I imagine somewhere at the Nabisco headquarters there’s a plush office for the head of the Oreo flavor think tank. He has arguably one of the best jobs ever, and a filing cabinet full of bold and bright ideas to satisfy our junk food taste buds. Buried deep within one of those cabinets is a folder titled “Why the Hell Haven’t These Been Made Yet?”, brimming with combinations so absurdly obvious they don’t leave the room. Last year this file was dusted off to release the solid Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo, and while they couldn’t quite land the Nutella brand name for the ultimate team up, 2018 finally see’s the release of Chocolate Hazelnut Oreo.
Doughbar Doughnuts are a Bay Area based company cranking out made to order protein packed baked donuts with a slew of fun and limited offering toppings and variety packs shipped straight to your door. Their goal is to offer a macro-friendly alternative to the often frowned upon fried treat that is versatile, healthy, and delicious all at the same time. The un-dressed donuts, including the hole, clock in at 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein. You can order the donuts with no toppings, or, more commonly, with toppings packaged individually that you put on yourself in whatever fashion you’d like. For my first run with Doughbar I ordered the Junk Banter variety pack, which included four donuts and toppings for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Cookie Monster (Chips Ahoy/Oreo), Cinnamon with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Nutella with Kit Kat pieces.
The naked base flavor of a Doughbar Doughnut is relatively plain with a yeasty whole wheat bounce, slight sweetness, and a hint of cinnamon. The texture is more like a bagel than a donut, with an eggy dense inside that is neither super delicious or offensive. Since they are baked and not fried there is no outside crisp or greasiness, and as with most donuts, “real” or otherwise, most of the flavor comes from the toppings. The success of the doughnuts themselves varied based not only on the toppings but the actual bake itself. Since they’re all individually made I found some of them to be a little bit thinner and darker with a tougher, less-dount-y texture, and some of them to be fluffier and lighter in color, which much more closely resembled a true donut.
The experience of putting the doughnuts together is pretty damn fun. They arrive in a nostalgia-laden pink box with each component clearly labeled and packaged so you can truly choose your own destiny. All of the toppings have their own nutritional information provided, and while the icing containers looked really small to me at first, they actually do provide enough to piece together a pretty tasty breakfast treat.
I enjoyed all of the doughnuts that I got but by far my favorite was the Nutella with Kit Kat crumbles. I’m not sure if it was the slight nuttiness in the glaze or the luck of the fluff on that particular ‘nut but it gave me the most satisfying donut fix of them all. My least favorite was very surprisingly the Reese’s-inspired peanut butter one, because I felt it just didn’t have enough authentic peanut butter flavor. Luckily, I had a couple of extra naked donuts and put together my own decadent masterpiece using their classic doughnut glaze, crunchy peanut butter, and banana.
All in all, are Doughbar Doughnuts better than one from your local shop or Krispy Kreme? Nah. But are they a fun switch up from a protein bar or shake or carb-heavy weekend breakfast? Most certainly. The ability to customize and switch things up on the go is definitely a plus and I look forward to ordering again when time and money will allow. Hopefully this small creative company can get wider distribution and/or a brick and mortar location so we can all “eat more hole foods” on the regular.