . In comparison to Krispy Kreme, I think Mel-O-Cream is better. The donuts are not as greasy and they have a homemade taste. I found out from their website that their frozen dough products and Prefried Thaw and Finish products are sold to grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants throughout the Midwest. Retail stores for finished donuts are only in Springfield and nearby Lincoln.

My favourite donut: plain French cruller

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