In the 19th century, the Dutch created a pastry made of balls of fried dough that were stuffed with fillings like jelly, cream or chocolate. They called them olykoeks -- “oily cakes.” Here in the U.S., we happily call them doughnuts.
Doughnuts have come a long way since their oily-cake name. These hole-y desserts, which are seeing an especially colorful burst of new business in North Texas, are a blank canvas for sweet and savory recipes.
Here's an inside look at three new, trendy D-FW doughnut shops you may not have visited yet.
The Dapper Doughnut
On the bottom level of Galleria Dallas, owners Brooke and Leo Sanchez are making miniature doughnuts. You read that right: These tiny desserts are about the size of a ping pong ball.
All of the doughnuts at The Dapper Doughnut are made-to-order and have a vanilla cake base. Customers can choose from 14 pre-made topping flavors; popular ones include Nutella Dream, Cinnamon Sugar, S’mores and Lemon Blueberry. Customers also have the option to choose the toppings that go on their doughnuts.
The Dapper Doughnut also sells doughnut milkshakes: ice cream blended with three mini doughnuts and topped with another miniature doughnut. Brooke Sanchez compares it to drinking a melted ice cream cake. For drinks, customers can order coffee sourced from Burundi, a small country in Africa that's one of the poorest nations in the world, says BBC. According to Brooke, the coffee company she buys from employs women in Burundi.
“It’s an empowering story for women, because we’re actually supporting the women there,” Brooke says. “This has helped with their medical expenses, taking care of their children and making sure that their needs are met.”
The Dapper Doughnut is a franchise that started in Chicago; the Galleria store is the 14th location. Originally called Beavers Coffee + Donuts, the company rebranded as The Dapper Doughnut and continued selling mini doughnuts. The Sanchezes decided to open one up after leaving their jobs at Dallas ISD, where Brooke was a kindergarten teacher and Leo taught bilingual pre-k.
“When a customer comes up and you serve them and they smile, I get that same sense that I did when I was teaching a child and they were excited about learning," Brooke says.
13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, on the bottom level of Galleria Dallas near the ice rink.
Wow! Donuts & Drips
“Food trends come and go all the time,” says David Sim, general manager of Wow! Donuts & Drips. “But doughnuts and coffee have always been around.”
And since they’ve been around for so long, Sim said he felt that the idea of a grab-and-go doughnut shop was stale. That’s when he conjured up Wow! Donuts & Drips, a doughnut and coffee shop in Plano.
The store has been reviewed as “so dang Instagrammable” by a customer on Yelp, and that customer is right. The white and pastel-colored walls, meticulously placed succulents and wall art make this cafe an Instagrammer’s dream. Then, there are the doughnuts, of course.
Wow! offers over 100 doughnut flavors. Customers can choose ones like Maple Bacon, a yeast-based doughnut topped with candied bacon, or Over the Rainbow, a doughnut with a blue glaze, whipped cream and a strip of sour candy. Treats here are made fresh to order, and Sim says they aim to take no more than 45 seconds to make each doughnut.
Wow! also sells coffee and tea, and it's not an afterthought, Sim explains. The store is home to Steampunk, a $15,000 coffee and tea brewing machine by Alpha Dominche. The machine is meant to brew drinks just as the brewer intended it, so customers “will get the perfect cup" each time, Sim says.
Sim wants the store to be a hang-out spot for students and night owls. He even says that the music in the store changes as the sun goes down. The store is open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends.
6509 W. Park Boulevard, Plano.
Kneady Doughnuts, located in the up-and-coming River East neighborhood in Fort Worth, stems from its owners' interest in a rare treat.
Co-owners Tara McCartney and Delilah Oudomsouk spent five and 15 years working in bars, respectively. They decided to open up Kneady Doughnuts after McCartney realized that they "never really got around to getting doughnuts when [we're] going to work at five or six o'clock at night."
Original and chocolate glazed are their staples, but McCartney is experimenting with flavors like Cherry Limeade, Ocean Water and Watermelon. Some have become a hit with their customers, including the Fairy Dust, a cake-based doughnut with Fruity Pebbles sprinkled on top, and the French Toast, a yeast-based doughnut fried and seared on the stove like its namesake.
The pride and joy of Kneady Doughnuts doesn’t lie in its toppings, but rather in the doughnut itself, McCartney says. She went to The Culinary School of Fort Worth, and despite making doughnuts only a few times in the past, she says she has perfected her recipe for the store. McCartney says they're so good, “you can eat it plain and still enjoy the doughnut.”
Kneady Doughnuts had a soft opening in March and plans on solidifying a rotating menu of doughnut flavors by the time of their grand opening in June. Right now, customers can check their Facebook page for the day’s flavors.
2919 Race St., Fort Worth.