Falling annually on the first Friday in June, National Donut Day celebrates the sweet, often deep-fried ring — formally known as a doughnut — that many devour daily with their morning coffee. (They’re also Food Network host Alton Brown’s guilty pleasure.) With roots reaching as far back as 1917, Donut Day started off as a fundraiser for the Chicago Salvation Army honoring the women who were sent to the front lines in Europe to serve doughnuts to men — doughboys — who were fighting in World War I.
Nowadays, many doughnut shops celebrate the holiday by giving away free doughnuts. Yes, free! Before you head out to stock up, check to see if one of our favorite doughnut shops is located near you. In LA? You must head to Randy’s for their light and airy coconut raised doughnut. Living just-outside-of-Boston? You haven't had a doughnut until you've had one of Butler's Colonial Doughnut House Long-Johns!
For seasoned doughnut fans, doughnuts are more than coffee's best mate. Have you tried them in more savory applications? Do as they do at Gourdough’s in Austin, sandwiching cream cheese, jalapeño jelly, and bacon in between two halves of a freshly-fried doughnut. Or re-create the sandwich that some claim is the #1 sandwich in America — ChurchKey’s The New Luther. If you're always coming back to a combination of sweet and salty, do as RUB Burger does and sandwich your char-grilled patty between two halves of a glazed donut. That's what we'll be doing (with some bacon in there, too).
If you’re more culinary-inclined, try making your own doughnuts at home. Start with doughnut muffins. Those who aren’t afraid of hot oil should tackle bite-sized Italian-style doughnuts or larger, more indulgent chocolate-filled ones. Need step-by-step help? Check out our recipe for Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts, and then follow along with this handy slideshow.