From delicate sushi doughnuts to huge doughnut layer cakes, we've spotted more over-the-top doughnuts than ever across the country and around the globe thanks to social media. Here are 19 beautiful, wild, kooky, crazy and outrageous doughnuts to check out.
1. Spaghetti Doughnut
Brooklyn vendor Pop Pasta debuted their savory, made-for-Instagram doughnuts at the vendor preview for Brooklyn food market Smorgasburg back in April. To make them, they first combine spaghetti and sauce — which include classic red sauce, Bolognese and carbonara — and then bake the strands in ring molds until crispy. So, basically, spaghetti pie — leftover pasta combined with eggs and and cheese, then baked — but in the ever-popular doughnut form.
2. Grilled Cheese Doughnut
At Clinton Hall in NYC, the "Flamin' Hot Doughnut Grilled Cheese" was being served for a limited time in collaboration with The Doughnut Project bakery. It's a habanero-glazed bacon donut, sliced in half, filled with mozzarella, and hung over a bowl of tomato soup. Hopefully it comes back soon, because we can hear your stomach grumbling from here.
3. Galaxy Doughnut
You'll definitely get stars in your eyes looking at these doughnuts! These edible mini-galaxies have been trending this past month, made popular by Australian vegan food blogger Sam Murphy. The nebula inspired decor has actually been around for a while, making appearances on cakes and all kinds of other desserts, but has recently graced the doughnut world.
4. 24K Gold Cristal Doughnut
Filipino chef Björn DelaCruz had the Midas touch when creating this edible 24-karat doughnut for the Manila Social Club in Brooklyn, New York. The $100 doughnut is sprinkled with 24K gold dust and flakes of 24K gold leaf (which are meticulously applied hand applied with tweezers and toothpicks) on a coat of Cristal Champagne icing. If you're willing to fork over the cash, on the inside, you'll get a mouthful of ube (purple yam) mousse and Cristal Champagne jelly. Talk about fancy!
5. Voodoo Doll Doughnut
A trip to Portland, Oregon isn't complete without a visit to Voodoo Doughnut, the now iconic shop that has led the charge of kooky doughnut creations. The shop's mascot is this hilarious doughnut that's shaped like a voodoo doll and filled with bright red raspberry jam (to resemble blood). These doughnuts don't just look cool, the TODAY Food team can confirm that they truly taste excellent, so its no wonder that they're also a hit at Voodoo's newer locations in Denver and Austin.
6. Flower Doughnuts
Every holiday gets a special doughnut at Stan's Donuts in Chicago. Mother's Day means a colorful bouquet of flower-decorated glazed doughnuts. Easter is celebrated with Easter egg baskets made out of cake doughnuts with licorice handles and a bounty of chocolate eggs. When it's not a holiday, the shop still has plenty of surprising flavors to choose from like the Holey Guacamole, a glazed doughnut topped with guacamole and pico de gallo, then served with tortilla chips. Doughnut Plant in NYC also serves up "Doughflowers" for Mother's Day.
7. Macaron Doughnut
Enter the "macaronut": a hybrid between a doughnut, macaron and sandwich cookie. Created as a limited edition confection in Spring 2016 by French pastry chef Francois Payard in Las Vegas and New York, this pretty in pink treat consisted of a strawberries and cream filling piped into a fluffy macaron and topped with rainbow nonpareils. The pastry chef also offered the dessert in banana pudding and chocolate s'mores flavors. Hopefully they'll make a comeback soon.
8. Sushi Doughnut
Ever wanted to have all the components of sushi, but in doughnut form? Now you can. These vegan-friendly bites, also created by Sam Murphy, are simple to make and fun to look at. Shape cooled sushi rice around a greased doughnut mold and then decorate the rings with black sesame, ginger, wasabi, cashew mayonnaise, and avocado.
9. Everything Doughnut
The Doughnut Project in New York City has reinvented breakfast with its everything doughnut. Her, your favorite savory everything bagel toppings — roasted poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, pepitas, garlic, and sea salt — meets the sweet doughnut. Layered on top of a light cream cheese glaze, this doughnut is, well, everything.
