Satisfy Your Serious Doughnut Craving at Donut King

This new doughnut shop in Market City offers dozens of ways to celebrate National Doughnut Day today.
Donut King, which opened in the Market City Shopping Center six months ago, serves a mix of yeast and cake doughnuts.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


Yeast versus cake doughnuts.


It’s an oft-debated topic, particularly in the HONOLULU Magazine office. To dessert lovers, this debate ranks up there with brownies with or without nuts, warm or cold custard pie, chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We know better than to take sides.


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2016—Food


Donut King, which offers a mix of soft, yeasty doughnuts and dense, cakey ones, makes it easy to satisfy both cravings, especially on National Doughnut Day.


The bakery in Market City Shopping Center opened six months ago in the space vacated by longtime tenant Torito’s Mexican Food. Word spread through Instagram about Donut King’s giant cinnamon rolls, maple-glazed buttermilk bars, red-velvet cake doughnuts, crispy apple fritters and trendy croissant-doughnut hybrids.


Of course, we had to stop by.


The bacon-maple doughnut is, by far, my favorite—and, at $3.25 each, the most expensive. A thick maple glaze covers the big yeast doughnut, which is then topped with slices, not bits, of crispy bacon. While this salty-sweet combo has been around awhile—thanks, Voodoo Doughnuts!—it never gets old.


Coming in for a close second are the buttermilk bars and old-fashioned doughnuts. You can get these crunchy, dense desserts ($1.45 for old-fashioned doughnuts, $1.85 for buttermilk bars)—draped in sugar, maple or chocolate. (Too bad not all three!) The tapered ring around the old-fashioned one makes it easy to break apart—not to share, but to savor.


The cake doughnuts ($1.35 to $1.55) aren’t as diverse as the offerings at Regal Bakery, but they’re tasty. We enjoyed the dense red-velvet, Devil’s food and sugar-dusted-blueberry flavors.


The shop also bakes honey-glazed doughnut holes ($2.99 per dozen), doughnuts filled with custard, raspberry or lemon ($1.95 each), long johns ($2.25 each) and huge apple fritters ($2.25 each). There’s also ice cream ($3.50 for one scoop, $6.50 for two); flavors include haupia sorbet, toasted coconut, macadamia nut and liliko‘i sorbet.


For National Doughnut Day, Donut King is offering a deal: buy a half-dozen and get an additional doughnut free, buy a dozen and get two more free.


Other bakeries across the state are celebrating National Doughnut Day, too. On O‘ahu, customers can go to any of Regal’s three locations for a free doughnut, and Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is handing out free malassadas. A percentage of sales at Regal will benefit the Salvation Army of Hawai‘i. (For a complete list of participating bakeries and stores, click here.)


Turns out there’s a worthy history to this tradition: The Salvation Army in Chicago started National Doughnut Day in 1938 to honor the “Doughnut Lassies,” female volunteers who provided supplies, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals—including doughnuts—to soldiers during World War I. (They would fry doughnuts in the soldiers’ helmets on the front lines.) Celebrated on the first Friday of June, it raises money and awareness about the Salvation Army’s social services.


So there’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a doughnut—at least today.


Donut King, 2919 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 258-4119


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