Holey Donuts! was founded just last year by a fellow called Frank in Bayridge, Brooklyn. Frank chose the name after biting into his new creation for the first time and proclaiming "Holy Shit! These are really good."The product has been featured on CBS This Morning, and in numerous print publications, and has garnered a respectable celebrity following including Kathy Griffen, Tori Spelling, Ali Landry (HBO's Entourage), Fergi from the Black Eyed Peas and Jason Giambi. But even more beneficial to Holey's growing popularity was their glowing endorsement from the Food Network's Rachael Ray, who in her monthly magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, was quoted as saying "Okay, full disclosure: I like Holey Donuts so much that I invested in the company. They're sinfully tasty and lower in fat and calories than regular doughnuts. You gotta try 'em to believe 'em!" Oddly, in an email interview, Frank later tells me she's not actually an investor – suspicious behavior Rachael.
Now this guy Frank has got to be some kind of a marketing genius. Because playing in the background of www.holeydonuts.net is the gentle croon of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who you may remember as the 750 lb ukulele player whose medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" appeared in both Finding Forrester and Meet Joe Black. It's like a subliminal reminder from Holey Donuts! that if you eat too many of these:
You'll end up looking like this:
I'm not even sure Donnie Deutsch could have thought of this.
But moving on, just how healthy are these Holey Donuts! you ask? Let's have a look at the specs:
All of HD!'s 23 varieties contain between 3 and 4 grams of fat, compared with around 20 grams present in most traditional Donuts (so it's like you can eat 6 Holeys at the cardiovascular price of 1). Plus Holey Donuts have calorie counts ranging from 160 to 275, roughly 25% lower than competitors. And most important of all, like I said earlier they're completely devoid of trans-fats. Oh, and I almost forgot their new line of Cinnamon Rolls, which are even more impressive in terms of caloric content and fat profile:
|Classic Cinnamon Bun||Holey Donuts!™ Cinnamon Bun|
|Serving Size||1 Roll||1 Roll|
|Total Fat||24 grams||4 grams|
|Carbohydrates||114 grams||59 grams|
|Fiber||2 grams||1 gram|
It's almost like they're good for you.
Now before I start throwing around gustatory adjectives and commenting on how Holey Donuts! taste, let's first talk about the over-the-top way in which my Donuts arrive.
First, a Fed-Ex guy shows up at my door holding two packages. Given the size of the boxes, I thought maybe Mrs. Blognut had ordered us a new exercise bike. Turns out it's actually four dozen Holey Donuts cushioned by the company's extreme packaging technique. I tear open the boxes, only to find two more Styrofoam containers waiting inside marked "Perishable." And inside these, still more boxes, this time resting among several jagged chunks of dry ice giving the whole experience a "Weird Science" kind of feel. I open the third series of boxes and finally, Donuts.
There are two ways to prepare Holey Donuts! once they've arrived. You can either let them thaw for 1 to 2 hours – the preferred method – or for those of you seeking immediate Donut satisfaction, a 10-15 second zap in the microwave will do just fine (although in this case one must beware of overly-melted frosting and overly-sticky hands). Any extras can be frozen until you're ready to eat.
Donuts on Sticks.
HD! has four different variety boxes of Donuts available (of which I received two), plus the cinnamon rolls I mentioned earlier, plus a novelty item called "Donut on a Stick," which should really be called "Donut on a Spoon," because it's actually on a spoon. After having a few friends over to dine on my well-packaged delivery, we come to a consensus, agreeing that the secret to Holey Donuts is in the toppings and the filling. The yeast dough itself just tastes like Wonder Bread (the company avoids deep frying hence the lack of flavor). But the Holey Donuts! trick is cramming and covering this relatively bland base with as much decadence as possible. Which tells you just how bad trans-fats really are – the fact that a Donut covered in sugary frosting and rich chocolate is still 6 times healthier than say, a Krispy Kreme. Well, maybe "healthier" isn't the right word. More like .1666 times not as bad for you. How's that?
And now the Donuts:
Holey Donuts! box #4 contains four ringed varieties: Caramel Vanilla, Black and White, Strawberry Swirl and Marble Frosted. The caramel and chocolate toppings are impressive and completely un-artificial tasting. However, the same can’t be said for the swirl of bright red strawberry goo. While far more satisfying than I’d expected, the ringed varieties just don’t have enough flavor-distraction from the lackluster Wonder-dough. But what the ringed Donuts lack in flavor, is more than made up for by the filled varieties.
Box #1 contains Boston Crème Cookie Crumb, Coconut Creme Pie, Apple Caramel and Raspberry Crumb. The Boston Creme tastes every bit as rich and creamy as standard Pop-Donut issue, and the cookie crumbs on top taste like an oreo-ice cream cone hybird – really one of the more intersting Donuts I’ve tasted. The Apple Caramel has essentially the same topping as the ringed Caramel Vanilla, only this time an ample wad of apple pie filling provides a much-needed flavor boost. It kind of tastes like the filling you’d get at McDonald’s stuffed inside a turnover.
While not as earth shattering as its calorie-packed cousin from the Doughnut Plant, thanks to more rich Boston Crème and loads of shaved coconut, the Coconut Crème Pie is by a landslide, Blognut’s favorite Holey Donut. The Raspberry Crumb is definitely bringing up the rear of Box #1. While the crumbs are a tasty, watered version of those found atop an Entennmen’s crumb cake, the raspberry filling has a slight artificial quality. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate all three, they’re just not quite as good as the rest.
The finest Holey Donut.
But probably the safest bet of all the Holey Donut! varieties boxes are the Cinnamon Rolls. Every bit as good a Cinnabon or a TJ’s Cinnamon, the swirled dough is smothered in sweet frosting and cinnamon goodness. A really impressive Holey Donut!. And lasty, the Donuts on Sticks are essentially triangular versions of the Coconut and Boston Cremes impaled with a plastic spoon. So no further flavor descriptions are necessary.
So I have to admit, this whole experience was really weird. From the moment the Fed-Ex guy dropped off two enormous boxes, to the giant hunks of dry ice on my floor, to my now-filled-with-frozen-Donuts freezer. But CEO Frank has been more than helpful in providing me with information for this piece, and his Donuts far exceeded my expectations for what a so-called “healthy” Donut could achieve. While obtaining a dozen Holey Donuts! may seem like a lot of effort, they really do make a great late-night snack.
While Holey Donuts! doesn’t plan on opening any retail stores anytime soon (at one point there was one on Nassau Street in Manhattan, which to my knowledge, has since closed), they’ve recently scored a contract with diet delivery service Zone Chefs, and plan to move into the supermarket sector in the coming year. So all of us here at Blognut (meaning me) would like to wish Holey Donuts! Frank a hearty “Good Luck” in his quest to health-ify the world’s finest food. But I have to ask, is there anyway you can stop using so much packaging material? If you keep this up, they’ll have to designate a special Holey Donuts! landfill out in Jersey somewhere to house all the non-biodegradable Styrofoam you go through!
Filled Holey Donuts!.