10. Muffuletta Doughnut Sandwich
New Orleans's signature muffuletta sandwich of salami, mortadella, provolone and chopped green olives is piled high on a griddled glazed doughnut at District Donuts. The shop also offers over-the-top croque monsieur, croque madame, Cuban and Monte Cristo griddled doughnut sandwiches.
11. "Almost Weekend" Special Doughnut
Broad Street Dough Co. in Oakhurst, New Jersey specializes in wacky original daily special doughnuts. From bottom to top, this doughnut is dipped in warm chocolate and caramel crisp pearls, drizzled with Nutella, and topped with a dollop of cannoli filling and a single salty pretzel. This five-in-one special doughnut is supposed to help you get through the slow hump of the week with its sweet and surplus of toppings.
12. Avocado-Stuffed "Doughpod" Doughnut
A hybrid of avocado toast and a filled doughnut, this creation at New York City's Doughnut Plant is a rectangular doughnut that's made with sesame seed dough and stuffed with a savory mixture of avocado, radish, cilantro, lime juice and chile flakes.
13. Slurpee Doughnut
7-Eleven has recreated its famous frozen drink in a delectable fried form. The fun bright pink pastries are meant to imitate the convenience store's Wild Cherry flavored Slurpee, and are coated with sugar crystals. We can't imagine the inevitable sugar rush that this doughnut will entail!
14. Pool Float Doughnut
While scrolling through your Instagram feed this summer, you've likely seen BigMouth Inc.'s Giant Pink Flamingo Pool Float. Inspired by the ubiquitous vinyl tube, these edible doughnuts are the perfect summer snack to have by the pool, or anywhere else! Brooklyn-based DIY lifestyle blogger Sam Ushiro is the creator of these super cute doughnuts and also mimics the swan and unicorn pool floats that have become popular summer essentials. You can make them yourself with a small list of supplies including your favorite doughnuts, fondant, gel food coloring, toothpicks, and a paintbrush.
15. Doughnut Layer Cake
We've seen tiers of doughnuts formed into the shape of a cake all over Instagram for a while now, but the doughnut layer cakes from Glazed Gourmet in Charleston blow them all out of the water. For example, the Chocolate Sprinkles Cake is made with two layers of chocolate cake that are frosted with chocolate icing, stuffed with doughnut holes and topped with whole doughnuts and more doughnut holes. Yes, dreams really do come true.
16. Country Clucker Doughnut
There are over 50 beyond over-the-top doughnuts on the menu at Gourdough's in Austin. Beyond the dessert doughnuts like the Baby Rattler (fudge icing, fudge Oreos with an L-O-N-G gummy rattlesnake), there are savory salad-, sandwich-, entree- and burger doughnuts. For example, the Country Clucker consists of a doughnut topped with fried chicken, a potato pancake, warm creamed corn and candied jalapenos.
17. Doughnut Ice Cream Cone
This is a crazy doughnut we can totally get behind! Cool down with a multi-ringed doughnut cone filled with the ice cream of your choice at Donut Bar in San Diego or Las Vegas. The shop has a daily rotation of surprising doughnuts like french toast and kooky flavors like the recent waffle doughnut pizza filled with marinara sauce and gooey melted mozzarella.
18. Cinnamon Roll Doughnut
Why have to choose between a cinnamon roll or a doughnut, when you can have both? This glazed doughnut is not simply cinnamon roll flavored — there's actually an entire cinnamon roll stuffed inside. Pastry chef Thiago Silva invented the gooey creation for Catch restaurant in New York City, where it is served with pumpkin ice cream, spiced rum sabayon and cranberry pomegranate sauce. A game changer indeed.
19. Syringe-Impaled doughnut
At Bistro Morgan in Melbourne, Australia, in the center of each doughnut is a syringe so you can fill up the sweet with the filling of your choice like creamy vanilla custard, rich chocolate and fruity raspberry coulis.
This post was originally published on July 15, 2016.