Goodbye cupcake, hello doughnut

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The cupcake trend appears to be gasping its last breath in a fully saturated market, and national eat blogs and food writers are having a heyday with bidding farewell.

Dessert must go on, though, and Jezebel just polled its readers on what sweet they thought would become the post-cupcake trend. Doughnuts clinched victory in a run-off, and it seems like a good bet. After all, the sugary carbohydrate bombs are good vessels for a mélange of flavors and artistic expressions, kind of like the cupcake. Plus, doughnuts feel a little edgier and naughtier than cupcakes. They're fried. They're part of an unhealthy breakfast. You're unlikely to lovingly shove them into your spouse's face at a wedding. And famous vendors like Portland's VooDoo proffer versions with names like Cock n' Balls.

The Mile High City may not have a thriving trade in doughnuts shaped like sex organs, but there are a few spots turning out these pastries--and more are on the way, like the hilariously named The Hole, slated to open early next month.

Herewith, the five best manifestations of the doughnut in Denver:

The Italian Job: The Italians may not bother with holes in their doughnuts, but those puffy balls are still deep-fried and coated with sugar to the same delightful effect. The bombolini at Il Posto, 2011 East 17th Avenue, are light and airy and served hot in a pool of crème anglaise.

Uptown + Upscale: For most sweet trends, we look to D Bar Desserts, 1475 East 17th Avenue, to provide us with a creative example. And Denver's upscale dessert restaurant is cashing in on the future trend, offering doughnut holes rolled in powdered sugar or cinnamon and served with dipping sauces like salted caramel and raspberry jam as one of the spot's plated desserts. Translation: These artistically arranged and carefully constructed doughnuts have been taken so upscale, they can't even be ordered to go.

Stick with the classics: The doughnut empire was built on glaze, chocolate, and jelly filling, and Walton Donuts, 6603 Leetsdale Drive, remains true to those roots, proffering melt-in-your-mouth versions of the classics from its storefront on Monaco and Leetsdale. Fair warning, arrive early, like when the spot opens at 5 a.m, because these suckers sell fast.

Brown-bagged: Like D Bar, Rack & Rye Gastropub, 1320 15th Street, serves doughnuts with dipping sauces -- warm chocolate and strawberry mascarpone, to be specific. But unlike D Bar, the spot pays homage to the doughnut's down-home past, serving them up in a greasy paper bag.

The diabetic coma: Take your insulin, because the geniuses at Sweet Action Ice Cream, 52 Broadway, made a naughty dessert naughtier, topping doughnuts from Sugar Bakeshop with inventive ice cream flavors and sundae staples on hand. Only drawback? Doughnut sundaes are only available during the cold months, so you'll have to wait for the onset of fall to sample the goods.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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