Different donut styles


What is a Donut?

Different donut styles always start with the question: “What is a donut?”

A donut is a type of fried or baked dough confectionery, commonly enjoyed as a dessert or snack.

It is usually sweet, deep-fried, and ring-shaped, although various shapes and sizes exist.

Different donut styles

History of Donuts

Donuts have a rich and varied history, with roots tracing back to European settlers in early America.

Their appeal is so universal that they have found their way into popular culture, often symbolizing comfort and delight.

The world of donuts is vast, encompassing a range of styles from classic yeast and cake donuts to innovative gourmet and regional variants.

This article aims to serve as a guide to donut styles.

Donut Styles

Raised Donuts

Raised donuts, also known as yeast donuts, are light and fluffy, thanks to the yeast that helps the dough rise. They are often glazed or powdered.

Yeast donuts take longer to make because the yeast needs to rise which is why many people consider yeass donut to be more difficult to make.

Cake Donuts

Cake donuts are denser and sweeter, using baking powder as a leavening agent. Popular variations include cinnamon sugar and chocolate.

They are quicker to make but donut lovers often prefer yeast donuts because the baking powder lacks the taste that yeast gives the donut.

Doughnut Holes

These are small, bite-sized versions of regular donuts. They are often glazed, powdered, or filled with cream or jelly.

Donut holes are popular because they are smaller and can be carried easier than conventional donuts.

Old-Fashioned Donuts

Old-fashioned donuts have a crumbly texture and a slightly tangy flavor, often enhanced by a simple glaze.

A sweet glaze and the tangy taste provided by yeast is what makes them a firm favorite.

Battered Donuts

Battered donuts are made from a liquid batter rather than a dough, leading to a different texture that is often lighter than traditional donuts.

Battered donuts are popular at donut stalls and events because they are quick to prepare and the dough is formed by using a donut machine or hand donut maker.

Glazed Donuts

A favorite among many, these are typically yeast donuts coated with a thin layer of sugary glaze.

The slightly sour taste provided by the yeast is perfectly balanced by the intense sweetness of the glaze.

Frosted Donuts

These donuts are usually topped with a thicker layer of frosting and in a variety of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Sprinkled Donuts

Adding a fun element, these are often frosted donuts adorned with colorful sprinkles.

The color of the sprinkles make sprinkled donuts popular with smaller children.

Jelly-filled Donuts

Commonly known as Berliners in Europe, these are filled with sweet jelly or jam.

Cream-filled Donuts

These are similar to jelly-filled but are packed with sweet cream instead.

Other Filled Donuts

Other innovative fillings include custard, Nutella, and even fruit compotes.

Variations on Donut Styles


While the classic donut is ring-shaped, there are also long johns, twists, and even square-shaped variations.

The perfect donut has even been calculated mathematically.


From mini donuts to giant ones designed for sharing, the size can vary greatly.

Modern doughnuts do not follow a specific size or dimension, but they are all more or less the same size and shape mostly because of market preferences in taste.


As mentioned earlier, fillings can range from traditional jellies to exotic creams and custards.


Aside from classic sugar and glaze, donuts can be topped with nuts, fruit, or even bacon for a savory twist.

Regional Donut Styles

American Donuts

Americans favor both yeast and cake donuts, with a trend toward innovative gourmet options featuring unique flavors and toppings.

The Krispy Kreme Glazed Donuts is however considered the most popular donut.

European Donuts

Known for Berliners and beignets, European donuts often come filled with jam or cream.

Asian Donuts

Countries like Japan offer unique takes, such as mochi donuts, which have a chewy texture.

This donut shop in Korea makes 20 different donuts every day:

Other Regional Donuts

From the Middle Eastern Sufganiyah to the Latin American churro, the style and taste of donuts vary greatly depending on the region.

Healthier Alternatives

If you’re health-conscious but still want to indulge, options like baked, gluten-free, or low-sugar donuts are available.

Pairing Donuts

Consider enjoying your donut with a cup of coffee for breakfast or as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream.


Donuts are a universal delight, offering endless possibilities in terms of flavor, style, and cultural variations.

From the classic glazed to the exotic gourmet, there’s a donut for everyone. As the donut market and tastes continue to evolve, it invites us to explore and indulge in this timeless treat.

Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a curious newcomer, the collection of available donuts offers a sweet haven of endless possibilities for all donut lovers.