REVIEW: Dunkin’ Vanilla Frosted Donut Signature Latte

Dunkin’s summer menu takes inspiration from the fresh, delicious flavors of the season, like watermelon, blueberry, and…donuts? Donuts are an unconventional choice for summer only if you do not celebrate National Donut Day on June 7. If you need a better reason to embark on the spiritual journey known as Hot Donut Summer, reach with me: think of the shape of inflatable pool rings, or the treat you enjoy at work while counting down the days to your beach vacation.

The Frosted Vanilla Donut Signature Latte is a tribute to that besprinkled beacon, reminding you that better times are ahead—even if those times involve only the caffeine-and-sugar-induced euphoria that comes with treating yourself. Available hot or iced, the latte is made with rich espresso, milk, and two kinds of sweet flavoring: vanilla and Donut Swirl, described on Dunkin’s website as having “notes of vanilla frosting, pastry, and donut sugar.” The signature drink is topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and rainbow sprinkles.

I ordered a hot Signature Latte on a chilly day. Removing the drink’s lid revealed fluffy whipped cream, melting against the coffee’s heat and decorated invitingly with caramel and sprinkles. In appearance, it reminded me of an ice cream sundae (foreshadowing established) with a strong vanilla aroma.

After a few sips, my notions of Hot Donut Summer had melted away just like the whipped cream. If I hadn’t known the intended flavor, I would have thought I was sipping on an Ice Cream Sundae Latte. The drink was very richly creamy and sweet—a little too sweet, especially where pockets of unmixed flavor syrup lingered at the bottom of the cup. The drink’s vanilla flavor and general sweetness were the most pronounced flavors, although the coffee wasn’t lost. Lacking any bitter notes, the coffee flavor seemed equal in ratio to the vanilla creaminess, which together reminded me of coffee ice cream. I could have dumped my cup’s contents into an ice cream maker, churned for a spell, and transferred the results to a waffle cone for a nice dessert.

As I envisioned this experiment, my mind’s library of useless knowledge released from its archives a lyric from a Beastie Boys song: “I like my sugar with coffee and cream.” If you share the sentiment, the Dunkin’ Frosted Vanilla Donut Signature Latte will be a good match for you: it is sweet, creamy, with elevated vanilla flavor, with extra sweet toppings as the icing on the alleged donut.

Don’t let my ice cream tangent make you think I forgot about the unfulfilled promise of the donut. While combining the longtime colleagues of coffee and donuts into a latte is a fun idea, the resulting product doesn’t remind me of the pastry at all, save their like sweetness. While it may be a sweeter, more dessert-like twist on your usual coffee beverage, the Dunkin’ Frosted Vanilla Donut Signature Latte feels like a missed opportunity for a unique seasonal treat to bask in the summer spotlight.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Size: Small
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 11 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 39 grams of total sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

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