SUPER DOUGHNUTS: A Disneyland Doughnut Redemption?

My Disney sisters and brothers,

A new age of Disney is here. Since Disney’s purchase of the Marvel franchise in 2009, the parks started pulling out all the stops to introduce superheroes into the mix of attractions at Disney’s California Adventure. If you’ve spent any time in DCA within the last couple of years, you may have visited the Superhero Headquarters (that has since been transformed into the Star Wars Launch Bay) or seen some Marvel characters wandering the park.

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California Adventure has been slowly transitioning into a Marvel wonderland for some time, but this summer the park is becoming a hub for all things superhero-esque. With the opening of the new “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” ride, came what Disney is calling the Summer of Heroes. If you’re headed to the park, you can expect a long wait for Mission Breakout, Guardians of the Galaxy character meet and greets, dance parties, new merchandise and, of course, themed treats.

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So what does this have to do with doughnuts? Disney pounced on the opportunity to introduce doughnuts, reminiscent of some classic characters, as part of the Summer of Heroes fun. They look like different heroes in doughnut form and they’re the size of my head. What more could you want?

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Photo from [@magic_kingdom_mamas] on Instagram

You may recall my Disneyland Doughnut disaster from a couple posts back. After a poor experience, I was hesitant to trust these new doughnut creations. They’re located at Schmoozies, a quick service smoothie joint in Hollywood Land. I haven’t had time to stop by Schmoozies since they made their debut, but judging by the glistening frosting and the word of the Magic Kingdom Mamas, experts on all things Disney, I think they may bring redemption to the Disneyland Doughnut.

Welcome new doughnuts and welcome SUPERHEROES to Disney’s California Adventure!

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I HAD to take a photo with Captain America purely for research purposes. 😉

 

NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…national DOUGHNUT day! You might recall that at the beginning of my Tour De Doughnuts, I wasn’t particularly fond of the things. However, I’ve grown to love them. 

As posts of doughnut appreciation flooded the internet this June 2, I began wondering how this day came about. Did doughnut shops create it as a way to bring in more customers? Did Homer Simpson leap out of the television and declare a day dedicated to celebrating his favorite food? Did the doughnut population develop a mind of it’s own and create a holiday out of pure vanity? I looked to the most reliable resource I know, Wikipedia, for the truth and it turns out it’s a lot more meaningful than any of those things. 

It was created by The Salvation Army to celebrate their members who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War 1. A fine nugget of knowledge for you on the lovely National Doughnut Day.  And thank you to the brave men and women who…served doughnuts to our troops.

If this post is the first you heard of National Doughnut Day and you didn’t get a chance to eat a doughnut, go ahead and celebrate tomorrow…I won’t tell anyone. 

All of America today

THE DISNEYLAND DOUGHNUT

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Disney doesn’t like to feel left out. When they noticed trendy doughnut shops were becoming a fad, the head of Disneyland Foods thought, “we must have a taste!” Okay, this probably isn’t how Disneyland actually decided to sell some quirky doughnuts but in my head, it was. Regardless of how they came to be, doughnuts are in Disneyland, people. They are here and they are thriving. They made their debut in October of 2016 and people have been eating them up (pun intended) ever since. The first time I tried to get my hands on one of these doughnuts they were already sold out for the day. It was 10 a.m. For purposes of my Tour De Doughnuts, I woke up at the crack of dawn and hauled my butt down to Disneyland to see how their doughnuts would compare to my previous stops.

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The doughnuts are located at a food cart near Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, to the left of the entrance to Fantasyland. A fresh batch of doughnuts arrives in the morning and in the evening, but they disappear quickly. To be safe, I spent 20 minutes lurking by the cart until the doughnuts arrived in their big blue doughnut carriage.

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The cast member working at the cart informed me that there are different kinds of doughnuts sold each day. When I visited, the three doughnuts featured were s’mores, Fruity Pebbles, and a Strawberry doughnut, similar to The Donut Man’s. I hadn’t seen a s’mores doughnut yet on my tour, so I selected that one.

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Note: these doughnuts are NOT cheap. Nothing at Disneyland is ever cheap, but these doughnuts felt particularly pricey in comparison to other sweet treats in the park, so I figured they must be ~out of this world~.

 

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But the aesthetics.

