There Really Is A Universe Where Shake Shack Makes Fresh Doughnuts

While many fast-food restaurants serve up a separate breakfast menu, Shake Shack doesn't at most of its locations. There are a select few that are an exception to this, but the majority of the chain's restaurants are only open during lunch and dinner hours, serving up crinkle-cut fries, burgers, shakes, and custard. However, that wasn't always the plan, and the restaurant chain even spent quite a bit of time and effort coming up with breakfast menu items.

In a 2014 interview with Bon Appétit, Carla Lalli Music revealed that we could have had some extra sweet treats on the Shake Shack menu. Lalli Music worked at Shake Shack's Madison Square location as a manager during the fast food chain's early years, so she saw the menu go through quite a few changes during her tenure. She shared that the restaurant experimented with a breakfast burger using a seasoned patty and some extra special sauce, though it didn't pan out.

One other item that didn't make the final menu — despite the effort the staff put into creating it — was a sweet breakfast treat: doughnuts.

The donuts were too much effort to make

Lalli Music explained to Bon Appétit that the restaurant really tried to make the sweets work. "Our general manager wanted doughnuts on the menu," Lalli Music explained. "I even went to California for two days to make doughnuts with Stan's Donuts."

She says the plan was to launch an heirloom apple fritter along with the breakfast menu. Unfortunately, the fritter wasn't worth the effort required by staff to make it, so the item was nixed completely. Some locations do have special offerings, though. In a March 6 video posted to the Shake Shack TikTok account, Executive Chef John Karangis shows off a beignet shake that blends a full donut into the drink and adds another one on top.

Unfortunately, this shake isn't available at most locations, nor are the beignets themselves — it was made in Shake Shack's innovation kitchen. In fact, not many Shake Shack locations serve any kind of donuts or breakfast. There are a few across the country that does — and those that offer breakfast even serve up a nod to the original apple fritter idea.

Some locations do serve sweet breakfast treats

Back in 2017, Shake Shack began serving a breakfast menu at its original location — where Lalli Music had worked. Prior to that, only the JFK airport location offered any breakfast items on its menu. Now, Eater reports that a few different Shake Shacks serve up breakfast menu items.

Although the apple fritters didn't make the permanent menu for all Shake Shack locations, there is something similar offered for breakfast. "We did a fried dough with apples instead," Lalli Music told Bon Appétit. The Shack Apple Turnover is a collaboration between Shake Shack and Brooklyn-based pie bakery Four & Twenty Blackbirds. The apple turnover is baked until crispy on the outside, then coated in cinnamon sugar for a sweet start to your morning.

The participating fast food restaurants also offer a variety of breakfast sandwiches, all served on potato buns, as well as a sweet coffee cake and coffee to pair with it. Although Shake Shack hasn't rolled out its breakfast menu to all of its locations, if you're lucky enough to live near one that has it, you can taste test the apple turnover for yourself.