Great Doughnut Innovations Since 1958

A brief history of how the delectable, deep-fried dough has evolved over the last 55 years.

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On National Doughnut Day 2013, donut fanatics will line up for Dunkin’ Donuts’ new bacon doughnut breakfast sandwich and Psycho Donuts’ Foie Bomb, a foie gras mousse creation filled with honey, fig and balsamic gastrique, then topped with fried sage leaves. To honor this happy day, we’ve rounded up some key innovations in the history of the beloved pastry.

1958: The Squaresquaredonuts

Rich Comer / Square Donuts

Square Donuts in Indianapolis started making boxy doughnuts kind of by accident, when the manufacturer of its doughnut cutters gave a square cutter to Rich Comer, the store’s founder. The latest twist on the square doughnuts: the “Jelly-Filled Square Doughnut,” trademarked in 2004 and sold at Doughnut Plant in New York City.

1972: The Hole


Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts calls them Munchkins, Entenmann’s calls them Pop’ems, and Tim Hortons calls them Timbits. But once you eat any of these minis, it’s hard to stop.

1993: The Largest


Getty Images

This stock photo pales in comparison to the 16-foot-wide, 3,739-pound jelly doughnut made in Utica, N.Y., by Hemstrought’s Bakeries, Donato’s Bakery and the radio station WKLL-FM, which still holds the world record for the largest doughnut, the Guinness World Records told TIME.

1999The Cake


Krispy Kreme

It’s been 14 years since Krispy Kreme started selling custom cakes made out of doughnuts for special occasions – like weddings. Do-it-yourself types may also want to check out Pinterest for ideas, including how to incorporate flowers and make human faces on the doughnuts. What’s next? Doughnut wedding rings?  

2003: The Blunt


Voodoo Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon, makes an oblong doughnut shaped like a blunt, so that people can be just a tad subversive – without the health risks associated with smoke inhalation. One end is covered in maple frosting and dipped in red sprinkles to mimic the embers. The ultimate sugar high.

2011: The Burger


Sublime Doughnuts

The Oreo Ice Cream Burger sold at Atlanta’s Sublime Doughnuts is a new twist on the ice cream sandwich: a chocolate yeast-raised doughnut with homemade oreo ice cream, crushed oreos and vanilla fondant.

2011: The Triangle


 Dun-Well Doughnuts

After New York legalized same-sex marriage on June 24, 2011, the founders of New York City’s Dun-Well Doughnuts were inspired to make “Pride Doughnuts,” a blend of vanilla and raspberry topped with pink sugar in the shape of a triangle – a longtime gay rights symbol. The owners sell them every year during Pride Week and after any major victory in the gay-rights movement.

2013: The Cronut

Cronut Cross Section

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery‘s croissant-doughnut hybrid – which is deep-fried in grapeseed oil – took New York City by storm this spring and is still selling out. The trademarked delight has already spawned a booming black market, which delivers the $5 pastries for up to $40 apiece.

With reporting by Amanda Taselaar