 

Let me preface what I am about to say by reminding you how much I love Disneyland. I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur of Disneyland treats and most of the time they do a bang up job in the food department. However, this particular doughnut was a miss. Despite the fact that I bought it immediately after it was delivered to the cart, it tasted like it had been sitting out…a while. The graham cracker, marshmallow and Hersey chocolate toppings didn’t add much to the flat, stale taste of the doughnut. Overall, it tasted like a piece of bread with dried chocolate frosting and old toppings. A TRADEGY. I was prepared to write about the magic and wonder of The Disneyland Doughnut, so it brings me great sorrow to bring you this less than delicious news. Also…there was a hair on it and I promise you it was not one of my own.

 

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I didn’t even notice until half way through the doughnut. Gross.

 

I suppose this doughnut fail can serve as a reminder that nobody is perfect. Not even Disneyland. Sigh.

P.S.- I still ate the whole thing (after picking the hairy marshmallow off) because it was almost six dollars and I am no quitter.

 

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A photo snapped during Disneyland Doughnut consumption. At that moment I was not the Happiest Girl on Earth.

 

 

THE EDGY DOUGHNUT: Voodoo Doughnut

 

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Oregon location (Photo credit- Tony Webster)

 

Once there was a doughnut shop in Portland, Oregon, called Voodoo Doughnut. People traveled from near and far to taste the avant-garde creations that were born there. One day, Voodoo decided to expand to Los Angeles, California, and plant its roots in Universal CityWalk. LA rejoiced.

Since I don’t live close to any of the other Voodoo locations, I was jazzed to find out they were coming to Hollywood. The store opened in early April, but the hype has not yet died. I waited 45 minutes for two doughnuts. 45 MINUTES.

 

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This is what a 45 minute wait for doughnuts looks like.

 

With that being said, we had ample time to look over the menu and decide which doughnut would be the cause of our early-onset diabetes.

 

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The menu we were handed to peruse while we waited.

 

Several of Voodoo’s doughnut designs are NSFW, so my nutty companions and I chose to stick to some of the more family-friendly doughnuts of the bunch. Our box comprised two ODB’s, a Lemon Chiffon Crueler, a Dirty Snowball, a Butterfinger, and an Oh Captain, my Captain.

 

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Our doughnut haul.

 

I’d heard rumors of the ODB (Old Dirty Bastard, sorry mom), and I knew I had to try it. The ODB is a yeast doughnut topped with chocolate frosting, Oreos and a peanut butter drizzle. The combination of the toppings was otherworldly, but the doughnut seemed as if it had been sitting out for a bit. We didn’t arrive until after 9 p.m., but shouldn’t a famous doughnut shop crank out fresh doughnuts more frequently? I couldn’t help but imagine how tasty the doughnut would’ve been if it was warm.

 

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Butterfinger(top left), Voodoo doll(top right), ODB(bottom left), Lemon Chiffon Crueler(bottom right)

 

To pay homage to the shop’s name, I also selected the Voodoo Doll doughnut. It is a jelly-filled chocolate bar, shaped like a voodoo doll. Jelly in a doughnut doesn’t usually thrill me, but the gooey raspberry filling complimented the chocolate bar it inhabited so well. The pretzel stake through the doll’s heart was a nice touch and provided a salty snack to crunch on mid doughnut. Each Voodoo Doll design is unique, a fun flair on top of many other quirky details of Voodoo Doughnut.

 

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My smile metled away when the doughnut delirium kicked in.

 

I was suffering from doughnut delirium half way through my ODB and couldn’t bear to taste the doughnuts my nutty companions selected, but they described them in true Lady Gaga fashion.

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Voodoo’s doughnuts put them on the map, but the eccentric nature of their business model is what has created their cult-like following. The interior alone was like looking through a kaleidoscope into a mystical doughnut shop. It fits in perfectly with the busy, Las Vegas vibes of Universal CityWalk. Voodoo’s passion for extravagance shines through their décor, doughnuts and their dedication to the spelling of the word “doughnut.”

Heck, you can even get married there. I’m not sure why you’d want to, but if you’re really into doughnuts, quirky aesthetics and saying “I do” in front of a wooden coffin, this might be a viable option for you.

