This week I reached out for a Chocolate Cake Batter Donut at America's ringleader, Dunkin' Donuts, with 9,000 restaurants dotting all 50 states. Three thousand more locations around the world are just icing on the cake.
Remember how Mom let you lick her old wooden spoon when she threw on an apron and baked cakes at home? (I know, a long time ago.) But now you can savor that Norman Rockwell flavor down at your neighborhood Dunkin'. It's not the same, but the cake batter tastes pretty darn close.
Dunkin' knows its way around doughnuts — the chain sold only 2.9 billion doughnuts last year. Nobody's close. Dunkin' also is tops in bagels and coffee by the cup.
Here's the Chocolate Cake Batter Donut breakdown: a yeast doughnut shell stuffed with dark chocolate buttercream, topped with chocolate icing and colorful confetti sprinkles.
Total calories: 370. Fat grams: 19. Sodium: 400 mg. Carbs: 45 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 4 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: 99 cents each. Yeah, like you'll eat just one. Figure $1.98. Maybe $2.97 if nobody's looking.
Cake batter has the same impatient lure as chocolate chip cookie dough. Who can wait for that slowpoke oven timer? So sneak a taste at Dunkin' without risk of Mom yelling or you bellyachin'.
The Chocolate Cake Batter Donut has the same shape and heft of a traditional jelly doughnut, but instead of a river of strawberry jam, you're getting a glob of thick, sticky, deep dark chocolate cream. It's a little gritty, like someone cheated on Betty Crocker's recommended 150 mixing strokes per minute. But that goo is overpowering delicious.
Chocolate frosting up top and a dash of confetti sprinkles pushes this donut across the finish line. This is Dunkin' doing what Dunkin' does best: taking a simple donut and jumping over the top. It's a chocolate O.D. that will please the most strung out chocoholic. Aren't you tired of plain, glazed doughnuts already?
Covering its bases, Dunkin' also has a Vanilla Cake Batter Donut, with vanilla-flavored cake batter, white icing and confetti sprinkles. It's less daring, a safety play for kiddie birthday parties and grandma visits. How white cake ever got over on chocolate cake is a mystery.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter.