Attention donut lovers: According to TimeandDate.com, enterprising donut companies and pastry lovers everywhere, June 4, 2021 is National Donut Day. That’s right, an entire 24-hours dedicated to the delectable ring-shaped fried or baked dough treats you know, love and crave — no matter how many carbs they have. And while normally this writer doesn’t partake in national foodie holidays, National Donut Day is as rich in history as it is in flavor.
The first National Donut Day actually dates all the way back to 1938. The scrumptious holiday, also known as the Salvation Army’s Donut Day, started in Chicago, Illinois as a way to honor and cheer up soldiers fighting and who had fought in World War I. Today, donut shops around the world commemorate the occasion with sweet deals and promotions, like free donuts or discounted orders.
And while we at Spy.com love a freebie as much as the next person, we also love a packaged donut straight off grocery store shelves on occasion, and we believe the boxed options deserve to be celebrated, too. Plus, making a pit stop at your nearest Dunkin’ isn’t always feasible and Krispy Kreme shops aren’t super common in a lot of areas. That being said, we’ve rounded up the best store-bought donuts on grocery shelves, as well as the best National Donut Day promotions coming your way on Friday, June 4, 2021.
1. Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts
Hop on over to the Krispy Kreme website, and you’ll see how hype the brand is to celebrate National Donut Day. On Friday, June 4, 2021, you can walk into any Krispy Kreme location (or place an order for delivery if you’re within 10 miles from a store), and enjoy two promotions: The first being any donut of your choice is free, the second being you can enjoy a $1 Original Glazed ® dozen with any dozen purchase. And FYI, per the Krispy Kreme promotions page, guests who have received a COVID vaccination shot are still eligible for one free Original Glazed® doughnut, meaning you can enjoy both promotions, in addition to your free glazed donut, if you so choose.
2. Milk Bar Cake Truffles
Milk Bar is best known for its mouth-watering cookies and decadent layer cakes, but did you know the female-founded bakery also creates cake truffles? Currently, these artisanal donut holes come in three flavors: regular and gluten-free B’Day (“sprinkled-flecked” vanilla bites coated with a white chocolate glaze), Chocolate B’Day (chocolate cake, chocolate shell, and rainbow sprinkles), and Strawberry Shortcake (a “strawberry-studded” vanilla cake that has been soaked in strawberry milk and rolled in strawberry shortcake crumbs). You’ll only find brick-and-mortar locations in NYC, LA, Boston, Toronto and Washington, DC, but Milk Bar delivers nationally (and, trust us, these treats are 100% worth the shipping expense).
3. Entenmann’s Rich Frosted Donuts
If a blue and white Entenmann’s box makes you nostalgic, you’re not alone; for this writer especially, nothing tastes quite like childhood like a chocolate-coated Entenmann’s donut. With eight rings per box, you’ll be enjoying bites of yellow cake encrusted in their chocolate shell long after National Donut Day comes to an end. (Pro tip: Store your box in the fridge and thank us later.)
[Editor’s Note: Don’t sleep on the Entenmann’s Pop ‘Ems donut holes, which are at least 75% responsible for my high cholesterol.]
4. Little Debbie Glazed Donut Sticks
For fans of Dunkin’s glazed stick, there’s a Little Debbie version at half the calories. Each baked cake is perfectly iced with a hardened vanilla glaze that flakes with each bite and melts in your mouth. It’s the perfect treat to pair with a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a cold glass of milk at night.
5. Hostess Donettes Powdered Mini Donuts
A roundup of the best packaged donuts wouldn’t be complete without a Hostess cameo. These powdered mini donuts are a lunch box staple for kids and adults. The soft cake is described to be “dusted” with powdered sugar, but fans of the brand know this is an understatement. These mini donuts are packed with powder and are better for it, but you’ll definitely need some kind of beverage to wash them down.
6. Katz Gluten Free Chocolate Frosted Sprinkle Donuts
Gluten-free baked goods get a bad rap for being too dense or not measuring up to their glutinous counterparts in the flavor department. Katz gluten-free donuts are neither; they’re delectable. In addition to classic flavors like powdered, chocolate, and plain, Katz donuts also come in fancier flavors, like triple chocolate, sea salt caramel, and cranberry, challenging the notion that gluten-free options are notoriously bland.
7. Foodstirs Out of This World Donut Kit
Founded by Galit Laibow, Greg Fleishman, and Sarah Michelle Gellar (yes, that Sarah Michelle Gellar), Foodstirs donuts are better-for-you baked treats that are made with plant-based, regenerative ingredients, are low in sugar, non-GMO, and, most importantly, full of flavor. Their galactic donut kit comes with everything you need to get creative in the kitchen, including a donut pan and plant-dye packets, this donut making kit from Foodstirs is the perfect way to celebrate National Donut Day if you have a bunch of little munchkins running around the homestead (or you’re just a foodie that enjoys biting into an aesthetically pleasing treat).
8. Dunkin’ Donuts
In case there was any doubt in your mind, Dunkin’ is, indeed, celebrating National Donut Day. On Friday June 4, 2021, guests can enjoy one free classic donut of their choice with any drink purchase, and on Thursday, June 3, 2021, fans of the brand can also have their Dunkin’ donut and wear it, too. For the first time, Dunkin’ is launching a limited-edition, customizable merch collection only available at shopdunkin.com. You can follow the brand on Instagram and TikTok for more details.
9. PBH Foods Keto Donut Bundle
If you’re grappling with a sensitivity or allergy, it can feel almost impossible to find allergen-free snacks that meet your dietary restrictions, let alone baked goods that taste, well, good. That’s where PBH Foods comes in. PBH donuts are gluten and dairy-free, grain-free, non-GMO, baked not fried, low carb, and still packed with flavor. The sampler box includes four cinnamon donuts, four vanilla donuts, and four double chocolate donuts, all of which are under 200 calories per serving.
10. Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie Chocolate Donut
Craving a donut, but not the lack of nutrition that comes along with it? Lenny & Larry’s has a tasty alternative to curb your craving. The protein cookie brand added a chocolate donut flavor to its already impressive resume, and this writer can vouch that, yes, it does taste eerily similar to an actual chocolate donut — and with sprinkles in every bite to boot! Plus, one serving (half a cookie) yields 8 grams of plant-based protein and 5 grams of carbs, so you can enjoy this decadent treat without the guilt.
11. Klondike Wake Me Up Coffee Donut
What would you do for a Klondike… donut? You didn’t read that wrong and, no, it’s not a typo. Klondike added donut-shaped ice cream bars (hole and all) to its freezer dessert offerings back in 2020, and we’re not mad about it. The Wake Me Up Coffee flavor is especially enticing for those of us who enjoy a warm cup of joe with our morning donut. Clearly, this is an out-of-the-donut-box celebratory option for the national holiday, but for all intents and purposes, it still counts in our book.