The Beauty of the Square Doughnut

I have a soft spot for Brown’s doughnuts in Ocean City, and Jerry’s in Ellington. But for the most part, a doughnut is not a go to part of my diet (probably a good thing). But I had been eyeing the square jelly filled doughnut at Joe’s for a while and we finally gave in and had one in February.

See the one left, there in the back? It had my name on it. Yes, it’s a square donut with a hole in the middle, yet is still jelly filled. And it was finger licking good. And they were from this place called Doughnut Plant….

And when I found out there was a store front, there is only one thing left to do: Make the trek. And it was a 3 mile trek over to the very east side of Manhattan, through Soho, and Chinatown and to the Lower East Side…

And there it was. It’s like the Magnolia Bakery of doughnuts, with a steady stream of people and even a line at certain points. It looked to be a mix of locals and tourists like me. Here I am, longingly looking in from the outside.

And then I had one in my hands. I know, it looks messy, and if you saw the chocolate all over my chin, you might be afraid to dig in yourself. I had to go with the chocolate, although the glazed and jelly filled are awesome. It was super light and fluffy and not the least bit greasy. The doughnuts are all trans fat free (he was from Day 1, before New York City banned it) and don’t use any preservatives.

And this one was a hit, the banana pecan:

Doughnut Plant sells both yeast and cake doughnuts, using fresh seasonal ingredients and things like nuts in the glazes. The jelly for the filled doughnuts is homemade (and not the sickening sweet jelly you might find at DD). Flavors change daily and are sold, well, until they run out each day (around 5-7 pm). Today, the menu had strawberry glazed, banana pecan glazed, Valrhona chocolate, coconut creme and creme brulee. Blackout and Tres Leches are the cake doughnuts always on the menu. Clearly, I’ll need to go back to test the cake doughnut.

Mark, the owner, started Doughnut Plant in 1994 after moving back to New York. He comes from a long line of bakers, and initially baked his doughnuts in the basement of the building and sold them to Dean & Deluca’s, Bloomingdales (just this year) and other shops. Finally, in 2000, he opened up a store front above the basement bakery. He worked on his cake donut recipe for 5 years and the first one was sold December 7, 2005.

He earned the Bakery of the Year honor in 2008 (BakeryBuyer) and was just featured in March’s issue of BonAppetit.

Mark has leased space in the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd street for his 2nd New York location (there are 10 in Tokyo and 10 in Seoul, which he opened with a partner there). This might be dangerous, because this location is just about 10 minutes away. That 3 miles between me and the doughnut might have been a good thing!

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street
Open at 6:30 and close when the donuts run out!

5 thoughts on “The Beauty of the Square Doughnut

  1. I've actually been here Jill! My family and I did a Lower East Side Tasting tour and this was the first stop. Really great doughnuts!

  2. I love that you did a tour of the LES eating establishments! Where else did you go (so I can add them to my list)? I was in jury duty last week so did a dumpling place that got good reviews. Yes, my life revolves around finding new food 🙂

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