Fun & interesting facts about doughnuts

Doughnut or Donut? Apparently there's no set rule on the spelling of this bakery classic.

What is for certain though is that doughnuts are one of the nation's favourite sweet pastries.

Who doesn't love the 'don't lick your lips challenge' and enjoy sugar-rimmed lips after savouring every mouthful of dough?

Doughnuts are seaside and theme park staple. Gooey, sugary and soft, they're the best treat for after a fun-filled day with family and friends.

There's more choice that ever: sugar ringed, jam and custard filled or glazed - the choice is endless.

There's much more to a doughnut though, so in celebration of National Doughnut Week, here are our favourite interesting and fun doughnut facts.

When was the first reference to doughnuts?

The earliest known reference to doughnuts in print was by Washington Irving in 1809.

Where were doughnuts first invented?

The modern doughnut probably began with the Dutch 'olykoek' - or oily cake. Dutch settlers were said to bring these oily cakes to New York (or New Amsterdam). It was here that they became popular and quickly spread world-wide.

What is the perfect size of a doughnut?

In 2014, a Sheffield mathematician calculated that the perfect ring doughnut is between 72 - 82mm wide with a hole of 11mm in diameter.

Head to Canada

Canada is said to have more doughnut shops per head of population than any other country. Canada's most famous coffee shop chain - Tim Hortons - sell a range of glazed doughnuts and you can now try them in the UK. Find your local Tom Hortons here.

What's our favourite doughnut flavour?

According to a survey by, the top 5 doughnut flavours are:

  1. Jam filled

  2. Custard filled

  3. Raspberry

  4. Hot sugared

  5. Chocolate

In the same survey, the least favourite doughnuts were:

  1. Cronut - the bakery hybrid of a doughnut and croissant. It was invented in 2013 by French-American pastry chef Dominique Ansel

  2. Nut sprinkles

  3. Crème Brûlée - yep, quite agree

  4. Coconut - now, I'll agree to disagree on this one.

  5. Oreo - some things should be left alone, and it seems that Oreo is one of those things.

Who says doughnuts are cheap?

The most expensive doughnut ever sold was more than $1000. The 23 carat, gilded doughnut was filled with Dom Perignon and sprinkled with edible diamonds. Now if it had been filled with Krug, Tattinger or Bollinger I wonder if they'd have made more?

Doughnut celebrations

National Doughnut Week is typically held in May. In 2021, the celebration was postponed until July 2021 due to the pandemic. National Doughnut Week raises vital funds for The Children's Trust - the UK's leading charity for children with brain injury.

There's also a National Doughnut Day - which takes place every year on the first Friday in June.

Speedy Eaters

Leah Shutkever from Birmingham ate 10 jam doughnuts in 3 minutes and set a world record on 16 May 2020. To complete the challenge, Leah was not permitted to lick her lips at any point!

The fastest time to eat a jam doughnut with no hands and without licking the lips is 11.41 seconds and was set by Philip Santoro in San Francisco on 17th April 2014.

Record Breaking Doughnuts

The World's longest doughnut measures 5.842m and was achieved by Keith Jorgenson & Nestor's Bakery in Saskatoon, Canada on 24th November 2015. This record-breaking attempt also raised funds for a new school building in Saskatoon.

The largest filled doughnut weighs 1.695 tonnes and was made by Hemstrought's Bakeries, Donato's Bakery and the radio station WKLL-FM in Utica, New York on 21st January 1993.

For inspiration on turning sugar doughnuts into delicious desserts:

- Filled Doughnut ideas

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