Remember when you were a child and walked into the kitchen to the smell of hot frying oil and maple syrup mingling together and hanging over the house like a net? It smelled like the fair, and you never wanted to leave. Well, the doughnut is back, and Vermont has some heavy hitters when it comes to serving up this classic sweet snack. Here are the 10 best doughnut shops in the Green Mountain State.
Famous for their pies, which are available at their location through a self-service, cash only, honor system and through limited retailers in the Burlington area, Poorhouse also makes doughnuts on the Sunday of major holiday weekends. Starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until they run out (usually around 10 a.m.), doughnut flavors include maple bacon, maple glazed, chocolate, key lime, and Boston cream, but the list changes every holiday.
Michelle Cunningham grew up helping her dad bake, and when she moved to Vermont in 2008, she quickly noticed Burlington had no homemade doughnut shop. So, in 2013, she and a friend from culinary school opened a bakery featuring homemade and hand-rolled yeast doughnuts. Expect wholesome goodness and funky flavors at Doughnut Dilemma, like peanut butter & jelly and strawberry-rhubarb filled doughnuts.
Who says doughnuts have to be uniform? What happened to good old-fashioned small-batch baking with wholesome ingredients? Well, Miss Weinerz promises a resurgence of old-time, kitchen-made doughnut crafted with the most sustainable, organic grains, local fruits, and pasture-raised milk and eggs. Her sweets are GMO, nut, and soy-free and feature a natural, wild sourdough culture that is allowed to rise slowly over a two-day fermentation cycle. Flavors like violet buttermilk, wild grape parsnip, rose cream, and chocolate beet are sure to get your attention.
In this old-school style coffee shop with top-notch counter service and bar seating, the doughnuts are made fresh daily and usually sell out by 11 a.m. Having turned out homemade doughnuts for more than 30 years, Mrs. Murphy’s is a local favorite that is tucked away between the laundromat and the liquor store in an area known as "the Depot." Find traditional flavors like Boston cream, maple frosted, and coconut crusted doughnuts, as well as cider coffee cake and honey dip treats.
Touting a 25-year-old doughnut recipe, Cold Hollow makes doughnuts every day, and it was called one of the country’s best by Gourmet magazine. Come check out their antique mill their or find out about the world's best pollinators. Then, have their doughnuts piping hot with Vermont coffee, tea, or hot cider. You can also order doughnuts online from the convenience of home.
At Jones’, the doughnuts come in glazed, frosted, or powdered, and the coffee is self-serve. An old-school, classic American doughnut shop, Jones’ was established in 1923, and every morning the doughnuts are made fresh. In fact, everything at Jones’ is made from scratch, and it has been for almost a century. Get traditional flavors like maple glazed, or raspberry jam & pastry cream stuffed at Jones’.
One of the best-kept doughnut secrets in Vermont come from the Big Picture Café in Waitsfield, whose owners Claudia Becker and Eugene Jarecki offer mini, maple-glazed yeast doughnuts made with local eggs and butter. They are so diminutive that they come in sets of three with a roasty cup of steaming goodness from the Vermont Coffee Company, but don't count them out because of their size as the cafe makes about 160 a day and usually sells out.
At the Red Hen Baking Co., they believe that pure, uncomplicated ingredients and the hands of skilled bakers are the building blocks for great food, and their DoughNots (not doughnuts) consist of handmade croissant left-overs rolled together in cinnamon and sugar and then baked to golden perfection. Sounds simple enough. But the result is light, buttery, sweet, and spicy, and it tastes like a croissant and a light, cinnamon doughnut had a baby. Red Hen is right. It is not a doughnut—it’s heaven.
Primarily a farmers' market bakery, Patricia Austin has been baking since she was 17 years-old. Claiming to have been raised on “fresh air and donuts.” Austin credits her grandmother with instilling in her a love for baking and life. Specializing in French and European-style sweets, Austin has studied under Certified Master Baker Jeffrey Hamelman and now creates the lightest, most delicate yeast doughnuts, which she serves stuffed with local jam.
There’s nothing better than dense, cakey, crusty cider doughnuts straight from the fryer. Oh, wait. But what if you dipped them in house-made, pure Vermont maple syrup? Well, that’s what you will get at the Sugar Shack—delicious, fresh cider doughnuts made daily and pure Vermont maple syrup to dip them in. Throw in a Norman Rockwell exhibit, and you’ve got a snack and a show.