Trend Watch: Are Doughnuts the New Cupcake?

Cupcakes may never truly fade from popularity, but lately they seem to have gotten some competition for most-loved snack food. Doughnuts are on the scene! Reviews of crazy new doughnut flavors and tutorials for making them at home have been sprouting up all over the place. Have you noticed?

This new doughnut trend may have started as a hot new item on the menu boards at fancy pastry shops and restaurants (the NY Times mentioned this over a year ago), but it seems to have finally started filtering into home kitchens. If the blogs we read are any judge, a lot of people seem to be getting over their fear of frying and are trying their hand at homemade versions. It seems that this is one case where the reward is definitely worth the effort!

Really, what's not to love? There is some version of the doughnut in almost every world cuisine - think beignets, churros, fritters, and crullers. Whatever you call it, great doughnuts are slightly crisp on the outside and chewy-soft in the middle. They're not too sweet (necessarily), but they're definitely very rich.

We can see the appeal for home cooks, too - even apart from getting a hot doughnut straight from the fryer. Once the basic recipe is mastered, there's definitely a lot of room for creativity and putting our personal spin on things. Add the option for a creamy filling or a flavored glaze on top, and a home cook could really go wild.

What do you think? Are you ready to mix up a batch of sweet dough and get frying?!

Related: Impossible to Resist: Apple Cider Doughnuts

(Image: Flickr member D'Arcy Norman licensed under Creative Commons)