10 donut creations that will blow your mind

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There are few things that make people as universally happy as donuts. In fact, the only bone of contention is how to spell them, and once you take a bite, even that becomes unimportant.

Just the sight of those sugary circles is smile-inducing. Thankfully, creative donut makers have come up with new ways to use them, so we have an excuse to eat them more often. 

Here are 10 places that are incorporating donuts into everyday dishes – although there is nothing everyday about their creations. In the sacred world of donuts, they are the holey grail.

DoughNachos | Glazed Donut Works

Dallas

DoughNachos are meant to be shared, but you do you — Photo courtesy of Glazed Donut Works

It was only a matter of time before someone smart realized that, for those who lean toward sweet over salty, donuts make an ideal substitute for chips.

The donut mavens at Glazed Donut Works in Dallas are just that smart, so DoughNachos are now a real thing. Do you hear the angels singing?

Made with mini yeast-raised rings layered with housemade whipped cream, fresh strawberries, blueberries, drizzled with dark chocolate and housemade dulce de leche, and topped with a shortbread cookie crumble, this irresistible treat was meant to be shared but, hey, who are we to judge? 

Donut Fried Chicken Sandwich | Fry the Coop

Oak Lawn, Ill.

Donut Fried Chicken Sandwich at Fry the Coop — Photo courtesy of Fry the Coop

Once you’ve tasted chicken and donuts, you’ll never remember that chicken was once paired with mere waffles.

At Fry the Coop, their signature Nashville Chicken is sandwiched between two halves of a housemade donut and smothered with pickles and special sauce. You can choose your heat level from zero to crazy. If you find yourself crying and sweating even at the mildest, it’s probably because you’re just so moved by how good this is. 

The Famous Doughnut Grilled Cheese | Clinton Hall

New York

The Famous Doughnut Grilled Cheese at Clinton Hall — Photo courtesy of Clinton Hall

Get out your phone and say, “Cheese.” Comfort food at its best, Clinton Hall’s Famous Doughnut Grilled Cheese is the stuff of childhood memories elevated – literally! – to a whole new level of sophistication. 

A fresh glazed donut is sliced and stuffed to the oozing point with melted mozzarella cheese. It’s served over piping hot tomato soup, adding another layer of richness to an already tasty bowl of deliciousness. This is not your mother’s grilled cheese. Luckily, Clinton Hall serves it at all five of its New York locations, so you have more opportunities to satisfy your craving. 

Donut Burger | Sugar Factory

Las Vegas

Donut Burger at Sugar Factory — Photo courtesy of Sugar Factory

No one does decadent sweets – or savories, for that matter – like Sugar Factory in Las Vegas, so it should come as no surprise that their Donut Burger is a game-changer.

Proving buns are so yesterday, a freshly-made glazed donut takes its place of honor around an eight-ounce Angus beef patty topped with cheese, bacon, shredded romaine and powdered sugar. It’s a new American classic.

Donut Cone | Scream’n Nuts

Alpharetta, Ga.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream – and donuts!

Scream’n Nuts knows that ice cream and donuts go together like, well, ice cream and donuts, and they combine the two in so many innovative ways. There are donut shakes, donut ice cream sandwiches and donut bread pudding.

The piece de resistance, though, just may be the donut cone. Not only does it hold artisan ice cream in flavors like Charcoal and Lavender Violet (with a signature donut cherry on top, of course) but it guarantees you still have a homemade donut to look forward to after the last lick.

Drunken Donuts | The FIFTH

Anaheim, Calif.

Drunken Donuts at The FIFTH are intoxicating — Photo courtesy of Visit Anaheim

Anaheim’s only rooftop bar, The FIFTH, is right across the street from Disneyland – and, for adults, it’s where the real magic happens. 

Combining the best parts of the day – happy hour and dessert – their Drunken Donuts are an intoxicating mix of sugar and alcohol. The margarita-like tequila lime donuts are fried, soaked in tequila, coated with cinnamon, lime zest and sugar, then finished off with a squeeze of lime, which is so much more flavorful than pixie dust. 

Best of all, you don’t have to worry about drinking too much eating too many because The FIFTH is conveniently located at the Grand Legacy At The Park hotel, so you can fall right into bed after your feast.

Donini | Glazed & Confused

Syracuse, N.Y.

The Donini breakfast sandwich at Glazed & Confused — Photo courtesy of Chris Johnson, We Eat CNY

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so head to Glazed & Confused for the Donnini to start your morning off right.

This donut/panini breakfast sandwich features two old-fashioned fried donut cakes filled with a locally-sourced fried egg, melted smoked Gouda and New York mild cheddar cheeses, candied bacon pieces and housemade maple glaze. It’s served with a side of 100% New York maple syrup to pour on – and send it over – the top. Breakfast of champions, indeed. 

Rustic 24-hour Turkey Brioche Donut Sandwich | Happy Place Donuts

Miami Beach, Fla.

Rustic 24-hour Turkey Brioche Donut Sandwich at Happy Place Donuts — Photo courtesy of Happy Place Donuts

Happy Place Donuts in Miami understands that choosing between sweet and savory can be a harrowing decision, so they simply provide the best of both worlds in their popular Brioche Donut Sandwiches. 

Yes, the pastry chef has come up with a special brioche donut, which is then filled with smoked turkey breast, freshly sliced white cheddar cheese and juicy beefsteak tomato, and topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar. There’s also a version with layers of black forest ham and Monterey Jack cheese. Rarely has there been a business so aptly named. 

DoNut Disturb Package | JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Palm Desert, Calif.

For the sweetest dreams, order the DoNut Disturb at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa — Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Order the DoNut Disturb package at the JW Marriott Desert Springs and room service will deliver a 10-pound – yes, 10 whole pounds! – donut to your hotel room. 

Made fresh in-house, the three-foot by one-foot Homer Simpson-pink donut is handcrafted with vanilla chiffon cake, cream and raspberry jam, and coated in a sweet fondant. It’s covered with candy sprinkles and edible glitter, and comes with a round of milkshakes for dipping or just washing it down. You also get a “DoNut Disturb” sign to hang on your door, so you can indulge in private. Talk about sweet dreams! 

Edible® Donuts 

Various locations

These “Donuts” from Edible are really Granny Smith apples dipped in gourmet chocolate! — Photo courtesy of Edible

Okay,  these are not real donuts, but they deserve to be here because they are works of art and they taste shockingly fantastic. 

Made with fresh, crisp Granny Smith apples and surrounded by gourmet chocolate, these “Donuts” from Edible are a healthy(ish) option for those who don’t want to give up those holey treats laden with sprinkles, nuts and coconut shavings.

Trust me, as a donut addict, I was skeptical. I mean, fruit as a substitute for donuts? Seriously? Yet I am surprisingly and happily hooked. And, as they say, a (chocolate-covered) apple a day…