We're into the spirit of supporting local. So today, on international doughnut day (June 5th!) we are very lucky in Auckland to be surrounded by small businesses that sell lusciously plump, perfectly filled, sugared, decorated and glazed doughnuts. They are all even beautifully presented - almost too good to eat - but only almost. We've chosen our favourites - all unique and from unique businesses that we love.
So forget about your waistline for today. Times are rough. Indulge in the spirit of supporting local by trying a doughnut or 6 from one of these great Kiwi businesses.
We haven't ranked them - these are all our favourite doughnuts (the best of the best) and we recommend them all. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our favourite Auckland doughnuts.
Not only do Tart Bakery use all-vegan products, they also use NZ grown flour, ethically sourced nuts, they use non-G.M canola to fry their doughnuts and they recycle their oil into bio deisel. Even their sprinkles are vegan. To boot, when our food editor, Claire Aldous, tried their salted caramel filled doughnut, she exclaimed "I don't know how they do that without butter or cream!" They're decadent in an almost juicy way.
Pied Piper & Doornuts
When you open a box of assorted doughnuts from here, you can't help but be in a party mood - the variety, colour and wow factor are all there. If ballons were doughnuts this is what they'd be. Plus, just between you and us, their creme brulee doughnut (with espresso cream in the middle) was up there with our favourites of the lot. Pied Piper & Doornuts have also really nailed the American Diner aesthetic. Walking into their Karangahape Road shop is like like walking onto a Twin Peaks set!
Scratch Baker's doughnuts are round, plump and doughy in a lovely simple old fashioned way. You can crack the top of their creme brulee with a spoon like it's the real thing - and they supply baked goods to many an Auckland cafe that wouldn't otherwise have their baking power. So your nearest supply of Scratch Bakers doughnuts might be nearer than you think.
What doesn't Amano do well?! These decadent but dainty little numbers are light, with fluffy, airy cream and rhubarb jam that is tart rather than sweet. Amano place an emphasis on seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients - including New Zealand flour, butter and fruit so you can feel good about biting into one of these... Plus, aren't they pretty enough for a fairy princess?!
Before MamasDonuts opened their North Shore store, the Hamilton store found that Auckland fans were driving all the way between the cities to get their fix. And for good reason - the gooey passionfruit curd, sugary maple glazed and classic pink sprinkles are all yummy as hell - and they look like they're straight out of a movie from the 50s. And if that wasn't enough, the Tauranga based business is founded by mums operating with the understanding that the mums they employ need flexibility in their work so they can be mums when school ends.
Grownup Donuts are well named, because with sophisticated flavours like caramel espresso latte, lemon-lime curd and toasted meringue and spiced apple pie & cream, their doughnuts are best appreciated by adults. They specialise in filled doughnuts and though we are sure littlies would love to get their little mitts on these, they aren't too sweet or oily, so they'll satisfy those who are more interested in flavours than sugar.
Little & Friday
The jam-filled, icing sugar-coated confections that came in our door from Little & Friday garnered oohs and aahs from the team. They're angelic looking. And they taste just as good. They're so plump that if they weren't so good, I'd say share one between two. They're also lovely and soft and full of raspberry jam. They're classic and nostalgic. Little & Friday use fresh, free-range and organic produce and bake everything from scratch. You can taste that extra love.
Their concept is simple: beautiful round classic doughnuts that you inject the filling into yourself. Interactivity and food go together like cream and jam in our books - but the doughnuts are also fabulously doughy, perfectly round cinnamon sugared puffs of joy. And they're in Ponsonby Central, handy to tempt us whenever we're out shopping.
Special mentions to our other favourites that we couldn't quite make it to for pictures and tasting (but we reckon they are well worth a stop if you're in town).
Ya Bon - Hastings
The Smoking Barrel - Port Motueka
Rosebank Kitchen - Avondale, Auckland
Mister D - Napier
Egmont Street Eatery - Wellington
Customs Brew Bar by Coffee Supreme - Wellington
Hello Sunday - Christchurch
The Donut Boutique - Christchurch
Bluebells Cakery - Auckland
Little Dough Co - Wellington
Winona Forever - Auckland
Ferg Baker - Queenstown
Mr. T's - Onehunga, Auckland
Custom Lane - Central Auckland
Grizzly Baked Goods - Christchurch
Glamour Cake at Lyttleton Bakery - Lyttleton