REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnut 1

This time of year people love to refer to those who adore pumpkin spice as “basic,” and they aren’t using that word in lieu of “standard” or “classic” – it’s a negative thing.

But basic doesn’t always have to be bad, and truth be told, pumpkin spice isn’t really all that basic compared to a lot of other flavors. Starbucks simply bred a generation of UGG-boot clad young girls that fawned over their PSL’s and tarnished the rep of us truly spicy folk forever.

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnut 2

Some things are truly basic though, and I mean it in a good way. Sometimes the most basic things are the greatest, like chocolate chip cookies, white cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and a classic glazed doughnut. In a natural collision course of good versus bad basic, Krispy Kreme has cranked out a fresh spin on their money-making staple for several days only (for a second year) with the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnut 3

The doughnut smells almost identical to Krispy Kreme’s iconic Original Glazed – yeasty, greasy, and sweet. Its color is notably darker, taken from a pure light tan to deep speckled brown. The size, shape, and overall appearance, aside from the color, is a classic KK affair.

The flavor is subtly spicy with little flourishes of cinnamon poking through the soft yeasty fried profile. There aren’t any deep earthy notes of cloves or nutmeg, and no discernible squashy pumpkin flavor either. The ingredient list didn’t offer me any clues, but to my palate, this is a KK glazed doughnut that’s spiked with a decent, but not aggressive, amount of cinnamon. Texturally, this pumpkin pastry is everything I’ve come to expect and love from the Kreme family – soft and doughy with a very light and airy bite that nearly dissolves on the tongue.

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnut 4

Although the spice-level doesn’t thwart me into a cascading pile of crunchy leaves, what it does do very well is temper the usually hyper-sweet OG Krispy Kreme Doughnut. The presence of cinnamon helps balance out the intense sugariness of the glaze and makes it a much more well-rounded eating experience. I have no issues with the strong smack of sweet that the original version delivers but I know some people’s complaint about KK is they can be too cloying, and this may be a very short lived solution to that problem.

When washed down with coffee, as all doughnuts should be, the spicy cinnamon flavor becomes much more pronounced. Whereas the bitter coffee usually acts as a much-needed relief from most sugar-forward doughnuts, the bitterness actually causes a bit of a spicy sparkle that proves the existence of all those little brown dots and begins to channel the post-chew tingle of ginger.

Krispy Kreme’s Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut isn’t a must-try by any means, but it isn’t a downgrade from their already stellar OG offering either. It’s a mellow and fun take on one of the best items the fast food industry offers, and if you’re in the area the next time this flavor inevitably pops up for “one day only,” it’s worth a stop, but don’t drive too far.

(Nutrition Facts – 190 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Airy, crisp glazed texture. Presence of spice helps balance out the sweetness. Cinnamon all over my errythang.
Cons: Subdued spices until activated by coffee. No true pumpkin flavor. Only available on special days.

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Reese’s Peanut Butter Doughnut

Krispy Kreme s Reese s Peanut Butter Doughnut

How many ways are there to eat a Reese’s? Aside from the classic cup formation, there are many candy offshoots, a breakfast cereal, spreads, Chips Ahoy! cookies, Baskin-Robbins ice cream, Breyers ice cream, and on and on. Apparently, people like Reese’s.

Coming in right as the dog days of summer settle in with increasing heat and laziness, Krispy Kreme unleashed a morning confection that features a classic yeast doughnut filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Kreme, dipped in milk chocolate icing, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips and chopped peanuts, and finished with a drizzle of chocolate and peanut butter. Whew. Are you still breathing? I’m not sure that I am.

This doughnut is a thing of beauty. It feels heavy in the hand and looks like a million lip smackin’ peanut buttery bucks. The light brown drizzle is exactly as advertised, and is straight peanut butter that squishes and moves to the touch. I was anticipating an icing or frosting with some firmness but it maintains its gooey-ness, and as I lick it off of my fingers, it is salty and fatty in all the right ways.

Biting in is a revelation of Krispy-meets-Reese’s indulgence that is damn near everything I had hoped it would be. Given KK’s notoriously sweet reputation I’m shocked by the restrained and balanced sweetness in the overall flavor. The rich fattiness from the peanuts and peanut butter on top mingle with the chocolate icing and chips for the ultimate topping yin and yang, pairing wonderfully with the pillowy, soft, not at all greasy, and not at all sweet yeast doughnut. The toppings do well to boost the intention of the doughnut but also bring a solid crunch to push up against the abundant fresh softness of the chew itself.

Krispy Kreme s Reese s Peanut Butter Doughnut 3

The highlight of this Krispy masterpiece, and likely what will draw most people to want to try it, is the Reese’s Kreme filling. Krispy Kreme’s usual kreme is smooth and very sweet with vanilla undertones. It has many similarities to the filling made famous by Hostess and Little Debbie. This filling takes that same thick, slightly whipped texture and tempers it flawlessly with rich peanut butter-y notes that are juuussst sweet enough to honor the iconic candy. It’s smooth and velvety with a bold nuttiness that still leaves enough room for a little of that signature KK filling flavor to sneak through. My one minor complaint is I wish there was a bit more filling, as both ends of the doughnut were a bit naked.