 

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“You may now kiss the bride…”

 

Even if you’re not planning on getting married at Voodoo Doughnut, I would highly recommend stopping by and picking up some doughnuts. Just beware of the doughnut hangover that you will experience the next morning.

 

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Nutty companions with boxes containing even nuttier doughnuts.

 

All photos by me, unless otherwise specified. 

Additional Photo Credit: Tony Webster, Pschemp

THE 24/7 DOUGHNUT: The Donut Man

Stop No. 3 on my Tour De Doughnuts was at The Donut Man in Glendora, California. Unlike most of my stops so far, The Donut Man is a shop I have frequented for years.

 

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The Donut Man, the myth, the legend. 

 

The thing that has kept me, and many others, coming back is the shop’s famous strawberry doughnut.

 

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The perfectly fried doughnut, the glistening strawberries. Have I died and gone to doughnut heaven? 

 

Google the shop and your browser will flood with articles raving about this fruit-filled doughnut. However, the strawberry doughnut is only available seasonally, from January to August. Naturally, I’ve never tried anything else because when you find something that delicious, you never let it go. The best part? The Donut Man is open 24/7 so you can indulge in this doughnut delicacy at any hour of the day. Whether 6 a.m. (as if I’m ever awake at 6 a.m.) or 2 a.m. (that’s more like it), The Donut Man has always been there for me.

 

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I want someone to look at me the way I look at the strawberry doughnut. 

 

Many reading this may already be aware of the beauty and wonder of this doughnut shop. You’re thinking, “The Donut Man is an absolute gem of the Inland Empire. Stop telling me information I already know, Natalie.” If you’re not thinking that, why are you still reading this? Get yourself to The Donut Man!

 

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How did we celebrate Haley’s 21st birthday? With doughnuts, obviously. 

 

THE GRAND OPENING DOUGHNUT: Grizzly’s Biscuits and Donuts

 

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Exterior of Grizzly’s 

On my way to class one morning, I made a pit stop at a doughnut shop that is brand spanking new to Claremont, California. Grizzly’s Biscuits and Donuts just opened on April 1 of this year. Let’s be real, it was about dang time for a good doughnut shop in Claremont. I entered the shop as I enter most doughnut shops…with low expectations.
When my GPS let me know I had arrived at my location, I hunted for some Grizzly’s Biscuits and Donuts signage. Instead, I found this giant doughnut that let me know I was in the right place. Go figure.

My interest was piqued after entering Grizzly’s because the décor and overall vibe of the place was darling. The shabby chic feel of the interior made me feel right at home. I’m a sucker for anything teal, and this place was CRAWLING with it.

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A table for doughnut eating 
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A cute box for doughnut holding

My amazement didn’t stop there. Each doughnut was resting on a pedestal like a tiny doughnut prince, showcasing the beauty of each creation. The case was full of unique flavors that change monthly. The doughnuts we chose may or may not be featured in the future, but you can check their menu to find out. They also have biscuit sandwiches, but that’s a conversation for a blog on biscuit sandwiches.

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Doughnut display

My poison came in the form of the white chocolate coconut kumquat doughnut. It is a mouthful in more ways than one. I actually said the words, “I don’t think my mouth will ever be the same.” The fluffiness of the doughnut alone was unmatched by any doughnut I’ve had previously. The tanginess of the kumquat was balanced by the mild flavors of the white chocolate frosting, coconut flakes and poppy seed toppings. Citrus on a doughnut was not something I’d experienced before, but now that I have, I am an advocate for the marriage of the two flavors.

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*puts a bunch of random ingredients on a doughnut and somehow it’s magically delicious*

The fluff factor rang true for the doughnuts my nutty companions selected as well, but their flavors were quite different from my own. The Oreo doughnut was heaped with crushed Oreo, cascading over frosting like a cookies and cream waterfall. Imagine that the world’s fluffiest doughnut and “Milk’s Favorite Cookie” had a child together. That was this doughnut.

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*puts Oreo on doughnut to make it even worse for you*

The strawberries and cream doughnut was topped with a light vanilla frosting, fresh strawberries and white chocolate curls. We think Strawberry Shortcake would’ve been head over heels for this one.

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*puts fruit on doughnut to make it seem healthier*
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Our three doughnuts posing for a picture.

