Be cool, people.
It’s happening again. Another humble, familiar snack is getting the upscale treatment. This time, let’s try to keep our wits about us.
Donuts are definitely having their pop culture moment. Pastry chefs are experimenting with unorthodox forms and flavor combinations. They appear on upscale restaurant menus, dressed in high style. Trendy brides are requesting donut towers in place of wedding cakes.
Like cupcakes before them, donuts are pure, sugar-dipped nostalgia. Both are single-serving, hand-held treats, often whimsically decorated. But donuts are edgier and more decadent, fried in oil and served for a wholly unhealthy breakfast.
With so many obvious parallels, it’s no surprise that we are seeing plenty of speculation that donuts will dethrone the cupcake.
After a few misguided attempts to identify the new ‘it dessert’ (see Macarons are the New Cupcake and Makin’ Whoopie), the online women’s magazine Jezebel sought a definitive answer. The editors took the question to the people with a readers’ poll. Unexpectedly strong showings by rugelach and funnel cake forced a runoff election, but ultimately donuts captured the title by a healthy margin.
Is it possible that cupcakes have met their match?
Jason Arango, writing for Village Voice Media, made the claim that “The only people who don’t like donuts are vegans and communists…”
Dig deeper: you’ll find Cupcakes: The Clock is Ticking for their 15 Minutes, in the Gigabiting archives.