Krispy Kreme s Reese s Peanut Butter Doughnut 2

Simply put, this doughnut tastes better than it costs, and for $1.59 it is an absolute steal and must-try for any peanut butter or fried dough aficionado. With a touch more chocolate and a hint more filling, the chain pastry world would be looking at a perfect 10, but no matter how I try and nitpick, I already want another one.

(Nutrition Facts – 400 calories, 220 calories from fat, 24 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Amazingly balanced sweetness. Beautiful peanut butter kreme. Real peanut butter drizzle. Soft pillowy fresh yeast base.
Cons: Could use a touch more chocolate and PB filling…but truly it’s a struggle to find a weakness here.

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Nutty Cocoa Ring

Krispy Kreme Nutty Cocoa Ring

As a kid, whenever Krispy Kreme doughnuts were around, my mom would make up some probable lie about how a single doughnut had the fat content of seven strips of bacon, so I wouldn’t go too ham on the doughnuts. In practice I usually just used this piece of wisdom to justify eating way too much bacon. (Ten strips? That’s less than two doughnuts worth!)

While I’m sure the seven strip to one doughnut formula isn’t accurate, one things is for sure: Krispy Kreme doughnuts are always bombs of oil and sugar. Even someone like me, who may or may not have eaten two full Symphony bars the day I got them in my Christmas stocking, can only handle one or two of the plain glazed doughnuts before my stomach taps out.

Of course if you’ve ever had Krispy Kreme before, you know that essentially all of their doughnuts are glazed. The Nutty Cocoa Ring doughnut, Krispy Kreme’s latest offering, is no different. It features one of their classic glazed doughnuts as a base, topped with a generous helping of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread. Half of the doughnut is covered in chopped hazelnuts. I’m definitely a Nutella fan, and I think chocolate-hazelnut is S-tier as far as chocolate nut combinations go, so I didn’t think this item could possibly be a miss for me.

Krispy Kreme thought otherwise.

Before taking a bite into the doughnut, I sampled some of the Nutella spread with my finger and it is indeed delicious, standard Nutella. However the problem comes when combining the topping with its glazed doughnut base. Upon taking a bite, the Nutella was almost indistinguishable from the standard Krispy Kreme.

The taste of the Krispy Kreme itself was just far too strong to be a base for the more subtly flavored Nutella. I had to eat the doughnut upside-down, mashing the Nutella to my tongue to get even a whisper of its flavor.

Krispy Kreme Nutty Cocoa Ring 2

The half of the doughnut covered in chopped hazelnuts was slightly better just because the chopped nuts created an interesting texture variety that you don’t normally get in a doughnut. The hazelnuts were even densely packed enough that I could almost taste them if I closed my eyes and wished for it. The problem is that only half the doughnut has hazelnuts, and the other half is essentially a regular glazed doughnut with extra calories from the Nutella.

(Nutrition Facts – 270 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: The bacon/doughnut guilt formula. Crunchy hazelnuts. I got to taste some Nutella with my fingertip.
Cons: The bacon/doughnut guilt formula. Half of a good doughnut. I would have given this a 7 if the whole thing was covered in the chopped hazelnuts.?

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Churro Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Churro Doughnut

Ah, summertime.

Nothing but pool parties and crickets and Christmas in July, and, while I know I’m supposed to celebrate the mid-summer Noel on the 25th, I am a rebel, hooligan, and all-around dastardly naysayer, so it should come as no surprise that I broke all the Christmas laws and bought my present the day after.

It involved churros. I have no regrets.

Krispy Kreme Churro Doughnut 2

Krispy Kreme’s interpretation of the churro starts by going geometrically rogue, translating the fried delight from the commonly seen line into a circumference more tightly braided than Wednesday’s pigtails sent through a Glam Twirl.

The doughnut’s hefty for its size, coming doused with so much cinnamon sugar, one could ball it up and use it as sculpting clay to recreate the Sagrada Familia in edible form. And that mahogany-tinted sugar thwacks into action with cinnamon roll-like warmth, dodging the common flaw in which a cinnamon product ends up tasting like an Atomic Fireball. Instead, bites dissipate into sugary, lightly cinnamon-spiced crumbles, leaving a trace of grease behind.

That isn’t to say the doughnuts are perfect. There’s definitely a “Manufactured cake doughnut” quality to them that makes me think they put them in some Dyson vacuum dehydrator that sucks the moisture out of all that is joy. As a result, the doughnuts taste dry and a little stale, missing out on the eggy, custardy texture of a churro and its crispy, freshly fried outside.

But perhaps that’s nitpicking. Heck, even the leftovers aren’t too shabby if you get creative. Put one in the toaster and witness how it becomes a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart crossed with a giant piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which means tonight’s dinner of doughnuts and ice cream is all sorted out.

