What pairs absolutely perfectly with coffee and can be enjoyed at any time of the day as a sweet, yummy snack?
That’s right, you guessed it – donuts! A classic favorite, everyone loves tucking into a powdery donut from time to time, but did you know that there are a variety of variations enjoyed all over the world?
That’s right. Even though many of us are used to eating a traditional donut (think doughy texture and a glazed icing topping) there are a variety of different types of donuts that people all around the world enjoy.
The only question is, what are they? In this article, we are going to be outlining some of the most popular donuts enjoyed over the world.
Sure, even though we’re all familiar with the classic-style donuts such as chocolate donuts, jelly filled donuts, glazed donuts and, of course, sprinkle donuts – that’s not all there is!
As a matter of fact, there are many other types of donuts enjoyed all over the world, and below – you will find a list of all the best worth knowing about.
You know what to do, just read on!
The Most Popular Types Of Donuts From Around The World!
Even though nothing beats a good old glazed donut, sometimes change can be good, right?
If you’re interested in spicing up your typical donut order with something new or you’d simply like to learn a little more about the different types of enjoyed by cultures all over the world – just keep reading for our handpicked roundup of favorites:
1. The Cruller Donut
One popular variation to the classic donut is the Cruller donut, which is a donut that also incorporates elements of a traditional pastry.
Most popular in France, there are typically two types of cruller donuts enjoyed in France, and these are the twisted cruller and the French cruller.
Starting off with the twisted cruller, which is a cruller donut that has gotten its name from its shape (it has a twisting appearance almost like a churro) that are then twisted into knots in order to create a donut shape.
As you might have already been able to guess from this description, the twisted cruller looks more like a sweet pastry as opposed to a donut, but seeing as the ingredients are more or less identical to a classic, traditional donut, it still falls into the donut family.
As for French crullers? Well, these look a lot more like a traditional donut does!
Similar to that of a regular donut, French crullers have a rung shape and are made out of choux pastry, which gives this donut variation a fluffy and light texture as opposed to the heavier, “doughy” texture of a regular donut.
Regardless of which cruller donut you are eating though, you might also be interested to learn that these donuts can be made with a variety of different flavors depending on your tastes and preferences.
There are cinnamon crullers, pistachio crullers, vanilla crullers and more – but if you would like to try them, they’re best served fresh with a cup of coffee.
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Paris, you’ll find crullers commonly served in cafes!
2. The Beignet Donut
Next up on our list we have the Beignet donut, which is a popular donut variation that is also otherwise referred to as a fritter!
If you aren’t overly familiar with what a beignet donut is, it is essentially a mini French dessert that uses choux pastry and follows a near identical recipe to that of a regular donut.
Instead of using standard dough to prepare these donuts, choux pastry is instead used in its place.
Light and fluffy, choux pastry is made using water, eggs, butter and flour, and has an airy texture that is absolutely delicious without being heavy.
Along with this, it is also worth mentioning that unlike some other types of pastry, choux pastry does not require any raising agent, but instead uses the steam from the heat during the cooking process to make the dough rise.
As for how the beignet donut is made?
This unique donut is made by both deep-frying the ough, as well as thoroughly beating it to ensure that there is a smooth, lightweight and airy texture.
By doing both of these things, it is also able to create a hollow inner area of the donut, while allowing the outer part of the donut to be golden and subtly crispy.
In some instances, bakers might also choose to add a few sprinkles of sugar over the tops of the finished beignet donuts just so as to give it a touch of sweetness – although this last step is entirely optional.
If you’re interested in trying out this yummy donut, the crunch of the choux pastry pairs very well with freshly whipped cream. Yum.
3. The Cake Donut
So, while these donuts don’t necessarily hail from a specific country – they’re super delicious and absolutely deserving of a mention in this list!
Enjoyed all throughout the world, the cake donut is exactly what it sounds like – a donut and a cake. Does it get any better than that?
Cake donuts are created using a specific cake/donut mixture batter that can either be made from scratch or even bought from the local grocery store.
However, unlike regular cakes that are baked in the oven, the cake donut is typically cooked by being deep-fried until it’s golden and crispy.
