Taste Test Thursday: Which Donut Is Lord of the Rings?

DONUTS (photography by Carol Shih)
DONUTS (photography by Carol Shih)

Taste Test Thursday is a new series that we’re starting here on D Magazine’s web team island. If you have other foods/drinks/non-humans you’d like to see tested out, send us a note. We’ll give it our best bite. (Last week, we did kombucha.)

All of you, by now, are probably sick and tired of hearing me talk about cronuts, donuts, and anything with holes inside of them. I don’t care. I’ve been wanting to eat donuts for the last twenty-something years of my life, and I don’t give a pop-squat if you like them or not.

Donuts are one of the best things this universe has ever created. AMIRITE?

This morning I traveled ’round town to five different shops and gathered two glazed donuts from each for a sweet, sweet experiment. I wanted to know if Hypnotic Donuts is really worth its price point. Jump for the good stuff.



Four glazed donuts came from national donut brands (Dunkin’ and Shipley’s) and six came from DFW-area donut shops. The taste testers had no clue which donut belonged to which shop. They just blindly followed their guts.


A. Hypnotic Donuts – Dallas, TX 

If you haven’t heard of Hypnotic by now, you’ve been sleeping under a rock. This hippy shop charges a glazed donut for $.80 each, but people are willing to pay for the nice mood lighting and comfortable seating area. The servers are young and friendly, too.

B. Jerry’s Donuts – Farmers Branch, TX

It took me a really long time to find this place, but I knew I had to go here because Daniel Walker said it was one of the best donut shops in Dallas. Fine. I wander around a strip mall where most restaurants go to die, stumble into a few potholes, and finally arrive in front of Jerry’s, a donut shop that’s been operating for more than 45 years. It looks legit and home-y, but why are there dusty stuffed animals hanging by wires above the trashcan? Super weird. I’m not  even going to attempt to compare which part of history this decor reminds me of…

C. Best Donuts – 4009 Old Denton Rd., Ste. 120. Carrollton, TX

I go to this random hole-in-the-wall donut shop all the time. It’s run by a cute Korean woman who makes sure she places the kolache and the donuts in two separate bags. (Jerry’s didn’t do this.) Glazed donuts here are cheap. I think they’re either 50 or 65 cents. Honestly, I can’t remember. Oops.

D. Dunkin’ Donuts – national brand

Love ’em or hate ’em, America runs on Dunkin’.

E. Shipley’s Do-Nuts – national brand

A coworker told me that Shipley’s was going to win this experiment because “it’s the best.”

NO DONUTS!! A.) Hypnotic Donuts B) Jerry's Donuts C) Best Donuts D) Dunkin' Donuts E) Shipley's Donuts
NO DONUTS!! A.) Hypnotic Donuts B) Jerry’s Donuts C) Best Donuts D) Dunkin’ Donuts E) Shipley’s Donuts


Nancy Nichols, Peter Simek (FrontRow), Jen Miller, two interns, and the web team


A. Hypnotic Donuts – Dallas, TX

Taster 1 – soft, kind of an eggy aftertaste
Taster 2 – Best. Not to sweet. Good texture
Taster 3 – yeasty
Taster 4 – Krispy Creme? Yum. Sweet (10 points for the best comment)
Taster 5 – flaky (You can tell this person likes to talk.)

B. Jerry’s Donuts – Farmers Branch, TX

Taster 1 – sweeter and fluffier
Taster 2 – too sweet
Taster 3 – very vanilla-y and rich
Taster 4 – not as sweet, still good, old aftertaste
Taster 5 – undercooked
Taster 6 – very sweet

C. Best Donuts – 4009 Old Denton Rd., Ste. 120. Carrollton, TX

Taster 1 – almost too glazed, flat
Taster 2 – tastes like grease. like the State Fair
Taster 3 – squishy on the inside, plastic aftertaste
Taster 4 – meh, close to B
Taster 5 – mushy
Taster 6 – too doughy/chewy

D. Dunkin’ Donuts – national brand

Taster 1 – little dry, not very sweet, more bready
Taster 3 – cakier than others. not as rich. I like it!
Taster 4 – tastes stale and syrupy
Taster 5 – tough
Taster 6 – my fave

E. Shipley’s Do-Nuts – national brand

Taster 1 – similar texture to B, but different flavor, sweet
Taster 2 – nice, airy, sweet
Taster 3 – undertones of old oil
Taster 4 – oddly sweet
Taster 5 – too sugary
Taster 6 – way too sugary


Hypnotic Donuts = 5 votes
Jerry’s Donuts = 1 vote
Best Donuts = 1 vote
Shipley’s Donuts = 2 votes


Hypnotic Donuts won this taste test with a whopping five votes. Shipley’s came in second. My Carrollton donut shop, upon comparison, had one of the worst glazed donuts. Too greasy. Bummer.


  • Greg Brown

    Hooray for Hypnotic! They really strive for high quality and unique flavors. They also readily welcome comments and suggestions from their customers.

  • Janice Gregg

    I think if the cronut creator Dominique Ansel ran for mayor of NYC he’d probably win.
    When will the cronuttiness end?

  • alyb803

    Excellent! Well deserved honor. They get a lot of press for their crazy good over the top combo donuts, but their plain glazed is awesome! And they host BYOBingo!

  • Monica

    With 6 tasters, how did you end up with 9 votes? Why only 5 tasters for the Hypnotic donuts? Did someone like it so much they had seconds before someone else got a bite?

    • Carol Shih

      I had a weird batch of 9 tasters. Not all of them wrote down their thoughts. Some of them wrote down their thoughts on a few donuts, but not all of them. Ugh, it drives me crazy, too. I’m going to bring a pot and bonk them on the heads next time if they don’t follow my instructions better.

  • winecynic

    Christ. Who cares?!

  • winecynic

    Christ. Who cares?!

  • Pingback: Hobbit News | Ahosta()

  • lowsparkhigh

    Why no Mustang Donuts???

    • cowgirl1

      Because Mustang Donuts are not good at all.

  • Kat

    Haven’t tried Hypnotic, but will now! I thought they ONLY had the crazy donuts.
    I do have to defend my beloved Shipley’s though, being from Houston originally, I think that the Shipley’s here aren’t as good as the locations in Houston and I think it’s the water. It sounds weird but ask any NY pizza person why the pizza is so good in NYC and can’t be recreated anywhere else, it’s the water. The water in Houston is much softer. Just my two pennies.
    And why wasn’t Southern Maid offered as well, they are pretty tasty!

  • chase

    the fact that Mustang Donuts is not in this comparison is a joke! They have the best glazed donut in Dallas easily. THe only glazed donut i’ve ever had that was better than a Mustang Donut was at the famous Roundrock Donuts

    • Carol Shih

      I’ll have to give Mustang a try sometime.

  • Pingback: Taste Test Thursday: Which Donut Is Lord of the Rings? - Donut Equipment()

  • DaisyMae

    Hello?!? The Hole Thing in Forney!!!!

  • jmHolub

    Did no one vote for Dunkin?