7 Of The Best Store-Bought Donut Brands Ranked

Store-bought donut boxes
Store-bought donut boxes - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

If you've ever found yourself staring longingly into the bakery case, unable to resist the siren call of those perfectly glazed circles of temptation, you're in good company. Donuts, with their sugary allure and infinite flavor possibilities, hold a special place in our hearts and stomachs.

For this reason, we embarked on a noble quest to bring you the ultimate guide to store-bought donuts. Gone are the days of blindly reaching for any old box at the supermarket or making a detour to your local donut shop and paying high gourmet prices. We've done the delicious, doughy groundwork for you, meticulously tasting and scrutinizing the most iconic and obscure store-bought donuts to create the ranking you never knew you needed.

In this lip-smacking journey, we'll explore the wondrous world of donuts that grace the shelves of convenience stores and grocery aisles alike. Our mission? To answer the burning questions that keep you up at night. Which donut brand reigns supreme? Is there an underdog hidden in the mix? And what flavor should I reach for? Grab your coffee, and let's get tasting!

Read more: The Ultimate Ice Cream Brands, Ranked

Aldi's Bake Shop

Aldi's Bake Shop donuts
Aldi's Bake Shop donuts - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Aldi's Bake Shop donuts are known for their budget-friendly pricing, quantity per package, and convenience. However, our experience with their powered mini donuts left much to be desired, placing them at the bottom of our list.

The first issue we encountered was with the texture. They were incredibly moist, to the point where they almost felt undercooked. The dough lacked that satisfying, fluffy bite that you'd expect from a good donut.

The next letdown was the intense powdered sugar coating. While powdered sugar is a classic donut topping, the execution here was far from ideal. Not only was the powdered sugar cloyingly sweet, but it also had inexplicable fruity notes that seemed out of place. This unusual addition to the flavor profile was perplexing and did not complement the donuts at all.

While we wouldn't categorize these donuts as outright bad, they certainly didn't leave a positive impression on us. The combination of the undercooked texture and the peculiar fruity notes in the powdered sugar made Aldi's donuts feel like an unfortunate misstep in the world of budget-friendly treats. Overall, these donuts were just...off. There are better options out there for your donut cravings.


Walmart donut holes
Walmart donut holes - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Walmart's Chocolate Donut Holes with Sprinkles may not have taken the top spot on our list, but they did manage to pleasantly surprise us with some unique qualities. They were undeniably chocolatey, with a rich and heavy cocoa taste that hits your taste buds right away. While the chocolate flavor is pronounced, there's a hint of something a little funky in the mix. Maybe the bitter back end of the chocolate flavor profile? We're unsure. It's not overpowering, but it adds an unexpected twist to the overall taste.

One area where these donut holes fell slightly short was the sprinkles. While they were a visually appealing addition, they lacked the satisfying crunch that one would expect. However, it's worth mentioning that this minor texture issue didn't significantly detract from the overall enjoyment of the treat.

Overall, Walmart's donut holes earned a respectable spot on our list, coming in at No. 6. They surprised us with their moist texture and heavy cocoa flavor, which was punctuated by a subtle and intriguing note of the unexplained. While we wished for a bit more crunch from the sprinkles, it didn't take away from the fact that these donut holes were, overall, quite enjoyable. If you're in the mood for a sweet and chocolatey treat, these may be worth a try.

Little Debbie

Little Debbie frosted donuts
Little Debbie frosted donuts - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Little Debbie Mini Frosted Donuts have long held a place in the hearts of snack enthusiasts, and it's easy to see why. These donuts offer a classic combination of flavors and textures that make them a beloved treat, even though they didn't quite make it to the top of our list.

These mini donuts are made of yellow cake and are generously coated with a chocolate layer. One standout feature is the softness of the cake, which, while not exceptionally moist, is far from dry. It strikes a pleasant balance, offering a satisfying bite without being overly heavy or greasy.

In terms of the chocolate coating, these donuts hit a middle ground between overly sweet and overly bitter. They lacked the depth of a truly rich chocolate flavor but managed to find a decent equilibrium.

In summation, Little Debbie Mini Frosted Donuts are a classic indulgence. They are soft, offer a pleasant combination of flavors, and while the chocolate may not be exceptionally bold, it strikes a balance that makes the donuts appealing to a wide range of palates. For those seeking a nostalgic sweet treat, these little donuts are a reliable choice.

Target's Favorite Day

Favorite Day glazed donuts
Favorite Day glazed donuts - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth with a touch of nostalgia, Target's Glazed Donuts truly hit the mark. These delightful treats earned a well-deserved spot at No. 4 on our list, offering a delicious experience that came remarkably close to enjoying a homemade donut.

