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Three Des Moines bakeries to patronize on National Donut Day this Saturday


Saturday morning at Donut Hut in Des Moines. -Lily DeTaeye/ Little Village

Americans love donuts so much that two days of the year have been dedicated as National Donut Days; one in June and one on Nov. 5. So if celebrating National Donut Day again this year is something you didn’t know you needed, here are three Des Moines bakeries that will help you do it right.

Sweet Treat Without Wheat

Sweet Treat Without Wheat dozen and homemade cream cheese frosting. — Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

“Food should make you do a happy dance,” says Sarah Vorm, owner of Sweet Treat Without Wheat bakery. Vorm has been running the business from her home since 2013, selling her sweets at farmers markets and pop-ups in her driveway. Oh, and did we mention everything is gluten-free?

But if you’re skeptical about forgoing wheat in your pastries, fear not. Vorm’s donuts don’t leave anything to be desired. Sold by the dozen, Vorm’s donuts come in a variety of flavors. She says the cinnamon sugar donuts are her top seller, but her apple cider donuts see a lot of love in the summer and fall. Both donuts are coated with a sugary crust that makes the inside feel all the softer. Vorm’s blueberry donut melts in your mouth while her red velvet donut stands up nicely to her homemade cream cheese frosting.

Vorm’s donuts are small, making it all the easier to sample different flavors and (easily) lose track of how many you’ve eaten this National Donut Day.

Hiland Bakery

Champagne donut from Hiland Bakery in Des Moines. — Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

From the day it opened in 1946, Hiland Bakery has been a Des Moines staple. And although the bakery was sold in 2019 by the original family, General Manager Katelyn Adamson says much care was put into making sure her family was honoring the previous family’s recipes as they reopened the bakery. But one particular old recipe got a facelift when Adamson’s family took over: the Champagne Donut.

“So the champagne cake is the big famous thing. When we took over, we had phone calls almost every single day, everyone obsessed with the champagne cake,” Adamson recalls. “And we figured, these are two really big things: donuts and champagne cake. So why don’t we make a champagne donut?”

So Hiland Bakery began making donuts with the signature champagne filling and decorated them with pink frosting and sprinkles. While the donut and the frosting itself is sweet, the filling is slightly bitter, mimicking the taste of champagne, though Adamson assures that there is no champagne in the actual filling recipe.

Altogether, the bitter richness of the filling with the sweetness of the frosting makes the donut a festive treat for any occasion at any time of day.

Donut Hut

Donut Hut donuts. -Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

Donut Hut, which is situated in a modest building on Douglas Avenue adorned with an easily recognizable green and orange sign, is a neighborhood favorite. The bakery’s Facebook page is flooded with positive posts and five-star reviews. It’s possible nobody will answer the phone right away if you call; everyone’s hands are on deck. And when you enter the cozy storefront, you’ll likely find yourself in a line, especially on a Saturday morning. Absolutely all of this hype is warranted.

The Des Moines staple offers a large variety of donuts. From bestsellers like creamy custard Bismarcks and crispy cherry-glazed to seasonal favorites like the iced pumpkin donuts, there is something at Donut Hut for everyone. To go with your coffee, select a not-too-sweet old-fashioned donut. Need something for your kiddos? Donut holes are available in several different flavors. Don’t know what you want? Someone at the counter will be more than willing to help you decide.

Whether you’ve visited once or once a week, you are treated with the same friendly smile and charming small talk that can kickstart a morning the right way. Donut Hut’s sincere customer service makes their donuts taste even better.


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