Krispy Kreme Churro Doughnut 3

Some days, the world is unbearable. Today? Is not one of those days. Sure, this doughnut may not hold up to Statler and Waldorf’s orthodox standards of traditional churros, but what is a traditional churro? Is it eggy or airy? Custardy or crumbly? Dense or light? With cinnamon sugar? Without? Dipped in chocolate? Dipped in frosting? Dipped in nothing? Do I get them at a bar in Spain? A sidewalk vendor? Disneyland? A kazoo store?

Survey says: whichever version you love!

And while this interpretation may just be a dry-ish cake doughnut that’s been doused in cinnamon sugar, I enjoyed all 51 grams of it, especially when topped, toasted, or dunked in coffee or ice cream, so pull out the eggnog and let the Charlie Brown Christmas album play because Christmas in July comes but once a year. Let’s celebrate.

(Nutrition Facts – 190 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Krispy Kreme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Cakey. Chunked with cinnamon sugar. Does not taste like Atomic Fireball. Even better when toasted. Christmas in July. Glam Twirl. Statler and Waldorf.
Cons: Cake doughnut masquerading as churro. Pretty dry. A little too crumbly. May encourage breaking Christmas laws. Non-July Christmas is still six months away.

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Carrot Cake Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Carrot Cake Doughnut

Advice to my 3-year-old self from the future:

1) Don’t put Barbie in the microwave.
2) Alistair Cookie is your mentor. Watch him. Glean from him many morals.
3) Remember: Play-Doh hamburgers are not actual hamburgers, even when you dip them in Ranch dressing.

Somewhere down this list, I’d probably put, “Try, just try, to eat your carrots.” While I always liked my broccoli, it’s the carrots that gave me grief as a kid. They’re sweet, but stringy. Woodsy, but super “orange-y.” Absolutely mushy when overcooked, but slap me sideways when done right. I hate them. But I love them.

So I’m celebrating my love/hate relationship. And celebrations demand sugar and sugar demands cake and cake demands to be deep-fried. That’s the scientific chain of events, right?

Well, that’s what Krispy Kreme thinks with their newest iteration on deep-fried toroids, all gussied up to resemble carrot cake.

Krispy Kreme Carrot Cake Doughnut Deep fried cake of vegetables

Devotees of the dense cake doughnut, celebrate: this dough is a solid cake specimen, sturdy enough for the deepest dip in your tea/coffee/milkshake. While perhaps a smidge dry, it’s chock full of a cinnamon-sugar-honey sweetness accompanied by specks of raisin nibs and carrot shreds that give it a little zing. Said carrot and raisin nibbles may not be abundant in number, but are present enough to add their trademark sweetness without making the doughnut taste like Old McDonald’s Farm.

And the frosting. It’s everywhere. On the doughnut. On my fingers. On my elbows (how did it get there?). I love it. The film of cream-cheesish frosting/glaze on top is a smidge tangy, but mostly adds a sugary sweetness that rounds out the out-of-season (but still delicious) blend of fall spices. There’s even a sheen of regular sugar glaze beneath the cream cheese icing for extra sweetness. All this melted sugar leaves a slight film of oil and glaze on your hands, but, so long as you have some napkins and don’t wear neatly pressed white linen gloves all the time, this shouldn’t be a problem.*

*I just realized: Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny will both have this problem. Take off your gloves, guys!

What’s better is, as you make your way to the center, you uncover the crispy little bit in the middle of the doughnut’s ring. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that ring where the doughnut hole was carved out. It’s crunchy, sweet, gooped with frosting, just on the cusp of being burnt. My favorite. This is why I spend them dolla dolla bills.

Krispy Kreme Carrot Cake Doughnut Yes, that is a mug from the Museum of the History of Tow Trucks

In an unofficial endorsement of the food pyramid, Krispy Kreme is providing you with a prime opportunity to overachieve in your life by consuming both fruit (raisins) and vegetables (carrots) via cake.

Unless my taste buds are undergoing some sort of reverse trauma from a hyperglycemic fit, the end result was tasty: the cake was cinnamon-y, the carrots were present without being stringy or overbearingly “orange-y,” the cinnamon and nutmeg gave some subtle spice, there was deep-frying going on, a few raisins splattered here and there added chewiness, and the tangy frosting added some cheesy zing. I may have even detected a hint of citrus zest in there? Oh, Krispy, you sneaky, conniving, brilliant conglomeration. Not a perfect ‘nut, but pretty good.

(Nutrition Facts – 340 calories, 130 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 35 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Krispy Kreme Carrot Cake Doughnut
Purchased Price: $1.10
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Krispy Kreme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Solid cinnamon cakey goodness. Deep-fried. Cream cheese icing. Sugary glaze. Chewy raisin bits. Good for dipping. Fulfilling fruit/vegetable requirement via cake. Morals gleaned from Alistair Cookie.
Cons: Cake gets a little oily. Could maybe use more carrots/raisins. Crestfallen pineapple lovers. Reflecting on the foolishness of my three-year-old self. Consequences of putting Barbie in the microwave.