Whether they're glazed, frosted, sprinkled or covered in powdered sugar, doughnuts are one of America's favorite -- and guiltiest -- breakfast pleasures. Doughnuts, first introduced in America by Dutch settlers in the 1600s, come in all shapes and sizes. These deep-fried goodies are now cooked in vegetable or palm oil, rather than pork fat.
Glazed doughnuts are one of the most common doughnut types. The sugary glaze makes these sticky, sweet confections softer than other doughnut varieties. These donuts are often plain. One variation of the glazed doughnut is the jelly or cream-filled doughnut. These doughnuts do not have the hole in the center. Instead, a hole is made in the side through which the filling is inserted. Custard is another common glazed-doughnut filling.
Cake doughnuts are thicker and often drier than their glazed counterparts. These doughnuts are usually coated with either a vanilla or chocolate frosting with sprinkles or chopped-up peanuts added. The frosting usually covers one side of the doughnut, while the doughnut's underside is dry. Cake doughnuts can alternatively be dipped in powdered sugar, shredded coconut or a cinnamon-sugar mixture before being cooked. A good cake doughnut is moist and tender on the inside.
Cruellers are characterized by their twisted shape. They also have a hole in their center. The dough of a crueller is not all that different from that of a cake doughnut. Like cake doughnuts, cruellers are often frosted or dipped in powdered sugar. The term crueller comes from the Dutch word "kruellen," which means curled. The French have their own lighter, more pastry-like version of the crueller.
Fritters come in many different varieties, though apple fritters are the most common type in America. Fritters are not always circular in shape; some are scone shaped. Fritters are usually thicker in texture, covered in a crunchy, sugary glaze and peppered with little, chopped-up pieces of fruit. The dough itself usually has some cinnamon mixed in, adding some extra flavor to these delicious little treats.
- Photo Credit Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images