One of the first things that stood out about them was their modest sugar content, with just 9 grams per donut, along with the visual and olfactory appeal that was also hard to ignore. They looked and smelled delicious, inviting you to take a bite. The glossy glaze coating the donuts glistened enticingly, and the aroma was enough to make your mouth water.

However, the texture of these donuts is where they truly shined. They were super moist, with a glaze that was gooey and sweet without being overwhelming. The balance between the cakey interior and the delectable glaze was near perfect, making each bite a pleasure. If there's one minor critique, it's that, based on their appearance, you might expect a more intense candy-like taste. There was just something missing when it came to that sweet donut glaze we know and love, which pushed them out of the top three.

Target's Glazed Donuts are a real treat. They stand out for their moistness, the gooey sweetness of the glaze, and their overall deliciousness. These donuts capture the essence of a homemade bakery donut, and we definitely suggest giving them a try!


Entenmann's plain donuts
Entenmann's plain donuts - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

In a world filled with extravagant and unique donut creations, sometimes, all you need are the basics. Entenmann's Plain Donuts embrace this simplicity and deliver a delightful treat that secured them the bronze medal. These plain donuts have a lot to offer, starting with their reasonable sugar content of just 8 grams per donut. While they may not be the healthiest option out there per their ingredient list, they strike a reasonable balance between sweetness and indulgence.

The standout feature of these donuts was their texture. They were incredibly moist, ensuring each bite was a soft and satisfying experience. The subtle sugary flavor profile is a testament to the simplicity of this treat, making them the perfect companion for your morning coffee or a sweet frappe indulgence. While it's true that these donuts contain an array of added ingredients, it's essential to remember that they are intended to be a delightful indulgence rather than a health food. As such, they serve as a sweet and comforting way to start or end your day.

Overall, Entenmann's donuts excel in delivering the basics done right. Their super moist texture, subtle sugary flavor, and reasonable sugar content make them a perfect pairing for your favorite morning beverages. If you're looking for a classic donut experience, Entenmann's won't disappoint. And don't forget to check out the brand's other flavors, too!


Katz gluten-free donuts
Katz gluten-free donuts - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Katz Gluten-Free Glazed Donuts earned an impressive second place on our list -- and for good reason. These gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free glazed donuts manage to capture the essence of a beloved treat while accommodating various dietary restrictions. One unique aspect is that they come frozen, which requires a bit of heating to achieve the perfect balance. Initially, the glaze became quite hot while the interior remained cold, but with some experimentation in the microwave (around 30 seconds), you can achieve a more uniform heating that enhances the overall experience.

The flavor of these glazed donuts is where they truly shined. They delivered a delightful sweetness that harkens to the indulgent treats you might find at a fair or carnival. The fried goodness is apparent, making them feel like a real guilty pleasure food.

What's most surprising about the donuts is the cake inside. Despite being frozen, it maintains an excellent texture and consistency, providing a satisfying bite that feels like it's fresh from the bakery. It's a testament to the quality and care put into crafting these gluten-free delights.

We were truly astonished at how Katz managed to create a delicious donut that is both dairy and gluten-free. The brand truly captured the essence of a traditional glazed donut while accommodating dietary restrictions, making it an excellent option for those with specific allergen needs. Who would have thought a health-conscious donut could taste this good? These are a must-try!


Hostess powdered donettes
Hostess powdered donettes - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Hostess Powdered Donettes secured the top spot on our list, and it's no wonder why. These iconic treats have a unique charm and flavor that have delighted snack enthusiasts for generations, earning them a special place in our hearts. The miniature donuts are generously coated with powdered sugar, providing an immediate visual and textural appeal. They are small, soft, and incredibly moist, offering a delightful contrast to many super-sweet donuts on the market.

What sets Hostess Donettes apart is their balanced sweetness. While they are undeniably sugary, they don't overwhelm your taste buds. This subtlety allows for a more nuanced eating experience, making them suitable for those who prefer a milder sweetness. While they may not boast an incredibly complex flavor profile, their simplicity is part of their charm. They are delicious, with a flavor that takes you on a journey of nostalgia. Mix this flavor profile with its perfectly moist cake interior, and you have a true recipe for greatness.

Hostess Powdered Donettes hold a special place in the hearts of many for a reason. They offer a unique combination of nostalgia, balanced sweetness, and a delightful texture that sets them apart from the competition. What's not to love about these soft, moist, and sweet treats?

Read the original article on Daily Meal.