While this particular donut might not be something that you’d want to eat everyday, it’s certainly sure to be a yummy treat on those days when you’re craving something a little unearthly.
4. The Cream Donut
Here’s another variation of a standard donut that you might not have had the pleasure of trying just yet.
Even though donuts are traditionally made with a hole in the center, the cream donut is entirely unique because it does not feature a hole in the center of the donut. Instead, there’s a cream or custard filling in its place.
Although, you don’t necessarily need to fill the cream donut with cream exclusively, because there are a whole lot of fun fillings that you can use to fill the inside of this style of donut, too.
From raspberry jam to chocolate filling – there’s plenty of options for you to choose from, especially if you are thinking of making your own at home!
As a side note, if you’re in need of a recommendation for a filling to try, we strongly suggest that you try adding Boston or Bavarian cream!
On one hand, you have Boston cream, which is deliciously creamy, thick and smooth and has a yellow color.
On the other hand, you have Bavarian cream which is whipped, light and fluffy – just perfect for sinking your teeth into.
5. Long John Donuts
Next up we have the Long John Donut! This silly and fun donut has a uniquely “long” shape that sort of resembles a hot dog.
Unlike standard donuts which typically have a round appearance with a hole in the middle of them, long john donuts are unique because they have an oblong shape despite following more or less the exact same recipe as regular donuts do.
Due to this, despite the fact that long john donuts have a different shape to a regular donut, they have pretty much the same exact taste.
Along with this, donuts are traditionally cut in the middle and filled with freshly whipped cream and strawberry jam or syrup.
In some instances, there are even some donut shops that create their long john donuts with crazy and fun fillings…such as maple syrup and bacon! Yes, you read that right.
Nonetheless, if you’re yet to try your very first long john donut and you’d like to give it a go, we recommend starting off with a regular long john donut filled with cream and strawberry jelly.
You’re sure to absolutely love it and, thanks to the larger size of these donuts, you’ll be able to share them with your loved ones or even save some to enjoy later on in the day!
If you’re already familiar with churros, then we’re sure that you might be pretty surprised to see them featured on this list.
However, believe it or not, churros are directly inspired by donuts and use more or less the same ingredients to prepare them.
Thanks to this, churros are, by all accounts, a variation of the traditional donut. You heard it here first!
Like we’ve already talked about above, donuts come in all shapes and sizes – and the churro is a perfect example of this donut diversity.
Hailing from Spain, churros are made using dough or batter that is typically piped out when submerged in oil and then allowed to fry to create their distinctive shapes.
After they are finished being fried, churros are then typically covered in sugar, although the most common type of sugar used in to complete churros are cinnamon sugar.
If you’re yet to try a churro, they are slightly different from donuts but still just as delicious.
Churros are crunchy and golden on the outside and when cooked correctly have a fluffy texture on the inside that resembles that of a traditional donut.
Even though churros come from Spain, in recent years they have become frequently more and more popular throughout the USA and the rest of the world.
Fun fact: Churros are one of the most frequently purchased food items in DisneyWorld!
7. The Sour Cream Donut
Love donuts, but don’t have a sweet tooth? Not to worry, because the sour cream donut perfectly strikes the balance between sweet and savory.
If you’ve already had the pleasure of trying this tasty variation on the traditional donut, we’re sure that you’ll be in complete agreement with us when w e say that sour cream donuts have a unique texture that is absolutely delicious.
Satisfaction simply guaranteed, sour cream donuts have a soft texture on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside.
Along with this, the addition of the sour cream offers a creamy smoothness that pairs absolutely perfectly with the rest of the donut – the result?
A sweet yet savory donut that you won’t be able to get enough of. Many people find that the sour cream donut is great for breakfast time! Pair with a coffee to really set you up for the day.
Heading back over to Europe, the next donut variation that we have to share with you comes from Malasadas, which hails from Portugal.
Malasadas quite literally translates to Portuguese fried donuts, and are often made by using eggs, wheat flour, sugar, milk, lemon zest, yeast and butter.
Malasadas are often made by shaping these pastries (after they have been given all the time that they need to bake) into donut shapes.
Traditionally, a malasadas will typically have a hole in the center just like a regular donut does, although keep in mind that there are a variety of other ways that the center of this style of donut can be filled! It’s entirely up to you.
