Phenomenal Frosting in Forest Park: Kay’s Bakery

18 Dec

We’ve been aware of Kay’s Bakery for a long time, given its nearby location in neighboring Forest Park (again, we cannot reveal the exact location of Donut HQ).  From the outside, it projects an aura of simplicity and a sense of history.

When you step inside, you recognize the marks of a legitimate bakery.  As the above picture shows, Kay’s offers all sorts of tasty treats.  But, c’mon now.  You know we’re here for the donuts.

With that in mind…


Donut #1: Vanilla Frosted

Coffee Girl:

With a calm, cool gaze and steely certainty, I look you in the eye and tell you that Kay’s vanilla frosted donut sets the standard for frosted donuts everywhere, vanilla or otherwise.  It’s that good.  The cake donut is both hefty and lighter than air, a physical paradox that hints at the magic of which this pastry is made.  The frosting has a personality of its own, sweet but not overly so, fresh but capable of standing up on its own and saying “howdy!”  I had one of these babies five months ago and have been dreaming of it ever since.  Today I fell in love all over again.

Donut Boy:

I liked this donut instantly. So much that it had me talking in extremes.  Upon reflection, I stand by my statements, which are, “This is the best donut with frosting I’ve ever had.  The vanilla frosting is unprecedented in its rich, deep vanilla flavor and creamy texture.  Blanketed over a similarly rich (but not overwhelming) cake donut, the frosting-dough combo whips up a Flavor Tornado in your mouth.  An exceptional pastry.”

Donuts #2 & #3:

Chocolate Frosted & Chocolate Frosted with Sprinkles















Coffee Girl:

Yes, it’s fabulous.  The cake donut is delicate yet robust, the frosting tastes so home-made you could pass it off as your own.  For one who likes to start with the frosted donuts to establish a ground zero, it was hard for me to leave Kay’s vanilla and chocolate frosted donuts behind in order to explore further.  That said, I must admit that the chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles was even better than the plain chocolate frosted, with a thick carpet of sprinkles adding a gentle crunch to every bite.

Donut Boy:

Like the vanilla frosted, this donut had a great consistency to its frosting.  The cake dough, too, was similarly pleasing, with a slight crunch to it.  Here, too, the chocolate flavor was rich; perhaps a bit too much so for my taste.  Undeniably a great donut, though.  And with sprinkles added to the mix, the texture was cranked up a notch.  I’d recommend it with the sprinkles.

Donut #4: Coconut

Coffee Girl:

Confession: I don’t get coconut donuts.  You’ve already got my love when you give me an excellent cake donut and the exceptional white frosting Kay’s makes.  So tell me again what’s up with the coconut?  It adds another gentle texture to the creamy frosting, true.  But search as I might, I couldn’t find any additional taste, other than the cake donut and the vanilla frosting.  Like a congenial party guest with nothing to say, we don’t mind if you join our party, but we don’t mind if you decide to stay home.

Donut Boy:

There is clearly some sort of secret formula to coconut donuts that few bakeries have discovered.  Like several other coconut donuts we’ve tried, this one was flavorless.  Decent dough and an interesting texture, but no coconut flavor apparent.  Disappointing.

Donut #5: Glazed Pumpkin Spice

Coffee Girl:

Strongly spiced and redolent of everything nice in the Thanksgiving through Christmas holiday season, this donut is perfect for the lover of pumpkin pie who has a craving but needs to steer the car with the other hand.  A firm, delicious spice cake donut with a sweet, light glaze.  Perfect with a steaming cup of holiday cheer.  But then, that would take three hands.

Donut Boy:

For the most part, Kay’s seems to have a go-for-broke mentality when it comes to flavor.  With the exception of their coconut donut (see above), all their pastries presented bold tastes immediately.  This donut was no exception.  Strong, distinct pumpkin flavor with a light glaze that added nuance.  One of the better seasonal-flavored donuts I’ve come across.

Donuts #6 & #7:

Chocolate Frosted Custard-Filled – Long John & Bismark















Donut Boy:

With both of the above donuts, Kay’s top-notch chocolate-frosting-and-dough combination laid the Flavor Foundation for a great-tasting donut.  The custard was very sweet, which proved to be the downfall of the bismark.  While the long john had just enough custard to stop short of being cloying, the bismark was heavily stuffed and, unfortunately, overstepped its boundaries.

Donut #8: Vanilla Frosted Raspberry Jelly-Filled Bismark















Coffee Girl:

Delicious, but formidable.  You want jelly?  Kay’s give you a faceful.  I didn’t think the donut base seemed quite as fresh as the morning’s other donuts, but the overall taste, crowned with Kay’s superlative vanilla frosting, was definitely worth diving in.

Donut Boy:

We had a pretty sad Jelly-Filling Experience last week, so imagine our delight when we cut into this donut and discovered its Plethora of Jelly Goodness.  A wonderful, classic raspberry jelly nestled in an Orb of Cake Dough and surrounded in a light vanilla glaze.  Admittedly, the dough was a bit denser than would be ideal, but we hypothesized that this might be a structural strategy, given the large amount of jelly at this pastry’s core.  I loved it.


In closing…

Our only lament is that we did not go to Kay’s earlier than today.  This is the quintessential neighborhood bakery.  No flavor experiments of trendy trappings.  Just good, straightforward donuts.  And amazing frosting.

If you live in or near Forest Park, or you every find yourself in the area (maybe doing some Christmas shopping on Forest Park’s award-winning Madison Street), get to this bakery.  But get there early, because everyone around here already knows how good it is.

Happy Pastries!



3 Responses to “Phenomenal Frosting in Forest Park: Kay’s Bakery”

  1. Margaret Hartmann December 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm #


    I’ve got a bakery for you. Nay two or three up in my hood. So, if you ever want to do a logan square/humboldt park edition of this wonderful blog.

    I’ll give you a tour.

    mos def


  1. Kay’s Bakery: Returning to an Old Favorite « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - December 17, 2011

    […] morning found us at a bakery we’ve been to several times before (officially and unofficially), Kay’s Bakery in Forest Park.  It’s an unassuming local bakery that […]

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