Review: Pumpkin Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts

All things considered, I have a conflicted relationship with Dunkin’ Donuts.

America, it has been said, runs on Dunkin’. I run on Einstein Bros. It’s just that simple. But when push comes to shove, I would take a donut to a bagel any day, and consider the humble donut the ultimate in fast food value items. So when Dunkin’ Donuts comes around and offers something like a seasonal Pumpkin Donut, it’s game over if I’m anywhere in the area. I am, as you may have already guessed from past reviews, something of a pumpkin addict.

The only problem is that I hate going into Dunkin’ Donuts. Hence, part of my conflicted relationship. Yes, their donuts are cheap (usually just 99 cents) but the donuts at my local grocery store are half that price, and once more, always seem double in size. Likewise, a trip to the Dunkin’ Donuts in my old stomping ground (to where this excursion was made) typically brings about a flurry of the annoying “can I help you” comments to my discerning mind as I scan their donut selection. Yes, you can help me — by not staring at me and tapping your finger on the counter while I tediously contemplate the finer points of cake vs. yeast raise donuts. As any true donut fan will tell you, yeast raised donuts are definitely better than cake donuts, but the fact remains that fast food donut makers remain pitifully behind the curve when creating exotic flavors for yeast donuts, instead choosing to insert their seasonal awesomeness into cake mixtures. The Pumpkin Donut falls into this category.

Cake donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts inevitably come cooled and, some might say, stale. The glaze has long been set, and chipping of said glaze as well as the donut itself becomes an unfortunate byproduct. Such was the case here. Also the case was the extremely vibrant orange hue. It’s the kind of color you’d expect from an orange-skinned space alien who had too much carrot juice, reflecting a “is that safe to eat?” pause of the head before chomping down. But who are we kidding. You’re eating a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, so obviously you’re not a health freak.

The donut is disappointing in size, but I can live with that. Cake donuts demand respect in a kind of way that makes you show restraint as an eater, focusing on flavor and texture through small bites and slow chewing. Usually not my mantra, but a good thing to remind oneself every once in a while. Unfortunately, this cake donut lacks anything in the way of pumpkin flavor. Oh sure, it’s great and everything — I mean you really can’t dislike the dense and moist interior and the sweet, dissolve-in-your-mouth donut glaze. But if I’d have to guess, it tastes like a regular cake donut with donut glaze and the unmistakable nothingness of Orange #Not-from-this-planet.

Hard as it may be, I can’t quite quit Dunkin’ Donuts. Not a day after eating this seasonal disappointment of empty sugar and fat, I found myself staring at the donuts in a local grocery store, wondering why in the heck they can’t offer a selection greater than frosted yeast donuts with orange and black sprinkles. Note to self: If I ever am in the unfortunate position of managing a grocery store bakery, make interesting donut flavors. That way, I’ll save some poor soul from Dunkin’ Donut flavor fail.

Pros: Dollar menu item. Moist interior. Awesome promo picture. Sweet glaze that dissolves in your mouth. Proving health blogs wrong by busting out a 10 mile run with only a donut as fuel. Burping up 'donut taste.

Cons: Small. Not very filling. Looks like an alien with a carrot juice addiction. Doesn't taste like pumpkin. Choosing unwisely on the eternal question of yeast vs. cake.

Taste: 5.50/10
Value: 3.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: 99 cents

Overall GrubGrade: 4.50/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Donut
Calories: 340
Total Fat: 19 grams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 25 grams
Sodium: 260 mg
Total Carbs: 38 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugars: 19 grams
Protein: 3 grams

16 comments on “Review: Pumpkin Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts

  1. Lisa says:

    aw, how disappointing! Not that I eat DD anyway….but I am known to steal a bite from a friend when they get something scrumptious! and I LOVE pumpkin!!!! 🙁

  2. Nathan says:

    I would totally have to agree with you on the “doesn’t taste like pumpkin”. It’s okay, but tastes more the spices you would use in a pumpkin pie than any pumpkin flavor.

  3. 2002 called and they want their cell phone back. LOL. Just kidding.

    Totally agree on the cake donut versus yeast donut comparison. Yeast donuts are about a million times better. I can’t stand cake donuts.

  4. Tony says:

    There are 2 independent bakeries where I live. Donuts cost about 65 cents at these establishments, and on their worst day their donuts are better than Dunkin’s donuts. If America really does run on Dunkin, America is pretty damn stupid.

  5. Five says:

    That’s too bad that you didn’t enjoy the donut. And about the types, funnily enough, I can’t stand yeast donuts. Cake donuts have, and always will be, my favorites!

  6. Rick says:

    Try Krispy Kreme’s. If you can. Both times I’ve been this week they were sold out.

  7. SPM says:

    With respect to Dunkin Donuts I prefer their cake donuts over the other varieties but I do agree they sometimes taste on the stale side. I also sometimes have a hard time getting over the fact that DD charges double what most grocery stores charge for their donuts, while being a lot smaller. If I hit up Stop & Shop during the day I can walk away with a donut 50% larger than DD for 59 cents that tastes as good.

  8. ColinKSU says:

    Dunkin Donuts sells donuts? Fantastic coffee, though.

  9. I’m firmly in the cake donut camp, but I’m disappointed to hear that this doesn’t have the pumpkin flavor I’d be expecting. I’ll have to give it a try though… just in case.

  10. missouri says:

    Cake donuts are only decent when you have a nice cup of joe to dunk them in.

  11. Kelley says:

    Agree with the comment this doesn’t taste like pumpkin at all. Plus there is something out of this world in regards to the color of the Dunkin Donuts’ Pumpkin donut. The cloves and cinnamon bite your tongue so if you like autumn spices, this is your donut. Yet, I love donuts. Just not this flavor. Have a magical day!

  12. Scott says:

    Dunkin’s pumpkin donuts aren’t too great, but they’re still worlds better than Krispy Kremes – I seriously thought I was eating a plain glazed donut when I tried theirs.

    I guess I don’t understand the Dunkin dilemma, though, because I actually really like their pumpkin muffins. Aren’t donuts and muffins basically the same batter just in different shapes?!

    (Love the site, by the way – I followed your link from a comment you left on mine and have enjoyed reading through so far!)

  13. […] some recent disappointments in the fast-paced world of processed pumpkin food products (ahem, Dunkin Donuts), I felt getting a little more “real” with my autumn-inspired treats was in order. […]

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