Valentine’s Day at Dunkin’ Donuts: Good idea, but…

12 Feb

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Dunkin’ Donuts is well aware: The national donut giant recently rolled out four new flavors for the season, in hopes that an earnest romantic might buy his/her valentine a box of these pastries as a gift.

We take V-Day pretty seriously, and so we felt it was our duty as Dedicated Donuteers and Holiday Enthusiasts to sample these four new flavors and give you the scoop.  We’d hate for anyone to give a bad donut as a gift.

Here’s what we found:


Donut #1: Cupid’s Cocoa w/ Jelly Filling

Coffee Girl: Very nice for a franchise!  The combination of chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and raspberry jelly filling is very successful, even when none of the individual ingredients achieves maximum freshness or lack of preservatives.  Show up with a couple of these for your sweetie and you’ll definitely score Valentine’s Day points.

Donut Boy: Yeah, it’s important to cut Dunkin’ Donuts a little slack: This is a tasty donut, to be sure.  My largest complaint would be with the lackluster dough, which really just serves as an envelope to hold the jelly and support some nice frosting.  Pleasing overall, though.

Donut #2: Reverse Boston Kreme

Coffee Girl: Doesn’t work as well as you’d think.  The chocolate pudding is fine, but the chocolate cake donut and white frosting follow dutifully behind without adding much.  If your Valentine is really hungry, he may be won over by the novelty factor.

Donut Boy: I love Boston Kremes, and I was excited about this donut.  I probably shouldn’t have been.  All you really taste is the chocolate filling.  You could get the same experience (and save money and calories) by just buying a Jell-O Snack Pack.  Disappointing.

Donut #3: Cocoa Kreme Puff

Coffee Girl: The chocolate cake of this donut has a very nice cocoa taste under a covering of granulated sugar, which adds a nice contrast in texture.  The texture of the dough, however, couldn’t back up its taste, as it was a little dry. Definitely worth it, though, for the wonderful whipped cream filling.

Donut Boy: I really liked the distinct cocoa flavor of the dough in this pastry, the only pastry out of the four we tried whose dough had any merit to it.  The whipped cream filling felt cheap but still tasted good and was nice and light.  Bonus points for the texture of the granulated sugar.  My favorite donut of the adventure.

Donut #4: Cupid’s Choice

Coffee Girl: We are surprised to report that we liked this donut — surprised because we usually don’t like either banana or custard in the vicinity of our donuts.  But we found the banana custard to be a successful partner to the strawberry frosting, with its cute little crunchy, heart-shaped sprinkles.  Again, though, it was the dough that let us down, as we found it dry and tasteless.

Donut Boy: I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with my colleague.  I was caught totally off-guard by this donut’s banana-flavored filling, which came on strong and didn’t quit.  Overly sweet for my taste, the custard inside this donut dominated everything else, which is a shame.  The brief hint of strawberry icing I had wasn’t half bad.  Again, Dunkin’ Donuts comes up short in the Dough Area: dry and bread-y.


To summarize, we liked the Cupid’s Cocoa and the Cocoa Kreme Puff the best.  It’s nice that Dunkin’ Donuts is trying to participate in this holiday, but we have to say: If you are considering giving donuts as a gift, you would do well to look elsewhere (see Krispy Kremes, which are pretty easy to find in many regional grocery stores).

While the seasonal nature of the above pastries is nice, it’s not enough to trump higher-quality tastes.  That being said, we have to say that any donut is better than none.

Until next week!



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