Needless to say, the most traditional type of malasadas is typically made with a generous pinch of lemon juice in order to give the donut a zesty twist.
From there, these donuts are then typically generously covered in sugar and cinnamon – an absolute must if you’re planning on taking a vacation to somewhere tropical, and you’re in the mood for a sweet treat!
These types of donuts are especially popular in Hawaii.
9. Cinnamon Twists
Even though these don’t look a thing like donuts, Cinnamon Twists are a variation of the traditional donut – which is why they’ve made it to the list!
Usually enjoyed during the fall time of the year, cinnamon twists are, surprise surprise, covered in cinnamon which makes them perfect for the colder time of the year.
The dough used for cinnamon twists are very similar to that of a regular donut, although as you can already see – the shape and design of cinnamon twists are much different to that of a regular donut.
These donut sweet treats feature a twisting design in a ruler-like shape. To complement the flavor of the dough, the sweet pastry is then sprinkled with cinnamon.
10. The Cronut Donut
Next up on our list we have the Cronut! Sporting a unique name, the cronut was first coined back in 2012 by a French-American pastry chef!
As you might have already been able to guess from the name of this next donut, the cronut is a blend between the donut and a croissant, which is then filled to the brim with a cream filling.
Blending elements of both a donut and a croissant, the cronut has all the sweetness of a donut that has been mixed with the crispy texture of a croissant.
So, if you happen to love both of these sweet treats but you don’t want to eat two in one sitting – you have the option of enjoying a cronut instead.
Fun fact: Upon the release of this fun pastry invention, the cronut shot to fame and became a staple sweet treat in New York in just 3 days. Impressive or what?
If you’re planning on taking a trip to the big apple, be sure to stop by a cafe or deli to try a cronut for yourself, in the place where it was created.
11. The Berliner Donut
Now, if you’re not overly familiar with this type of donut, we’re sure that you’ll be familiar with the funny John F. Kennedy speech he made in 1963!
Upon trying to show solidarity with Berlin, he endearingly referred to himself as being a “Berliner ” which was met with much laughter – as he unintentionally called himself a donut in German!
The Berliner is an iconic, staple sweet pastry donut from Germany, and in recent years has become a popular treat across the world, too.
The donut itself, while slightly different from a traditional, classic donut, is absolutely delicious and pairs just perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
Some other terms used to refer to this donut are Bismark and Krapfen, although these are most commonly used in Germany only.
Either way, regardless of what name is used to describe this donut, there’s no denying that this variation of the classic donut is absolutely delicious and covered in icing sugar and sweetened whipped cream before being served.
12. The Yum Yum
Even if you’re not familiar with the name, we’re sure that you’ll have already tried a yum yum at least once.
The best way to describe this fun take on the classic donut is to compare it to a glazed donut – as this is essentially what a yum yum is.
It features a unique twisting shape that is achieved through deep frying and molding, and is then covered with icing sugar to create a glazed coating over the top.
The result is a flakey texture on the outside with a soft, doughy inside that tastes almost exactly like a classic donut.
The yum yum is typically made in the UK, although in recent years there has been an increase in popularity of these donuts in the US, too.
At first glance, you could quite easily mistake this donut for a cinnamon twist, although like we said, they taste almost exactly like a standard glazed donut does.
If you’d like to try a yum yum for yourself, the good news is that they are super easy to make at home.
Keep in mind, though, that these particular variants of donut are best served fresh – yum yums, despite being yummy, don’t last long before going stale. Just something to remember!
13. Zeppole Donuts
Jumping across the pond all the way back to Europe, our next popular type of donut hails from Italy and is simply scrumptious.
Zeppoles are a traditional food in Italy and have been eaten during the Festa di San Giuseppe for many centuries.
When made correctly, zeppoles are often 4 inches in diameter and circular in shape, just like a classic donut we all know and love.
Following on, the zeppole can be filled with a variety of different fillings depending on what your preference is, although it is traditionally filled with a pastry cream and then dusted with powdered sugar to give the donut a touch of sweetness.
Along with this sweet filling option, you might also be interested to hear that zeppoles can also be made into a savory treat instead of a sweet one.
