Our new columnist Clare Zerny sinks her teeth into London’s most decadent doughnuts.
Several years ago, with arms and mouths open wide, London entered what has become a lingering embrace with the artisan doughnut. It’s not hard to fathom why this movement has been so happily adopted. Gone are the old greasy dough balls and in are the delectable doughnuts with inventive fillings and fashionable toppings that I love today. Here are my pick of the five best places in London to pick up a bag of delicious doughnuts.
With a hybrid sourdough as well as cake doughnut, Crosstown offer an array of decadent flavours such as orange blossom, crème brulee and rhubarb and raspberry toasted meringue. Colourful and beautifully finished, these pretty doughnuts are now available from their new Broadwick Street shop, along with equally good coffee.
From £20 for 12 – crosstowndoughnuts.com
Being brunch obsessed, it was a happy day that I discovered ‘The Doughnut Buttie’ at BIRD. A crispy bacon doughnut sandwich with maple syrup – what’s not to like? But if you can’t stop there, check out their ‘Doughnut Hatch’. If ever there was a window worth peering into, this is it, filled with a variety of glazed doughnuts with different fillings that are rotated daily.
From £2.50 – birdrestaurants.com
Justin Gellatly’s ‘custard bombs’ have consistently sold out since their creation at St. John and show no sign of wavering in popularity from his own bakery at Borough Market. The slow risen, fluffy dough is stuffed with fillings like salted caramel with shards of honeycomb and, my personal favourite, hazelnut and almond praline custard. What’s more, you can now book in for a doughnut workshop to master the skills to make your own.
From £2.50 – breadahead.com
Dum Dum Donutterie
Founder Paul Hurley once ran a Dunkin’ Donut shop before creating his own baked doughnuts. While these are technically more bun than doughnut, if you prefer to skip the calories that a dunk in the fryer brings, then Dum Dum are for you. The signature crème brûlée has an impossibly glossy caramel topping that splinters to reveal the delicious custard filling. If lamination’s your thing, the chocolate and hazelnut croissant doughnut from the cronut range is the perfect hybrid. You can find these baked beauties in Westfield, Boxpark or Harrods.
From £1.80 – dumdums.co.uk
Size doesn’t always matter, and ticking several fashionable boxes these mini doughnut bites are regulars at Kerb Kings Cross. Run by friends Betsy and Jo from their food truck, these fluffy little treats are made there and then, before being topped with a choice of indulgent sauces (think salted caramel or vanilla and cardamom) and sprinkled with popping candy, toasted pecans or mini marshmallows.
From £2 for 2 bites – youdoughnut.co.uk