Before leaving, I noticed that the cartoon of Grizzly the Bear, Grizzly’s mascot and namesake, was very Simpsons-esque. Yes, Simpsons-esque as in “The Simpsons”, the beloved and crude yellow cartoon family. You can decide for yourself whether or not you think this a coincidence by skipping ahead 14 minutes into this episode.

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Grizzly the Bear

I may never know if Grizzly the Bear escaped from an episode of “The Simpsons” to be a mascot for a doughnut shop, but I do know that this will not be my last visit to Grizzly’s Biscuits and Donuts. Who am I becoming?

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Coffee cheers!

All photos by me. 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Doughnut versus Donut

 

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Stay tuned to find out which will reign triumphant.

 

Since I know it has been keeping you up at night, it’s finally time to answer the age-old question…is it doughnut or donut? Believe it or not, the correct spelling of the word is hotly debated by people of the internet, those I like to affectionately refer to as “the unemployed.”

This is a real thing people are concerned about, and since I clearly side with #TeamDoughnut (see blog name), here’s my two cents. Both are correct. However, I feel one is more correct than the other. Doughnut is the original spelling and donut is the shortened version for lazy people. Boom.

Long story short, the modification of the word happened somewhere in doughnut history. But the question still remains, why is no one fighting over calling them by their original name, oly koeks? It probably has something to do with the word’s translation being “oily cakes,” which sounds like an insult you’d shout at someone when you’ve run out of insults. Whichever way you spell it, you are technically safe. Unless you’re still calling doughnuts oily cakes. Then you are just rude. Long live #TeamDoughnut.

 

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THE HOMETOWN DOUGHNUT: Cake Among Us

When I decided to embark on this doughnut road trip, I knew it would be offensive not to start in my hometown. Mind you, Rancho Cucamonga isn’t best known for its doughnuts…or so I thought. I opened my trusty Yelp app and searched for the top-rated doughnuts in the ol’ RC. Despite the fact that there are traditional doughnut shops on nearly every corner, Cake Among Us, a bakery, was the no. 1 doughnut shop in my city. I decided that the first stop on my trip would be to Cake Among Us to see if a bakery could truly make delicious doughnuts.

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The exterior of the joint

I found Cake Among Us to be a pleasant little shop, with teal accents and colorful sayings lining the walls. The staff was friendly and attentive, greeting us immediately when we walked in and apologizing endlessly for the wait, which was five minutes at the most. Despite our late arrival at 11 a.m., the cabinets were still full of doughnuts that looked too pretty to eat.

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Some of the more colorful doughnuts in the case, in all their cereal-topped glory
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By the looks of that full case you’d think we visited at 6 a.m. rather than 11 a.m.
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Blueberry Inspired Doughnuts

I chose two of their most popular doughnuts, a chocolate doughnut with chocolate icing and a blueberry cake doughnut.  My friends who accompanied me, who I will refer to as my nutty companions for the duration of this blog, chose a blueberry doughnut and pineapple jelly-filled doughnut.

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My nutty companions posing with their most prized possessions of the morning

Let. me. tell. you. These doughnuts exceeded my expectations. What struck me the most was the uniqueness of the blueberry cake doughnut. The thicker consistency and strong blueberry flavor set it apart from the standard doughnut. After tasting the shop’s delicious creations, I was dying to know how Cake Among Us came to be in Rancho Cucamonga. I came across the shop’s homepage, which describes more about how the owners moved to California from Illinois and opened the shop in 2015.

Upon further research, I learned that the store’s name is actually a play on the word Cucamonga, it’s city of origin. Say it a few times and it may start to sink in. While reading an article from our local newspaper, I learned more about the shop’s journey to success through the eyes of the owner, Scott McCaslin. Not to mention that I gained a few more baking puns to add to my repertoire, courtesy of McCaslin himself.

I suppose it was silly of me to be so skeptical of the shop. I don’t know why I didn’t just assume that a bakery would probably be better at making doughnuts than a hole in the wall doughnut shop that is self-titled “DONUTS” in large red lettering. In fact, Buzzfeed named them the best doughnut shop in California. WHAT! With shops like California Donut and Donut Man for neighbors, this is truly a feat. Cake Among Us shattered my expectations of what a doughnut should taste like, and I don’t want to speak too soon, but I may be having second thoughts about where my doughnut allegiance lies.

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Victory photo!

All photos by me.