In Italy, it is very common to make these delicious and traditional donuts with anchovies and other savory fillings.
As a side note here, savory zeppoles are often made with a “breadier” dough in order to accommodate and complement the savory filling.
Moving on from Italy, we’re now heading over to Poland – as this next donut variation hails from there.
Poland’s very own twist on the traditional donut, the Paczki consists of a dough made from eggs, sugar, fat, yeast and milk.
Once the dough has been repaired with these key basic ingredients, the dough is then traditionally infused with a grain alcohol of choice and then deep fried until ready to be eaten.
This is done in order to prevent oil from getting inside the dough and making the texture too greasy and inedible.
From there, Paczki is then typically filled with a filling of choice (such as freshly whipped cream) and then topped with either dried orange zest, powdered sugar, icing or a glaze.
As you might have already been able to guess from the description we have provided, Poland’s take on the classic donut is pretty darn delicious.
Fun fact: the Paczki has been around since the Middle Ages and has been a staple in Poland cuisine ever since. They are most commonly enjoyed during the Christmas season!
Next up, we have South Africa’s take on the classically made donut.
An innovative and fun play on the traditional donut – the Koeksister is made by wrapping two strains of painted dough together and then frying them directly in oil.
After the dough has been fried for long enough, it is then pulled directly out of the oil and then dunked straight into sugar syrup that is cold in temperature.
This then allows the sugar syrup to bond to the surface of the dough without melting.
After they have then been left to set, the Koeksister are then usually paired with tea or coffee and served fresh.
Just remember, you’re going to want to make sure that you are allowing the dough enough time to stand after you have dunked them in the icing syrp to ensure that you get the crispy crunch on the outside and the softness on the inside.
This next donut comes from Morocco and features a traditional donut ring shape that is typically fried in oil to achieve a deliciously moreish crunch.
Due to the deep frying, these donuts often look more like onion rings than traditional donuts do, so be carefully to get them confused!
These delicious donuts can be enjoyed either at breakfast time or tea time, although they are most commonly eaten for the celebration of Hanukkah.
The reason that Sfenj is often made and eaten during Hanukkah is that the process of frying the oil can be compared to the Hanukkah miracle story about the oil inside the lamp.
Next up on our donut list we have selected Tunisia’s version of the traditional donut – Yo-yos!
These yummy treats are very similar to the donuts that we all know and normally eat, although these Tunisian donuts are made using a yeasted dough that is then molded into rings before being then deeply fried.
After the dough has finished cooking and being fired it is then typically soaked inside honey syrup for a period of around 4 minutes on either side, which works out to a total of around 8 minutes.
If they are being made following the traditional recipe, the Yo-Yos are then usually soaked inside honey syrup that has been enhanced with flavorful orange blossom water, too.
After they have finished being soaked inside the orange blossom water-infused honey syrup, they are then usually covered inside sesame seeds to add a delicious crunch to the outside of these donuts.
In Tunisia, it is customary to eat these donuts with some pieces of vanilla as well as a refreshing drink of fresh orange juice.
Heading all the way over to India, next up on our list we have Gulgula, which is India’s take on the donut!
Considered to be a delicacy in India, these donuts are deep-fried and then molded into rings with holes in the middle.
Although, they don’t look exactly alike classic donuts because they are slightly misshapen.
Even though Gulgla donuts aren’t overly popular in the US, they are very popular in INdia and can often be found being sold at various street vendors and markets throughout the vibrant streets of India.
The dough used to make these interesting donuts are made from flour, baking powder, sugar as well as a variety of other delicious spices to give these donuts a unique flavor profile unlike anything else.
Last but certainly ot least, the final donut that we have to share with you is the Pershing, which is extremely popular in Northern Ontario, a city in Canada.
Often referred to as the Persian roll (see also ‘Traditional Persian Recipes: 13 Of The Best‘), this interesting donut does not look like a classic donut but more like a cinnamon roll.
When made correctly, a pershing consists of yeasted dough, which is then baked and topped with yummy icing glaze and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.
Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we hope that we have been able to bring to your attention a variety of different donuts that you might never have heard of before!
The only question is, which one is on your list to try? Thanks for reading!
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